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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

The Academy for New York State's Local Officials

Protecting the Public’s Interest: A Tutorial on Local Government Ethics and Transparency in New York State

Module 1 - Conflict of Interest of Municipal Officers and Employees

Disclosure of Interest

Municipal officers and employees are required to disclose most interests in contracts with the municipality which they serve. In general, if a municipal officer or employee, or his or her spouse, has, will have, or later acquires, an interest in any actual or proposed contract, purchase agreement, lease agreement, or other agreement (including oral agreements), the municipal officer or employee must disclose the nature and extent of the interest.

The disclosure must be written and made as soon as the municipal officer or employee becomes aware of the actual or prospective interest. The disclosure must be made publicly to the individual’s immediate supervisor and to the governing body of the municipality, which must include the disclosure in the official record of its proceedings.

Disclosure is not required when the interest is described in a number of the statutory exceptions discussed earlier in this module. Disclosure is not required with respect to:

  • Interests in contracts arising from ownership or control of less than 5% of a corporation’s outstanding stock
  • Interests in contracts for public utility services where the rates or charges are fixed by the public service commission
  • Interests in contracts for the payment of a reasonable rental of a room designated and used as a municipal office or chamber
  • Interests in contracts for payment of a portion of a municipal officer’s private employee who provides part-time service in the official duties of the office
  • Interests in contracts having a total consideration of $750 or less during the fiscal year
  • Interests in contracts with a member of a private industry council established under the federal Job Training Partnership Act or with a firm, corporation, or association in which a council member holds an interest.

Let's listen to what Mark has to say about disclosure.

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(Text for Video - Disclosure of Interest in Contracts)

  Next: - Module One Violations of Article 18