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
The Office of Government Ethics provides advice on compliance with the ethics rules that govern District employees and public officials.
If you have a question about whether or not you may engage in a certain activity or transaction and you do not want to seek a formal written advisory opinion, you may contact BEGA at (202) 481-3411 and speak to one of the BEGA attorneys, or you may email BEGA at [email protected].
Formal Advisory Opinion
If you wish to receive a written advisory opinion from BEGA on whether a contemplated activity is permissible, you must submit a written request to BEGA. Requests for a formal advisory opinion may be submitted in writing to the BEGA at Office of Government Ethics, One Judiciary Square 441 4th Street, NW, 830 South, Washington, DC 20001 or by email at [email protected].
A request for a formal advisory opinion should contain a complete statement of the facts, including your name, address and phone number, your official position, a brief description of your agency, commission or office and the nature of the question. After BGEA issues a formal advisory opinion to a requestor, BEGA must publish any such opinion in the DC Register within 30 days of issuance. However, all identifying information about you in the opinion will be redacted unless you consent otherwise in writing.
A formal written advisory opinion provides a requestor with a “safe-harbor”. In other words, no enforcement action for violation of the District’s Code of Conduct may be taken against you in the context of your request, provided that you have made full and accurate disclosure of all relevant circumstances and information in seeking the 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 decision to the BEGA’s Board. Instructions will be provided to you upon request should you wish to file an appeal.
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].