Ethics Law Compliance 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 also comply with these laws, and BRPC staff are in this category. BRPC must maintain these documents for the public record for six years. Below are the links and requirements for the following:
  • Ethics/Conflict of Interest online training and certificate (every two years)
  • Ethics Summary Acknowledgement (annually)
  • Certificate of Receipt of the Open Meeting Law (once)
Ethics/Conflict of Interest Training and Summary Acknowledgement: Every two 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 starting public service and every two years after that. BRPC employees, Commission delegates, alternates, and committee members are municipal employees under the law. Therefore, they must receive and acknowledge receipt of a summary of the Conflict of Interest Law annually. Newly hired municipal employees must be given a summary and acknowledge receipt within 30 days of hire. As of January 2023, the online ethics/conflict of interest training and the ethics summary acknowledgment may be completed and tracked through the following website: https://massethicstraining.skillburst.com/ The website aids compliance by sending automated reminders to renew your Conflict of Interest certificate every two years. Please register for the website (BRPC employees, use your BRPC email). You will receive a link to set up a password. Commission and committee members: You will register under the city or town you represent. Please send your completed documents to the Office Administrator (see “Your Certificates” in the upper right corner of the website.) Another option is to forward the email you receive from the State Ethics Commission with your course certificate. You will not receive an email with the Ethics Law Summary Acknowledgement. This requirement may be fulfilled by responding to the annual email from BRPC (sent each July) acknowledging receipt of a copy of the law. BRPC employees: Send an email to Office Administrator when you have completed the course (1 hour) and read the summary (about 10 minutes), as the documentation must go into your personnel folder. The Office Administrator can pull the documents from BRPC’s mass.gov account. Open Meeting Law and Certificate of Receipt The Attorney General’s Office Open Meeting Law website provides information about this law and allows users to search for recent AG decisions by title or keyword. Within two weeks of a member’s election or appointment or the taking of the oath of office, whichever occurs later, all members of public bodies must review the Open Meeting Law Guide and certify that they understand the requirements of the law and the consequences of violating it. This certification is not tracked through the Attorney General’s website. You must submit the Certificate of Receipt of Open Meeting Law Materials to the BRPC Office Administrator. This is a one-time requirement. Public body members should complete and submit the Certificate at the earliest opportunity to comply with the law. A public body member must sign a new Certificate upon reelection or reappointment to the public body but need not sign a Certificate when joining a subcommittee. Please contact the BRPC Office Administrator if you have questions about compliance with these laws. Documents may be sent via: officeassistant@berkshireplanning.org or Fax: 413-442-1523 or Compliance at BRPC 1 Fenn St. Suite 201 Pittsfield, MA 01201