1. Whether a County employee must disclose, on his Statement of Financial Interests, receipt of airline tickets, lodging, and travel advances for per diem expenses he receives for participating as a faculty member in a training program from an organization which is a component of the federal government?
2. Whether the Ethics Code requires that the County employee use vacation time for time spent at the training seminar?
1. No. The county employee is not required to disclose on his Statement of Financial Interests the receipt of airline tickets, lodging, and travel advances for per diem expenses he receives for participating as a faculty member in a training program from an organization which is a component of the federal government.
2. No. The Ethics Code does not address use by County officials or employees of County property or time. It therefore does not require the County employee to use vacation time.
1. Disclosure is not necessary.
The County employee is an adjunct faculty member of an organization which is a component of the federal government. As such, he is occasionally requested to participate in courses that are presented throughout the country. He does not receive a salary for his participation, but is given a travel packet containing his airline ticket, paid lodging reservations, and a travel advance for per diem expenses. At these training sessions, the employee is afforded the opportunity to visit and explore other systems, similar to the County system, and to network with other individuals who have similar positions as the requesting party. The Ethics Code requires that certain payments, gifts and reimbursements be reported on County officials' and employees' Statement of Financial Interests.1 Under Section 2-175(b)(6) of the Ethics Code, for example, county employees and officials must disclose the name and address of the source of any income over $1,000 in the aggregate.2 Due to the contents and source of the packet, and the purpose of the training, however, the receipt of the travel packet does not constitute "income". Rather, Section 2-1 75(b)(8), which requires the disclosure of any payment for, or reimbursement of, actual expense for transportation, exceeding $200, or lodging or hospitality, exceeding $100, received in connection with county office or employment, is applicable. However, in the present instance, since Section 2-1 75(b)(8) states such disclosure does not apply to "expenses reimbursed by a governmental body", there is no need for the requesting party to report the receipt of the travel packet.
2. Ethics Code does not reqiure use of vacation time.
The Ethics Code does not address use by County officials and employees of county property or time. Advisory Opinion No. 94-03 (April 28, 1994)(holding Ethics Code does not require County employee to use vacation time to participate in a seminar regarding legal process which may be initiated before a County agency). Accordingly, the issue of whether vacation time must be used is an issue outside the jurisdiction of the Ethics Code and a matter left to applicable departmental, personnel, and/or internal rules.
BY AND FOR THE NEW CASTLE COUNTY ETHICS COMMISSION ON JULY 21, 1998.
David J.J. Facciolo, Chairperson
1 Section2-175. Form of statement of financial interests.
2 In Section 2-172 of the Ethics Code, "income " is defined as "any money, thing of value or other pecuniary benefit received or to be received in return for, or as reimbursement for, services rendered or to be rendered . . ."