Advice

 

 

 

 

 

Get Quick, Confidential Ethics Advice

Please contact us for quick, confidential ethics advice.  You can reach us at [email protected] or (808) 587-0460.

We have an Attorney of the Day available to take your calls or e-mails. Anyone can call the Commission to obtain fast, confidential guidance from our staff. The Commission’s attorneys answer questions on all aspects of the State Ethics Code, including the following:

  • Whether a gift may be accepted (including whether you may accept travel expenses – like airfare and hotel stays – paid for by private organizations or other government agencies to attend work-related events);
  • Whether a situation constitutes a conflict of interest or a violation of the State Ethics Code;
  • How to file financial, gifts, and lobbying disclosures;
  • Whether a state employee or legislator is permitted to use state resources for a particular purpose;
  • What restrictions apply to state employees after leaving their state employment.

Almost all ethics questions can be answered with informal guidance from one of the Commission’s six attorneys; just call or e-mail us and we can help you.  The Commission’s attorneys can usually give you advice over the phone, but if you would like the advice in writing, just ask – we are more than happy to do that.

Formal Advisory Opinions:  If your request for advice raises novel or complicated ethics issues, the Commission’s lawyers may recommend that you seek a formal Advisory Opinion from the Commission itself.  You can also request a formal Advisory Opinion from the Commission, even without a recommendation from the Commission’s lawyers.  After receiving a signed request for a formal opinion from the Commission (see Hawaii Administrative Rule § 21-4-1), the Commission will issue a written ethics opinion.  A redacted version of the Opinion (taking out the requestor’s name and other identifying information) is then posted on the Commission’s website and serves as precedent for later ethics questions.  If you are considering a formal request for guidance, please contact us at (808) 587-0460 or [email protected] and we will guide you through the process.

 

 

Travel Questionnaire

Offers of Gifts of Travel:  State officials frequently receive offers from other organizations to pay for travel to conferences or meetings; these trips may be okay, but it depends on the circumstances.  We recommend that you seek guidance from the Commission before accepting the trip.  If you’ve been offered a trip, please complete this form as early as possible:  https://ethics.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Travel-Questionnaire.pdf.

 

 


Quick Guides to the Ethics Code
View our quick guides to common ethics issues at https://ethics.hawaii.gov/quickguides/

 


The High Road Newsletter

All High Roads: https://ethics.hawaii.gov/category/guidance/publications/highroad/