Welcome to Ethical Foundations for Public Service!

Ethical Foundations for Public Service
Part 1 : Philosophy and Principles

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest Example

A legislator owning a car need not declare a potential conflict of interest before voting on a bill raising registration fees for all car owners.

A potential conflict of interest exists when you:

  • are acting as a public official; and
  • take any action (i.e., vote, debate, recommend or discuss) where the effect of which would be to the financial gain or loss of yourself, a member of your household, or an associated business of either.

A potential conflict of interest does not exist when your financial gain or loss arises because:

  • you have an interest or membership required by law before you may hold your public office; or
  • your action effects to the same degree all people in Oregon, or a large class of people, with which you are associated.

Who May Request An Advisory Opinion?

Any person with a question regarding the laws may request an advisory opinion, however, please consult with your supervisor as s/he may know the answer.

Contact the Government Standards & Practices Commission

For more information, contact:

Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission

885 Summer St NE, 2nd Floor

Salem, OR 97302-2522

Phone: (503) 378-5105

Web site: http://www.oregon.gov/GSPC/index.shtml. Within this site, go to “Forms and Publications,” then download the “Guide for Public Officials.” As of August, 2010, this publication was being updated by the state. If it is not accessible, please come back to it.