October 9, 2015, Number 35
Download the full October 9, 2015 Number 35 (PDF) update.
New Ethics Requirements: Proposed Forms and Rules
The Texas Ethics Commission recently adopted new forms (Form CIS and Form CIQ) to implement changes made to Local Government Code Chapter 176 by H.B. 23 (PDF). Chapter 176 is an ethics law that requires some city officers to disclose certain relationships with vendors who conduct business with the city. The newly-adopted forms are available online.
As reported in a previous article, the forms do not take into account some of the provisions of H.B. 23, such as the new requirement that an officer disclose any “family relationship” with a vendor. At the urging of the League and others, the Commission has voted to publish a revised Form CIS and Form CIQ for public comment. League staff anticipates the revised forms to be published in an upcoming issue of the Texas Register. In the meantime, city officers who have a family relationship with a vendor should work closely with their local legal counsel in deciding how to disclose that information.
Also, beginning January 1, H.B. 1295 (PDF) will impose new vendor disclosure requirements in relation to city contracts. Last September, the League submitted comments to the Texas Ethics Commission regarding a preliminary draft of rules and a form developed by the Commission to implement the bill. The League urged the Commission to address the many unanswered questions presented by H.B. 1295.
At its October 5 meeting, the Commission voted to publish proposed H.B. 1295 rules for public comment. League staff anticipates the proposed rules will be published in the Texas Register in the near future.
Member cities should: (1) file comments and participate in these rulemaking processes; or (2) communicate issues and concerns to Christy Drake-Adams, TML legal counsel, by emailing Christy Drake-Adams so that she can coordinate efforts to communicate with the Commission.
TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.