(Rules regarding advisory opinions can be viewed in Chapter 6 of the Rules for the Board of Ethics.)
What is an advisory opinion?
An advisory opinion is a public document that is an official opinion from the Louisiana Board of Ethics as to whether a proposed action is permissible under one of the bodies of law under its jurisdiction. (For example: A public servant wants to know whether his brother can enter into a contract with his agency.)
The Board of Ethics does not render advisory opinions as to the propriety of past actions or if sufficient information is not provided. The request for the advisory opinion and the advisory opinion are public documents.
Who may submit a request for an advisory opinion?
Any person who has a demonstrable and objective interest in the interpretation, construction, or application of any law within the jurisdiction of the Board of Ethics.
What must be included in a written request for an advisory opinion?
How do you submit a request for an advisory opinion?
- Name, address, and signature of the person requesting the advisory opinion. The advisory opinion rendered by the Board of Ethics will be mailed to the address provided.
- Information concerning the following:
- The requestor’s interest in the question presented to the Board of Ethics;
- The governmental agency involved;
- The transaction involved; and
- Sufficient facts to enable the Board of Ethics to understand and respond to the question posed.
- Telephone and/or email address of the person requesting the opinion in case additional information is needed prior to the meeting at which the request will be considered.
It may be in a letter-format addressed to the Louisiana Board of Ethics. The request may be submitted by:
What is the advisory opinion process?
- Mail – P. O. Box 4368, Baton Rouge, LA 70821;
- Fax – 225/381-7271;
- Upload – Send in a PDF file format through the Ethics File Upload website; or
- Hand-delivered – 617 North Third Street, 10th Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
- Once the request is received, it is assigned to a staff attorney and will be included on the general agenda for consideration by the Board of Ethics. Following is a link to Board of Ethics’ schedule of meetings: https://ethics.la.gov/BoardMeetings.aspx.
- The requestor will receive an acknowledgment letter, which will provide the docket number assigned to their request and the anticipated meeting date at which the Board of Ethics will consider the request. If the requestor has questions about their submission or wishes to submit additional information, they should reference the docket number assigned to the matter.
- The staff attorney will review and prepare a draft advisory opinion for consideration at the appropriate meeting of the Board of Ethics.
- If the requestor wishes to appear at the meeting, they should contact the staff attorney prior to the meeting.
- The Board of Ethics, at the public meeting, may render an advisory opinion, which will be mailed to the requestor within 10 days of the meeting at which the opinion was rendered.