Are volunteers "public officials"?

Some volunteers are public officials. By some estimates, there are up to 50,000 volunteer public officials in the State of Oregon. A volunteer is a "public official" if they meet one of these 3 criteria:

  1. The volunteer is elected or appointed to a governing body of a public body.
  2. The volunteer is appointed or selected for a position with a governing body or a government agency with responsibilities that include deciding or voting on matters that could have a pecuniary impact on the governing body, agency or other persons.
  3. The volunteer position includes all of the following:
    1. Responsible for specific duties.
    2. The duties are performed at a scheduled time and designated place.
    3. Volunteer is provided with the use of the public agency's resources and equipment.
    4. The duties performed would have a pecuniary impact on any person, business or organization served by the public agency.

For purposes of Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) Chapter 244, volunteers are not public officials if they perform such tasks as picking up litter on public lands, participating in a scheduled community cleanup of buildings or grounds, participating in locating and eradicating invasive plants from public lands and other such occasional or seasonal events.

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1. Who are public officials?
2. Are volunteers "public officials"?
3. What are the provisions of law that prohibit a public official from using the position or office held for financial gain?
4. What are some examples of actions a public official might do, that would be a violation of the prohibited use of office provision in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 244.040(1)?
5. Are there any financial benefits a public official is allowed to receive, even if those benefits are only available because of the official position the person holds?
6. Do the Oregon Government Ethics laws prevent 2 people who are related from being employed by the same public body, or serving the same public body?
7. Do the OR Ethics laws prohibit a public official from working for a private employer or owning a private business while being employed by a public body/while holding a position with a public body?
8. What is a "conflict of interest" as defined in Oregon Government Ethics law?
9. What are the 2 types of conflict of interest?
10. Does Oregon Government Ethics law limit the gifts that public officials may receive?
11. Do the Oregon Government Ethics laws cover all bad behaviors that a public official might do?