Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Ethics Act.


§ 1–1162.01. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the “Government Ethics Act of 2011”.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 201, 59 DCR 1862.)


§ 1–1162.01a. Comprehensive applicability to employees and public officials.

This chapter and the Code of Conduct shall apply to all employees and public officials serving the District of Columbia, its instrumentalities, subordinate and independent agencies, the Council of the District of Columbia, boards and commissions, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, but excluding the courts.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 201a; as added July 15, 2014, D.C. Law 20-122, § 2(b), 61 DCR 5688.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of section, see § 2(b) of the Comprehensive Code of Conduct and BEGA Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-323, Apr. 28, 2014, 61 DCR 4681).


Part A. Government Ethics and Accountability.

§ 1–1162.02. Establishment of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability.

(a) There is established, as an independent agency of the District government, a Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, whose purpose shall be to:

(1) Administer and enforce the Code of Conduct;

(2) Appoint a Director of Open Government;

(3) Appoint a Director of Government Ethics;

(4) Receive, investigate, and adjudicate violations of the Code of Conduct;

(5) Conduct mandatory training on the Code of Conduct;

(6) Produce ethics training materials, including summary guidelines for all applicable laws and regulations;

(7) Produce a plain-language ethics guide;

(8) Issue rules and regulations governing the ethical conduct of employees and public officials; and

(9) Establish an anonymous and confidential telephone hotline for the purpose of receiving information related to violations of the Code of Conduct or other information with regard to the administration or enforcement of the Code of Conduct.

(b) By December 31 of each year, the Board shall submit a report to the Mayor and Council with recommendations on improving the District's government ethics and open government and transparency laws, including:

(1) An assessment of ethical guidelines and requirements for employees and public officials;

(2) A review of national and state best practices in open government and transparency; and

(3) Amendments to the Code of Conduct, the Open Meetings Act, and the Freedom of Information Act of 1976.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 202, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(b), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1161.01, § 1-1162.21, and § 1-1171.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(b) 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 § 1083(b) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1073 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1073 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

Editor's Notes

Section 1073 of Law 19-168 provided that any matter arising after January 29, 2012, from a violation of Title I, Subtitle C of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012, effective January 29, 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298; 59 DCR 683), or Title II, Subtitle C of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Amendment Act of 2012, effective April 27, 2012 (D.C. Law 19-124; D.C. Official Code § 1-1161.01 et seq.), may be enforced by the Elections Board until October 1, 2012, after which pending matters shall be transferred to the Ethics Board for enforcement.


§ 1–1162.03. Composition; term; qualifications; removal.

(a) The Board shall consist of 5 members, no more than 3 of whom shall be of the same political party, appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council. Members shall be appointed to serve for terms of 6 years, except the members first appointed. Of the members first appointed, one member shall be appointed to serve for a 2-year term, 2 members shall be appointed to serve for a 4-year term, and 2 members shall be appointed to serve for a 6-year term, as designated by the Mayor. The terms of the 5 initial members shall begin on July 1, 2012.

(b)(1) The Mayor shall submit a nomination for membership on the Board to the Council for a 90-day period of review, excluding days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the nomination, by resolution, within the 90-day review period, the nomination shall be deemed disapproved.

(2) Within 45 days of April 27, 2012, the Mayor shall submit to the Council for its review pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection the nominations for initial appointment to the Board.

(c) The Mayor shall designate the Board's Chairperson.

(d) Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the member whose vacancy he or she is filling. The terms of the 5 initial members shall begin on July 1, 2012.

(e) A vacancy shall be noticed in the District of Columbia Register.

(f) A member may be reappointed, and, if not reappointed, the member may serve until the member’s successor has been appointed and approved.

(g)(1) When appointing and confirming a member of the Board, the Mayor and Council shall consider whether the individual:

(A) Possesses demonstrated integrity, independence, and public credibility; and

(B) Has particular knowledge, training, or experience in government ethics or in open government and transparency.

(2) At least one member of the Board shall have particular experience in open government and transparency.

(h) A person shall not be a member of the Board unless he or she:

(1) Is a duly registered voter;

(2) Has resided in the District continuously since the beginning of the one-year period ending on the day he or she is appointed; and

(3) Holds no other office or employment in the District government.

(i) [A] Board member shall not:

(1) Act as a leader or hold any office in a District political organization;

(2) Make speeches for a District political organization or candidate, or publicly endorse or oppose a District of Columbia candidate for public office;

(3) Solicit funds for, pay an assessment to, or make a contribution to a District political organization or candidate, or attend or purchase a ticket for a dinner or other event sponsored by a District of Columbia political organization or candidate;

(4) Be a lobbyist;

(5) Use his or her status as a member to directly or indirectly attempt to influence any decision of the District government relating to any action that is not within the Board’s purview; or

(6) During the member’s tenure on the Board, be convicted of having committed a felony in the District of Columbia, or if the crime is committed elsewhere, convicted of an offense that would have been a felony if it had been committed in the District of Columbia.

(j) A member of the Board may be removed for good cause, including engaging in any activity prohibited by subsections (h) or (i) of this section, in accordance with the following procedure:

(1) When the Mayor believes that there is good cause to remove a member, the Mayor shall notify the member in writing by personal service or by certified or registered mail, setting out the alleged cause and advising the member that he or she has 7 days in which to request a hearing before the Council.

(2) If the member fails to request a hearing within 7 days after receiving the notice, the Mayor may remove the member and appoint a new member to serve until the expiration of the term of the member removed.

(3) If within 7 days of receiving notice from the Mayor, the member requests a hearing, the Mayor shall promptly notify the Council, and the Council shall convene the hearing within 30 calendar days after receiving notice from the Mayor that a member has requested a hearing.

(4) At the conclusion of the hearing, the Council shall vote on whether to remove the member. If 2/3rds of the Council votes to remove a member, the member shall be removed and the Mayor shall appoint a new member to serve until the expiration of the term of the member removed.

(5) If less than 2/3rds of the Council votes to remove a member, the member shall not be removed.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 203, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 1082, 62 DCR 10905; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1012(a), 63 DCR 10775; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(c), 65 DCR 9388.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36, in (a), substituted “5 members, no more than 3 of whom” for “3 members, no more than 2 of whom” in the first sentence, substituted “one member shall be appointed to serve for a 2-year term, 2 members shall be appointed to serve for a 4-year term, and 2 members shall be appointed to serve for a 6-year term” for “one member shall be appointed to serve for a 2-year term, one member shall be appointed to serve for a 4-year term, and one member shall be appointed to serve for a 6-year term” in the third sentence, and added the last sentence.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(c) 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 § 1083(c) 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 § 1082 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).


§ 1–1162.04. Meetings.

(a) The Board shall hold regular monthly meetings in accordance with a schedule to be established by the Board. Additional meetings may be called as needed by the Board.

(b) The Board shall provide notice of meetings and shall conduct its meetings in compliance with subchapter IV of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 204, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(d), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(d) 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 § 1083(d) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.05. Compensation.

(a) Each member of the Board, excluding the Chairperson, shall receive compensation, as provided in § 1-611.08, while actually in the service of the Board, for a sum not to exceed $12,500 per annum.

(b) The Chairperson of the Board shall receive compensation, as provided in § 1-611.08, while actually in the service of the Board, for a sum not to exceed $26,500 per annum.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 205, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1012(b), 63 DCR 10775; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(e), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(e) 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 § 1083(e) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.05a. Establishment of the Office of Government Ethics.

There is established within the Board an Office of Government Ethics. The Office of Government Ethics shall be headed by the Director of Government Ethics, who shall report directly to the Board.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 205a; as added Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(f), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 1083(f) 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) creation of this section, see § 1083(f) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.05b. Establishment of the Office of Open Government.

There is established within the Board an Office of Open Government to promote open governance in the District. The Office of Open Government shall be headed by the Director of Open Government, who shall report directly to the Board.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 205b; as added Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(f), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 1083(f) 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) creation of this section, see § 1083(f) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.05c. Director of Open Government.

(a) The Director of Open Government shall:

(1) Issue advisory opinions pursuant to § 2-579(g);

(2) Provide training related to the Open Meetings Act pursuant to § 2-580; and

(3) Pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue rules to implement the provisions of the Open Meetings Act.

(b) The Office of Open Government may bring suit to enforce the Open Meetings Act pursuant to subchapter IV of Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(c)(1) If an advisory opinion regarding the Open Meetings Act is issued by the Director of Open Government pursuant to a request for an advisory opinion, the requesting employee or public official may appeal the opinion for consideration by the Board.

(2) If the Director of Open Government issues an advisory opinion regarding the Open Meetings Act on his or her own initiative, any person aggrieved by the opinion may appeal the opinion for consideration by the Board.

(d) The Office of Open Government may issue advisory opinions on the implementation of subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 205c; as added Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(f), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 1083(f) 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) creation of this section, see § 1083(f) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.06. Professional staff.

(a)(1) The Board shall select, employ, and fix the compensation for a Director of Government Ethics, a Director of Open Government, and such staff as the Board considers necessary, subject to the pay limitations of § 1-611.16. The Director of Government Ethics and the Director of Open Government shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.

(2) Notwithstanding any other law, an employee assigned to:

(A) The Office of Government Ethics shall be under the Director of Government Ethics' direction and control and may not be transferred to the Office of Open Government without the concurrence of the Director of Government Ethics; and

(B) The Office of Open Government shall be under the Director of Open Government's direction and control and may not be transferred to the Office of Government Ethics without the concurrence of the Director of Open Government.

(b) The Director of Government Ethics and the Director of Open Government shall be District residents throughout their term and failure to maintain District residency shall result in forfeiture of the position.

(c) The staff of the Board shall be subject to the Code of Conduct, and the Board shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that all persons responsible for the proper administration of this subchapter maintain a position of strict impartiality and refrain from any activity that would imply support or opposition to a Board investigation.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 206, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(g), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1161.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(g) 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 § 1083(g) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.07. Budget.

(a) The Director of Government Ethics and the Director of Open Government, with approval by the Board, shall prepare and submit to the Mayor, for inclusion in the annual budget of the District of Columbia under part D of subchapter IV of Chapter 2 of this title [§ 1-204.41 et seq.] for the year, annual estimates of the expenditures and appropriations necessary for the operation of their respective offices for the year. All such estimates shall be forwarded by the Mayor to the Council for its action pursuant to §§ 1-204.46 and 1-206.03(c), in addition to the Mayor’s recommendations.

(b) Before Fiscal Year 2013, upon the request of any member of the Board, the Mayor shall provide the Board with suitable office space in a publicly owned or leased building for the administration and enforcement of this subchapter. Furnishings, information technology services and equipment, and supplies to this office space shall also be provided upon request.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 207, 59 DCR 1862; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 3062, 64 DCR 7652; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(h), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(h) 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 § 1083(h) 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 § 3062 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3062 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


§ 1–1162.08. Quorum; delegation.

(a) A majority of the sitting members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

(b) The Board may delegate to an individual member or to the Director of Government Ethics its power to investigate or hold a hearing.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 208, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(i), 65 DCR 9388.)

Applicability

Section 1086(a) of D.C. D.C. Law 22-168 provided that the amendments made to this section by 1083(i)(1) of D.C. D.C. Law 22-168 shall apply as of August 30, 2018.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(i) 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 § 1083(i) 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 § 2 of Ethics Board Quorum Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-160, Oct. 23, 2017, 64 DCR 10772).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Ethics Board Quorum Temporary Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-40, Jan. 17, 2018, 64 DCR 12304).


§ 1–1162.09. Rules.

(a) The Board, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter, including rules for the administration of preliminary investigations, formal investigations, and hearings related to violations of the Code of Conduct or other provisions of this subchapter.

(b)(1) The Board shall submit to the Council for its consideration proposed legislation amending §  1-1161.01(7) to establish a revised Code of Conduct, which shall be explicitly applicable to all employees and public officials serving the District of Columbia, its instrumentalities, subordinate and independent agencies, the Council of the District of Columbia, boards and commissions, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, but excluding the courts.

(2) The Board shall issue rules to implement the provisions of a comprehensive Code of Conduct established pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed disapproved.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 209, 59 DCR 1862; July 15, 2014, D.C. Law 20-122, § 2(c), 61 DCR 5688; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(j), 65 DCR 9388.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-122 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(j) 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 § 1083(j) 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 § 2(c) of the Comprehensive Code of Conduct and BEGA Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-323, Apr. 28, 2014, 61 DCR 4681).


§ 1–1162.10. Ethics Fund.

(a) There is established as a special fund the Ethics Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Board in accordance with this section.

(b) Revenue from all fines collected under § 1-1162.21 and part E of this subchapter shall be deposited into the Fund.

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used for the operations and personnel of the Office of Government Ethics.

(d)(1) The money deposited into the Fund shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(2) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 210, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(k), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(k) 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 § 1083(k) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.10a. Open Government Fund.

(a) There is established as a special fund the Open Government Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Board in accordance with this section.

(b) Revenue from all fines collected pursuant to § 2-579 shall be deposited in the Fund.

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used for the operations and personnel of the Office of Open Government.

(d)(1) The money deposited into the Fund shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(2) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 210a; as added Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(l), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 1083(l) 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) creation of this section, see § 1083(l) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


Part B. Director of Government Ethics.

§ 1–1162.11. Powers of the Director of Government Ethics.

The Director of Government Ethics, approved by the Board, shall have the power to:

(1) Require any person to submit, within a reasonable period and under oath or otherwise as the Director of Government Ethics may determine, written reports and answers to questions that the Director of Government Ethics may propound relating to the administration and enforcement of this subchapter;

(2) Administer oaths;

(3) Require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all documentary evidence relating to the execution of the Board’s duties; provided, that subpoenas issued under this paragraph shall be issued by the Director of Government Ethics only upon approval of a majority of the Board and served either personally or by certified or registered mail;

(4) Order testimony to be taken by deposition in a proceeding or investigation before any person who is designated by the Director of Government Ethics and has the power to administer oaths and, in such instances, to compel testimony and the production of evidence in the same manner as authorized under this section;

(5) Pay witnesses the same fees and mileage as are paid in like circumstances in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia;

(6) Institute or conduct, on the Director of Government Ethics’ own motion, a preliminary investigation into alleged violations of the Code of Conduct or other violations of this subchapter;

(7) Retain, on a temporary basis, consultants, including attorneys or others, on a pro bono basis, as necessary to administer and enforce this subchapter; and

(8) Require any person to submit through an electronic format or medium a report required pursuant to this subchapter.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 211, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(m), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.18.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(m) 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 § 1083(m) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.12. Preliminary investigations.

(a) The Director of Government Ethics shall conduct a preliminary investigation of a possible violation of the Code of Conduct or of this subchapter brought to the attention of the Director of Government Ethics or the Board through the following sources:

(1) The media;

(2) A tip received through the hotline; or

(3) Documents filed with the Board.

(b) If during or after the preliminary investigation, the Director of Government Ethics has reason to believe that a violation of the Code of Conduct or of this subchapter may have occurred, the Director of Government Ethics shall present evidence of the violation to the Board. Upon presentation of evidence, the Board may authorize a formal investigation and the issuance of subpoenas if it finds reason to believe a violation has occurred.

(c) A preliminary investigation may be dismissed by the Director of Government Ethics or the Board if insufficient evidence exists to support a reasonable belief that a violation has occurred.

(d) The identity of an individual who is the subject of the preliminary investigation shall not be disclosed without the individual’s consent unless or until the Board has found reason to believe that the individual has committed a violation and the Board finds that disclosure would not harm the investigation.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 212, 59 DCR 1862; July 15, 2014, D.C. Law 20-122, § 2(d), 61 DCR 5688; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(n), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.14.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-122 inserted “of” following “violation” in subsection (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(n) 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 § 1083(n) 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 § 2(d) of the Comprehensive Code of Conduct and BEGA Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-323, Apr. 28, 2014, 61 DCR 4681).


§ 1–1162.13. Formal investigation.

(a) A formal investigation shall be initiated upon:

(1) Receipt of a written complaint transmitted to the Board;

(2) A finding by the Office of the Inspector General or District of Columbia Auditor of waste, fraud, abuse of government resources, or a violation of the Code of Conduct; or

(3) A finding by a court of competent jurisdiction of liability in a civil proceeding, indictment, or information in a criminal proceeding with respect to acts or offenses that may constitute violations of the Code of Conduct or of this subchapter.

(b) A written complaint shall include:

(1) The full name and address of the complainant and the respondent;

(2) A clear and concise statement of facts that are alleged to constitute a violation of the Code of Conduct or of this subchapter;

(3) The complainant’s signature;

(4) A verification of the complaint under oath; and

(5) Supporting documentation, if any.

(c) No complaint may be made under this subchapter later than 5 years after the discovery of the alleged violation.

(d) An individual making a complaint shall be afforded all available protections from adverse employment action or retaliation in accordance with Chapter 6 of this title and subchapter XII of Chapter 2 of Title 2 [§ 2-223.01 et seq.].

(e) Within 30 business days of the initiation of a formal investigation, the Director of Government Ethics shall cause evidence concerning the complaint to be presented to the Board, with the potential for a 15-business-day extension to be granted by the Board. If the Board decides that there is reasonable belief that a violation has occurred, the Board may authorize the issuance of subpoenas.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 213, 59 DCR 1862; July 15, 2014, D.C. Law 20-122, § 2(e), 61 DCR 5688; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(o), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.14.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-122, in (e), substituted “30 business days” for “15 business days” and added “with the potential for a 15-business-day extension to be granted by the Ethics Board.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(o) 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 § 1083(o) 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 § 2(e) of the Comprehensive Code of Conduct and BEGA Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-323, Apr. 28, 2014, 61 DCR 4681).


§ 1–1162.14. Hearings.

(a)(1) After determining that there is reason to believe a violation has occurred based upon the presentation of evidence by the Director of Government Ethics pursuant to § 1-1162.12(b) or § 1-1162.13(e), the Board shall conduct an open and adversarial hearing at which the Director of Government Ethics shall present evidence of the violation. A hearing need not be conducted if a matter is dismissed pursuant to § 1-1162.16(a).

(2) If the Director of Government Ethics fails to present a matter, or advises the Board that insufficient evidence exists to present a matter or that an additional period of time is needed to investigate a matter further, the Board may order the Director of Government Ethics to present the matter as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(b) Any hearing under this section shall be of record and shall be held in accordance with Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(c) Any witness has a right to refuse to answer a question that might tend to incriminate the witness by claiming his or her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 214, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(p), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.15.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(p) 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 § 1083(p) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.15. Disposition.

(a) Following the presentation of evidence to the Board by the Director of Government Ethics in an adversary proceeding and an open hearing, the Board may take one or more of the following actions:

(1) Levy a penalty in accordance with § 1-1162.21;

(2) Refer the matter to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia for enforcement or prosecution;

(3) Refer the matter to the Attorney General of the District of Columbia for enforcement or prosecution; or

(4) Dismiss the action.

(b) The Board may not refer information concerning an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct or of this subchapter to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia or the Attorney General of the District of Columbia without the presentation of evidence by the Director of Government Ethics as provided in § 1-1162.14(a).


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 215, 59 DCR 1862; July 15, 2014, D.C. Law 20-122, § 2(f), 61 DCR 5688; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(q), 65 DCR 9388.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-122 added “take one or more of the following actions” in (a); and made a minor stylistic change at the end of (a)(3).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(q) 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 § 1083(q) 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 § 2(f) of the Comprehensive Code of Conduct and BEGA Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-323, Apr. 28, 2014, 61 DCR 4681).


§ 1–1162.16. Dismissal of meritless claim, complaint, or request for investigation.

(a) The Board may dismiss, at any stage of the proceedings, any claim, complaint, request for investigation, investigation, or portion of an investigation that the Board finds to be without merit.

(b) The Board may require a person who made or caused to be made a claim, complaint, or request for investigation in bad faith and without merit to pay reasonable fees for time spent reviewing or investigating the claim, complaint, or requests for investigation.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 216, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(r), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.14.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(r) 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 § 1083(r) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.17. Appeals.

Appeals of any order or fine made by the Board in accordance with this subchapter shall be made to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 217, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(s), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(s) 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 § 1083(s) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.18. Enforcement of subpoena.

The Superior Court of the District of Columbia may, upon petition by the Board, in case of refusal to obey a subpoena or order of the Board issued under § 1-1162.11(3), issue an order requiring compliance; and any failure to obey the order of the court may be treated by the court as contempt.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 218, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(t), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(t) 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 § 1083(t) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.19. Advisory opinions.

(a) Upon application made by an employee or public official subject to the Code of Conduct, the Director of Government Ethics shall, within a reasonable period of time, provide an advisory opinion as to whether a specific transaction or activity inquired of would constitute a violation of a provision of the Code of Conduct over which the Board has primary jurisdiction.

(a-1)(1) The Director of Government Ethics may issue, on his or her own initiative, an advisory opinion on any general question of law he or she considers of sufficient public importance concerning a provision of the Code of Conduct over which the Board has primary jurisdiction.

(2) Before an advisory opinion is issued under this subsection, the Director of Government Ethics shall publish a notice of the proposed advisory opinion in the District of Columbia Register and provide a public-comment period of at least 30 days, during which a person may submit information or comment on the proposed advisory opinion. An advisory opinion that does not meet the procedural requirements of this paragraph shall be void ab initio.

(b) An advisory opinion shall be published in the District of Columbia Register within 30 days of its issuance; provided, that the identity of a person requesting an advisory opinion shall not be disclosed in the District of Columbia Register without the person’s prior consent in writing.

(c)(1) If an advisory opinion is issued by the Director of Government Ethics to a request for an advisory opinion, the requesting employee or public official may appeal the opinion for consideration by the Board.

(2) If the Director of Government Ethics issues an advisory opinion on his or her own initiative, an employee or public official aggrieved by the opinion may appeal the opinion for consideration by the Board.

(d) There shall be no enforcement of a violation of the Code of Conduct taken against an employee or public official who relied in good faith upon an advisory opinion requested by that employee or public official; provided, that the employee or public official, in seeking the advisory opinion, made full and accurate disclosure of all relevant circumstances and information.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 219, 59 DCR 1862; Feb. 22, 2014, D.C. Law 20-75, § 2(a), 61 DCR 36; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(u), 65 DCR 9388.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-75 deleted “the Ethics Board or” preceding “the Director of Government Ethics” in (a); added (a-1); and rewrote (c), which formerly read, “If issued by the Director of Government Ethics, an advisory opinion may be appealed for consideration by the Ethics Board.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(u) 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 § 1083(u) 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 § 2(a) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-24, March 7, 2013, 60 DCR 3984, 20 DCSTAT 483).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-245, December 27, 2013, 61 DCR 135).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-3, May 18, 2013, 60 DCR 4622, 20 DCSTAT 1266).


§ 1–1162.20. Reports.

(a) The Director of Government Ethics shall produce a quarterly report detailing:

(1) The posture of each complaint it received, including whether an investigation was initiated, is ongoing, or has concluded;

(2) The referrals made to and from the Board;

(3) Fines and penalties imposed by the Board;

(4) Allegations dismissed by the Board; and

(5) Other action taken with regard to an allegation of a violation of the Code of Conduct.

(b) The quarterly report shall be posted online.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 220, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(v), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(v) 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 § 1083(v) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.21. Penalties.

(a)(1) In accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection and except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the Board may assess a civil penalty for a violation of the Code of Conduct of not more than $5,000 per violation, or 3 times the amount of an unlawful contribution, expenditure, gift, honorarium, or receipt of outside income for each violation. Each occurrence of a violation of this subchapter and each day of noncompliance with a requirement of this subchapter or an order of the Board shall constitute a separate offense.

(2) A civil penalty shall be assessed by the Board by order only after the person charged with a violation has been given an opportunity for a hearing, and after the Board has determined, by a decision incorporating its findings of facts, that a violation occurred.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Board may issue a schedule of fines for violations of this subchapter, which may be imposed ministerially by the Director of Government Ethics. A civil penalty imposed under the authority of this paragraph may be appealed to the Board in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection. The aggregate set of penalties imposed against each person under the authority of this paragraph may not exceed $5,000.

(4)(A) In addition to any civil penalty imposed under this subchapter, a violation of the Code of Conduct may result in the following:

(i) Remedial action in accordance with the Merit Personnel Act;

(ii) A public censure imposed by the Board;

(iii) A non-public, informal admonition imposed by the Director of Government Ethics for low-level violations of the Code of Conduct such as:

(I) A one-time, minor misuse of government property;

(II) A non-habitual time and leave issue that does not have a specific harmful impact;

(III) A non-uniform application of a regulation or policy by a supervisor, where it is not a regular occurrence and was not for an unlawful purpose;

(IV) A relatively minor action based, at least in part, on advice or guidance sought in good faith from another, such as a supervisor, and given in good faith, though erroneous; or

(V) A minor, incidental ethics violation for which the person made amends and rectified the situation;

(iv) A finding of a violation and a period of probation after which a respondent may seek expungement of the violation upon successful completion of any probationary terms imposed by the Director of Government Ethics or the Board; or

(v) Any negotiated disposition of a matter offered by the Director of Government Ethics, and accepted by the respondent, subject to approval by the Board.

(B) A non-public, informal admonition imposed under subparagraph (A)(iii) of this paragraph may be appealed to the Board.

(5)(A) If the person against whom a civil penalty is assessed fails to pay the penalty, the Board may file a petition for enforcement of its order assessing the penalty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The petition shall designate the person against whom the order is sought to be enforced as the respondent. A copy of the petition shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the respondent and the respondent’s attorney of record, if any, and the Board shall certify and file with the court the record upon which the order sought to be enforced was issued.

(B) The court shall have jurisdiction to enter a judgment enforcing, modifying, and enforcing as so modified, or setting aside, in whole or in part, the order and the decision of the Board or it may remand the proceedings to the Board for such further action as it may direct. The court may determine de novo all issues of law, but the Board’s findings of fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive.

(C) Any failure to obey the order of the court may be treated by the court as contempt.

(b)(1) Any person who commits a violation of the Code of Conduct that substantially threatens the public trust shall be fined not more than $25,000, or shall be imprisoned for not longer than one year, but not both.

(2)(A) Prosecutions of violations of this subsection shall be brought by the Attorney General of the District of Columbia; provided, that if the conduct also violates criminal provisions that could be prosecuted by the United States Attorney of the District of Columbia, the United States Attorney of the District of Columbia consents to the prosecution by the Attorney General of the District of Columbia.

(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, no prosecution for a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be made until the Board has conducted its study pursuant to § 1-1162.02(b) and the Council has, by law, specified violations of the Code of Conduct that substantially threaten the public trust.

(c) The provisions of this subchapter shall in no manner limit the authority of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.

(d) All actions of the Board, the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, or of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia to enforce the provisions of this subchapter must be initiated within 5 years of the discovery of the alleged violation.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision in this subchapter, all equitable remedies at law shall be available for violations of the Code of Conduct, which may be in addition to any civil penalty prescribed in this subchapter.

(f) The penalties set forth in this section shall not apply to part E of this subchapter.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 221, 59 DCR 1862; Feb. 22, 2014, D.C. Law 20-75, § 2(b), 61 DCR 36; July 15, 2014, D.C. Law 20-122, § 2(g), 61 DCR 5688; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(w), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1161.01, § 1-1162.10, § 1-1162.15, § 1-1162.22, § 1-1162.32, and § 1-1163.38.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-75 rewrote (a)(4), which previously read, “In addition to any civil penalty imposed under this subchapter, a violation of the Code of Conduct may result in remedial action in accordance with Chapter 6 of this title.”

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-122 added (a)(5)(C).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(w) 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 § 1083(w) 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 § 2(b) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-24, March 7, 2013, 60 DCR 3984, 20 DCSTAT 483).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-245, December 27, 2013, 61 DCR 135, 20 DCSTAT 2639).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(g) of the Comprehensive Code of Conduct and BEGA Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-323, Apr. 28, 2014, 61 DCR 4681).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-3, May 18, 2013, 60 DCR 4622, 20 DCSTAT 1266).


§ 1–1162.22. Additional penalties for public officials.

(a) In addition to the penalties set forth in § 1-1162.21, the Board may censure a public official for a violation of the Code of Conduct that the Board finds to substantially threaten the public trust.

(b) The Board may recommend in such censure that the Council suspend or remove a Councilmember’s committee chairmanship, if any, committee membership, if any, or vote in any committee.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 222, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(x), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(x) 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 § 1083(x) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


Part C. Conflicts of Interest.

§ 1–1162.23. Conflicts of interest.

(a) No employee shall use his or her official position or title, or personally and substantially participate, through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise, in a judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest, or other particular matter, or attempt to influence the outcome of a particular matter, in a manner that the employee knows is likely to have a direct and predictable effect on the employee’s financial interests or the financial interests of a person closely affiliated with the employee.

(b) An employee other than an elected official may seek a waiver, and the prohibition in subsection (a) of this section shall not apply, if the employee:

(1) Advises the employee’s supervisor and the Board of the nature and circumstances of the particular matter;

(2) Makes full disclosure of the financial interest; and

(3) Receives in advance a written determination made by both the supervisor and the Board that:

(A) The interest is not so substantial as to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the services that the government may expect from the employee; or

(B) Another legally cognizable basis for waiver exists.

(c)(1) Any elected official who, in the discharge of the elected official’s official duties, would be required to act in any matter prohibited under subsection (a) of this section shall make full disclosure of the financial interest, prepare a written statement describing the matter and the nature of the potential conflict of interest, and deliver the statement to:

(A) In the case of a member of the Council, the Council Chairman; or

(B) In the case of an elected official other than a member of the Council, the Board.

(2) Any employee other than an elected official who, in the discharge of the employee’s official duties, would be required to act in any matter prohibited under subsection (a) of this section shall:

(A) Make full disclosure of the financial interest:

(B) Prepare a written statement describing the matter and the nature of the potential conflict of interest; and

(C) Deliver the statement to the employee’s supervisor and to the Board.

(3) During a proceeding in which an elected official would be required to take action in any matter that is prohibited under subsection (a) of this section, the Chairman shall:

(A) Read the statement provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection into the record of proceedings; and

(B) Excuse the elected official from votes, deliberations, and other actions on the matter.

(4) No Councilmember excused from votes, deliberations, or other actions on a matter shall in any way participate in or attempt to influence the outcome of the particular matter, in a manner that is likely to have a direct and predictable effect on the employee’s financial interests or the financial interests of a person closely affiliated with the employee.

(5) Upon receipt of the statement provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the employee’s supervisor shall assign the matter to another employee who does not have a potential conflict of interest.

(d)(1) An employee shall not receive any compensation, salary, or contribution to salary, gratuity, or any other thing of value from a source other than the District government for the employee’s performance of official duties.

(2) No employee or member of the employee’s household may knowingly acquire:

(A) Stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, or other property, whether held individually or jointly, the acquisition of which could unduly influence or give the appearance of unduly influencing the employee in the conduct of his or her official duties and responsibilities; or

(B) An interest in a business or commercial enterprise that is related directly to the employee’s official duties, or which might otherwise be involved in an official action taken or recommended by the employee, or which is related to matters over which the employee could wield any influence, official or otherwise.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 223, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(y), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.28, § 1-1164.01, and § 47-391.08.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(y)(1) 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 § 1083(y)(1) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


Part D. Financial Disclosures and Honoraria.

§ 1–1162.24. Public reporting.

(a)(1) Public officials, except Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and candidates for nomination for election, or election, to public office, who are not otherwise required to file pursuant to this paragraph, shall file with the Board a public report containing a full and complete statement of:

(A) The name of each business entity, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts, nonprofit organizations, and corporations, whether or not transacting any business with the District of Columbia government, in or from which the public official or his or her spouse, domestic partner, or dependent children:

(i) Has a beneficial interest, including, whether held in such person’s own name, in trust, or in the name of a nominee, securities, stocks, stock options, bonds, or trusts, exceeding in the aggregate $1,000, or that produced income of $200;

(ii) Receives honoraria and income earned for services rendered in excess of $200 during a calendar year, as well as the identity of any client for whom the official performed a service in connection with the official’s outside income if the client has a contract with the government of the District of Columbia or the client stands to gain a direct financial benefit from legislation that was pending before the Council during the calendar year. The report required by this part shall include a narrative description of the nature of the service performed in connection with the official’s outside income;

(iii) Serves as an officer, director, partner, employee, consultant, contractor, volunteer, or in any other formal capacity or affiliation; or

(iv) Has an agreement or arrangement for a leave of absence, future employment, including date of agreement, or continuation of payment by a former employer;

(B) Any outstanding individual liability in excess of $1,000 for borrowing by the public official or his or her spouse, domestic partner, or dependent children from anyone other than a federal or state insured or regulated financial institution, including any revolving credit and installment accounts from any business enterprise regularly engaged in the business of providing revolving credit or installment accounts, or a member of the person’s immediate family;

(C) All real property located in the District (and its actual location) in which the public official or his or her spouse, domestic partner, or dependent children, has an interest with a fair market value in excess of $1,000, or that produced income of $200; provided, that this provision shall not apply to personal residences occupied by the public official, his or her spouse, or domestic partner;

(D) All professional or occupational licenses issued by the District of Columbia government held by a public official or his or her spouse, domestic partner, or dependent children;

(E) All gifts received year by a public official from a prohibited source in an aggregate value of $100 in a calendar;

(F) An affidavit stating that the public official has not caused title to property to be placed in another person or entity for the purposes of avoiding the disclosure requirements of this subsection; and

(G) A certification that the public official has:

(i) Filed and paid his or her income and property taxes;

(ii) Diligently safeguarded the assets of the taxpayers and the District;

(iii) Reported known illegal activity, including attempted bribes, to the appropriate authorities;

(iv) Not accepted any bribes;

(v) Not directly or indirectly received government funds through illegal or improper means;

(vi) Not raised or received funds in violation of federal or District law; and

(vii) Not received or been given anything of value, including a gift, favor, service, loan gratuity, discount, hospitality, political contribution, or promise of future employment, based on any understanding that the public official’s official actions or judgment or vote would be influenced.

(2) The Board may, on a case-by-case basis, exempt a public official from this requirement or some portion of this requirement for good cause shown.

(3)(A) An Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner who is not otherwise required to file a report pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall file the certification required by paragraph (1)(G) of this subsection for the preceding year.

(B) Effective January 1, 2015, a candidate for nomination for election, or election, to public office who is not otherwise required to file a report pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall file the certification required by paragraph (1)(G) of this subsection for the preceding year.

(C) A candidate for nomination for election, or election, to public office who, as of May 15, 2014, had not filed a report for calendar year 2013 required by this section and who was not otherwise required to file a report pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not be required to do so.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by this section, all papers filed under this section shall be kept by the Board in the custody of the Director of Government Ethics for no less than 6 years. The Board shall publicly disclose before the 2nd day of June each year the names of the candidates, officers, and employees who have filed a report. The Director of Government Ethics shall dispose of papers filed pursuant to this section in accordance with Chapter 17 of Title 2.

(c)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, reports required by this section shall be filed annually no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 15 of each year. If, before 11:59 p.m. on May 15, a public official ceases to hold an office or position, the occupancy of which imposes upon him or her the reporting requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section, the public official shall file the report required by subsection (a) of this section within 3 months after leaving the office or position.

(2) Reports required by this section for the Chairman and each member of the Council shall be filed semiannually no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 15 and November 15 of each year. If, before 11:59 p.m. on May 15 or November 15, the Chairman or a member of the Council ceases to hold an office, the occupancy of which imposes upon him or her the reporting requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section, the Chairman or member of the Council shall file the report required by subsection (a) of this section within 3 months after leaving the office.

(c-1) The Board shall publish in the District of Columbia Register no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 15 of each year, or in the case of the Chairman or a member of the Council, no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 15 and December 15 of each year, the name of each public official who has:

(1) Filed a report under this section;

(2) Sought and received an extension of the filing deadline and the reason for the extension; and

(3) Not filed a report and the reason for not filing, if known.

(d) Reports required by this section shall be in a form prescribed by the Board. The Board may provide for the grouping of items of income, sources of income, assets, liabilities, dealings in securities or commodities, and purchases and sales of real property, when separate itemization is not feasible or is not necessary for an accurate disclosure of the income, net worth, dealing in securities and commodities, or purchases and sales of rental property of any individual.

(e) All reports filed under this section shall be maintained by the Board as public records.

(f) For the purposes of a report required by this section, a person shall be considered to have been a public official if he or she has served as a public official for more than 30 days during any calendar year in a position for which reports are required under this section.

(g) The Board shall provide for the annual auditing of all reports filed pursuant to this section.

(h) The Mayor shall develop a list of each business entity transacting any business with the District government, or providing a service to the District for consideration, to include the business name, address, principals, and brief summary of the business transacted within the immediately preceding 6 months. The list shall be available online and published on January 1st and July 1st annually.

(i) Each personnel authority shall compile a list of all public officials, as defined by § 1-1161.01(47), within its respective agency or the Council, and shall supply the list to the Board no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 1 of each year. The list required by this subsection shall include the name, title, position, grade level, home address, work e-mail address, and work telephone number for each public official appearing on the list.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 224, 59 DCR 1862; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1072(a), 59 DCR 8025; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-286, § 3(b), 60 DCR 2319; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 1152(a), 61 DCR 9990; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-240, § 2(b), 64 DCR 1598; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(z), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-123, § 1-618.01, § 1-1162.25, § 1-1171.02, and § 38-2973.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168, in the introductory language of (c), substituted “May 15th” for “October 2nd” in the first sentence, substituted “May 15th” for “October 1st” in the second sentence, and substituted “June 15th” for “November 2nd” in the third sentence.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-286 added “and members of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors appointed pursuant to § 9-1107.01” in (a)(1).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 added “and candidates for nomination for election, or election, to public office, who are not otherwise required to file pursuant to this paragraph” and made a related change in the introductory language of (a)(1); substituted “Not accepted” for “Not been offered or accepted” in (a)(1)(G)(iv); and added (a)(3).

Applicability

Section 7027 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 3 of D.C. Law 21-240. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-240 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-240: § 3 of D.C. Law 21-240 provided that the creation of subsection (c)(2) of this section by § 2(b) of D.C. Law 21-240 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(z) 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 § 1083(z) 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) repeal of § 3 of D.C. Law 21-240, see § 7027 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 3 of D.C. Law 21-240, see § 7027 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Council Financial Disclosure Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-641, Jan. 25, 2017, 64 DCR 931).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1072(a) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1074 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1072(a) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1074 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-364, June 23, 2014, 61 DCR 6765).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152(a) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152(a) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152(a) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

Editor's Notes

Section 1074 of D.C. Law 19-168 provided that § 1072(a) and (b) of the act [which amended §§ 1-1162.24(c) and 1-1162.25] shall apply as of January 1, 2013.


§ 1–1162.25. Confidential disclosure of financial interest.

(a)(1) Each employee, other than a public official or a Council employee, who advises, makes decisions or participates substantially in areas of contracting, procurement, administration of grants or subsidies, developing policies, land-use planning, inspecting, licensing, policy-making, regulating, or auditing, or acts in areas of responsibility that may create a conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict of interest, as determined by the appropriate agency head, shall file a report containing a full and complete statement of the information required by § 1-1162.24 with the appropriate agency head no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 15 of each year.

(2) Each Council employee who acts in areas of responsibility that may create a conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict of interest, as determined by that employee's personnel authority, shall file a confidential report containing a full and complete statement of the information required by § 1-1162.24 with the General Counsel to the Council no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 15 of each year.

(b) Each personnel authority shall review each confidential financial disclosure statement filed by an employee of its agency or the Council pursuant to subsection (a) of this section no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 1 of each year. Any violation of the Code of Conduct found by the personnel authority shall be forwarded immediately to the Board for review.

(c) Each personnel authority shall compile a list of all employees required to submit a confidential financial disclosure statement within its agency or the Council and shall supply the list to the Board by 11:59 p.m. on March 1 of each year. The list required by this subsection shall include the name, title, position, and grade level for each employee.

(d) A confidential financial disclosure statement filed pursuant to this section shall remain confidential, and shall be retained by the personnel authority for at least 6 years.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the Chairman of the Council may delegate all or a portion of his or her personnel authority, described in § 1-604.06(b)(3)(A)(i), to one or more employees of the Council.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 225, 59 DCR 1862; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1072(b), 59 DCR 8025; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-286, § 3(c), 60 DCR 2319; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 1152(b), 61 DCR 9990; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-240, § 2(c), 64 DCR 1598; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(aa), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-618.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “May 15th” for “October 2nd” in the first sentence of (a); and in (c), substituted “April 15th” for “September 1st” and “May 1st” for “September 15th.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-286 added “and members of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors appointed pursuant to § 9-1107.01” in (a).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “members of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors” for “Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and members of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(aa) 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 § 1083(aa) 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 § 2(c) of Council Financial Disclosure Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-641, Jan. 25, 2017, 64 DCR 931).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1072(b) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1074 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1072(b) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1074 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-364, June 23, 2014, 61 DCR 6765).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-57, December 13, 2013, 60 DCR 15168).

Editor's Notes

Section 1074 of D.C. Law 19-168 provided that § 1072(a) and (b) of the act [which amended §§ 1-1162.24(c) and 1-1162.25] shall apply as of January 1, 2013.


§ 1–1162.26. Limitations on honoraria and royalties.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, neither the Mayor, the Attorney General, the Chairman of the Council, nor any member of the Council or of the State Board of Education, nor any member of his or her immediate family, shall receive honoraria exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate during any calendar year. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “honorarium” means payment of money or anything of value for an appearance, speech, or article; provided, that a reimbursement for or payment of actual and necessary travel expenses incurred shall not be considered honoraria. For the purposes of computing the $10,000 limit on honoraria established under this subsection, an honorarium shall be considered received in the year in which the right to receive the honorarium accrues.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, neither the Chairman of the Council, the Mayor, the Attorney General, nor any member of the Chairman of the Council’s, the Mayor’s, or the Attorney General’s immediate family shall accept royalties for works of the Chairman of the Council, the Mayor, or the Attorney General that exceed $10,000 in the aggregate during any calendar year. For the purposes of computing the limit on royalties established under this subsection, a royalty shall be considered received during the calendar year in which the right to receive the royalty accrues.

(c) For the purposes of this section, any royalty or part of a royalty, or any honorarium or part of an honorarium paid to a charitable organization by or on behalf of a public official shall not be calculated as part of an aggregate total.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 226, 59 DCR 1862; Dec. 13, 2013, D.C. Law 20-60, § 302(a), 60 DCR 15487.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-60 rewrote (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3(a) of the Election Code Conforming Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-143, July 31, 2013, 60 DCR 11799, 20 DCSTAT 1990).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-60: Section 401(b) of 20-60 provided that § 302 of the act shall apply as of December 13, 2013.


Part E. Lobbyists.

§ 1–1162.27. Persons required to register.

(a) Except as provided in § 1-1162.28, a person shall register with the Director of Government Ethics pursuant to § 1-1162.29 and pay the required registration fee if the person receives compensation or expends funds in an amount of $250 or more in any 3-consecutive-calendar-month period for lobbying. A person who receives compensation from more than one source shall register under this section if the person receives an aggregate amount of $250 or more in any 3-consecutive-calendar-month period for lobbying. Failure to register as required by this section shall result in a civil penalty.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the registration fee for lobbyists shall be $250.

(2) The registration fee for lobbyists who lobby solely for nonprofit organizations shall be $50. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "nonprofit organization" means an organization exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved October 22, 1986 (68A Stat. 163; 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)).

(c)(1) There is established as a nonlapsing fund the Lobbyist Administration and Enforcement Fund (“Lobbyist Fund”), which shall be administered by the Board. The funds in the Lobbyist Fund shall be used by the Board solely for the purpose of administering and enforcing this subchapter.

(2) All fees collected under subsection (b) of this section by the Board shall be deposited into the Lobbyist Fund. All funds deposited into the Lobbyist Fund, and any interest earned on those funds, shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time, but shall be continually available for the uses and purposes set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection without regard to fiscal year limitation, subject to authorization by Congress.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 227, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1012(c), 63 DCR 10775; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(bb), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1161.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(bb) 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 § 1083(bb) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.28. Exceptions.

(a) A person need not register with the Director pursuant to § 1-1162.29 if the person is:

(1) A public official, or an employee of the United States acting in his or her official capacity;

(2) A publisher or working member of the press, radio, or television who, in the ordinary course of business, disseminates news or editorial comment to the general public;

(3) A candidate, member, or member-elect of an Advisory Neighborhood Commission; or

(4) An entity specified in § 47-1802.01(4), whose activities do not consist of lobbying, the result of which shall inure to the financial gain or benefit of the entity.

(b) Any person who is exempt from registration under any provision of this section, except a person exempt from registration under the provisions of subsection (a)(1) of this section, may be a registrant for other purposes under this part; provided, that no activity engaged in by the person shall constitute a conflict of interest under the provisions of § 1-1162.23. Registrants have no obligation to report activities in furtherance of exempt activities under this section in activity reports required under § 1-1162.30.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 228, 59 DCR 1862.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.27 and § 1-1162.31.


§ 1–1162.29. Registration form.

(a) Each registrant shall file a registration form with the Director of Government Ethics, signed under oath, on or before January 15th of each year, or no later than 15 days after becoming a lobbyist (and on or before January 15th of each year thereafter). If the registrant is not an individual, an authorized officer or agent of the registrant shall sign the form. A registrant shall file a separate registration form for each person from whom he or she receives compensation.

(b)(1) The registration shall be on a form prescribed by the Director of Government Ethics and shall include:

(A) The registrant’s name, permanent address, and temporary address while lobbying;

(B) The name and address of each person who will lobby on the registrant’s behalf;

(C) The name, address, and nature of the business of any person who compensates the registrant and the terms of the compensation; and

(D) The identification, by formal designation, if known, of matters on which the registrant expects to lobby.

(2) The Director of Government Ethics shall publish in the District of Columbia Register on or before February 15th and on or before August 15th of each year a summary of all information required to be submitted under this subsection.

(c) No later than 10 days after a registrant files a registration form with the Director of Government Ethics, the Director of Government Ethics shall publish on the Board’s website a summary of all information required to be submitted under this section.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 229, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(cc), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.27, § 1-1162.28, and § 1-1162.30.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(cc) 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 § 1083(cc) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 1–1162.30. Activity reports.

(a) Each registrant shall file with the Director of Government Ethics between the 1st and 15th day of January, April, July, and October of each year a report signed under oath concerning the registrant's lobbying activities during the previous quarter. If the registrant is not an individual, an authorized officer or agent of the registrant shall sign the form. A registrant shall file a separate activity report for each person from whom he or she receives compensation. The reports shall be public documents and shall be on a form prescribed by the Director of Government Ethics and shall include the following:

(1) A complete and current statement of the information required to be supplied pursuant to § 1-1162.29;

(2)(A) Total expenditures on lobbying broken down into the following categories:

(i) Office expenses;

(ii) Advertising and publications;

(iii) Compensation to others;

(iv) Personal sustenance, lodging, and travel, if compensated;

(v) Other expenses;

(B) Each expenditure of $50 or more shall also be itemized by the date, name, and address of the recipient, and the amount and purpose of the expenditure;

(3) Each political expenditure, loan, gift, honorarium, or contribution of $50 or more made by the registrant or anyone acting on behalf of the registrant to benefit an official in the legislative or executive branch, a member of his or her staff or household, or a political committee or political action committee established for the benefit of the official, be itemized by date, beneficiary, amount, and circumstances of the transaction; including the aggregate of all expenditures that are less than $50;

(4) Each official in the executive or legislative branch and any member of the official’s staff, including personal and committee staff, who has a business relationship or a professional services relationship with the registrant shall be identified by name and the nature of the business relationship with the registrant;

(5) The name, position, and agency or office of each official in the executive or legislative branch and member of the official's staff with whom the registrant has had written or oral communications during the reporting period related to lobbying activities conducted by the registrant;

(5A) A precise description of the subject matter, including the title of any bill, proposed resolution, contract, reprogramming, or other legislation, of all written or oral communications related to lobbying activities conducted by the registrant with any official in the executive or legislative branch or member of the official's staff during the reporting period;

(6) Each person whom the registrant has given compensation to lobby on his or her behalf; and

(7) All bundled contributions in accordance with rules promulgated by the Board.

(b) Each registrant shall obtain and preserve all accounts, bills, receipts, books, papers, and documents necessary to substantiate the activity reports required to be made pursuant to this section for 5 years from the date of filing of the report containing these items. These materials shall be made available for inspection upon requests by the Director of Government Ethics after reasonable notice.

(c) Each registrant who does not file a report required by this section for a given period is presumed not to be receiving or expending funds that are required to be reported under this part.

(d) The Board shall make the information reported under this section available to the public on its website and sortable by various fields, including by:

(1) Reporting period;

(2) Registrant name;

(3) Name of each person who lobbies on the registrant's behalf;

(4) Name of each official lobbied;

(5) The agency or office of each official lobbied;

(6) The subject of the communications (such as a specific administrative decision, bill, proposed resolution, contract, reprogramming, or other legislative action); and

(7) A listing of each political expenditure, loan, gift, honorarium, or contribution of $50 or more required to be reported by subsection (a)(3) of this section.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 230, 59 DCR 1862; Feb. 22, 2014, D.C. Law 20-79, § 2(b), 61 DCR 153; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(dd), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1162.28.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-79 substituted “political committee or political action committee” for “campaign or testimonial committee” in (a)(3); deleted “and” from the end of (a)(5); substituted “; and” for “shall also be listed in the report” in (a)(6); and added (a)(7).

Applicability

Section 1086(b) of D.C. D.C. Law 22-168 provided that the amendments made to this section by 1083(dd)(1)(B) and (C) of D.C. D.C. Law 22-168 shall apply as of January 1, 2019.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(dd) 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 § 1083(dd) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

Editor's Notes

Section 7009 of D.C. Law 21-160 repealed § 3 of D.C. Law 20-79. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 20-79 have been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-79: Section 3 of D.C. Law 20-79 provided that the act shall apply upon the latest of: (1) The inclusion of the fiscal effect of the act in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register; or (2) January 31, 2015.

A certification dated February 4, 2015, that the fiscal effect of the Campaign Finance Reform and Transparency Amendment Act of 2013, D.C. Law 20-79, has been included in an approved budget and financial plan was published in the D.C. Register on March 13, 2015 (62 DCR 2988).


§ 1–1162.31. Prohibited activities.

(a) No registrant or anyone acting on behalf of a registrant shall offer, give, or cause to be given a gift or service to an official in the legislative or executive branch or a member of his or her staff that exceeds $100 in value in the aggregate in any calendar year. This section shall not be construed to restrict in any manner contributions authorized in §§ 1-1163.33, 1-1163.34, and 1-1163.38.

(b) No official in the legislative or executive branch or a member of his or her staff shall solicit or accept anything of value in violation of subsection (a) of this section.

(c) No person shall knowingly or willfully make or cause to be made any false or misleading statement or misrepresentation of the facts relating to pending administrative decisions or legislative actions to any official in the legislative or executive branch;

(d) No person shall, knowing a document to contain a false statement relating to pending administrative decisions or legislative actions, cause a copy of the document to be transmitted to an official in the legislative or executive branch without notifying the official in writing of the truth.

(e) No information copied from registration forms and activity reports required by this part or from lists compiled from such forms and reports shall be sold or utilized by any person for the purpose of soliciting campaign contributions or selling tickets to a testimonial or similar fundraising affair or for any commercial purpose.

(f) No public official shall be employed as a lobbyist while acting as a public official, except as provided in § 1-1162.28.

(g)(1) No lobbyist or registrant or person acting on behalf of the lobbyist or registrant, shall provide legal representation, or other professional services, to an official in the legislative or executive branch, or to a member of his or her staff, at no cost or at a rate that is less than the lobbyist or registrant would routinely bill for the representation or service in the marketplace.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this section, a nonprofit organization that routinely provides legal representation or other services to clients at no cost may provide such representation or services to such client when doing so serves the purposes for which such services are routinely provided.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 231, 59 DCR 1862; Feb. 22, 2014, D.C. Law 20-79, § 2(c), 61 DCR 153.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-79 deleted “and the representation and services are not provided by a lobbyist or registrant” from the end of (g)(2).

Editor's Notes

Section 7009 of D.C. Law 21-160 repealed § 3 of D.C. Law 20-79. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 20-79 have been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-79: Section 3 of D.C. Law 20-79 provided that the act shall apply upon the latest of: (1) The inclusion of the fiscal effect of the act in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register; or (2) January 31, 2015.

A certification dated February 4, 2015, that the fiscal effect of the Campaign Finance Reform and Transparency Amendment Act of 2013, D.C. Law 20-79, has been included in an approved budget and financial plan was published in the D.C. Register on March 13, 2015 (62 DCR 2988).


§ 1–1162.32. Penalties; prohibition from serving as lobbyist; citizen suits.

(a) Notwithstanding § 1-1162.21 and except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any person who willfully and knowingly violates any of the provisions of this part shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned for not more than 12 months, or both.

(b) In addition to the penalties provided for in subsection (a) of this section, any person convicted of the misdemeanor specified in that section may be prohibited from serving as a lobbyist for a period of 3 years from the date of the conviction.

(c) Any person who files a report or registration form required under this part in an untimely manner shall be assessed a civil penalty of $10 per day up to 30 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) that the report or registration form is late. The Board may waive the penalty imposed under this subsection for good cause shown.

(d) Should any provision of this subchapter not be enforced by the Board, a citizen of the District of Columbia may bring suit in the nature of mandamus in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, directing the Board to enforce the provisions of this part. Reasonable attorneys fees may be awarded to the citizen against the District should he or she prevail in this action, or if it is settled in substantial conformity with the relief sought in the petition prior to order by the court.


(Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 232, 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1083(ee), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1001.02.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1083(ff) 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 § 1083(ff) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).