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FYI 5: Position Statements


When a number of inquiries are sent to the IEC that center on a similar issue, the IEC has the option of issuing a Position Statement in response to the requests. For example, when Article XXIX was created one of the first questions asked by a number of people was whether or not a child of a public employee or official could accept a scholarship, since several people were concerned about whether a scholarship could be construed as a gift under Article XXIX. Rather than respond separately to multiple requests for Advisory Opinions (see FYI 6) the IEC may decide to issue a single position statement to answer several common questions for covered individuals.

The IEC does not necessarily require someone to file a request for an Advisory Opinion or Letter Ruling in order to issue a Position Statement. The Commission may, on its own, decide that a particular issue is important or broad enough in scope to issue a Position Statement as a more efficient way to address ethical questions that may arise under its jurisdiction.

Position Statements generally are broad outlines of the Commission’s interpretation of a question, and particular facts may change the outcome of the decision. If a public employee or official has any remaining questions regarding a Position Statement they are encouraged to contact IEC staff and perhaps seek a fact-specific  Advisory Opinion.