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Home > About Us > Ethics Panel

Ethics Panel

The Ethics Panel consists of five members, who are residents of Howard County and are appointed for staggered five-year terms by the Board of Education.

Ethics Regulations

Members of the Board of Education and all employees of The Howard County Public School System are covered by the Ethic Regulations.

The regulations cover:
  • Conflict of interest.
  • Outside employment.
  • Gifts and honoraria.
  • Use of prestige of office.
  • Disclosure of confidential information for financial gain.

Financial Disclosure

Board members and selected administrators are required to make certain disclosure statements on an annual basis because of their relationship to the decision-making steps for the expenditure of public funds.

Lobbying Disclosure

Any person whose intent is to influence a Board member or any employee or any person who has business with The Howard County Public School System and expends in excess of $75 in food, entertainment, or gifts for that person must disclose this fact by registering as a lobbyist with the Ethics Panel.

Sanctions

Violation by any Board member or employee of the provisions of these regulations shall constitute grounds for discipline or personnel action or removal from office where provided by law, consistent with procedures set forth in the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland or the policies of the Board of Education of Howard County. Persons or organizations found in violation of the lobbying provisions of these regulations shall be publicly identified and subject to other penalties as provided by law.

Exemptions

Exemptions may be granted by the Ethics Panel if it is determined that application of the provisions would (1) constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, (b) significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service, or (c) not be required to preserve the purposes of these regulations.

Advisory Opinions

One of the duties of the Ethics Panel is to provide advisory opinions to persons subject to the regulations as to the applicability of these provisions. The panel provides interpretation of these regulations based on the facts provided or reasonably available to it.

Complaints

The Ethics Panel also handles and makes determinations as to complaints filed by any person(s) alleging violation of these regulations. The Panel will meet within 15 working days of receiving a complaint. All complaints are treated confidentially and will, upon determination of the Ethics Panel, be referred to the Board of Education for dismissal or further action.

If you are unable to download the Complaint Form above, you may request a form to be mailed to you by contacting Valerie Gist at 410-313-7011 or valerie_gist@hcpss.org.

Forms Submission

You may submit your Ethics Panel - Application to Provide an Advisory Opinion or Ethics Panel Complaint Form electronically or by U.S. mail.

  • Electronic Submission:
    Ethics_Panel@hcpss.org

  • U.S. Mail:
    HCPSS Ethics Panel
    c/o Ethics Panel Attorney
    10910 Clarksville Pike
    Ellicott City, MD 21042

 

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