Authority/Reference(s) 1 TAC §391; TGC §2262; TGC §573
Revision Date January 15, 2014

Policy

Staff involved in purchasing and procurement should make decisions based on sound judgment and in the best interest of DFPS and its clients. DFPS employees must adhere to the highest standard of ethical behavior and avoid even the appearance of impropriety when conducting the activities of DFPS, including spending taxpayer dollars.

Definitions

Major Contract: a contract that has a value of at least one (1) million dollars during the original term of the contract, excluding any renewal periods.

Procurement: the acquisition of goods or services; term is broader than purchasing, which has the connotation of an exchange of consideration (i.e. buying), but the terms are generally used interchangeably.

Purchasing: the function of buying goods or services for the state; may be used interchangeably with "procurement."

Purchasing personnel: means an employee of DFPS who makes decisions on behalf of the agency or recommendations regarding:

  • Contract terms or conditions on a major contract;
  • Who is to be awarded a major contract;
  • Preparation of a solicitation for a major contract; or
  • Evaluation of a bid or proposal.

Relating to the procurement process, purchasing personnel will generally consist of:

  • The DFPS service development lead;
  • Staff who screen responses;
  • Staff who evaluate responses; and
  • The staff person who signs a major contract.

Conflict of Interest

DFPS staff who participate in purchasing or procurement may not:
  • Have a financial interest in, or in any way be connected with, a respondent to a solicitation, or a contractor for the purchase of goods or services;
  • Accept or solicit directly or indirectly anything of value from such a respondent or contractor;
  • Be a member of a respondent’s or contractor’s board of directors or other governing body; or
  • Be employed by, or agree, offer or intend to work for a respondent or contractor.

Confidentiality

DFPS staff who participate in purchasing or procurement may not knowingly disclose confidential procurement, client, or financial information.

Nepotism Disclosure Requirement for Purchasing Personnel

When awarding a major contract, each of the purchasing personnel involved in the procurement or contracting process for a major contract must complete the State Auditor's Office (SAO) form, Disclosure Statement for Purchasing Personnel. Completion and approval of this form is coordinated by HHSC Procurement and Contracting Services (HHSC-PCS).