Compliance with Ethics Reform Law and Open Meeting Law

Appointed members of state boards, commissions and municipal committees are considered “special state employees” and must comply with the Ethics Reform Law and the Open Meeting Law.  Municipal employees must comply with these laws as well.  Below are the links and requirements for the Ethics Summary (which needs to occur yearly), Ethics online training/test (which needs to occur every 2 years) and the Certificate of Receipt of the Open Meeting Law (once). 

Ethics Reform Law

Yearly Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Summary
On an annual basis, all municipal employees, Commission delegates and alternates, and Committee members must be provided with a summary of the Conflict of Interest Law.  Every municipal employee or special state employee is required to sign a written acknowledgment that they have been provided with the summary.  Newly hired municipal employees, must be provided with the summary within 30 days of the date on which they commence employment.  They must also return a signed acknowledgement.

Link to Educational Materials and on-line training:
http://www.mass.gov/ethics/education-and-training-resources/education-training-guidelines.html Go to Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law for Municipal Employees.  At the bottom of the page is the Acknowledgement form to be signed and returned to BRPC.  Only the last page is needed.

Signed acknowledgement MUST be sent to: 

COMPLIANCE at BRPC
1 Fenn St. Suite 201
Pittsfield, MA  01201
or
faxed to 413-442-1523

Ethics Test - Every 2 years
Every 2 years, all current state, county and municipal employees must complete online training related to the Ethics Reform Law.  New public employees must complete this training within 30 days of beginning public service, and every 2 years thereafter.  This training is designed primarily for state employees.  County and municipal employees should also use this training until it is revised with one tailored to them.  Upon completing the program, employees should print out the completion certificate and keep a copy for themselves.  Employees will be required to provide a copy of the completed certificate to the Town or City Clerk (municipal employees), their employing agency (appointed state and county employees), or to the Ethics Commission (elected state and county employees).  Completing the single program will be considered by the Commission as meeting the Bill's training requirements until a second program is added.  PLEASE NOTE: When multiple users attempt to complete the current training program using the same computer they may experience a problem accessing the beginning of the program.  The user will need to open their internet browser, click on "Tools", then "Internet Options", select "Delete Cookies", and then click "OK".  The user will be able to click back on the Online Training module on the Commission's website and start at the beginning.

Link to the online training/test for Municipal Employees:
http://www.mass.gov/ethics/conflict-of-interest-law-online-training-programs.html


Printed CERTIFICATE of online training MUST be sent to:

COMPLIANCE at BRPC
1 Fenn St. Suite 201
Pittsfield, MA  01201
or
faxed to 413-442-1523

Open Meeting Law

The Attorney General’s Office has launched an Open Meeting Law website. http://www.mass.gov/ago/government-resources/open-meeting-law/

In addition to providing information about the law, the new site allows users to search recent AG decisions by title or by keyword. http://www.oml.ago.state.ma.us/

Open Meeting Law - Complete Certificate of Receipt
Within 2 weeks of qualification for office, all persons serving on a public body shall certify, on a form prescribed by the Attorney General, the receipt of a copy of the Open Meeting Law, regulations promulgated pursuant to section 25 and a copy of the educational materials prepared by the Attorney General explaining the Open Meeting Law and its application pursuant to section 19.  Unless otherwise directed or approved by the Attorney General, the appointing authority, city or town clerk or the executive director or other appropriate administrator of a state or regional body, or their designees, shall obtain such certification from each person upon entering service and shall retain it subject to the applicable records retention schedule where the body maintains its official records.  The certification shall be evidence that the member of a public body has read and understands the requirements of the Open Meeting Law and the consequences of violating it. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the certificate to be completed and returned to BRPC.
http://www.mass.gov/ago/government-resources/open-meeting-law/attorney-generals-open-meeting-law-guide.html

COMPLETED Certificate of Receipt of Open Meeting Law Materials MUST be sent to: 

COMPLIANCE at BRPC
1 Fenn St. Suite 201
Pittsfield, MA  01201
or
faxed to 413-442-1523

Please contact szaleski@berskhireplanning.org if you have questions about compliance with these laws.


Delegates and Alternates Yearly Authorization for Executive Committee to Act on Behalf of the Commission
The bylaws for BRPC stipulate that the Delegates (or in the absence of a delegate, the Alternate) must vote annually whether to authorize the Executive Committee to act on the Commission's behalf.  Such authorization requires approval by a two-thirds ballot vote of the delegates (22 affirmative votes must be received).

Link to:
Executive Committee Authorization memo/ballot FY2016

COMPLETED Signed ballot MUST be sent to: 

COMPLIANCE at BRPC
1 Fenn St. Suite 201
Pittsfield, MA  01201
or
faxed to 413-442-1523