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I. Donation Solicitation & Acceptance Policy for OSDE
- Donations to OSDE. Pursuant to 70 O.S. §70 3-104(12), the State Board of Education is authorized to accept and provide for the administration of any land, money, buildings, gifts, donations or other things of value which may be offered or bequeathed to the schools under the supervision or control of said Board. This means that donations that will benefit public schools can be accepted by the State Board for use. This includes but is not limited to donations of gifts or money to assist with providing professional development, training, seminars, etc. to schools and/or school staff.
- Donations that would be used solely for the purpose of OSDE’s benefit (i.e. to pay only for OSDE staff training or needs) will need to be submitted to the Governor of Oklahoma for acceptance on behalf of the agency pursuant to 60 O.S. §381 et seq.
- Donation/Gift Acceptance Procedure: All donations or gifts of money, goods, or services must be formally accepted by either the Oklahoma State Board or the Governor of Oklahoma prior to use by OSDE. To be properly processed, all gifts and donations of any kind offered to the OSDE shall be made and recorded as follows:
- Each donor shall fill out a Sponsorship/Donation Approval Form (See Attachment A) which can be found on our OSDE website. Donors are required to disclose and describe the gift, the dollar figure of the gift, and the intended purpose of the gift.
- Value is the fair market value of the item or gift and not the wholesale or discounted value of the item.
- Calls or inquiries about how to donate to OSDE should be directed to the Director of Financial Services or the Purchasing Manager.
- The donation forms should be submitted to the Director of Financial Services, who in collaboration with the Purchasing Manager, will determine if the nature of the gift is for the use and benefit of the public schools or is for the use or benefit of the OSDE.
- If the gift or donation is determined to be for the benefit of OSDE, the Director of Financial Services will notify General Counsel and the Superintendent of the gift information so that it may be transmitted to the Governor’s office for approval and acceptance.
- If the gift or donation is determined to be for the use and benefit of the public schools, the Director of Financial Services will place the gift on the Gift Donation Report, which will be a regular agenda item for approval by the Oklahoma Board of Education. The Gift Donation Report shall include a list of all gifts received during the last month by OSDE and include the name of the donor, the amount of the gift, the intended use of the gift, the fair market value of the gift and shall disclose any conflicts of interest (i.e. donor has a state contract with OSDE, is regulated by the agency, is a lobbyist or lobbyist principle, is seeking to do business with OSDE). The Director of Financial Services and Purchasing Manager will determine if the gift will or will not benefit public schools and make a recommendation to the Board in the written Gift Donation Report.
- No donation or gift can be used by OSDE without prior approval from the State Board of Education. Therefore, all gifts must be approved by the Board before they are used.
- The Donation/Sponsorship Form must be turned in to the Director of Financial Services at least thirty (30) days prior to the event, training, conference or seminar that for which the gift is intended to ensure its inclusion in the Gift Donation Report.
- In the event a gift or donation is made less than (30) days prior to the event, training, conference or seminar for which it is intended, the Director of Financial Services immediately upon receipt of the Donation/Sponsorship Form will check to ensure the gift can be considered and accepted by the Board in time for it to be accepted and used.
- Once a gift or donation is approved by either the State Board of Education or by the Governor, the Director of Financial Services will communicate the approval to the appropriate OSDE personnel for use by OSDE.
- The Director of Financial Services shall keep a list of all approved and non-approved donations and will issue appropriate correspondence to the donors. The Director of Financial Services will also be responsible for reporting the gifts received and used in any required accounting or reporting mandates.
- The donor of any gift or donation that is not approved or accepted by the State Board of Education or the Governor, regardless of the reason of denial, will receive a written explanation explaining the denial of the gift or donation. Donors will receive a this written explanation as to why the gift or donation is not accepted within thirty (30) days of the denial.
- If a gift or donation is approved but not used for the purpose intended, the donor will be notified and OSDE will offer to return the gift or donation within thirty (30) days after the event, training, or seminar for which the gift or donation was offered. In the event the gift or donation is returned, the donor will be given the opportunity to modify the intended purpose of the gift or donation and the gift or donation will be put back on the agenda for acceptance for the amended purpose.
- Solicitations of Gifts/Donations on behalf of OSDE. Pursuant to the Oklahoma State Ethics laws, contained at 74 O.S. § 257: 20-1-9, state officers and employees shall not directly or indirectly solicit, seek or accept anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act; influenced to commit, aid in committing, collude or allow fraud; or induced to perform or fail to perform an act in violation of the officer’s or employee’s official duty. Additionally, this statute also prevents state employees from directly or indirectly asking, demanding, soliciting or accepting anything of value individually or on behalf of the state from a business entity, it’s employees, officers, or board members that have greater than 10% interest in the business OR solicit from a business entity which is subject to regulation by OSDE. In order to eliminate risk to OSDE employees and to manage any possible conflicts regarding solicitations of gifts and/or donations made by the OSDE, no state employee shall engage in any solicitation of donations on behalf of the OSDE. Employees who solicit donations, either verbally or in writing from any source may be subject to disciplinary action.
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