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Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion Subject Question(s) Cross Reference RCW/WAC Reference
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
03-04
  • Selling complimentary textbooks
  1. May state higher education faculty sell complimentary textbooks, which were received under an exemption to the gift prohibitions? See Opinion
96-05
97-03
97-07
RCW 42.52.070
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
RCW 42.52.160
RCW 42.52.900
RCW 42.52.901
01-05
  • Gifts
  1. Is there a gift subject to the limitations in RCW 42.52.150 when a person gives a state officer or employee a ticket to a sporting event, concert or other performance and the officer or employee pays the person for the face value of the ticket? Yes / See Opinion
96-05
98-01
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
01-07A
  • Definitions
  • Gifts
  • Limitations on Gifts
  • Use of State Resources
  1. Does the Ethics in Public Service Act have jurisdiction over gifts to a state agency? No / See Opinion
  2. Does a state agency violate the Ethics in Public Service Act if it uses funds received, from a person it regulates or a person who contracts, or seeks to contract, with the state agency to off-set agency costs associated with travel expenses? No / See Opinion
  3. Would a state officer or employee violate the Ethics Act if they indirectly received admission to, and the cost of food and beverages consumed at an event paid by funds received by an agency from a person regulated by that state officer or employee or who contracted with that state officer or employee? Perhaps / See Opinion
96-05
98-01
00-05
00-06
RCW 42.52.010(10)
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
RCW 42.52.160(1)
00-05
  • Compensation for official duties or nonperformance; gifts; limitations on gifts
  • $100 Cash award
  1. Can a state employee accept a $100 cash award from the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (WASHTO) for team excellence? Qualified No / See Opinion
  2. If a state employee cannot receive a $100 cash award for Team Excellence from WASHTO, can a state employee accept a $50 cash award from WASHTO for the same purpose? Yes / See Opinion
  3. Can the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) accept funds from WASHTO to use in a recognition program under RCW 41.60.150, where the agency determines eligibility and award criteria and provides the cash award? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
99-05 RCW 45.52.010
RCW 42.52.110
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
00-06
  • Gifts
  • Receipt of cash awards
  1. Can a state employee accept a cash prize in recognition for engineering achievement under the academic and scientific achievement exemption under RCW 42.52.010(10)(j)? Yes / See Opinion
  2. Can a state employee accept payment of travel expenses for himself or herself and a spouse to receive the award? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  3. Can a state employee accept a plaque as recognition for outstanding achievement to a highway development program? Yes / See Opinion
99-05 RCW 45.52.010
RCW 42.52.150
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
99-05
  • Gifts
  • Receipt of Cash Award
  1. Can a state officer or employee accept a cash prize in excess of $50, which is presented in connection with an award to the officer or employee for excellence in government? Qualified No / See Opinion
RCW 45.52.010
RCW 42.52.150
98-03
  • Acceptance of Gifts
  • Community Colleges
  1. Whether classified staff and faculty members at community colleges and other institutions of higher education may accept cash awards for outstanding service from a nonprofit foundation organized for the support of the college or institution? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.110
RCW 42.52.150
98-06
  • Acceptance of Meals
  • Regulatory Employees
  1. When a vendor sponsors a presentation at an agency and provides breakfast or lunch to agency participants who are not 'Section 4' employees? Yes / See Opinion
  2. When a vendor sponsors a presentation and pays for a meal for 'Section 4' state employees and their spouses? Qualified No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
98-01
  • Acceptance of meals
  • Regulatory Employees
  1. Whether a dinner hosted and paid for by a vendor at a national conference meets the exception under RCW 42.52.150(4)(f) for an event sponsored in conjunction with a governmental organization? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
97-02
  • Acceptance of food and beverages at government-sponsored events
  • Agency; Section 4 employee
  1. May a state official or employee who participates in regulatory matters accept food and beverage as part of an official trade mission to another country, if some of the cost is paid by the person regulated by the official or employee's agency? Yes / See Opinion
00-06 RCW 45.52.010
RCW 42.52.150
96-01
  • Gifts
  • Agency
  • Section 4 employee
  • Payments for educational programs
  1. RCW 42.52.140-.150 restrict the gifts that can be received by state officers and state employees. Does a regulatory agency violate these limitations if it receives a gift from a person it regulates, to be used to off-set the cost of training agency officers and employees? No / See Opinion
  2. Does a state officer or state employee who attends agency training violate RCW 42.52.150(4)(g)(ii) if the source of the funds used to pay for the training is a gift to the regulatory agency by a person who is regulated by the agency? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
96-02
  • Gifts
  • Agency
  • Section 4 employee
  • Unsolicited refreshments
  1. RCW 42.52.140-.150 restrict the gifts that can be received by state officers and state employees. Does a state officer or state employee violate these limitations if he/she accepts unsolicited token refreshment items of nominal value which are offered as a gesture of common courtesy from a regulated business while performing official activities at their place of business? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
96-05
  • Gifts
  • Agency
  • Section 4 employee
  • Limitations on gifts
  1. Does a state agency that only performs ministerial acts fall within the definition of regulatory agency in RCW 42.52.010(13)? See Opinion
  2. Does a state agency that performs both ministerial and regulatory acts fall within the definition of regulatory agency in RCW 42.52.010(13)? See Opinion
  3. If a regulatory agency performs some functions that are regulatory and some that are not, who is subject to the more stringent limitations on the receipt of gifts in RCW 42.52.150(4)? See Opinion
RCW 45.52.010
RCW 42.52.150
96-06
  • Gifts
  • Agency
  • Section 4 employee
  • Hosted reception
  • Acceptance of food and beverage
  1. Can officers and employees of a state regulatory agency accept food and beverage from persons when they do not participate in regulatory or contractual matters with those persons? See Opinion
  2. What is the definition of hosted reception under RCW 42.52.150(4)(e)? See Opinion
  3. Does the limitation on the acceptance of food and beverage in RCW 42.52.150(4) apply to food and beverage provided by an association which is composed of members who are regulated by the agency or who seek to provide goods or services to the agency? See Opinion
  4. Can a state officer or employee accept food and beverage which they receive as part of training paid for by the state? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.150