Hillsborough Community College rule addresses conflict of interest for members of the College's District Board of Trustees (HCC Administrative Rules 6HX-10-1.00, 6HX-10-1.02). Trustees are informed of these rules during their initial Board orientation an in subsequent workshops on boardsmanship. HCC Trustees also regularly avail themselves of additional training on effective and appropriate governance through organizations such as the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the Florida Community College Association Trustee Commission (FACC).
Hillsborough Community College Trustees are required to disclose to the Board any personal interests concerning all matters pending before the Board when confronted with a real or potential conflict of interest. The affected Trustee is required refrain from voting or participating in the decision-making process unless other Trustees vote unanimously on the item. Additionally, the affected Trustee is required to disclose the conflict in a memorandum of disclosure ( HCC Administrative Rules 6HX-10-1.00, 6HX-10-1.02; Memorandum of Voting Conflict form, Board Meeting Minutes). Trustees are also required to submit annual disclosures of secondary employment and affiliations that demonstrate that they cannot benefit in their roles as Bboard members in any relationship (Annual Reporting of Secondary Employment form).
The conflict of interest policies protect the integrity of HCC by ensuring that no Trustee can benefit personally from any decisions that he or she makes as part of the Board. The policies also protect the Board itself by ensuring that any real or potential conflict is disclosed, so that Trustees will have a full comprehension of the impact of their collective action, and make their decisions accordingly in the best interest of HCC.
Additional safeguards are in place through conduct standards established for Florida’s Public Officers and Employees. Members of the board of each community college are considered public officers as defined by this code, and as such, they may not act in a manner that would result in, or create the appearance of preferential treatment for them or members of their families ( Florida Statutes, Section 112.313). Florida’s Code of Ethics prohibits activities that would create a conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, solicitation or acceptance of gifts, doing business with one‘s agency, misuse of public position, conflicting employment or contractual relationships, employment of relatives, and failure to disclose financial interests (Florida Statutes, Chapter 112, Part III; HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10.3.16).