Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 982301
   

File Number: 982301 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 98-106 Control: County Commission
File Name: ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING 'CONE OF SILENCE' Introduced: 7/20/1998
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 7/21/1998
Agenda Date: 7/21/1998 Agenda Item Number: 5ASUBSTITUTE
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A 'CONE OF SILENCE' FOR COUNTY COMPETITIVE PROCESSES; AMENDING SECTION 2-11.1 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND CODE OF ETHICS; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS, PROCEDURES, PENALTIES, SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: CONFLICT OF INTEREST/CODE OF ETHICS
  LOBBYISTS
  CONE OF SILENCE
Sponsors: Dr. Miriam Alonso, Prime Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
  Dr. Barbara M. Carey, Co-Sponsor
  Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Co-Sponsor
  Betty T. Ferguson, Co-Sponsor
  Gwen Margolis, Co-Sponsor
  Jimmy L. Morales, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Pedro Reboredo, Co-Sponsor
  Dorrin D. Rolle, Co-Sponsor
  Katy Sorenson, Co-Sponsor
  Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 7/21/1998 5A & 5B SUBSTITUTE Adopted P
REPORT: Mr. Dusty Melton appeared before the Board expressing his objection to the regulation of people in lieu of the process and indicated, in his opinion, public officials had the burden of having to be available to the public. He stressed the importance of preserving the right for individuals to hold private conversations. Mayor Penelas urged the passage of the ordinance and noted, in his opinion, there was substantial rationale for treating IPSIG and auditing contracts differently. He stated those contracts were more confidential in nature, were services that helped monitor unique situations in the county, and stressed the importance of those decisions being absent of any and all influences. Commissioner Diaz de la Portilla spoke in support of the ordinance, stressing the need for regulation and control. He noted the ordinance insulated staff from outside influences and third parties in order to ensure the recommendations made by staff represented their independent, professional judgement.

County Attorney 7/20/1998 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A 'CONE OF SILENCE' FOR COUNTY COMPETITIVE PROCESSES; AMENDING SECTION 2-11.1 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND CODE OF ETHICS; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS, PROCEDURES, PENALTIES, SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, this Board is desirous of adopting a "Cone of Silence" procedure to protect the professional integrity of the County's competitive bid process by shielding the County's professional staff; and
WHEREAS, the policy proposed herein recognizes the importance of requiring persons or businesses who are part of the County's competitive processes to disclose all communications with the County's professional staff; and
WHEREAS, communications between elected officials and the County's appointed staff during a competitive process should be in writing so that it becomes a part of the public record; and
WHEREAS, the proposed policy protects the rights of individuals to petition their government and their elected officials; and
WHEREAS, the policy proposed herein enhances the spirit of Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 2-11.1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Sec 2-11.1. Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance.

* * *

>>(t) Cone of Silence.

1. Contracts for the provision of goods and service other than audit and independent private sector inspector general (IPSIG) contracts.

(a) "Cone of Silence" is hereby defined to mean a prohibition on: (a) any communication regarding a particular RFP, RFQ or bid between a potential vendor, service provider, bidder, lobbyist, or consultant and the County's professional staff including, but not limited to, the County Manager and his or her staff; and (b) any communication regarding a particular RFP, RFQ or bid between the Mayor, County Commissioners or their respective staffs and any member of the County's professional staff including, but not limited to, the County Manager and his or her staff. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Cone of Silence shall not apply to competitive processes for the award of CDBG, HOME, SHIP and Surtax Funds administered by the Miami-Dade County Office of Community and Economic Development, and communications with the County Attorney and his or her staff.

(b) Procedure.

(i) A Cone of Silence shall be imposed upon each RFP, RFQ and bid after the advertisement of said RFP, RFQ or bid. At the time of imposition of the Cone of Silence, the County Manager or his or her designee shall provide for public notice of the Cone of Silence. The County Manager shall include in any public solicitation for goods and services a statement disclosing the requirements of this ordinance.

(ii) The Cone of Silence shall terminate at the time the Manager makes his or her written recommendation to the County Commission; provided, however, that if the Commission refers the Manager's recommendation back to the Manager or staff for further review, the Cone of Silence shall be reimposed until such time as the Manager makes a subsequent written recommendation.

(c) Exceptions. The provisions of this ordinance shall not apply to oral communications at pre-bid conferences, oral presentations before selection committees, contract negotiations during any duly noticed public meeting, public presentations made to the Board of County Commissioners during any duly noticed public meeting or communications in writing at any time with any county employee, official or member of the Board of County Commissioners unless specifically prohibited by the applicable RFP, RFQ or bid documents. The bidder or proposer shall file a copy of any written communication with the Clerk of the Board. The Clerk of the Board shall make copies available to any person upon request.

2. Audit and IPSIG contracts.

(a) "Cone of Silence" is hereby defined to mean a prohibition on: (a) any communication regarding a particular RFP, RFQ or bid between a potential vendor, service provider, bidder, lobbyist, or consultant and the Mayor, County Commissioners or their respective staffs and any member of the County's professional staff including, but not limited to, the County Manager and his or her staff; and (b) any oral communication regarding a particular RFP, RFQ or bid between the Mayor, County Commissioners or their respective staffs and any member of the County's professional staff including, but not limited to, the County Manager and his or her staff. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Cone of Silence shall not apply to communications with the County Attorney and his or her staff.

(b) Except as provided in subsections 2(c) and 2(d) hereof, a Cone of Silence shall be imposed upon each RFP, RFQ and bid for audit and IPSIG services after the advertisement of said RFP, RFQ or bid. At the time of the imposition of the Cone of Silence, the County Manager or his or her designee shall provide for the public notice of the Cone of Silence. The Cone of Silence shall terminate when the County Manager executes a particular audit or IPSIG contract.

(c) Nothing contained herein shall prohibit any bidder or proposer: (i) from making public presentations at duly noticed pre-bid conferences or before duly noticed selection committee meetings; (ii) from engaging in contract negotiations during any duly noticed public meeting; or (iii) from communicating in writing with any County employee or official for purposes of seeking clarification or additional information from the County or responding to the County's request for clarification or additional information, subject to the provisions of the applicable RFP, RFQ or bid documents. The bidder or proposer shall file a copy of any written communication with the Clerk of the Board. The Clerk of the Board shall make copies available to the general public upon request.

(d) Nothing contained herein shall prohibit any lobbyist, bidder, proposer or other person or entity from publicly addressing the Board of County Commissioners during any duly noticed public meeting regarding action on any audit or IPSIG contract. The County Manager shall include in any public solicitation for auditing or IPSIG services a statement disclosing the requirements of this ordinance.


3. Penalties. In addition to the penalties provided in subsections (s) and (v) hereof, violation of this subsection (t) by a particular bidder or proposer shall render any RFP award, RFQ award or bid award to said bidder or proposer voidable. Any person who violates a provision of this ordinance shall be prohibited from serving on a Miami-Dade County competitive selection committee. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, violation of any provision of this ordinance by a Miami-Dade County employee shall subject said employee to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Additionally, any person who has personal knowledge of a violation of this ordinance shall report such violation to the State Attorney and/or may file a complaint with the Ethics Commission.<<


[[(t)]]>>(u)<< Powers and jurisdiction of Ethics Commission. The Ethics Commission shall be empowered to review, interpret, render advisory opinions and letters of instruction and enforce the Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics ordinance. Jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission shall automatically extend to Commissioners, autonomous personnel, quasi-judicial personnel, departmental personnel, immediate family and lobbyists as defined in subsections (b) and (s) who are required to comply with the Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance. Jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission may extend to employees, advisory personnel and immediate family as defined in subsection (b) who are required to comply with the Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance if at least two (2) members of the Ethics Commission vote to assume jurisdiction. In the event that the Ethics Commission does not assume jurisdiction as provided in the preceding sentence, the Ethics Commission may refer the complaint to the State Attorney for appropriate action. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Ethics Commission shall not have jurisdiction to consider an alleged violation of subsection (c) if the requirements of subsection (c) have been waived for a particular transaction as provided therein.


[[(u)]]>>(v)<< Penalty.

* * *

Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.
Section 5. This ordinance does not contain a sunset provision.
1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.




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