The Commonwealth's State and Local Governments Conflict of Interests Act requires certain officers and employees of the commonwealth to file a Statement of Economic Interests. The Conflict of Interests Act is codified in Title §2.2-3100 of the Code of Virginia.
This statute applies to all public employees. Generally, the statute is designed to ensure that public officials are not unduly influenced in the course of their work for the Commonwealth by private parties or companies. Violations of the Conflict of Interests Act may be investigated and prosecuted by the Commonwealth’s Attorney in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred.
The Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council has assumed responsibilities concerning the State and Local Conflict of Interests Act from the governor’s office. In an effort to expedite and simplify the disclosure process, the council’s office has implemented an electronic filing system and reduced the filing period from six weeks to two weeks.
In past years, employees were required to file their Statement of Economic Interests twice a year, during January and June. The council has switched this requirement to one filing period that will occur every January.
All disclosures must be submitted to the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council through the online system. Disclosures submitted on paper are no longer accepted.
Am I required to file?
Employees who are required submit a Statement of Economic Interests will be notified by the Department of Human Resources prior to each filing period. Even if the employee has nothing to report, they must file their disclosure.
How to file
The Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council will establish an online account for employees who need access to the Conflict of Interest Disclosure System. On Jan. 1 employees who are required to submit a disclosure should receive a system generated email that contains a link to access their account and instructions.
Notices sent by the Conflict of Interest Disclosure System should contain “Conflict of Interest” in the subject line. Employees who do not receive an email should check their spam folder.
A user guide is available online to assist with filing.
When to file
The Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council has established a filing period of Jan. 1-Feb. 1. All Statements of Economic Interests must be filed during this period. Employees who do not complete their filing electronically by Feb. 1 will be fined $250.
State and Local Conflict of Interests Act Orientation Course
Employees who are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests must also complete the State and Local Conflict of Interests Act orientation course. Completion of this training is valid for two years.
Employees who are required to complete the orientation course in addition to filing their disclosure will be notified each filing period. The course must be completed by Feb. 1.