Conflict of Interest Disclosures
Definitions under State Finance Law 139-J:
- Restricted Period – the period from when an RFP is first made available to the public, until the Board makes an award
- Offerer – an individual or entity, or any employee, agent, or consultant or person acting on behalf of such individual or entity that contacts a Governmental Entity about a Governmental Procurement during the Restricted Period.
- Permissible Contact – only those Permissible Offerer contacts outlined in the RFP, and only to the Designated RFP Contact(s). (e.g. Contact such as submitting written questions during the Q&A period, attending a public bidders’ conference, submitting a written bid or proposal, responding to factual inquiries, or negotiating with the District after a tentative award).
- Impermissible Contact – any oral, written, or electronic communication with a Governmental Entity which a reasonable person would believe is intended to influence the Governmental Procurement.
Restrictions on Contacts
An Offerer shall not make Impermissible Contacts during the Restricted Period of the RFP.
The Designated RFP Contact, along with the Department of Purchase shall make sure that the RFP terms advise that the District honors the “Restrictions on Contacts” as outlined in State Finance Law 139-j, and as such, violations of the restrictions on contacts during procurement may result in an Offerer’s proposal being disqualified for an award under this RFP and the Offerer being debarred from government contracts in New York State for up to four years, as determined by the NYS Office of General Services.
Bidders/Offerers will also be provided a certification as part of the RFP acknowledging that they understand they are not allowed to contact or lobby or have any third party contact or lobby the District during the restricted period of any procurement with the intent to influence the procurement in any way. Further, the Offerer shall acknowledge they understand that to do so may result in their proposal being disqualified. This signed certification will be a part of the RFP package and shall be executed and submitted with any proposals.
District Personnel shall refrain from any communications regarding an ongoing/pending RFP. Failure to comply runs the risk of allegations that you engaged in impermissible contact, fraud, corruption, favoritism, and/or other unlawful contact. As such, if anyone, who is not the Designated RFP Contact receives an Impermissible Contact from an Offerer they should not respond; however, they should keep a record of the contact as outlined below.
The only communication should be by the Designated RFP Contact, as outlined below:
1. RFP Contact Log Maintained by the Designated RFP Contact - During the Restricted Period, the Designated RFP Contact and evaluation team are responsible for maintaining a log of Offerer Contacts, both Permissible and Impermissible. This log should:
- Contain the subject matter, date, and communication method.
- Contain the name, address, phone number, place of principal employment and occupation of the person or organization making the contact
- Indicate whether the person or organization making the contact was the Offerer or was retained, employed or designated by or on behalf of the Offerer or a lobbyist.
- Immediately be provided to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) if a contact has been reasonably considered to be Impermissible.
- Become part of the official procurement record for the RFP.
2. Impermissible Contacts Made to Other District Staff and Board Members – Details of impermissible contacts should immediately be provided to the CFO, with the same details as outlined in the RFP Contact Log above.
Investigation of Impermissible Contacts
The CFO will investigate alleged Impermissible Contacts, providing an opportunity for the Offerer to respond. If, after the investigation, a determination is made that the Offerer made Impermissible Contacts with the intent to influence the procurement, they may be deemed disqualified for an award under this RFP and may be debarred from government contracts in New York State for up to four years, as determined by the New York State Office of General Services.