Every 2 years, all state, county and municipal employees must complete a conflict of interest law online training program. Newly elected or appointed public employees must complete this training within 30 days of beginning public service, and every 2 years thereafter.
In addition, every year all state, county and municipal employees must be provided with the summary of the conflict of interest law. Newly elected or appointed public employees should be provided with the summary within 30 days of election or appointment, and on an annual basis thereafter. All public employees are required to sign a written acknowledgment that they have been provided with the summary.
The Massachusetts Ethics Commission states that public employees may not accept gifts and gratuities valued at $50 or more given to influence their official actions or because of their official position. Accepting a gift intended to reward past official action or to bring about future official action is illegal, as is giving such gifts. Accepting a gift given to you because of the public position you hold is also illegal. Meals, entertainment, event tickets, golf, gift baskets, and payment of travel expenses can all be illegal gifts if given in connection with official action or position, as can anything worth $50 or more. A number of smaller gifts together worth $50 or more may also violate these sections.(See Massachusetts General Laws, Section 268A, Section 3).
Somerset Public Schools/Somerset Berkley Regional School District Gift Disclosure Form: Gift Disclosure Form
SCHOOL TRIPS WHERE TEACHER-CHAPERONE EXPENSES ARE PAID:
Expenses paid by your employing district: When a teacher-chaperone's travel expenses will be paid for by their employing district (or by the teacher themselves), no conflict of interest issues are raised.
Travel Expenses Teachers May Accept (Disclosures Required):
Expenses paid by parents or travel company: When a teacher-chaperone's expenses will be paid by anyone other that the employing district - such as a travel company or parents - issues arise under Sections 6 or 19 and 23(b)(2) of the conflict of interest law. A teacher may receive payment of travel expenses as a chaperone for school-sponsored trips provided that they fill out two separate disclosure forms (one before they start planning the trip and a second one before they travel), gives them to their appointing authority and obtains prior written approval.
A teacher planning or participating in a school trip is prohibited under Sections 3 and 17 of the conflict of interest law from accepting a stipend or travel rewards including points valued at $50 or more from a travel company in relation to the school trip.