Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–1171.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Board” means the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability established by § 1-1162.02.

(2) “Candidate” means an individual who seeks nomination or election to any elective office in the District whether or not the person is elected. An individual is deemed to be a candidate if the individual has received political contributions or made expenditures or has consented to another person receiving contributions or making expenditures with a view to bringing about the individual’s nomination or election.

(3) “Employee” means:

(A) Any individual paid by the District government from grant or appropriated funds for his or her services or holding office in the District of Columbia, other than the following (if not otherwise employed by the District):

(i) Employees of the courts of the District of Columbia;

(ii) The Mayor;

(iii) The Attorney General;

(iv) The members of the Council;

(v) Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners;

(vi) Members of the State Board of Education; or

(vii) Members of the District of Columbia Statehood Delegation;

(B) A member of a board or commission who is nominated for a position pursuant to § 1-523.01(e); and

(C) A member of a board or commission who is nominated for a position pursuant to § 1-523.01(f), when the member is engaged in political activity that relates to the subject matter that the member’s board or commission regulates.

(4) “On duty” means the time period when an employee is:

(A) In a pay status other than paid leave, compensatory time off, credit hours, time off as an incentive award, or excused or authorized absence (including leave without pay); or

(B) Representing any agency or instrumentality of the District government in an official capacity.

(5) “Partisan” when used as an adjective means related to a political party.

(6) “Partisan political group” means any committee, club, or other organization that is regulated by the District and that is affiliated with a political party or candidate for public office in a partisan election, or organized for a partisan purpose, or which engages in partisan political activity.

(7) “Partisan political office” means any office in the District government for which any candidate is nominated or elected as representing a party any of whose candidates for Presidential elector received votes in the last preceding election at which Presidential electors were selected, but shall exclude any office or position within a political party or affiliated organization.

(8)(A) “Political activity” means any activity that is regulated by the District directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, partisan political group, ballot initiative, or referendum. For the purposes of § 1-1171.03, political activity is not limited to activities regulated by the District.

(B)(i) The Board may, by rule, define certain basic activities as nonpolitical activities.

(ii) The term “nonpolitical activities” shall include:

(I) Media inquiries;

(II) Answering questionnaires; and

(III) Scheduling.

(9)(A) “Political contribution” means:

(i) A gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money, or anything of value, made for any political purpose;

(ii) A contract, promise, or agreement, express or implied, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contribution for any political purpose;

(iii) A payment by any person, other than a candidate or a political party or affiliated organization, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to any candidate or political party or affiliated organization without charge for any political purpose; and

(iv) The provision of personal services, paid or unpaid, for any political purpose.

(B) The term “political contribution” shall not include the value of services provided without compensation by any individual on behalf of any candidate, campaign, political party, or partisan political group.

(10) “Political party” means a national political party, a State political party, or an affiliated organization that is regulated by the District.

(11) “Political purpose” means an objective of promoting or opposing a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group that is regulated by the District.


(Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-335, § 2, 58 DCR 599; Feb. 22, 2014, D.C. Law 20-80, § 2(a), 61 DCR 169; Aug. 19, 2017, D.C. Law 22-13, § 4, 64 DCR 6245; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1085, 65 DCR 9388.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-80 rewrote this section.

Cross References

Hatch Act retention, § 1-625.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1085 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1085 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4 of Primary Date Alteration Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-106, July 25, 2017, 64 DCR 7388).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4 of Primary Date Alteration Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-75, June 5, 2017, 64 DCR 6080).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Prohibition on Government Employee Engagement in Political Activity Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-25, March 7, 2013, 60 DCR 3986, 20 DCSTAT 485).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Prohibition on Government Employee Engagement in Political Activity Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-231, December 20, 2013, 61 DCR 3, 20 DCSTAT 2633).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Prohibition on Government Employee Engagement in Political Activity Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-4, May 18, 2013, 60 DCR 4624, 20 DCSTAT 1268).