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Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion Subject Question(s) Cross Reference RCW/WAC Reference
04-03
  • Conflicts of interest related to membership in groups that are sponsored by the department of natural resources
  1. May the State Survey Manager, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manager, also be an officer on a private non-profit organization that will receive funds under a Federal grant that was initiated and managed by the Survey Manager’s division? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
98-04
00-14
02-03
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
03-03
  • Use of frequent flyer miles by state officers and employees
  1. Can a state officer or employee use frequent flyer miles earned from official state travel for personal travel? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  2. Can a state officer or employee donate airline tickets to a state agency for official state travel by using personal frequent flyer miles? Yes / See Opinion
  3. Can a state officer or employee purchase airline tickets for official state travel using personal frequent flyer miles and then seek reimbursement of that travel payment from the state? See Opinion
98-10
01-02
01-07A
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
RCW 42.52.070
RCW 42.52.150
RCW 42.52.160
03-05
  • Holding an interest in a person regulated by a citizen body whose members may be selected from identified groups or interests
  1. May a member of the Fish and Wildlife Commission accept a position as an “Alternate Operator” under a commercial fishing license owned by another person? Yes / See Opinion
96-09A RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
RCW 42.52.903
02-03
  • Conflicts between the regulatory and proprietary functions of the Department of Natural Resources
  1. Does the Ethics in Public Service Act address conflicts between the regulatory and proprietary functions of the DNR? No / See Opinion
98-04 RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.070
01-02
  • Membership In Non-State Organizations That Are Affected By State Agency Decisions
  • Conflict of Interest
  1. Is it a violation of the Ethics in Public Service Act for state agency permit decision makers to also be members, i.e., pay dues and receive newsletters, of an environmental organization that periodically sues the agency over decisions made by the decision makers? Generally No / See Opinion
  2. What is the meaning of 'member' under RCW 42.52.030(3)? See Opinion
  3. Which organizations, in which state employees hold memberships, are considered persons who participate in transactions with the state under RCW 42.52.030(3)? See Opinion
97-10
00-14
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
01-03
  • State Employee's Outside Business Relationship With An Agency Vendor
  1. Does the Ethics in Public Service Act prohibit a Washington State Lottery (Lottery) District Sales Representative (Sales Representative) from establishing an outside business relationship with a Lottery vendor (Lottery Vendor) when the Sales Representative's duties include making discretionary decisions regarding distribution of the Lottery Vendor's products? Yes / See Opinion
  2. If the answer to question (1) is yes, would the Ethics in Public Service Act still prohibit the outside business relationship if the Sales Representative waived receipt of any profits or royalties generated by sales of the Lottery Vendor's products in the State of Washington, but retained intellectual property rights for sales outside the State? Yes / See Opinion
97-10
00-14
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
RCW 42.52.040
RCW 42.52.120
00-04
  • Compensation for outside activities
  • Private timber company regulated by employing agency
  1. Whether an archaeologist has a potential conflict of interest if the archaeologist holds outside employment with a private timber company regulated by the archaeologist's employing agency? Quailfied No / See Opinion
  2. Does a state employee have a conflict of interest if the outside duties performed by the employee could affect whether the outside employer's interests are regulated by the agency? No / See Opinion
97-03 RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.120
00-14
  • Conflict of Interest
  1. Is it a violation of the Ethics in Public Service Act for a state agency Program Director, or Acting Program Director, who sits on an agency decision making body that awards and administers funding, to participate in agency decisions that affect an organization on whose board the employee sits? Yes / See Opinion
  2. Is it a violation of the Ethics in Public Service Act for a state agency Program Director, or Acting Program Director, who sits on an agency board that awards and administers funding, to participate in agency decisions that affect 'direct competitors' of an organization on whose board the employee sits? Yes / See Opinion
97-10 RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
99-04
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Spouse's Business Interest
  1. Whether RCW 42.52 limits the ability of the spouse of a state employee from operating a private business within a state facility managed and supervised by the state employee? Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.050
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
RCW 42.52.160
98-04
  • Confidential Information
  • Elective Office
  1. Whether state officers or state employees may seek or hold elective office in local government when they administer state programs within the local government's jurisdiction? See Opinion
  2. Whether state officers or state employees may disclose confidential state information when they hold local public office? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.050
98-07
  • Outside Employment
  • Subcontracting
  1. May a state employee work as a subcontractor to a state subcontractor on projects for his or her state agency? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  2. May a state employee work as a subcontractor to a state subcontractor on unrelated projects? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  3. May a state employee also work as an employee of a state subcontractor? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
97-03 RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.120
98-08
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Board Membership
  1. Can venture capitalists, management consultants, patent attorneys, officers writing initial public offerings, and others appointed to the Washington Technology Center Board and its advisory committees avoid violations of RCW 42.52 by following the model rules of procedure in Advisory Opinion 96-09? Yes / See Opinion
  2. May Washington Technology Center members recuse themselves from discussing and voting on matters on which there is no existing conflict of interest in order to preserve potential future business opportunities? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
96-09A RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
RCW 42.52.903
98-10
  • Receipt of Door Prizes
  1. Is an item received as a door prize a 'gift' under RCW 42.52.010(10) if consideration is paid to attend a conference, seminar, trade show, or similar event? No / See Opinion
  2. If a door prize is not a gift, can a state officer or state employee keep a door prize even if his or her state agency paid consideration for his or her attendance at an official event? Qualified No / See Opinion
  3. Can state employees enter door prize or other drawings at events attended in their official capacities when consideration does not include the opportunity to compete for a door prize? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.010
RCW 42.52.020
98-11
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Prospective Employment
  1. Can a state employee pursue prospective employment with an employer without violating the state's ethics law? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
97-07 RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.050
RCW 42.52.080
97-03
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Outside employment
  1. May a state officer or employee of a regulatory agency conduct an outside business or accept outside employment doing work that the officer or employee would regulate as part of his or her official duties? No / See Opinion
  2. May a state officer or employee accept employment from a person regulated by the agency if the employment is unrelated to the officer's or employee's official duties and the officer or employee does not actually participate in the regulation of the employer? Yes / See Opinion
00-14 RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.120
97-12
  • Financial Interests
  • State employee
  1. Whether stock ownership in a person prohibits a state employee from participating in state actions which may affect that person as a member of broadly defined group or as a specific interest of state action? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
97-13
  • Financial Interest
  • Board Membership
  1. Whether a nonvoting member of the SIB would violate any provision of RCW 42.52 under given circumstances? See Opinion
96-09A RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
RCW 42.52.040