Budget Year / Version:

Program Description

  Ethics Program Compliance

Financial Disclosure: The Public Ethics Law requires filing of financial disclosure reports by certain County employees. The Ethics Commission administers the electronic filing system for reporting and coordinates with the Office of Human Resources and all County agencies regarding the status of filers. It resolves all anomalous circumstances and questions from filers that routinely arise associated with the filing of financial disclosure reports and the system designed for that purpose.

Outside Employment: The Public Ethics Law requires that County employees obtain approval from the Ethics Commission prior to engaging in any employment other than County employment. The Ethics Commission administers an online process pursuant to which requests are made and reviewed by the employee's agency. The Ethics Commission staff prepares all requests for consideration by the Ethics Commission, including obtaining additional information from requestors and County agencies and conducting preliminary legal analysis of requests. The Ethics Commission approves requests, as appropriate, setting conditions on approval as necessary to ensure compliance with ethics requirements, and staff notifies requestors by letter of the disposition of requests. The Ethics Commission publishes and updates approved outside employment information required to be made public by the Public Ethics Law.

Lobbying: The Public Ethics Law requires certain persons who spend or receive over $500 to communicate with County officials and employees to register as lobbyists and to file semi-annual activity reports with the Ethics Commission. Annual registration fees are required and are paid to the Ethics Commission and processed and deposited in the General Fund. The Ethics Commission publishes and updates information required to be made public by the Public Ethics Law.

Complaints, Investigations, and Hearings: Pursuant to the Public Ethics Laws, the Ethics Commission receives complaints and, as appropriate, conducts investigations, and/or hearings; makes findings,; and imposes sanctions and penalties if warranted.

Advisory Opinions, Waivers, and Advice: In accordance with the Public Ethics Law, the Ethics Commission answers inquiries on the application of the Public Ethics Law, publishes opinions, and grants waivers of Ethics Law requirements, as appropriate.

Education: The Ethics Commission conducts public education and other information programs regarding the Public Ethics Law.

Legislative and Regulatory: The Ethics Commission recommends and prepares new ethics legislation and regulations.

Coordination and Outreach: The Staff of the Ethics Commission coordinates with the Office of the County Attorney and the Office of the Inspector General as necessary on legal and investigative matters. The staff also serves as the principal public resource on the County's Ethics Laws, including managing a website that reflects Ethics Commission programs, activities, and publications such as annual reports, approvals of outside employment requests, lobbying data, and waivers and opinions.

Administration: The staff of the Ethics Commission is responsible for ensuring that Ethics Commission meetings are conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act and other applicable law, and the Ethics Commission members are informed and advised as to all material matters under their jurisdiction, Ethics Commission staff is also responsible for budget, procurement, human resources, and resource management for the operation of the office in accordance with Montgomery County policies.

Program Contacts

Contact Robert Cobb, Director of the Ethics Commission at 240.777.6674 or Phil Weeda of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2780 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.


Program Performance Measures

Program Performance MeasuresActual FY16Actual FY17Estimated FY18Target FY19Target FY20
Number of financial disclosure statements required (calendar year)1,7021,7231,7231,7231,723
Number of formal opinions, waivers and guidance (calendar year)2823232323
Number of lobbyists registered (calendar year)262266266266266
Number of lobbyist activity reports (calendar year)372375375375375
Number of outside employment requests processed (calendar year) 11,568897897897897
1  The number of outside employment requests, not including sworn police employment requests, spiked in 2016 due to the one-time impact of transitioning to the online outside employment system.

Program Budget Changes

FY19 Approved ChangesExpendituresFTEs
FY18 Approved4296073.00
Multi-program adjustments, including negotiated compensation changes, employee benefit changes, changes due to staff turnover, reorganizations, and other budget changes affecting multiple programs.336760.00
FY19 Approved4632833.00