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Indiana Office of Inspector General

IG > Ethics Code > Conflicts of Interests: Decisions and Voting Conflicts of Interests: Decisions and Voting

Summary of the Rule

Don’t make decisions at work which might financially benefit you.

Examples of the Rule

  • You are a member of the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. You may not vote on the license sought by the restaurant owned by your husband since a member of your immediate family has a financial interest in the outcome of the matter.
  • You are a Department of Environmental Management employee who oversees the issuing of permits to wetland improvement projects. You may not participate in any decision or vote on a permit applied for by a firm with whom you have been in discussions regarding employment since you are negotiating employment with that firm.
  • You are a project manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) who has been assigned to hire subcontractors to help with construction on the interstate. You may still participate in the decision regarding this hire even though your wife’s step-uncle, with whom you have no social relationship, owns one of the companies being considered since this relationship is not encompassed by the Conflict of Interests rule.
  • You are on a board that awards contracts to utility companies to do business with the state. Your wife is the CEO of a utility company. You may not participate in a decision or vote regarding that utility company.
  • You are the foreman of a construction crew for INDOT. You own a mechanic’s garage. You may not take INDOT machinery from the jobsite to your garage for repair and charge INDOT your regular mechanic’s fees.

Past Advisory Opinions on the Rule

The Rule: 42 IAC 1-5-6 Conflicts of Interest; Decisions and Voting

Decision and voting restrictions are set forth in IC 4-2-6-9.

  1. A state officer, an employee, or a special state appointee may not participate in any decision or vote if the state officer, employee, or special state appointee has knowledge that any of the following has a financial interest in the outcome of the matter:
    1. The state officer, employee, or special state appointee.
    2. A member of the immediate family of the state officer, employee, or special state appointee.
    3. A business organization in which the state officer, employee, or special state appointee is serving as an officer, a director, a trustee, a partner, or an employee.
    4. Any person or organization with whom the state officer, employee, or special state appointee is negotiating or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment.
  2. A state officer, an employee, or a special state appointee who identifies a potential conflict of interest shall notify the person's appointing authority and seek an advisory opinion from the commission by filing a written description detailing the nature and circumstances of the particular matter and making full disclosure of any related financial interest in the matter. The commission shall:
    1. with the approval of the appointing authority, assign the particular matter to another person and implement all necessary procedures to screen the state officer, employee, or special state appointee seeking an advisory opinion from involvement in the matter; or
    2. make a written determination that the interest is not so substantial that the commission considers it likely to affect the integrity of the services that the state expects from the state officer, employee, or special state appointee.
  3. A written determination under subsection (b)(2) constitutes conclusive proof that it is not a violation for the state officer, employee, or special state appointee who sought an advisory opinion under this section to participate in the particular matter. A written determination under subsection (b)(2) shall be filed with the appointing authority.