General duties of commission
(1)The Oregon Government Ethics Commission shall:
(a)Prescribe forms for statements required by this chapter and provide the forms to persons required to file the statements under this chapter or pursuant to a resolution adopted under ORS 244.160 (Filing of statement of economic interest by public official of political subdivision other than city or county).
(b)Develop a filing, coding and cross-indexing system consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
(c)Prepare and publish reports the commission finds are necessary.
(d)Accept and file any information voluntarily supplied that exceeds the requirements of this chapter.
(e)Make statements and other information filed with the commission available for public inspection and copying during regular office hours, and make copying facilities available at a charge not to exceed actual cost.
(f)Not later than February 1 of each odd-numbered year, report to the Legislative Assembly any recommended changes to provisions of ORS 171.725 (Definitions for ORS 171.725 to 171.785) to 171.785 (Sanctions prescribed by either chamber of Legislative Assembly) or this chapter.
(2)The commission shall adopt rules necessary to carry out its duties under ORS 171.725 (Definitions for ORS 171.725 to 171.785) to 171.785 (Sanctions prescribed by either chamber of Legislative Assembly), 171.992 (Civil penalty for violation of lobby regulation), 192.660 (Executive sessions permitted on certain matters) and 192.685 (Additional enforcement of alleged violations of ORS 192.660) and this chapter, including rules to:
(a)Create a procedure under which items before the commission may be treated under a consent calendar and voted on as a single item;
(b)Exempt a public official who is otherwise required to file a statement pursuant to ORS 244.050 (Persons required to file statement of economic interest) from filing the statement if the regularity, number and frequency of the meetings and actions of the body over which the public official has jurisdiction are so few or infrequent as not to warrant the public disclosure;
(c)Establish an administrative process whereby a person subpoenaed by the commission may obtain a protective order;
(d)List criteria and establish a process for the commission to use prosecutorial discretion to decide whether to proceed with an inquiry or investigation;
(e)Establish a procedure under which the commission shall conduct accuracy audits of a sample of reports or statements filed with the commission under this chapter or ORS 171.725 (Definitions for ORS 171.725 to 171.785) to 171.785 (Sanctions prescribed by either chamber of Legislative Assembly);
(f)Describe the application of provisions exempting items from the definition of “gift” in ORS 244.020 (Definitions);
(g)Specify when a continuing violation is considered a single violation or a separate and distinct violation for each day the violation occurs; and
(h)Set criteria for determining the amount of civil penalties that the commission may impose.
(3)The commission may adopt rules that:
(a)Limit the minimum size of, or otherwise establish criteria for or identify, the smaller classes that qualify under the class exception from the definition of “potential conflict of interest” under ORS 244.020 (Definitions);
(b)Require the disclosure and reporting of gifts or other compensation made to or received by a public official or candidate;
(c)Establish criteria for cases in which information relating to notices of actual or potential conflicts of interest shall, may not or may be provided to the commission under ORS 244.130 (Recording of notice of conflict); or
(d)Allow the commission to accept the filing of a statement containing less than all of the information required under ORS 244.060 (Form of statement of economic interest) and 244.070 (Additional statement of economic interest) if the public official or candidate certifies on the statement that the information contained on the statement previously filed is unchanged or certifies only as to any changed material.
(4)Not less frequently than once each calendar year, the commission shall:
(a)Consider adoption of rules the commission deems necessary to implement or interpret provisions of this chapter relating to issues the commission determines are of general interest to public officials or candidates or that are addressed by the commission or by commission staff on a recurring basis; and
(b)Review rules previously adopted by the commission to determine whether the rules have continuing applicability or whether the rules should be amended or repealed.
(5)The commission shall adopt by rule an electronic filing system under which statements required to be filed under ORS 244.050 (Persons required to file statement of economic interest) and 244.217 (Statement of contributions received and expenditures made) must be filed, without a fee, with the commission in an electronic format.
(6)The commission shall make available in a searchable format for review by the public using the Internet:
(a)Statements filed under ORS 244.050 (Persons required to file statement of economic interest) and 244.217 (Statement of contributions received and expenditures made);
(b)Advisory opinions issued by the commission or the executive director of the commission;
(c)Findings issued by the commission under ORS 244.260 (Complaint and adjudicatory process) in instances where the commission determines that there has been a violation of a provision of this chapter or of any rule adopted by the commission under this chapter. Nothing in this paragraph requires the commission to make publicly available materials that are otherwise exempt from public disclosure or that are required to be kept confidential by the commission; and
(d)Lobbyist registration statements and revisions and updates to lobbyist registration statements filed under ORS 171.740 (Lobbyist registration). The information required under this paragraph must be available in a searchable format for review by the public using the Internet not later than one calendar day after the lobbyist files the information with the commission. [1974 c.72 §17; 1987 c.566 §20; 1993 c.743 §23; 2007 c.865 §3; 2007 c.877 §§9c,9d; 2009 c.68 §§13,14; 2015 c.619 §3; 2015 c.666 §§1,2; 2016 c.101 §1; 2019 c.13 §37]
Notes of Decisions
Statutory scheme of this chapter is not unconstitutionally vague. Davidson v. Oregon Government Ethics Commission, 300 Or 415, 712 P2d 87 (1985)
Atty. Gen. Opinions
Simultaneous membership in church and local governing body as constituting potential conflict of interest, (1981) Vol 41, p 490; contractors that perform services for government as "public officials" subject to ethics law, (1990) Vol 46, p 350
Law Review Citations
19 WLR 701 (1983)