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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
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
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
99-03
  • 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
99-07
  • 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
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
98-08
  • 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
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
97-11
  • 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