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Conflict of Interest Law for Municipal Employees

On July 1, 2009, Governor Patrick signed into law Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009 which made important changes to the state’s conflict of interest law and the State Ethics Commission’s enabling act.  

Among those changes are the mandatory Conflict of Interest Law education and training requirements for public employees at all levels of government.  Under the State conflict of interest law the term “employee” includes full and part-time municipal employees as well as elected officials, committee and board appointees, and individuals under a contract or on a consultant basis.  This does not include charter commission members or Town Meeting Members.

You are a municipal employee required to acknowledge receipt of the summary of the law and complete the online training program for municipal employees if any of the following is true:

  • You hold any elected office, whether paid or unpaid
  • You hold any  appointed position, including membership on a board or committee, whether paid or unpaid
  • You hold a part-time, seasonal or intermittent position
  • You hold an elected or appointed position with an independent municipal agency or district, such as a municipal utility or fire district, or a regional municipal district, such as a regional utility or school district.

There are two steps that affect municipal employees, boards and committees.  

  • One requires that the Town Clerk provide municipal employees, including elected and appointed officials with a Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law on an annual basis and the municipal employee must provide the Town Clerk with an acknowledgement of the receipt of the summary.  The Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law is online and after completing you can electronically submit the Acknowledge of Receipt.  If you wish you can print out the Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law for Municipal Employees and submit the Acknowledge of Receipt in person or via mail to:

    Town Clerk's Office
    Town of Needham
    1471 Highland Ave
    Needham, MA 02492

If you do not have a computer available, you can obtain a copy of the materials at the Town Clerk’s Office and sign the acknowledgement receipt at that time.  This will be recorded either on the Town Clerk’s web page or in the Office of the Town Clerk which complies with the new legislation.  

  • The second step requires an online training program that all current state, county and municipal employees must complete by April 7, 2017 and every two years thereafter.  There is a new program for municipal employees and elected/appointed officials.  

                                                http://www.muniprog.eth.state.ma.us/

Before you begin the program, please note the following in order to ensure your ability to obtain an acceptable completion certificate to provide to your employer:

  • Do not use the Google Chrome web browser; Use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.  Do not use a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to complete the training program.  
  • Turn off the pop-up blocker in your web browser.  You will not be able to print a completion certificate at the end of the program if you do not first disable the pop-up blocker.  If you are able to proceed through the entire program but your completion certificate does not include your name, position and municipality, you can temporarily disable the pop-up blocker by holding down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard, and then click the "View Certificate" button on the program.  
  • If you will need to print a completion certificate, make sure your computer is connected to a printer.
  • You must provide evidence that you have completed the online program to the Town Clerk.  You may print out the completion certificate and mail, fax, or email to Town Clerk, 1471 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 0249; or Fax: 781-449-1246; or .  If you choose to send your certificate electronically, you can save the certificate electronically by converting it to a .PDF file.  You may also take a screen shot of the certificate, or scan a printed copy and save it to your desktop to email to your employer.  Contact your employer if you need assistance.  The Ethics Commission does not maintain any record that you completed the program.  
  • Do not click the Course Credit button instead of the Print Certificate button unless you have been directed to do so by your employer.  The Course Credit button is only to be used in connection with learning management systems.   

The quiz takes about 40 minutes to complete and you can’t fail!  The quiz does not let you advance to the next question until you select the correct answer!!

Thank you for assisting us in complying with this new legislation.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 781-455-7500 x 216.  

Sincerely,

Theodora K. Eaton, MMC
Town Clerk