Conflict of Interest and Disclosure
The mission of the State Ethics Commission is to foster integrity in public service in state, county and local government, to promote the public’s trust and confidence in that service, and to prevent conflicts between private interests and public duties.
The conflict of interest law applies to state, county, municipal employees and committee members. In addition, if you provide services to the state or to a county or municipal government, you may be subject to the conflict of interest law. The conflict of interest law addresses circumstances where public employees’ private business, family or other interests conflict with their public responsibilities. The financial disclosure law requires elected state and county officials and state and county employees in “major policy-making positions” to annually disclose their private financial interests on forms submitted to the Commission.
Mandatory Online State Ethics Test
Every two years, all current municipal employees and committee members must complete online training. New public employees and committee members must complete this training within 30 days of beginning public service, and every two years thereafter. Upon completing the program, employees should print out the completion certificate and keep a copy for themselves and are required to provide a copy of the completion certificate to the Town Clerk's Office. Every employee and committee member is required to sign and return to the Town Clerk’s Office a written acknowledgment that he has been provided with the summary. A copy of the Conflict of Interest sign off sheet can be found at the top of the page along with the summary.
Click the following link to take the test:
If you have difficulty printing, hit the control (Ctrl) button on your keyboard and select print. You must allow pop-ups to open as the certificate will pop up in a new window.
PLEASE NOTE: When multiple users attempt to complete the current training program using the same computer they may experience a problem accessing the beginning of the program. The user will need to open their internet browser (ex. explorer, firefox, safari, google chrome), click on "Tools", then "Delete browsing history" or under "Internet Options", "Delete Cookies”. The user will be able to click back on the Online Training module on the Commission's website and start at the beginning. If you have any other questions please contact the Town Clerk's office 508-760-6112.
State Ethics Commission Website has information regarding Laws, Regulations and Forms. There are Educational and Training Resources available for Municipal Employees, Committee Members and Volunteers. Advisory Opinions, Request Advice, and Rulings are also on their website.
Ethics Test Group Training
Town Clerk's Office will hold Group Testing Sessions for the State Ethics Test for Employees and Committee Members who would rather do group training, are not computer savvy, would like assistance or have questions. Group testing will take place at the Dennis Town Hall, 685 Route 134, South Dennis, MA 02660. The Group Testing will be conducted by Town Clerk, Terri Bunce and Office Assistant, Sara McDonald.
The Commission enforces the state's Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure Laws. The conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A, covers what municipal officials and employees may do on the job, after hours and after they leave government service. The seminar explains how to avoid potential conflicts which may arise between their private interests and public positions. The goal of the test is to provide a basic understanding of the principles of the law and how to comply with them by discussing "real life" situations and conflicts that may arise on the job.
Topics covered on the test are: Gift Restrictions, Self-Dealing & Nepotism, Standards of Conduct, Divided Loyalties, Prohibited Financial Interest and Restrictions after Leaving Public Employment.
Test dates are as follows: TBA, dates will be announced on this page as soon as they are set up.
For more information about the seminar and to pre-register, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office at (508) 760-6112.
If you feel that you may have a conflict of interest while serving on a Town committee you may wish to file a disclosure form. Reasons to file one include, you have a personal or financial interest which somehow may relate to your job, your family or committee. There are several forms available depending on what you situation requires. If you are not sure you need to file one or are unsure as to what form to use contact the State Ethics Commission at (617) 371-9500 directly so they can advise you.
Filing a Complaint
If you believe that a state, county or municipal employee has violated the conflict of interest or financial disclosure law, you can file a complaint with the Commission's Enforcement Division.
Open Meeting Law, Public Meetings and Public Records of Boards & Committees
The Open Meeting Law requires that most meetings of governmental bodies to be held in public. There are some exceptions, which are designed to ensure that, public officials are not "unduly hampered" by having every discussion among public officials open to the public.