Monday, October 26, 2009

New Ethics Law Requirements

On July 1, 2009 Governor Patrick signed into law Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009 (the “Bill”) making changes to the state’s conflict of interest law and the State Ethics Commission’s enabling act. On September 29, 2009 portions of the Bill that relate to the conflict of interest law go into effect.

Each municipal employee (as well as unpaid elected or appointed officials) is required to sign a written acknowledgement that he/she has been provided with a summary of the bill and such written acknowledgement must be filed with the town clerk. See and print Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law for Municipal Employees

The Bill also adds a new Section 28 to the conflict of interest law, which provides that every “municipal employee shall, within 30 days after becoming such an employee, and every 2 years thereafter, complete the online training program. Upon completion of the online training program, the employee shall provide notice of such completion to be retained for 6 years” by the city/town clerk.

The Commission currently has on its website an online training program, which, until such time as it is revised, should be the program used by municipal employees to comply with this training requirement. Upon completion of the program, employees should print out the completion certificate, keep a copy themselves and provide a copy to the city or town clerk.

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