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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

More on Powers and Duties

A municipal officer or employee has Section 801 powers and duties when he or she is a member of a board which has any of those powers or duties. For example, if a municipal officer is a member of a board that has the power to audit claims against the municipality, then the municipal officer has Section 801 powers and duties even though the function must be performed by a majority of the board.

To determine whether a municipal officer or employee has any of the powers and duties that can give rise to a prohibited interest, the State statute or local enactment creating the position should be reviewed because the enactment will frequently describe the powers and duties of the position. Other sources of information include job descriptions and employment contracts. In most cases, the members of the governing board of a municipality will have one or more of these powers and duties.

It is also important to recognize that it is the existence of one or more of these Section 801 powers and duties that can give rise to a prohibited interest in a contract. Therefore, a municipal officer or employee cannot avoid a prohibited interest in a contract by refraining to exercise his or her powers and duties in a particular instance.

Let’s hear what Attorney Mark Stevens has to say about the powers and duties that can give rise to a prohibited interest in a contract.

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[Text for Video - What Powers and Duties Give Rise to a Prohibited Interest?]

  Next: Statutory Exceptions