Board of Ethics and Government Accountability

Request an Advisory Opinion

BEGA is charged with providing ethics advice to District Government Employees and Public Officials concerning the Code of Conduct as well as advice to any person or public body on compliance with the District’s Freedom of Information Act.

Request Ethics Advice Request Ethics Advice

The Office of Government Ethics provides advice regarding compliance with the District's Code of Conduct.

Formal Advisory Opinion

If you would like Office of Government Ethics to write a formal advisory opinion on whether a contemplated activity is permissible, you must submit a written request to OGE. A request for a formal advisory opinion must be submitted, in writing, to the Executive Building, 1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 700 West, Washington, DC 20005 or  [email protected].

A request for a formal advisory opinion should contain a complete statement of the facts, and include your name, address and phone number, your official position, a brief description of your agency, commission or office and the nature of your inquiry. After BGEA issues a formal advisory opinion to a requestor, BEGA must publish the opinion in the DC Register within 30 days of issuance. All identifying information about you will be redacted from the opinion unless you consent to its publication, in writing.

A formal written advisory opinion provides a requestor with a “safe-harbor”. In other words, no enforcement action will be taken against you if you follow the advice provided in the opionion but violate the District’s Code of Conduct. You can only have safe-harbor if you have made a full and accurate disclosure of all relevant circumstances and information in seeking the advisory opinion.

Informal Advice

If you have a question about whether you may engage in a certain activity or transaction and you do not want to seek a formal advisory opinion, you may contact BEGA at (202) 481-3411, speak to one of OGE's attorneys, and receive informal advice over the phone, or you may email BEGA at [email protected] and receive informal advice by email. Informal advice provides the same "safe-harbor" as a formal advisory opinion.

Prospective Behavior Only

Please be advised that advice is only provided for something you wish to do, not for behavior that has already occurred. If you provide information of past behavior to the BEGA and that information is deemed to have been a violation of the Code of Conduct, all such information may be used against you in any subsequent enforcement action taken by the BEGA.


All ethics advice is provided by the Director of Government Ethics and/or one of BEGA’s attorneys. If you receive a formal opinion with which you disagree, you may appeal that opinion to the BEGA’s Board. Instructions will be provided to you upon request should you wish to file an appeal.

Request Freedom of Information Advice Request Freedom of Information (FOIA) Advice

The Office of Open Government provides advisory opinions on the implementation of the District’s Freedom of Information Act.

The request for a FOIA advisory opinion may be submitted in person, online, or via mail to BEGA’s office at Office of Open Government, One Judiciary Square 441 4th Street, NW, 830 South, Washington, DC 20001 or by email at [email protected].