Board of Ethics and Government Accountability

BEGA Issues Opinion Concerning Proper Constituent Services by Elected Officials

The District's Office of Government Ethics, under the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA), today released an advisory opinion addressing the ethical limits of constituent services performed by District government elected officials.
The opinion, prompted by several questions posed to BEGA, offers a guide to elected officials on the types of constituent services that may be provided when such services risk interference with government operations, or have the potential to create opportunity for the abuse of public office and public trust.
The Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Darrin Sobin, stated:  "I want this Opinion to be a useful guide for elected officials and for those with whom they deal in the course of their constituent service functions.  This is a complex area of ethics law and even well intended officials can sometimes miss the mark.  With the inclusion of several hypothetical scenarios, this Opinion should go a long way toward clearing-up some of the more common misconceptions about what is permissible and, I hope, will guide elected officials through real-world situations with which they are often faced."