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Advisory Opinion No. 148

The question is whether there would be any conflict of interest for two City employees to lecture in an American territory as consultants to the local government.

The Ethics Commission [Commission] understands the facts to be as follows:

1. The two employees are employed by the City and County of Honolulu in the Department of Finance, Real Property Division.

2. Their duties include:

a. Acting as liaisons between the Real Property Assessment Division and the Department of Data Systems.

b. Advising on the development and maintenance of data files;

c. Assisting in appraising in cases under tax appeal or where appraisals are complex, difficult or present unusual problems;

d. Conducting training programs;

e. Drafting necessary rules, regulations and technical memoranda; and

f. Preparing recommendations and comments on the effect of bills before the City Council.

3. The local government of the territory requested assistance from the Real Property Assessment Division in training personnel there in the valuation of property.

4. The local government requested that this training be completed before the end of (month) in order to meet their deadline requirements.

5. It was not possible to arrange to have classes in Honolulu before the end of (month). Thus, a council, which was acting as coordinator of this training effort, proposed that personnel from Honolulu be sent to the territory to conduct the classes.

6. An agreement was reached between the two employees and the territory in which they agreed to provide training services and the territory agreed to compensate them for these services.

7. The two employees arranged to take vacation time from their City employment in order to go to the territory and conduct training.

Under the facts as presented to the Commission, it finds that there would be no conflict of interest for the two employees to lecture in the territory as consultants to the local government.

Dated: May 21, 1985

Chair, Ethics Commission

Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 12, 2003