Request Advice Under G.L. c. 268A, the Conflict of Interest Law -
Warning: Please be advised that information transmitted over the internet or by email is not always secure. Public employees are advised to submit requests for legal advice using the on-line form on their own personal-home computer on a secure network. Use of a computer provided by an employer or others may not protect your security. The Ethics Commission expressly states that it will not be responsible for any breaches of security that occur during the submission and transmittal of information contained in a request for legal advice using the online form below. In addition, please be advised that the Commission will not return any original materials submitted in support of requests for legal advice.
Requesting advice by email using the online form below is an alternative to calling for advice. If you decide to request advice using the online form, you do not need to call as well.
Please note the following requirements to use the online form:
- The online form is submitted to the Commission as an email attachment, therefore you must have an email program available, either a default email application on your computer, such as Microsoft Outlook, or a web email application, such as Gmail. When you complete the form and click the "Submit" button, a pop-up window will ask you to select the email program you wish to use to email the form to the Commission. If you do not have an email program, you cannot use the online form. Please call or write to the Commission instead.
- You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader downloaded to your computer to be able to fill out the form. You can download the latest version at https://get.adobe.com/reader/. The web browser that you use to complete the Request Advice online form must allow you to use Adobe Reader:
- If you are using Internet Explorer, it should allow you to use Adobe Reader by default unless you use a different program to view pdf documents and that program is set as a web browser default program.
- If you are using Mozilla Firefox, you need to verify that Adobe Reader will activate whenever a pdf document is opened. To do this, open the web browser and click “Tools” in the menu selections at the top left of your screen, then click “Add-ons” in the drop down menu, then click “Plug-ins” from the menu selections on the left side of the screen, and then select “Always Activate” from the drop down menu next to Adobe Acrobat.
- If you are using Google Chrome, it has its own built-in pdf viewer which has to be disabled so that Adobe Reader can become the default pdf viewer. To do this, open Chrome and type the url: chrome://plugins in the web address and hit Enter on your keyboard. The web browser plug-in page will open. Click to disable the “Chrome PDF Viewer.” Alternatively, you can type chrome://extensions in the url address, hit Enter, and click the “Enable” box for Adobe Acrobat Extension.
For further assistance to complete the Request Advice online form, contact Commission IT Specialist Tony Webb at 617-371-9526 or Tony.Webb@state.ma.us.
Please provide as much information as possible.
Please note that telephone advice provided by the Legal Division is binding and carries the same weight as a written opinion. An Attorney from the Legal Division will return your call as soon as possible, and within 1 business day, if you indicate that the matter requires an urgent response because it is a time-sensitive issue, such as you need to get advice on the issue before you attend a meeting that evening. If you do not receive a telephone call or a message within two business days, please call 617-371-9500, to inquire about the status of your request.
If you would prefer TELEPHONE ADVICE, please list the best telephone number for us to reach you and state WHETHER WE MAY LEAVE YOU A VOICEMAIL MESSAGE STATING THAT WE ARE CALLING FROM THE STATE ETHICS COMMISSION.
Please note that it generally takes 30 business days for the Legal Division to process a request for an informal written opinion. However, if you do not receive a letter indicating that we have received your request for advice within one week of submission, please call 617-371-9500 to inquire about the status of your request.