The governing board has a policy addressing conflict of interest for its members. (Board conflict of interest)
X In compliance Partially compliant Non-compliant
The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees is constituted according to SC Code of Laws Section 59-133-10. Board of Trustees . Specifically it is composed of:
- the Governor of the state or his designee, serves ex officio
- fifteen members elected by the General Assembly
- an appointee of the Governor.
By virtue of their positions on the Board, members are subject to SC Code of Laws Title 8 – Public Officers and Employees, which mandates that Board members do not participate in actions which could be deemed as a conflict-of-interest: Three relevant sections are:
- SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file Statement of Economic Interests Form
- SECTION 8-13-1120. Contents of statement of economic interests
- SECTION 8-13-700. Use of official position or office for financial gain; disclosure of potential conflict of interest.
1. SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file Statement of Economic Interests Form
“a public member who serves on a state board, commission, or council” must complete and file a Statement of Economic Interests Form before beginning his/her term of service and each year thereafter even if the member “has no economic interests to disclose” and “all disclosure statements are matters of public record open to inspection upon request” .
Board members are reminded annually by the University of their obligations to submit a report . Failure to respond by the indicated deadline results in the accumulation of a fine at the rate of $100 per day.
2. SECTION 8-13-1120. Contents of statement of economic interests
(A) A statement of economic interests filed pursuant to Section 8-13-1110 must be on forms prescribed by the State Ethics Commission and must contain full and complete information concerning:
(1) the name, business or government address, and workplace telephone number of the filer;
(2) the source, type, and amount or value of income, not to include tax refunds, of substantial monetary value received from a governmental entity by the filer or a member of the filer’s immediate family during the reporting period;
(3)(a) the description, value, and location of all real property owned and options to purchase real property during the reporting period by a filer or a member of the filer’s immediate family if:
(i) there have been any public improvements of more than two hundred dollars on or adjacent to the real property within the reporting period and the public improvements are known to the filer; or
(ii) the interest can reasonably be expected to be the subject of a conflict of interest; or
(b) if a sale, lease, or rental of personal or real property is to a state, county, or municipal instrumentality of government, a copy of the contract, lease, or rental agreement must be attached to the statement of economic interests;
(4) the name of each organization which paid for or reimbursed actual expenses of the filer for speaking before a public or private group, the amount of such payment or reimbursement, and the purpose, date, and location of the speaking engagement;
(5) the identity of every business or entity in which the filer or a member of the filer’s immediate family held or controlled, in the aggregate, securities or interests constituting five percent or more of the total issued and outstanding securities and interests which constitute a value of one hundred thousand dollars or more;
(6)(a) a listing by name and address of each creditor to whom the filer or member of the filer’s immediate family owed a debt in excess of five hundred dollars at any time during the reporting period, if the creditor is subject to regulation by the filer or is seeking or has sought a business or financial arrangement with the filer’s agency or department other than for a credit card or retail installment contract, and the original amount of the debt and amount outstanding unless:
(i) the debt is promised or loaned by a bank, savings and loan, or other licensed financial institution which loans money in the ordinary course of its business and on terms and interest rates generally available to a member of the general public without regard to status as a public official, public member, or public employee; or
(ii) the debt is promised or loaned by an individual’s family member if the person who promises or makes the loan is not acting as the agent or intermediary for someone other than a person named in this subitem; and
(b) the rate of interest charged the filer or a member of the filer’s immediate family for a debt required to be reported in (a);
If a discharge of a debt required to be reported in (a) has been made, the date of the transaction must be shown.
(7) the name of any lobbyist, as defined in Section 2-17-10(13) who is:
(a) an immediate family member of the filer;
(b) an individual with whom or business with which the filer or a member of the filer’s immediate family is associated;
(8) if a public official, public member, or public employee receives compensation from an individual or business which contracts with the governmental entity with which the public official, public member, or public employee serves or is employed, the public official, public member, or public employee must report the name and address of that individual or business and the amount of compensation paid to the public official, public member, or public employee by that individual or business;
(9) the source and a brief description of any gifts, including transportation, lodging, food, or entertainment received during the preceding calendar year from:
(a) a person, if there is reason to believe the donor would not give the gift, gratuity, or favor but for the official’s or employee’s office or position; or
(b) a person, or from an officer or director of a person, if the public official or public employee has reason to believe the person:
(i) has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relationship with the official’s or employee’s agency; or
(ii) conducts operations or activities which are regulated by the official’s or employee’s agency if the value of the gift is twenty-five dollars or more in a day or if the value totals, in the aggregate, two hundred dollars or more in a calendar year.
Text of (A)(10) effective January 1, 2017.
(10) a listing of the private source and type of any income received in the previous year by the filer or a member of his immediate family .
3. SECTION 8-13-700. Use of official position or office for financial gain; disclosure of potential conflict of interest.
In the event that a situation does occur in which a Trustee is “required to take an action or make a decision which affects an economic interest of himself, a family member, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is associated he shall…furnish a copy to the presiding officer of any agency, commission, board, or of any county, municipality, or a political subdivision thereof, on which he serves, who shall cause the statement to be printed in the minutes and shall require that the member be excused from any votes, deliberations, and other actions on the matter on which the potential conflict of interest exists and shall cause such disqualification and the reasons for it to be noted in minutes” .
During the period covered by this report (2008-present) one situation has arisen which might be perceived as a potential conflict of interest for a Board member. The conflict of interest was related to the trustee’s employment with the South Carolina Comptroller General’s Office, which oversees the procurement card program for South Carolina agencies. In an abundance of caution, he recused himself from discussion of, and vote on, Resolution 3-17. A Purchasing Card Authorization Increase for Select University Employees.
Mr. Edward Gunn abstained from voting and verbally indicated the reason for his abstention when the vote was taken during the June 22, 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees. His statement to Chairman of the Board, Kenneth Jackson, is included in the minutes of the meeting .