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Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinionsort descending Subject Question(s) Cross Reference RCW/WAC Reference
00-01
  • Employment after public service
  • Ownership of stock
  1. Does a former state employee's ownership of stock in his or her post-state employer create a beneficial interest in that employer's contracts with the former employee's agency? Yes / See Opinion
  2. If the answer to question 1 is yes, does RCW 42.52.080(2) or any other provision of chapter 42.52 RCW prohibit the former employee from owning any of the company's stock during the two-year period following termination of the former employee's state service? No / See Opinion
  3. Does the answer to question 2 change if the former employee's interactions with the company included participation in the agency's decision to award contracts to the company? Yes / See Opinion
  4. If the answer to question 2 is yes, then would it be permissible for the company to provide stock options to the former employee, provided the former employee could not exercise the options within the two-year period following the termination of state service? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  5. Are there any precautions a company can follow prior to and during the employment of a former state employee to assure compliance with RCW 42.52.080? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
97-07
98-11
RCW 42.52.080
00-02
  • Compensation for outside activities; employment after public service
  • Financial benefits on administered grant program
  1. Are there any circumstances under which a state employee may financially benefit or otherwise perform work, whether or not for compensation, on projects funded by a grant program the employee administers? No / See Opinion
  2. Can a state employee work or volunteer on projects that are funded from sources other than the state, or that are state-funded, but not within the official responsibilities of the employee? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  3. Can a state employee form his or her own business and offer services to state agencies or other persons that are related to the work the employee performed in a previous state position, but unrelated to the employee's current state position? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
97-03 RCW 42.52.120
RCW 42.52.080
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
00-05
  • 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
00-07
  • Post-State employment
  1. Can a former state employee provide consulting services to his former state agency when the consulting services are similar to work previously performed under a grant that funded the former employee's state work? Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.080
00-08
  • Use of state resources
  • Political campaigns
  • officer or employee title
  1. Is there a violation of RCW 42.52.180(1) if a state officer or employee uses his or her title when supporting or opposing a candidate for office or a ballot proposition? Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.180
00-09
  • Use of persons, money, or property for private gain
  1. Does the use of state resources such as employee time, equipment, and supplies for the Combined Fund Drive violate RCW 42.51.160(1)? Qualified No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160
00-10
  • Use of persons, money, or property for private gain
  1. Is there a violation of RCW 42.52.160(1) when an employee of one agency uses the computer of that agency to send e-mail as part of his volunteer activities for the Hunter Education Programs, which is conducted by another agency? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160
00-12
  • Compensation for performing official duties; tips
  1. Does the acceptance of a tip by a student employed as a waiter in a college restaurant violate the prohibition in RCW 42.52.110 against receiving additional compensation for performing official duties? No / See Opinion
  2. Does the acceptance of a tip by a student employed as a waiter in a college restaurant violate the prohibition in RCW 42.52.110 against using state employment to grant special privileges to another person? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.110
RCW 42.52.070
00-13
  • Employment after public service
  1. May a former state employee, who was as a 'project leader' with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, assist a new employer to complete the project under a new contract? Yes / See Opinion
97-06
98-02
RCW 42.52.080
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
01-01
  • Post-State Employment
  1. Can a former Director of the Department of Personnel (DOP) apply for, compete for, and complete consulting work for state agencies under an ongoing Consultant Request for Proposal program (Consultant RFP) that is administered by DOP, but was created and independently funded prior to the former Director's employment at DOP? Yes / See Opinion
  2. Can a former DOP Director provide human resource consulting services to state agencies, i.e., perform work that was similar in nature to the service provided by DOP to those state agencies? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  3. Can a former Director of DOP apply for, participate in and, if selected, contract with state agencies under pre-qualified personnel investigator or human resources consultant lists that are maintained by the General Administration agency? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
00-07 RCW 42.52.080
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
01-04
  • State Officer's Outside Business Relationship with an agency that they oversee.
  • Financial interests in transactions
  • Assisting in transactions
  1. May the Washington State School Director's Association (WSSDA) issue personal service contracts to officers of the Association or members of its board of directors to provide training services to school boards and school board members? Generally No / See Opinion
  2. If WSSDA may issue personal services contracts to its officers and members of its board of directors for training services, what provisions should the Association take to handle the execution and administration of those contracts? See Opinion
  3. If a consultant with a current contract becomes an officer or member of the board of directors in November, may that person continue to serve under their contract, which they had no role in approving, until the end of the contract's term in summer of the next year? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
96-09
98-02
99-07
00-02
RCW 42.52.030
RCW 42.52.040
RCW 42.52.120
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
01-06
  • Confidential Information
  • Post-State Employment
  1. May a former Department of Ecology (Ecology) employee, who participated at various levels in selected parts of Ecology’s dangerous waste program permit at the Hanford Federal Facility (Hanford Site), assist a Department of Energy (DOE) contractor in its compliance with the Hanford Site dangerous waste permit? Perhaps / See Opinion
  2. May a former Ecology employee who participated in selected parts of Ecology’s dangerous waste program permit at the Hanford Site, share his or her discussions with an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) regarding the Hanford Site dangerous waste permit with a DOE contractor? No / See Opinion
97-06
97-07
97-08
98-02
RCW 42.52.050
RCW 42.52.080
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)
02-01
  • Use of State facilities to conduct union business
  1. May a state employee use state vehicles or other state resources to attend meetings or conduct union business related to contract negotiation and administration? See Opinion
  2. Does the Ethics in Public Service Act prohibit certain uses of State facilities by a union? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160
02-02A
  • Use of state resources - frequently asked questions and examples
  1. Are there general guidelines for the use of state resources? Yes / See Opinion
  2. What types of state resources are covered under the ethics law? See Opinion
  3. What exactly is a “private benefit or gain”? See Opinion
  4. I've heard that de minimis use is allowed. What is a de minimis use anyway? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160
RCW 42.52.180 WAC 292-110-010
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
02-04
  • Use of State facilities, including electronic mail, to distribute newspaper articles and editorial opinions
  1. May a state agency use state resources to collect and distribute newspaper articles or editorial opinions to agency employees via e-mail, and may the state agency also distribute the newspaper links to individuals and groups outside the state agency who have expressed an interest in receiving the material? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  2. If the answer to 1 is yes, may the agency distribute the newspaper articles or editorial opinions if they discuss a candidate for public office, a ballot initiative, or a referendum? See Opinion
  3. If the answer to 1 is yes, may the agency distribute newspaper articles or editorial opinions that discuss commercial companies or products that are related to the agency mission? See Opinion
96-10
00-08
RCW 42.52.160
RCW 42.52.180 WAC 292-110-010
03-01
  • Use of state facilities, including the Internet, to access state benefits
  1. May a state employee use state provided Internet access to monitor or update account allocations in a state provided retirement benefit plan, or to update personal information regarding other state provided benefits? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
03-02
  • Use of state resources
  • Political campaigns
  • Voters pamphlet statements
  1. May the Governor use state resources to draft a statement supporting or opposing the passage of ballot proposition that will be published in the statewide voters’ pamphlet? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
02-04 RCW 42.52.180 WAC 390-05-273
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
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
04-01
  • Use of state facilities, including state agency web stites to provide links to private web sites that advocate for or against ballot initiatives or political candidates
  1. May a state agency maintain a direct internet link to private non-governmental web sites? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
  2. May a state agency establish an internet link to a private web page which does not contain materials that advocate for, or against, a ballot initiative or political candidate even though the private web site's homepage may contain material that advocates for, or against, a ballot initiative or political candidate? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
96-10
00-08
02-02A
02-04
RCW 42.52.160
RCW 42.52.180 WAC 292-110-010
04-02
  • Use of state facilities to support private commercial advertising activity
  1. May an individual state officer or employee use state facilities, including state paid time, to participate in the creation or review of articles and other advertising materials that will be used to promote private commercial products and services? No / See Opinion
  2. May a state officer or employee, acting within the course of official duties and under the authority of his or her agency, use state facilities, including state paid time, to promote private commercial products and services? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
99-03
02-02A
RCW 42.52.070
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
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
08-01
  • Authorizing Wellness Organizations to Sell Products
  1. May a state employee authorize a wellness organization to sell products during meetings, even if the meetings are held in accordance with the agency's wellness policy? No.
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
08-02
  • Ferry Passes
  1. May a manager, as part of the state's bargaining team, propose language during collective bargaining that may benefit himself or herself, his or her spouse, or child?
  2. May a manager, who on an approved withdrawal from a union after accepting a management position, be a part of the state's bargaining team with that union when the manager may receive a benefit for himself or herself, his or her spouse, or child because the member has the right to voluntarily revert back to a represented position and receive benefits previously negotiated? See opinion
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
08-03
  • Post state employment
  1. May a state employee who oversees motorcycle safety courses for the state work for vendors who provide motorcycle safety instruction on local military installations? Depends on factual situation. See opinion
RCW 42.52.080
08-04
  • Posting political signs in state-owned housing
  1. May a state employee residing in a state-owned residence located on state-owned land display political campaign signs and stickers in the residential windows facing outward where it is visible to the public? No.
RCW 42.52.180 WAC 292-110-010
09-02
  • Spouse contracting with State Agency
  1. Under RCW 42.52.020, does a conflict of interest exist when a state employee/officer is the direct supervisor over the person who selects and administers a contract in which the state employee/officer has a financial interest? See Opinion
  2. How does the Board interpret the phrase 'under the supervision of the officer or employee' as used in RCW 42.52.030. See Opinion
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
09-03
  • Stock Ownership
  1. May a Department of Revenue Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) make a determination regarding the tax liability of Acme Co., where the ALJ holds share in Beta Co., and Beta Co. has a financial and voting interest in Thea Co. which owns Acme Co.? Yes. See Opinion
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
09-05
  • Gift of Employee Time
  1. May a state employee or official 'donate' a lunch or other type of meal with them or time with them to an outside organization to be auctioned off to raise money for that outside organization? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160
10-01
  • Use of Resources for Wellness Program
  1. Does the use of a state agency's parking lot as a delivery site for weekly pre-paid, pre-packaged local farm produce to be picked up by agency employees violate the Ethics in Public Service Act or its rules? No - See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
10-02
  • Wearing Uniform at Charitable Events
  1. Can Washington State Patrol personnel participate in Special Olympics functions while in uniform without violating the Ethics in Public Service Act or its rules? Yes - See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
10-03
  • Simulcast Races Wagering
  1. Can the Washington Horse Racing Commission employees and commissioners bet on simulcast races without violating RCW 42.52.020 by merely changing their rule under WAC 260-14-040? No - See Opinion
RCW 42.52.020
10-04
  • Former Employees Assisting on State Contract
  1. Whether a former employee may assist a non-state employer on a state contract in which the former employee participated, to perform the same duties s/he performed as a state employee; and
  2. Whether a fomer state employee may assist a non-state employer on a state contract in which the former employee participated, to perform new duties, even if those duties were in the contract's scope of work without violating the Ethics in Public Service Act.
RCW 42.52.080
11-01
  • Expert Witness
  • Expert Testimony
  1. Can a state officer or employee with specialized knowledge accept employment as an expert witness? Yes - See Opinion
  2. Can a state employee who serves as a Food Program Technical Expert accept outside compensation to provide expert advice and testimony in an out-of-state case involving food borne illness? Yes - See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
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
96-03
  • State Employees
  • De minimis use of state resources
  1. RCW 42.52.160 prohibits use of state resources for the private benefit or gain of a state officer, state employee, or another. Is the de minimis use of staff time and resources to support recreational activities as part of an agency wellness program a violation? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.160 WAC 292-110-010
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
96-08
  • Definition of state officer and state employee
  1. Do state officers and employees ever lose their identity or does their status as state officers and employees apply only during normal working hours or when they are performing their state duties at times not considered normal working hours? No / See Opinion
RCW 45.52.010
96-09
  • Boards and Commissions
  • Disclosure requirement
  • Voting abstention requirements
  1. Can a state board whose members are required by statute to be appointed from identified groups adopt rules that require members to disclose their interests and abstain from voting on certain matters as a way of addressing ethical prohibitions in the law? Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52
96-09A
  • Supplemental to 96-09
  1. Model Rules were approved and may be adapted to a board or commissions particular need See Opinion
96-10
  • Elected Officials
  • Facilities of an agency
  • Normal and regular conduct
  • Employee mailing list
  1. Is it a violation of RCW 42.52.180(1) for a statewide elected official, who is running for re-election, to use the agency's list of employee home addresses to send agency employees a letter, paid for with campaign funds, explaining the elected official's policies in response to a letter to agency employees from another candidate for the same office? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.180
96-12
  • Gifts
  • Food and beverages
  • Community or civic event
  • Hosted reception
  • Inaugural ball
  1. May state elected officials, state officers and employees accept food and beverage at an inaugural ball and inaugural dinner sponsored by a community or civic organization? Yes / See Opinion
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
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
97-05
  • Employee's beneficial interest in a spouse's contract with the employing agency
  1. Is it a violation of RCW 42.52.120(1)(e) for a state officer or state employee to have a beneficial interest in a contract that the officer's employee's spouse has with the agency that employs the officer or employee? Qualified No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.120
97-06
  • Employment after leaving public service
  • Assisting in a transaction
  1. Does RCW 42.52.080(5) prohibit a former state employee from accepting employment assisting a person seeking a water right permit when the employee worked on the same permit application while employed by the state? Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.080
97-07
  • Employment after leaving public service
  • Contract; transaction involving the Confidential information
  1. After terminating employment with the state, may the director of a state agency accept employment from a person who entered into contracts with the director's agency? Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.080
97-08
  • Activities incompatible with public duties
  • Employment after public service
  1. Is it a violation of RCW 42.52.020 for a state officer or state employee, whose duties involve reviewing fuel tax returns, to send out a questionnaire to businesses that file fuel tax returns to see if there is a market for a post-state employment business assisting businesses in completing fuel tax returns? No / See Opinion
  2. Do the prohibitions on post-state employment in RCW 42.52.080 apply to self-employment after the termination of state service? Yes / See Opinion
  3. Do the limitations on post-state employment in RCW 42.52.080 prohibit a state employee, whose duties involve review of fuel tax returns, from setting up a business filling out fuel tax returns after terminating state service? Qualified No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.020
97-10
  • Assisting in transactions
  1. Does the rule-making process fall within the definition of 'transaction involving the state'? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.040
97-11
  • Financial Interests
  • Board membership
  1. Whether RCW 42.52 prohibits a board member from participating in a proceeding when the member owns stock in a person who appears before the board, and when the member was appointed to represent a particular interest on the board? See Opinion
  2. Does RCW 42.52 require disclosure of the board member's holdings prior to the commencement of proceedings? See Opinion
  3. Does RCW 42.52 require divestiture to allow a board member's participation in proceedings, or are alternative measures available to ensure compliance with RCW 42.52? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.030
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
97-14
  • Outside employment
  1. Whether a corrections officer may engage in outside employment as a contractor to his or her assigned correctional facility? See Opinion
RCW 42.52.120
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
98-02
  • Post-State Employment
  1. How does the term “transaction involving the state” as defined in RCW 42.52.010(21)(a) apply to the Department of Ecology's (DOE) multi-step site sediment cleanup process? See Opinion
  2. How is “personal and substantial” involvement in a “transaction involving the state” determined? See Opinion
  3. May a former employee who participated in transactions involving the state assist a state agency as a contractor with regard to the same transactions? See Opinion
  4. What is the definition of “another person” as used in RCW 42.52.080(5) and does it apply to state agencies? See Opinion
  5. Do the restrictions in RCW 42.52.080 apply to situations that do not involve transactions with the state? See Opinion
97-06
97-08
RCW 42.52.080
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
98-04
  • 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
98-05
  • Transactions involving the State
  1. If an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or an Industrial Appeals Judge (IAJ) owns stock in an employer, would their official actions relating to unemployment insurance and worker's compensation be exempted from a 'transaction involving the state' under RCW 42.52.010(21)(b), and could they decide a case without incurring a conflict of interest under RCW 42.52.020 and RCW 42.52.030? See Opinion
RCW 45.52.010
RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
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
98-07
  • 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
98-09
  • Use of Public Resources for Political Campaigns
  • Washington State Patrol
  1. Would the Washington State Patrol be in violation of RCW 42.52.180, if a Governor or Lieutenant Governor are attending a political event for a ballot issue or another political candidate and they are travelling in the Executive Protection Vehicle designated for the transportation of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor? No / See Opinion
  2. Would it be a violation of RCW 42.52.180, if a Governor or Lieutenant Governor were running for reelection and they traveled to specific campaign activities in the Executive Protection Vehicle, where the sole purpose of the travel is for campaign activities and no other state business is to be conducted? No / See Opinion
  3. Would it be a violation of RCW 42.52.180, if a Governor or Lieutenant Governor are attending state events or meetings in the normal course of their duties and mixed in with those events is a political event as mentioned in questions one or two? No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.180
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
99-01
  • Definition of Legislative Body
  • Political Activities
  1. Is the Washington State School Directors' Association board of directors an “elected legislative body” as used in RCW 42.52.180(2)(a) and therefore eligible to vote on a motion to support or oppose a ballot proposition in an open public meeting? No / See Opinion
  2. Is the intent of the state ethics law to limit application of RCW 42.52.180(2)(a) only to the state legislature as the only elected legislative body in state government? Yes / See Opinion
  3. Given the structure, authority, and past practice of the WSSDA Board, is it the normal and regular conduct of the board to take positions on ballot measures as authorized by RCW 42.52.180(2)(c)? Qualified Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.180
99-02
  • Use of state resources
  • Nonprofit entities
  1. Whether state employees may operate a nonprofit corporation within a state agency for the purpose of overseeing fundraising and ensuring compliance with the state's ethics laws? Qualified No / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.010
RCW 42.52.050
RCW 42.52.070
RCW 42.52.140
RCW 42.52.150
RCW 42.52.160
99-03
  • Outside Compensation
  • Collegiate Athletic Coaches
  1. How does RCW 42.52 restrict outside compensation paid to a university coach? See Opinion
RCW 45.52.010
RCW 42.52.110
RCW 42.52.120
RCW 42.52.130
RCW 42.52.160
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
99-07
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Board Membership
  1. May Public Works board members rely on the Advisory Opinion 98-08 and recuse themselves from discussion and voting on matters on which there is no existing conflict of interest in order to preserve potential future business opportunities? Yes / See Opinion
  2. Does the fact that general public members of the Public Works Board or their employers must, by law, engage in competitive bidding or in competitive selection for public works projects make members less susceptible to conflicts of interest under the state’s ethics law? No / See Opinion
  3. Are potential conflicts of interest mitigated by the fact that 80 percent of projects approved by the Public Works Board are subject to legislative review and approval? No / See Opinion
96-09A RCW 42.52.020
RCW 42.52.030
RCW 42.52.040
RCW 42.52.903
99-08
  • Investments
  1. May a state officer or state employee responsible for the investment of public funds satisfy the obligation under RCW 42.52.190(1) to obtain approval for investments that exceed the $10,000 value threshold at acquisition if the employee makes a one-time disclosure of, and obtains approval for, his or her participation in an automatic reinvestment program? Yes / See Opinion
RCW 42.52.190