Ethics Advice

The BEGA is charged with providing ethics advice to District Government Employees and Public Officials concerning the Code of Conduct. If you have a question about whether or not you may engage in a certain activity or transaction, you may contact the BEGA at (202) 481-3411 and speak to one of the BEGA attorneys, or you may email the BEGA at bega@dc.gov. You may also check the District Ethics Manual as well as the Advisory Opinions contained on this website. 

Formal Advisory Opinion

Requests for a formal advisory opinion may also be submitted in writing to the BEGA, One Judiciary Square 441 4th Street, NW, 830 South, Washington, DC 20001. It should contain a complete statement of the facts, including your name, address and phone number, your official position, a brief description of your agency, commission or office and the nature of the question.

If you wish to receive a written advisory opinion from the BEGA that a contemplated activity is permissible, you may do so. After issuance, the BEGA must publish any such opinion in the DC Register within 30 days of issuance. However, all identifying information about you in the opinion will be redacted unless you consent otherwise in writing. The benefit to receiving a formal written opinion is that it provides you with a “safe-harbor”. In other words, no enforcement action for violation of the District’s Code of Conduct may be taken against you in the context of your request, provided that you have made full and accurate disclosure of all relevant circumstances and information in seeking the advisory opinion.

Advisory Opinions

Prospective Behavior Only

Please be advised that advice is only provided for something you wish to do, not for behavior that has already occurred.  If you provide information of past behavior to the BEGA and that information is deemed to have been a violation of the Code of Conduct, all such information may be used against you in any subsequent enforcement action taken by the BEGA.

Appeals

All ethics advice is provided by the Director of Government Ethics and/or his staff attorneys.  If you receive a formal opinion with which you disagree, you  may appeal that decision to the three-member Board.  Instructions will be provided to you upon request should you wish to file an appeal.