Ethics: Advisory Opinion No. 2000-12

Advisory Opinion No. 2000-12
Advisory Opinion No. 2000-12

Application Of Code Of Ethics To Advisory Committee Members Seeking
To Bid On Requests For Proposals Based On Advisory Committee Recommendations

A Sex Offenders Policy Advisory Committee (" Advisory Committee") is being developed to 1) make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on policies concerning public safety relative to sex offenders and those at risk for offending; and 2) promote cooperation among the multiple state agencies, community-based agencies, private providers and the victim advocacy community. Both state employees and private contractors currently provide the assessment and treatment of sex offenders. One Committee objective will be to make recommendations regarding such assessment and treatment.

Certain recommendations of the Committee will likely include proposals for new or increased funding for programs and services. It is foreseeable that individuals or representatives of private entities currently under consideration for membership on the Committee may wish to contract with the state to provide such services if funding for such is ultimately approved. It is clearly desirable for individuals with expertise in specialized areas to be included on the Committee. In light of this fact, the Commission has been asked how the provisions of the Code of Ethics ("the Code") may impact a Committee member who is in a position to benefit financially by contracting, directly or indirectly, with the state to provide such services.

Subsection 1-79(k), Conn. Gen. Stat., in part provides an exemption from the provisions of the Code for members of advisory boards. This policy recognizes that the inclusion of field experts at the initial advisory level encourages the creation of more informed and effective committees thereby enhancing the ultimate government mission at hand. Given their stated responsibility, members of the Advisory Committee fall squarely within the exemption. Furthermore, nothing in the advisory committee system generally renders state agencies unable to develop requests for proposals in a fair and responsible manner. Therefore, Advisory Committee members may feel free to bid to provide services under the above-referenced scenario to the same degree as any other member of the provider community.

By order of the Commission,

Stanley Burdick,

Content Last Modified on 9/7/2005 8:03:24 AM