Board of Ethics
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
For a list of Board of Ethics members and information about how to contact the Board click here.
View a job description for Board of Ethics Members.
The Board of Ethics has five members, who are nominated by the Board of Selectmen and elected by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
Responsibilities of the Board
The Board is responsible for
- Prescribing the form for annual statements from Town Officers that disclose interests that they had in transactions with the Town. Town Officers are required to file these statements with the Town Clerk.
- Hearing and adjudicating complaints of violations of the Ethics Code (PDF).
- Rendering advisory opinions to Town Officers who seek advice on the application of the Ethics Code (PDF) to specific transactions.
- Providing an Annual Report to the Selectmen and the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
Responsibilities of Town Officers
Under the Code of Ethics, elected and appointed officials, employees, consultants and agents of the Town are Town Officers, including members of any Town board, commission, committee, legislative body or other agency. The Code provides the following:
- Gifts and Favors: Town Officers and members of their immediate family, including spouses, children, parents, grandparents, siblings and in-laws, are prohibited from accepting any valuable gift, favor, loan, promise or other thing which might tend to influence the performance of their official duties.
- Improper Influence: Town Officers are also prohibited from voting on or attempting to influence any Town transaction or action in which he or she has a substantial interest.
- Annual Disclosure: Each Town Officer is responsible to make an annual filing disclosing any interest that they have had during the preceding year in any transaction with the Town.
Information About the Code of Ethics & Its Requirements
Although the Code of Ethics is not a complicated document, it is broad in scope. The application of the Code to specific situations is a matter considered by the Board of Ethics based on the particular facts of each case. One role of the Board of Ethics is to develop guidelines for the application of the Code that are consistent with the stated language and general intent of the Code. Officially, this is done by rendering advisory opinions and issuing decisions after investigating complaints.
Ethical issues can be blatantly obvious, but are often nuanced and subtle. As a result, an essential part of evaluating compliance with the Code is an appreciation of all the relevant facts and circumstances. To better assist Town boards, commissions, committees and other entities in identifying and evaluating potential interests and managing compliance with the Code of Ethics, the Board has approved a template for a Conflict of Interest Policy and will give deference to the in-depth appreciation of relevant circumstances provided by entities following such a policy.
The Selectmen have also asked the Board to provide additional information to members of the public and the persons specifically covered by the Code. As part of that effort, the Board has prepared a series of responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) in order to help interested persons understand the requirements of the Code.
Board Procedures & Forms
The Board of Ethics has adopted detailed procedures relating to its activities under the Code. View the Statement of Procedures (PDF). Forms have been provided by the Board including an Annual Disclosure Form (PDF), Request for Advisory Opinion (PDF) and Complaint For (PDF). These forms are also available from the menu in the side bar at right.
Please note that the instructions are an official part of the disclosure form and should be referred to when filling in the form. Also note that Town Officers using the form will need to print it out and have it notarized and filed with the Town Clerk. Completing the form by itself will not in itself satisfy the annual disclosure requirement.
Prior Decisions & Opinions of the Board
The Board of Ethics is required to report the results of its decisions and opinions to the Selectmen and the RTM on an annual basis. In addition, the Board has compiled reports of its prior decisions and opinions. Recent Decisions are available from the link in the menu on the top left of this page. You can view and obtain copies of prior official reports here.
Other Requirements & Additional Resources
There are many ethical issues that are outside the scope of the Town's Code of Ethics. The Board encourages all Town employees and its elected and appointed officials to familiarize themselves with the ethical issues that may have particular relevance to their services for the Town. In particular, the Selectmen have adopted an Ethics Policy that applies to all Town employees. The Ethics Policy incorporates the provisions of the Code of Ethics and contains specific additional rules and procedures to be followed by Town employees in order to maintain high ethical standards.
The Ethics Policy for Town employees contains requirements with respect to outside employment and personal relationships and has been incorporated into the Town's Human Resources Policy Manual as Section 8.7. View the Town Human Resources Policy Manual (PDF). In addition, persons in licensed professions have responsibility to uphold the ethical standards of their profession. View links to resources that the Board believes may be useful in this regard (PDF).
How to Contact & Make Filings with the Board
Annual Disclosure Statements are to be filed with the Town Clerk. Complaints and requests for advisory opinions are to be filed with the Board. The following may be used to contact or make filings with the Board:
- By Mail:
Greenwich Board of Ethics
c/o Office of the Town Attorney
Department of Law - Town Hall
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
All information sent via regular mail should be enclosed in a sealed envelope prominently marked: "Confidential - To be delivered unopened to the Chairman of the Greenwich Board of Ethics".
- By email: email@example.com
- By Telephone: 1-888-432-2777
Note: Your email, voicemail or fax message will be communicated directly to members of the Board of Ethics via secure means.