I. Maintenance of Designation Lists

These Guidelines apply not only to the annual task of preparing your agency's designation list, but should be followed throughout the year.  Critical to updating and maintaining your agency's designation list are the following requirements:

During the recruitment process, please inform individuals, where applicable, that they will be covered by Chapter 268B.  This is critical in the case of board and commission appointments that often receive little compensation for their work.  New employees who accept designated positions are required to file a Statement of Financial Interests for the preceding year within 30 days of becoming a public employee.

Within ten (10) days, notify the Ethics Commission, either in writing or by e-mail (rmilt@eth.state.ma.us), of any new appointments or other organizational changes that effect the designation of major policy-making positions in your agency.  The Commission will then make the necessary changes to your designation list, and, in the case of new appointments, the Commission will send the individual a Statement of Financial Interests Form and Instructions Booklet.

Board and commission members are to be designated only if the board compensates its members and expends public funds.

When you write to or e-mail the Ethics Commission to either update or maintain your designation list, please be sure to always include the individual's name, home address, HR/CMS employee ID (if applicable), an e-mail address, the entry date into the major policy-making position or the termination date, and functional job title of the designated position.

II. Designation of Individuals: Time Served Requirements

1. Designate all individuals (appointed and elected) who have occupied a position designated as major policy-making for 30 days or more in 2012.  For each designee, indicate in the space provided if the information is a change from what appears on the printed designation spreadsheet we have sent you.


2. Designate all individuals who occupied a major policy-making position for 30 days or more even if they have left state or county service.  This requirement applies regardless of the conditions of termination: voluntary, retirement, lay off, etc.  If an employee is deceased, indicate this on your designation list and the Commission will remove the individual from the designation list immediately.  The family of the deceased employee is not required to file an SFI.


3. Designate consultants if they "exercise similar authority to a designated position or otherwise hold a major policy-making position."


4. Designate vacant positions if they satisfy the definition of "major policy-making positions."

III. Preparing the Designation List

1. If you wish, you can request to have your agency's designation list e-mailed to you in Microsoft Excel format.  You will then be able to simply update the spreadsheet.  Otherwise, your designation list must be submitted on the enclosed form.  To have your agency's list e-mailed to you, send your request to rmilt@eth.state.ma.us.  


2. An organizational chart must be submitted annually with your list of designated positions.


3. Review the designation list for your agency using the following questions as a guide:


Are the correct positions designated as major policy-making?


Are there any positions on the designation list which are no longer policy-making in nature and should therefore, be deleted from the designation list?  If so, please indicate the reason for deleting a designated position, including the effective date.


Are there any positions that are policy-making in nature which do not appear on your agency's designation list?  ( Remember, salary alone is not sufficient for designating a position as major policy-making.) If there are positions that should be designated, please provide all of the required data on the enclosed designation forms.


Is the incumbent's job title accurate?  It is strongly advised that functional or programmatic job titles rather than civil service or management levels be provided.


4. Entry dates need only be indicated in the case of new appointments.  If an individual moves from a non-designated position into a designated position, report the entry date the individual moved into the designated position.


5. Termination dates need only be reported, if applicable. If an individual leaves a position designated as major policy-making, a termination date for their tenure in the major policy-making position must be provided.  If you have already notified the Commission of a termination, the date will appear in the termination column.


6. Current home addresses are to be provided for each designated employee.  The importance of this cannot be overstated since many late filings are the result of incorrect addresses provided to the Ethics Commission.  Every effort should be made to provide current addresses for former employees.


7. E-mail addresses are to be provided for each designated employee.  In order for a filer to take advantage of electronic filing capabilities, an individual must have an e-mail account.


8. If an employee is compensated under the HR/CMS payroll system, you must provide the HR/CMS employee ID number.

IV. Notice of Designation to Employees

1. When your list is complete and before submitting it to the Commission, you must notify each individual on the list that he or she has been designated and is required to file a Statement of Financial Interests by virtue of having held a major policy-making position for 30 days or more in 2012 regardless of whether he or she still occupies the position.


2. When your list is complete, you must certify that each designee has been notified by providing the date that you sent notification letters or emails.


3. If an employee disagrees with his designation and if you determine his arguments are meritorious, you may delete his name by following the procedures set out in 930 CMR 2.04(3).  If you do not wish to delete him and if the individual remains dissatisfied with the explanation provided, the individual may request an advisory opinion from the Ethics Commission.

V. Definition of and Criteria for Determining a Position is Policy-Making

1. Identify the governmental bodies, i.e., agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, council, department, division, or other entity within your jurisdiction.

2. Designate, as major policy-making positions (regardless of salary) the executive or administrative head of the governmental bodies so identified.

3. Designate any person who reports directly to the executive or administrative head of the governmental bodies cited above AND whose salary equals or exceeds that of a Grade 25, Step 1 ($36,720.84), except a person whose duties consist primarily of administrative tasks such as scheduling, record keeping, document handling, word processing, typing and similar tasks.

4. Designate the head of any major administrative unit , whether established by statute or administrative action, which has as its chief administrative officer a person whose salary equals or exceeds Grade 25, Step 1 ($36,720.84) AND who has primary responsibility for:


  • a geographic region;

  • contracting or procurement;

  • inspecting, licensing, regulating, or auditing any person or entity;

  • interpreting or enforcing laws, rules or regulations; or

  • matters involving substantial responsibility requiring the exercise of independent judgment.


These criteria will assist you in determining what major administrative units exist within your agency.


5. Do not designate a person as occupying a major policy-making position solely on the basis of salary.


6. Designate any person who actually assumes the above responsibility of any of the positions described above, on more than an occasional basis, or for more than 30 consecutive days, not including exercising such authority by virtue of acting during a normal vacation or sick leave period in such a position.


7. Designate the members of boards and commissions if they receive compensation other than reimbursement of expenses AND if the board or commission has the authority to expend public funds other than to approve reimbursements for expenses.  If the board is authorized to compensate its members, but is unable to do so because funds have not been appropriated or the enabling statute has been amended in this regard, or if the board or commission does not expend public funds, do not designate the members.