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Ethical Standards for Public Officials

Gift Ban

The state is the only entity that can compensate members for their activities related to the board, commission or task force. Members may not accept gifts from any source other than the state in connection with their responsibilities.

"Gift" includes money, objects, tickets to events, meals, services, loans, forbearance or forgiveness of indebtedness, or a promise of future employment.

Use of Official Position

Members may not use or attempt to use their position as members to secure benefits, privileges, exemptions, or advantages for themselves, their family or an organization with which the member is associated that are different from those available to the general public. This includes use of membership to secure preference in access to tickets or special purchase offers.

Use of State Property and Resources. Members may only use state time, supplies, or state property and equipment for state business. Members must comply with the Statewide Policy on Appropriate Use of Electronic Communication and Technology (opens in new browser window) issued by the Department of Employee Relations available at:

Confidential Information

Members may not use or disclose private or confidential information received as part of their responsibilities on the board, commission or task force. Disclosure of information classified by law as private or confidential violates the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (see below).


Any member found to have engaged in illegal discrimination, sexual or other harassment may be subject to removal.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

If as a member an action or decision would substantially affect a member's financial interests or those of an associated business (unless the effect on the official is no greater than on other members of the official's business classification, profession, or occupation), the member must abstain, if possible, in a manner prescribed by the board from influence over the action or decision in question. Members should also abstain from any action or decision for which there may be even the perception of a conflict of interest or bias.

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