Conflict of Interest Law
Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009, signed into law by the Governor on July 1st of that year, made significant changes to the Conflict of Interest law, including the imposition of mandatory education and training requirements for all municipal employees. The Town Clerk’s Office serves as the town’s designated liaison to the State Ethics Commission, which is responsible for statewide administration of the law.
The law defines “Municipal Employees” broadly; the definition includes full, part-time and intermittent workers, volunteers, elected and appointed officials, and some contractors. As authorized under Section 2 of the Revised Mandatory Education and Training Requirements’ Implementation Procedures, in 2011 the Select Board established a list of those volunteer and employment positions deemed exempt from the operation of the law because they “…do not have or exercise governmental authority,…” If you have a question about whether or not a particular position is exempt from the requirements of the law, please contact the Town Clerk’s office.
A Summary of the revised Conflict of Interest law for municipal employees is available at http://www.mass.gov/ethics/education-and-training-resources/implementation-procedures/municipal-employee-summary.html New employees must be provided with a copy of the Summary and sign a written acknowledgement of its receipt within thirty (30) days of their employment and annually thereafter. The receipt should be returned to the Town Clerk’s office by mail or email.
The updated law also obliges current employees to complete an online training program every two years. In Lincoln, the training cycle commences in the first quarter of the odd numbered years with a distribution notice to all non-school employees. The program generates a Certificate upon completion that should be filed with the Town Clerk. New employees are likewise required to complete the online training and file the certificate within 30 days of their employment. The training program is located at the website of the State Ethics Commission at http://www.mass.gov/ethics/conflict-of-interest-law-online-training-programs.html
The training program can be accessed and completed from either a home or office computer. It may also be administered to a group of employees; a sign-in sheet for attendees, filed with the Town Clerk’s office, may be substituted for the individual certificates of completion. The Town Clerk’s office is available for assistance in conducting a group session. Special instructions are available for situations where more than one employee needs to complete the on-line training from a single desktop.
Please feel free to contact the Town Clerk with any questions. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.