Ethics in NYS Government

Ethics laws were enacted to prevent both actual and apparent conflicts of interest between official duties and private interests. 

Ethics Training is for everyone! All NYS officers and employees are required to attend ethics training every year. 

NYS Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG)

NYS Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG)

  • The Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 (PIRA) became effective on August 15, 2011. It established the Joint Commission of Public Ethics (JCOPE) which expanded the existing functions and jurisdiction of the former Commission on Public Integrity.
  • On April 9, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Ethics Commission Reform Act of 2022 (ECRA). ECRA repealed operative provisions of the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 and established the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG) to replace JCOPE. 
  • The jurisdiction of COELIG includes all SUNY employees. 
Agency Ethics Officers

Each agency designates an Ethics Officer to provide guidance to these individuals on compliance with the ethics laws. In addition, the Ethics Officer has the responsibility to ensure that both the agency and its personnel comply with the legal obligations related to the following subjects:

  1. Requirements to File an Annual Financial Disclosure Statement
  2. Mandatory Ethics Training for FDS Filers
  3. Approvals for Outside Activities
  4. Approvals for Honoraria
  5. Approvals for Official Activity Expense Payments
  6. Acceptance of Gifts (including Widely Attended Events)

Please contact the Geneseo Ethics Officer, Julie Briggs, with any questions. 

Julie Briggs
Office Phone: (585)245-5616


Public Officers Law Section 73

Public Officers Law Section 73 - Business or professional activities by state officers, state employees and party officers

Financial Disclosure

Financial Disclosure - Public Officers Law Section 73-A 

Q. What is a Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS)?
A. A "FDS" is a publicly available record containing financial and professional information about the filer and his or her spouse for a calendar year. 

Q. Who must file?
A. State officers and employees and other filers whose annual salary exceeds a certain threshold (currently CSEA SG-24 or $111,897), or who agency has designated him or her as a policy maker, as well as statewide elected officials, members of the Legislature, and certain political party chairs. 

Q. What is the purpose?
A. The purpose of the FDS is to provide transparency about the private interests and activities of public officials and their relatives which could, among other things, help identify potential conflicts of interest. 

Public Officers Law Section 74

Public Officers Law Section 74 - Code of Ethics

Civil Services Law 107

Civil Services Law 107 - Prohibition against certain political activities; improper influence



An honorarium is any payment made in exchange for rendering a service or activity that is not part of your official duties. Examples include delivering a speech, writing or publishing an article, or participating in a public or private conference, convention, meeting, or similar event.

An honorarium may also include payment or reimbursement of expenses for travel, lodging, or meal(s) related to the service performed.

A request for approval of an honorarium must be submitted in writing to your agency's Ethics Officer or his or her designated approving authority before performing the service or activity.  Statewide elected officials and State agency heads (including civil department heads) must submit an honorarium approval request to the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying.

Request Form

Honoraria Policy PDF

All faculty members of SUNY and CUNY (except SUNY community colleges) and State officers and employees with certain titles (research scientist; cancer research scientist; research physician; research psychiatrist; psychiatrist) are exempt from the Honorarium approval procedures (including the conditions for approval), provided that the service performed is within the subject matter of their official academic or research discipline.

Official Activity Expense Payment

Official Activity Expense Payment

An Official Activity Expense Payment is a payment or reimbursement for the cost of attendance, registration, travel, food, or lodging related to a person’s official activity. Official activity is a person’s attendance or service at a meeting, conference, seminar, convention, or professional program that is part of his or her official duties and benefits their State agency. Please use this form to request approval of Official Activity Expense Payment. 

Request Form

Activity Expense Policy PDF

Outside Activity (for policymakers only)

Within the University, policymakers generally are considered to be those employees at the level of Dean and above at the campuses and Associate vice chancellor and above in the system administration. All policymakers are prohibited from serving as an officer of a political party or political organization or as a member of a national committee of a political party. The regulations further require that salaried policymakers obtain the prior approval of their appointing authority (campus or system administration) and the State Ethics Commission before:

  • Holding other public office or engaging in other public employment for more than nominal compensation,
  • Engaging in any private employment, business or other activity (including not-for-profit) for more than the defined nominal compensation; and
  • Serving as director or officer of a for-profit corporation or institution, regardless of compensation.

Please use the applicable form to request approval for Outside Activity. 

Campus Request Form

COELIG Request Form (if over $5,000)

Outside Activity Policy PDF



State officers and employees generally are prohibited from soliciting or accepting gifts of more than “nominal value” from individuals and entities that do business with the State. There are several exceptions to this prohibition. The rules on whether the acceptance of a gift is permissible are contained in the regulation 19 NYCRR Part 933

Gifts - An overview on the gift restrictions for State officers and employees.

Ethics Tips

Writing a letter? Avoid using agency letterhead!

Check here before working or volunteering outside the office.

Read this before your agency contracts with a former employee.