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Agency Jurisdiction

Agency Jurisdiction

During the Watergate scandal of the early seventies, Americans were confronted with deceit and misuse of power by elected officials.  Citizens across the nation began calling for accountability from their governments.  In response, Oregon was one of the first states to create laws designed to open government to greater public scrutiny.
In 1974, more than 70 percent of the voters approved a statewide ballot measure to create the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.  The ballot measure also established a set of laws (ORS Chapter 244) requiring financial disclosure by certain officials and creating a process to deal with the inevitable question of conflicts of interest.  The drafters of the original laws recognized that "conflicts of interest" are, indeed, inevitable in any government that relies on citizen lawmakers.
Did you know: The Oregon Legislature, in 1993, changed the agency's name to Government Standards and Practices Commission (GSPC), then during the legislative session of 2007 changed the agency's name back to Oregon Government Ethics Commission (OGEC). 


The following sections provide a brief overview of the three areas of the Commission's jurisdiction.
Oregon Government Ethics law ORS Chapter 244
  • Prohibits use of public office or position for financial gain
  • Requires public disclosure of financial conflicts of interest
  • Requires designated elected and appointed officials to file annual disclosures of sources of economic interest
  • Limits gifts that an official may receive per calendar year       
  • Applies to all elected and appointed officials, employees and volunteers at all levels of state and local government in all three branches
Lobby Regulation law ORS 171.725 to 171.785
  • Requires lobbyists to register
  • Requires lobbyists and the entities they represent to file periodic expenditure reports
  • Specifies prohibited conduct, such as contingency lobbying
Executive Session provisions of Public Meetings law ORS 192.660 and ORS 192.685
  • Authorizes specific, limited reasons for which a public body may meet in a closed session
If you have questions about a situation that you believe might be within the jurisdiction of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, you may call Commission staff to discuss the matter prior to submitting a complaint.  The investigative staff will be able to offer you some guidance on how to proceed.  Please call 503-378-5105.

To file a complaint, please click on the How to File a Complaint link.

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