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E THICS IN P UBLIC S ERVICE RCW 42.52. C OURSE OBJECTIVES Gain a general understanding of the basic ethical standards for state employees. Learn where.

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Presentation on theme: "E THICS IN P UBLIC S ERVICE RCW 42.52. C OURSE OBJECTIVES Gain a general understanding of the basic ethical standards for state employees. Learn where."— Presentation transcript:


2 C OURSE OBJECTIVES Gain a general understanding of the basic ethical standards for state employees. Learn where to find information regarding ethical standards and the use of state resources. Be able to identify potential violations of the Ethics Act, RCW 42.52.

3 W HAT IS THE E THICS A CT ? A single code of ethics that applies to ALL branches of state government. Certain provisions apply AFTER you leave state service

4 W HY WE HAVE THE A CT 1. Holds us accountable to the public for: Access to confidential information Use of public equipment Use of technology Our time 2. To insure we don’t use our position or authority for personal gain

5 W HAT IS COVERED UNDER THE ACT? Minimum standard of conduct while performing public duties Agencies may have policies that are stricter than the law… Know your agency’s policies as well as the Ethics Act

6 E XECUTIVE E THICS B OARD Case Sanctions Civil Penalties Investigative Costs Agency Restitution Letter of Reprimand **Can take NO personnel action Five member board Interpret Ethics Act Formal and informal advice Publish rules (WACs) Publish Advisory Opinions Agency-requested Individual-requested Provide training Adjudicate complaints Make determination of violation Determine civil penalty

7 B OARD JURISDICTION Cabinet agencies Separately-elected officials and agencies Boards & commissions Vocational/technical colleges Community colleges Public colleges/universities WSP Legislative branch Judicial branch County employees Municipal employees Other local-elected officials K-12 teachers Employees and Officials in Executive Branch of State Government NO jurisdiction over:

8 S AFE H ARBOR Agency policy approved by EEB No sanctions for conduct that was permitted under the board-approved agency policy If conduct occurred after policy approved

9 C OMPLAINTS Received from several sources: Public Agency Auditor Whistleblower investigations Co-worker (the norm) Investigated by Board Investigator Dismissed or presented to Board for Reasonable Cause determination Board dismisses or finds violation occurred Respondent has ability to appeal Board findings through court system

10 C ONFLICT OF I NTEREST You cannot: ◦ Have direct or indirect financial interest ◦ Engage in a business or transaction or professional activity ◦ Incur any obligation With anyone you regulate or contract with

11 T YPES OF C ONFLICT Private business transactions Volunteer activities Professional conflicts

12 H OW TO HANDLE A CONFLICT Abstain Disclose Review written procedures Obtain screening memo

13 FINANCIAL INTEREST IN A TRANSACTION You may have a financial interest if you have an interest in a contract that is made by you, through you, or is under your supervision. You may have a financial interest if you receive compensation from any other person beneficially interested in a contract made by you, through you, or is under your supervision.

14 ASSISTING IN A TRANSACTION May not help a person in a transaction against or involving the state, if you participated in that transaction while you were a state employee. Why not?? So you have no outside interests in the outcome of decisions you make regarding your job responsibilities. So that once you have made a decision or supervised the team that made the decision, you cannot give advice or switch sides and assist the outside interest.

15 C ONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION A state officer or state employee may not disclose confidential information to an unauthorized person. Cannot withhold information that should be disclosed

16 S PECIAL P RIVILEGES You may not use your state position to secure special privileges or to grant exemptions to benefit yourself, family members or other persons.

17 H OW YOU RECEIVE A SPECIAL PRIVILEGE Broad-based Occupational group Employee group Discounts

18 E MPLOYMENT AFTER STATE SERVICE  Applies equally to ALL former state employees  Two main restrictions apply Contract restriction Continuing restriction

19 C ONTRACT RESTRICTION If during the two years immediately before you leave state employment, you negotiate or administer a contract with “Company A,” AND The contract(s) had a total value in excess of $10,000, AND Your duties with Company A include fulfilling or implementing that contract… YOU MUST WAIT ONE YEAR BEFORE YOU TAKE THE JOB

20 C ONTINUING RESTRICTION You may not assist any non- state entity with any transaction involving the state if you participated in that transaction at any time during your state employment.

21 C OMPENSATION FOR OFFICIAL DUTIES State employees may not receive/accept any type of gift or compensation for doing their job.* * This does not apply to performance awards received from state employers.

22 B ASIC GIFT RULES You may not accept a gift, if it could reasonably be expected to influence the performance or nonperformance of your duties.

23 $50 R ULE

24 A RE YOU A “S ECTION 4” EMPLOYEE ? Are you employed by a regulatory agency or an agency that seeks to acquire goods or services? Does your agency regulate or contract with the person giving the gift? Did you participate in the regulatory or contractual matters with that person?

25 S ECTION 4 EMPLOYEES CAN ONLY ACCEPT : Advertising and promotional items Tokens of appreciation Discounts to broad-based groups Food and beverages at a hosted reception

26 S ECTION 4 EMPLOYEES MAY NOT ACCEPT Flowers Payments for reasonable expenses in connection with a speech Food and beverages served in the ordinary course of meals

27 W HAT DO I DO ? Do not accept the gift Return to Sender within 30 days Donate to Charity Contact ethics advisor

28 U SE OF S TATE R ESOURCES You may not use state resources – the office, money, property, or personnel – for personal benefit or to benefit another person.

29 W HAT ABOUT A LITTLE USE ? ( DE MINIMIS USE ) Little or no cost to the state No interference with official duties Brief in duration and frequency

30 Does not distract from state business Does not disrupt other state employees Does not compromise integrity of state data

31 S TOP AND THINK Will my use result in added costs or other disadvantages to the state? Am I using this resource in order to avoid personal expense?

32 Will my use compromise the security or integrity of state information? Will my use embarrass me or my agency if reported publicly?

33 O THER P ROHIBITED U SES Outside business interests Supporting private groups, Illegal or unprofessional activities, including gambling, games and adult oriented material Equipment removed from the workplace

34 N O USE FOR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS A state officer or state employee may not use state resources to campaign for the election of a person or ballot initiative.


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