1. Scope

   Washington State's Ethics in Public Service Act is a foundational legal document, located at Chapter 42.52 RCW. The Ethics Act is aimed at avoiding conflicts between the official duties of state employees and their individual financial and personal interests, as well as preventing the misuse of state resources. The Ethics Act is the basis for a variety of University policies.

The Ethics Act has specific provisions prohibiting state employees from engaging in activities that conflict with their official duties and from participating in state transactions from which they or their family members might personally benefit. All University employees and officials are subject to the Ethics Act. The Ethics Act is also supplemented by provisions in the Presidential Orders. (See Executive Order No. 32, " Employee Responsibilities and Employee Conflict of Interest".) 

2. Sources of Guidance and Support

  •  Ethics Board

The Ethics Act is complex and has been the subject of extensive clarifying regulations and interpretations. Explanatory and training information, including useful advisory opinions, can be found at the Ethics Board Website.

  • Internal Auditor

An important resource for understanding and applying the Ethics Act is the UW's Internal Auditor, who also serves as the University's Ethics Advisor.

  • Attorney General

The UW Division of the State Attorney General's Office provides University leadership with legal advice concerning the performance of their official duties. This advice can include compliance with state ethics laws.