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State Level Conflict of Interest
Kansas law prohibits any state employees of the executive branch and members of boards, commissions, or authorities of the executive branch from accepting or requesting meals, gifts, entertainment, and travel with a few exceptions (K.S.A.46-237a).
As a general rule, you are prohibited from soliciting or accepting a free or discounted meal, the value of which exceeds $25.00, from a source outside state government.
Exceptions to the meal rule are:
As a state employee, you are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift because of your official position. This includes, but is not limited to speaker's gifts, pens, key chains, mugs, and flowers.
You may not designate a friend, family member, or entity (for example, a charity) to receive a gift that you cannot receive.
Exceptions to the gift rule are:
You are prohibited from accepting gifts in the form of entertainment. Entertainment includes free or discounted tickets or passes to events such as plays, concerts, games, golf, hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities.
You may not receive discounted or complimentary registration fees to attend conferences and seminars from any person or company because of your official position unless your agency would be willing to pay for the registration fee.
You may not accept travel and/or lodging provided to you because of your official position by any person or company. An exception to this travel expense rule exists when the state agency would be willing to pay your expenses for travel, lodging, and related expenses.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The following can be accepted without violating the law:
The Governmental Ethics Commission issues advisory opinions on its own initiative and on the request of any person to whom the state law applies.
Advisory opinions serve to interpret the law and may be especially useful to public servants who are considering an activity they suspect may involve a conflict of interests. Any person who acts in accordance with the provisions of an opinion issued to that person shall be presumed to have complied with the provisions of the conflict of interests laws.
Advisory opinions issued by the Commission can be viewed at: www.kansas.gov/ethics/opinons.htm
You should consult with the Governmental Ethics Commission when you are not sure if you can accept a meal, gift, entertainment, or travel.
A violation of any of these provisions may subject you to a civil fine of up to $5,000. In addition, the Governor may reprimand or remove you from state service.
Do not hesitate to call the Governmental Ethics Commission office if you have any questions.
109 West 9th, Suite 504
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Ofc (785) 296-4219
Fax (785) 296-2548