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RULE §161.3Organization and Structure

(a) Each board member shall meet and maintain the qualifications for board membership and execute their duties as set by law.

(b) A board member should strive to achieve and project the highest standards of professional conduct. Such standards include:

  (1) A board member should not accept or solicit any benefit that might influence the board member in the discharge of official duties or that the board member knows or should know is being offered with the intent to influence official conduct.

  (2) A board member should not accept employment or engage in any business or professional activity that would involve the disclosure of confidential information acquired by reason of the official position as a board member.

  (3) A board member should not accept employment that could impair independence of judgment in the performance of the board member's official duties.

  (4) A board member should not make personal investments that could reasonably be expected to create a conflict between the board member's private interest and the public interest.

  (5) A board member should not intentionally or knowingly solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the board member's official powers or performed the board member's official duties in favor of another.

  (6) A board member should be fair and impartial in the conduct of the business of the board. A board member should project such fairness and impartiality in any meeting or hearing.

  (7) A board member should be diligent in preparing for meetings and hearings.

  (8) A board member should avoid conflicts of interests. If a conflict of interest should unintentionally occur, the board member should recuse himself or herself from participating in any matter before the board that could be affected by the conflict.

  (9) A board member should avoid the use the board member's official position to imply professional superiority or competence.

  (10) A board member should avoid the use of the board member's official position as an endorsement in any health care related matter.

  (11) Board member appearances.

    (A) A board member should not appear as an expert witness in any case in which a licensee of the board is a party and in which the expert testimony relates to standard of care or professional malpractice. A board member may provide expert testimony if the board member has been called primarily as a fact witness. A board member should disclose any potential employment as an expert witness to and seek prior approval of the board's executive committee. When providing expert testimony in any matter, a board member should state that any opinion of the board member is not on behalf of or approved by the board and should not claim special expertise because of board membership.

    (B) A board member shall not appear in any administrative proceeding involving the exercise of the board's licensing or disciplinary authority before the board or the State Office of Administrative Hearings in which proceeding a licensee of the board is a party. A board member may furnish a written statement for a licensee to use in such administrative proceedings only if:

      (i) the board member sought and received in writing the prior approval of the board's executive committee;

      (ii) the written statement of the board member used by a licensee presents only facts that the board member has personally witnessed and does not offer or provide any statement as to character of the licensee or characterization of the events witnessed; and

      (iii) the written statement plainly states that the recitation of the witnessed facts is not an indication of in any manner that the board concurs with, agrees to, or supports those facts or the board member in his or her action.

  (12) A board member should refrain from making any statement that implies that the board member is speaking for the board if the board has not voted on an issue or unless the board has given the board member such authority.

(c) Report of Potential Grounds for Removal. In addition to Section 152.006 of the Act, the following are grounds for potential removal that must be reported are as follows:

  (1) For purposes of Section 152.006(a)(5), a board member shall be considered to have been absent from a regularly scheduled board meeting if the member fails to attend at least a portion of either a full board session or a portion of a regularly scheduled committee meeting to which a member is assigned during such board meeting. Any dispute or controversy as to whether or not an absence has occurred shall be submitted to the full board for resolution by a majority vote after giving the purported absentee the opportunity to present information concerning the alleged absences and after allowing discussion by other members of the board.

  (2) A board member who is subject of a non-disciplinary or disciplinary action, including but not limited to any remedial plan, board order, or administrative penalty, regardless of the nature of the violation(s) that led to the remedial plan, board order, or administrative penalty.

(d) Each member of the board shall receive per diem as provided by law for each day that the member engages in the business of the board and will be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in accordance with the state of Texas and board's travel policies.

Source Note: The provisions of this §161.3 adopted to be effective March 7, 2002, 27 TexReg 1486; amended to be effective January 25, 2006, 31 TexReg 382; amended to be effective September 20, 2007, 32 TexReg 6314; amended to be effective March 18, 2013, 38 TexReg 1872; amended to be effective May 17, 2015, 40 TexReg 2533; amended to be effective November 14, 2019, 44 TexReg 6880

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