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DCMR
Chapter 33: Conflict of Interest

3300 APPLICABILITY

3300.1 A public official shall not act or decide on any matter upon which there is conflict or a potential conflict, created by their financial, personal, family, business, or client interest.

3300.2 This chapter shall apply to the following public officials:

(a) Any candidate for nomination for election, or election, to public office, including the office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, at the time of candidacy, who does not occupy any such office;

(b) All elected officials, including Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners;

(c ) Members of boards and commissions required to file financial disclosure statements;

(d) Employees within the excepted service and paid at a rate of DS-13 or above;

(e) Persons serving as subordinate agency heads pursuant to the Personnel Act; and

(f) Any other public official expressly subject to the conflict of interest provisions of the Act. 3301 PROHIBITED CONDUCT

3301.1 Other than that compensation provided by law for the public official, the public official shall avoid the use of the official position or office to obtain financial gain for the following:

(a) The public official;

(b) Any member of the public official’s household; or

(c ) Any business with which the public official or a member of the public official’s household is associated.

3301.2 A person shall be prohibited from offering, and a public official, or any member of a public official’s household, shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value, based on the following:

(a) Any understanding that the public official’s actions or judgment or vote would be influenced;

(b) Any reasonable inference that the thing of value would influence the public official’s discharge of duties; or

(c ) Any reward, except for political contributions publicly reported pursuant to chapter 30 of this title or transactions made in the ordinary course of business of the offeror.

3301.3 A person shall be prohibited from offering, and a public official shall be prohibited from soliciting or receiving any money, other than monies lawfully received by the public official in the public official’s entrusted position, for advice or assistance given in the course of or relating to the public official’s employment.

3301.4 A public official shall be prohibited from the following:

(a) The use or disclosure of confidential information given in the course of or because of the public official’s entrusted position or activities in any way which could result in financial gain for the public official or for any other person; and

(b) If a member or employee of the District of Columbia Council or Board of Education, the acceptance of an assignment to serve on a committee if its jurisdiction consists of matters in which the public official, a member of the public official’s family, or any business with which the public official is associated, has any financial interest.

3301.5 This chapter shall not apply to any vote by a public official on the following matters:

(a) One which affects a class of persons of 50 or more of which the public official is a member, and the financial gain to be realized is de minimis;

(b) The public official’s compensation as authorized by law; and

(c ) Any elections law.

3302 INTERPRETATIVE OPINIONS

3302.1 Any person subject to this chapter may request a written interpretative opinion concerning the application of the Act, and chapters 30-37 of this title.

3302.2 The request shall be addressed to the Director in writing.

3302.3 Each request shall contain the following:

(a) The full name and address of the requestor;

(b) A query as to an application of the Act, and chapters 30-37 of this title, solely with respect to a specific or general transaction or activity of the person; and

(c ) Any related documentation.

3302.4 The Director shall respond in writing to each request within thirty (30) days.

3302.5 If the requestor disagrees with the interpretative opinion issued by the Director, the requestor may request an advisory opinion from the Board of Elections and Ethics, pursuant to chapter 3 of this title.

3303 REMOVAL FROM INFLUENCE

3303.1 When confronted with a conflict or potential conflict of interest, a public official shall remove himself or herself from influence over actions and decisions on the matter on which there is a conflict or potential conflict.

3303.2 Removal from influence over actions and decisions shall be accomplished by the public official when the public official refrains from taking any action or making any decision that would affect or appear to affect, directly or indirectly, the matter under investigation or the conflict.

3303.3 A public official shall remove himself or herself from influence over actions and decisions for the following reasons:

(a) When the public official has reasonable knowledge of any direct or indirect financial interest or gain which is incompatible with the discharge of the public official’s duties;

(b) When the public official would be required to take any official action on a matter when a conflict situation is created by a personal, family or client interest; or

(c ) Upon written notice from the Board or the Director that a full investigation has been initiated.

3304 NOTIFICATION OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST

3304.1 When a public official has a conflict or potential conflict of interest, that public official shall prepare a written statement describing the following:

(a) The matter requiring action or decision; and

(b) The nature of the potential conflict of interest with respect to such action or decision.

3304.2 The public official shall deliver a copy of the statement to the following:

(a) Board of Elections and Ethics;

(b) Director of Campaign Finance; and

(c ) The public official’s immediate superior or superior-designate, if any.

3304.3 The immediate superior or superior-designate for the public official enumerated below shall be one (1) of the following:

(a) Member of the Council - Chairman of the Council;

(b) Chairman of the Council - Chairperson pro tempore or Vice-chairperson of the Council;

(c ) Member of the Board of Education - President of the Board of Education;

(d) President of the Board of Education - Vice-president of the Board of Education;

(e) Member of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, boards and commissions - Chairperson or president;

(f) Chairperson of Advisory Neighborhood Commission, boards and commissions - Chairperson pro tempore or Vice-President;

(g) Member of boards or commissions - Chairperson or president of board or commission; and

(h) Immediate staff employee of the Council and Board of Education - respective Chairperson

3305 RECUSAL FROM CONFLICT OF INTEREST BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS

3305.1 After receipt of a statement of conflict or potential conflict of interest from a public official, the superior or superior-designate, pursuant to §3304.3, shall perform the following acts:

(a) Cause the statement to be printed in the record of proceedings of the body of which the person is a member or employee; and

(b) Upon request of the affected public official, excuse that public official from votes, deliberations, or other actions, as applicable, on the matter on which a conflict or potential conflict exists.

3305.2 After receipt of a statement of conflict or potential conflict of interest from a public official, that public official’s immediate superior shall reassign the matter to another employee who is not subordinate to the relieved employee: Provided, that the employee does not also have a potential conflict of interest, except for the following:

(a) Mayor; or

(b) Councilmember.

3305.3 If the public official has no immediate supervisor, the public official shall excuse himself or herself from votes, deliberations and other actions on the matter on which a potential conflict exists.

3305.4 If the public official fails to request recusal, pursuant to §3305, the public official shall not vote, deliberate or act on the matter on which a conflict or potential conflict exists.

3305.5 If the public official fails to request recusal, pursuant to §3305, and votes, deliberates or acts on the matter in which a conflict or potential conflict exists, a complaint of conflict of interest pursuant to chapter 36 of this title shall issue from one (1) of the following:

(a) Board of Elections and Ethics; or

(b) Director of Campaign Finance.