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2006 Ethics and Lobbying Act

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Don't accept gift from persons having a financial interest that may be ... DI must report accepted gift over $200 made for purposes of lobbying from ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 2006 Ethics and Lobbying Act


1
2006 Ethics and Lobbying Act
  • Effective January 1, 2007
  • Presentation to University Council
  • October 24, 2006

2
Ethics Act - Purpose and Framework
  • To assist individuals in identifying and avoiding
    conflicts of interest
  • Disclosure of Economic Interests by Covered
    Persons (and immediate family)
  • Establishes Standards of Conduct
  • Creates Ethics Commission with defined
    responsibilities for compliance

3
Covered Persons
  • Covered Person for UNC (public servant)
  • Voting Members of the Board of Governors and
    Board of Trustees
  • President and Vice Presidents
  • Chancellor and Vice Chancellors
  • Others?
  • Boards (other than advisory) created by statute
    or executive order as determined and designated
    by the Commission

4
State Ethics Commission
  • Creates State Ethics Commission
  • Receive and review all SEIs
  • Receive and investigate complaints
  • Render advisory opinions
  • Implement mandatory ethics education

5
Mandatory Education
  • Education must be by or approved by, the Ethics
    Commission
  • For those in office on 1/1/07, before 1/1/08
  • Within 6 months after appointment or
    reappointment every 2 years thereafter
  • In addition to covered persons, all staff who
    report directly to a covered person

6
Ethical Standards
  • Use of Public Position for Private Gain
  • Cant knowingly use public position to result in
    financial benefit to self, extended family or
    associated business
  • Cant mention public position in non-govt.
    advertising that advances private interest
  • Cant use state funds for ads/public service
    announcements that contain persons name,
    picture, voice

7
Ethical Standards
  • Additional Compensation
  • Cant accept outside compensation for carrying
    out official responsibilities
  • Strict rules on acceptance of honoraria

8
Ethical Standards
  • Use of Information for Private Gain
  • Cant use or disclose non-public information for
    private financial benefit (includes financial
    benefit to members of extended family or
    businesses with which person is associated)
  • May not improperly use or disclose any
    confidential information

9
Ethical Standards
  • Participation in Official Actions
  • With limited exceptions, a covered person may not
    participate in any discretionary official action
    in which person has an economic interest if it
    could be reasonably inferred that the interest
    would impair the persons independence of
    judgment.
  • Employment and supervision of members of covered
    persons family
  • May not cause employment or appointment of
    member of extended family to position which
    person supervises or supervise, manage or
    participate in employment decision a family
    member without authorization of NCSU.

10
Ethical Standards - Gifts
  • Anything of monetary value given or received
    without valuable consideration by or from
  • a lobbyist
  • lobbyist principal
  • a person doing or seeking to do business with
    NCSU or
  • A person who is regulated or controlled by NCSU

11
Gifts
  • Not a gift if
  • FMV or face value is paid for it
  • It is a commercially available loan made on
    terms not more favorable than generally available
    and not for purpose of lobbying
  • It is a contract or business agreement made in
    the normal course of business and not for purpose
    of lobbying
  • It is an academic or athletic scholarship
  • It is a campaign contribution properly reported

12
Gifts 5 basic rules
  • Dont ask for or accept anything of value in
    return for being influenced
  • Dont solicit charitable contributions from
    subordinate employees (except generic written
    solicitations to a class of employees)
  • Dont accept a gift directly or indirectly from a
    lobbyist or a lobbyists principal

13
Gifts 5 basic rules (contd)
  • Dont accept a gift from an entity you know or
    should know is doing business with, seeking to do
    business with or regulated or controlled by NCSU
  • Dont accept gift from persons having a financial
    interest that may be substantially affected by
    public servants official action.

14
10 Gift Exceptions
  • Food/beverages for immediate consumption at
    public events
  • Informational material relevant to the persons
    duties
  • Travel and registration expenses in connection
    with attendance at educational meeting or
    participation as speaker or panel member (if
    meets detailed requirements)
  • Plaque or similar memento recognizing service

15
Gift Exceptions (cont.d)
  • Gifts accepted on behalf of/for benefit of the
    State
  • Gifts distributed to the general public or all
    state employees
  • Gifts from extended family or member of same
    household
  • Travel expenses associated with public business
    of industry recruitment, promotion of
    international trade or promotion of travel and
    tourism for employee with these official
    responsibilities

16
Gift Exceptions (cont.d)
  • Gifts worth less than 100 as part of an overseas
    trade mission if it is customary protocol
  • Gifts given or received as part of a relationship
    that is
  • business, civic, religious, fraternal, personal
    or commercial
  • The relationship is not related to the persons
    public service or position
  • A reasonable person would conclude that gift was
    not given for purposes of lobbying

17
What to do with a prohibited gift
  • Decline it
  • Return it
  • Pay FMV for it
  • Immediately donate it to charity or to the State

18
Civil Sanctions for Violations
  • Willful failure to comply with the Act subjects
    public servants who are employees to disciplinary
    action by their employer
  • Willful failure to comply with the Act subjects
    public servants who are board members to removal
    from office
  • Fines may be levied for late filing of SEI
  • Non filing of SEI may result in being fired or
    not being able to take the position
  • Knowingly concealing or failure to disclose
    material information is misdemeanor
  • Providing false information is a felony

19
Lobbying Law
  • Covers Designated Individuals
  • Legislators, Leg.employees and Public Servants
  • NCSU appoints legislative liaison personnel who
    must register and file reports of lobbying
    expenditures in the same manner as lobbyists 10
    per DI per day 120C-400
  • No state funds may be used to contract with
    non-state employees to lobby legislature
  • Bans prohibited gifts from lobbyists, lobbyist
    principals

20
What is lobbying?
  • Attempting to influence legislative or executive
    action through direct communication or activities
  • Developing goodwill through communication or
    relationship building with the intent of
    influencing legislative or executive action
  • But not communication or activities that are part
    of a business, civic or personal relationship not
    connected to legislative or executive action

21
Reportable expenditures
  • DI may not accept prohibited gift from lobbyist
    or lobbyist principal (gift is okay if within
    gift exceptions of State Ethics Act)
  • If lobbyists have reportable expenditures on
    behalf of DI, DIs will be the subject of the
    lobbyists report (gifts)
  • DI must report accepted gift over 200 made for
    purposes of lobbying from individual outside NC
    (includes grants in aid to attend
    conferences/similar events)

22
Reportable Expenditures
  • Persons exempted or not covered by the Lobbying
    Act must report reportable expenditures
    120C-800(a)
  • NCSU and officials invited to appear before
    committees or who appear before governmental
    agencies as part of their official duties are
    exempt
  • If NCSU official gives a gift to a designated
    individual for the purpose of lobbying (which
    includes attempting to build goodwill) which when
    aggregated are valued over 200 per calendar
    quarter per designated individual, then NCSU must
    report it.

23
NCSU Athletic Tickets
  • Neither UNC nor any constituent institution may
    give athletic tickets to any DI for the purpose
    of lobbying unless the DI is a Board member, a
    designated senior officer, or a student of a
    constituent institution
  • Parking tickets
  • Pre-game food
  • Personally owned tickets?

24
Sanctions
  • Criminal Sanctions for willful violation of
    reporting requirements
  • Fines may also be levied

25
Contact NCSU Ethics Liaison Mary Elizabeth Kurz,
Vice Chancellor General Counsel (919) 515-3071
marybeth_kurz_at_ncsu.edu
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