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FYI 2: Asking the IEC for Help

The goal of the IEC is to advance ethics in government. It is the hope of the Commission that elected officials, public employees, lobbyists, and members of the public who may have any question whether a particular government activity is ethical will contact the IEC with questions. The IEC  staff may give informal advice to help you understand prior opinions, request investigations or even assist with filing a formal complaint regarding potentially unethical behavior. It is the IEC’s job to provide guidance regarding ethical matters that fall under its jurisdiction as outlined in Article XXIX in the Colorado Constitution.

What kinds of issues can the IEC help with?

The IEC held its first meeting in 2007 and since then has issued a number of opinions. A common theme includes whether or not a government employee may accept something of value from someone else – a meal, tickets to an event, a trip, a scholarship, a gift or a prize. The IEC has issued opinions that affect every government employee under its jurisdiction. Other opinions guide a single employee in a very specific circumstance.

Many ethics questions may be answered informally by IEC staff.  Staff opinions are not binding on the Commission, however.

What ethics matters does the not IEC cover?

In general, the IEC does not have authority over campaign finance issues, most employer-employee disputes, differences in legal interpretations or criminal conduct. Typically these matters fall under the jurisdiction of other agencies. (see FYI 9).  If you are not sure whether or not your question is within the Commission’s jurisdiction, please call the staff and ask. In addition, the Commission only has jurisdiction over public employees, not over unethical conduct by a private business or organization.

Does the IEC provide ethics training?

Yes! The IEC will provide ethics training to any government agency under its jurisdiction, as well as to other groups that deal with public employees and officials. Training may take the form of a counseling session with an agency’s ethics officer, a meeting with a few employees or a general training for an entire staff (see FYI 8).

If you would like to schedule training from the IEC, please call the Assistant Director at 720.625.5697720.625.5694, or email