Article 1. Conflicts of Interest; General Prohibition (Refs & Annos). Making, Participating in Making, or Using or Attempting to Use Official Position to Influence a Government Decision, Defined
(a) Making a Decision. A public official makes a governmental decision if the official authorizes or directs any action, votes, appoints a person, obligates or commits his or her agency to any course of action, or enters into any contractual agreement on behalf of his or her agency.
(b) Participating in a Decision. A public official participates in a governmental decision if the official provides information, an opinion, or a recommendation for the purpose of affecting the decision without significant intervening substantive review.
(c) Using Official Position to Attempt to Influence a Decision. A public official uses his or her official position to influence a governmental decision if he or she:
(1) Contacts or appears before any official in his or her agency or in an agency subject to the authority or budgetary control of his or her agency for the purpose of affecting a decision; or
(2) Contacts or appears before any official in any other government agency for the purpose of affecting a decision, and the public official acts or purports to act within his or her authority or on behalf of his or her agency in making the contact.
(d) Exceptions. Making, participating in, or influencing a governmental decision does not include:
(1) Ministerial. Actions by a public official that are solely ministerial, secretarial, or clerical.
(2) Appearances as a Member of the General Public. An appearance by a public official as a member of the general public before an agency in the course of its prescribed governmental function if the official is appearing on matters related solely to the his or her personal interests, including interests in:
(A) Real property owned entirely by the official, members of his or her immediate family, or the official and members of his or her immediate family;
(B) A business entity owned entirely by the official, members of his or her immediate family, or the official and members of his or her immediate family; or
(C) A business entity over which the official, members of his or her immediate family, or the official and members of his or her immediate family solely or jointly exercise full direction and control.
(3) Terms of Employment. Actions by a public official relating to his or her compensation or the terms or conditions of his or her employment or consulting contract. However, an official may not make a decision to appoint, hire, fire, promote, demote, or suspend without pay or take disciplinary action with financial sanction against the official or his or her immediate family, or set a salary for the official or his or her immediate family different from salaries paid to other employees of the government agency in the same job classification or position.
(4) Public Speaking. Communications by a public official to the general public or media.
(5) Academic Decisions.
(A) Teaching decisions, including an instructor's selection of books or other educational materials at his or her own school or institution, or other similar decisions incidental to teaching; or
(B) Decisions by a public official who has teaching or research responsibilities at an institution of higher education relating to his or her professional responsibilities, including applying for funds, allocating resources, and all decisions relating to the manner or methodology with which his or her academic study or research will be conducted. This exception does not apply to a public official who has institution-wide administrative responsibilities as to the approval or review of academic study or research at the institution unrelated to his or her own work.
(6) Architectural and Engineering Documents.
(A) Drawings or submissions of an architectural, engineering, or similar nature prepared by a public official for a client to submit in a proceeding before the official's agency if:
(i) The work is performed pursuant to the official's profession; and
(ii) The official does not make any contact with the agency other than contact with agency staff concerning the process or evaluation of the documents prepared by the official.
(B) An official's appearance before a design or architectural review committee or similar body of which the official is a member to present drawings or submissions of an architectural, engineering, or similar nature prepared for a client if:
(i) The review committee's sole function is to review architectural designs or engineering plans and to make recommendations to a planning commission or other agency;
(ii) The review committee is required by law to include architects, engineers or persons in related professions, and the official was appointed to the body to fulfill this requirement; and
(iii) The official is a sole practitioner.
(7) Additional Consulting Services: Recommendations by a consultant regarding additional services for which the consultant or consultant's employer would receive additional income if the agency has already contracted with the consultant, for an agreed upon price, to make recommendations concerning services of the type offered by the consultant or consultant's employer and the consultant does not have any other economic interest, other than in the firm, that would be foreseeably and materially affected by the decision.
Government Code 83112
Government Code 87100
Government Code 87101
Government Code 87302
(Amended by Register 2015, No. 26.)