NYS Commission on Ethics & Lobbying in Government (COELIG)


The Commission was created to oversee and regulate lobbying in New York. It has broad authority over State-wide elected officials, candidates for those offices, executive branch officers and employees, members of the Legislature and legislative branch employees and candidates, as well as certain political party chairs, and registered lobbyists and their clients. The Commission provides information, education, and advice regarding current ethics and lobbying laws and promotes compliance through audits, investigations and enforcement proceedings.


Certain State officers and employees, elected State officials, and legislative employees, among others, are required to file annual Financial Disclosure Statements which are publicly available. This requirement applies to policymakers as determined by each individual agency and salary threshold filers who earn in excess of CSEA salary grade 24. The Commission administers the Financial Disclosure Statement filing program, through which it receives approximately 30,000 filings annually, which are subject to random review by the Commission.


Online Ethics Orientation (OEO)


The Online Ethics Orientation (OEO) is the first ethics class required for new FDS filers.  This online ethics training video provides a brief overview of the following subject areas:

  • Overview: General information about the New York State Commission on Ethics & Lobbying in Government (COELIG).
  • Chapter 1:  Public Officers Law § 73-a: Familiarize yourself with the requirements for filing an annual Financial Disclosure Statement and mandated ethics training. 
  • Chapter 2:  Public Officers Law § 74: Understand the general ethical standards of conduct that apply to all State Officers and Employees.
  • Chapter 3:  Public Officers Law § 73: Topics include restrictions and procedures related to outside employment and professional activities, political activities, nepotism, gifts, honoraria, travel, and job opportunities after separation from State service. 
  • Chapter 4:  Civil Service Law § 107:  Also known as the "Little Hatch Act," this law places restrictions on certain political activities in the workplace.
  • The Online Ethics Orientation video training will take approximately 40 minutes to complete.
  • COMPLETION AND COMPLIANCE:  After viewing the complete training video, please follow the instructions given in the training video to notify your Ethics Coordinator, Rafael Torres, at rtorres@hostos.cuny.edu), in order to receive credit for completing this course.

Comprehensive Ethics Training Course (CETC)

The CETC is an ethics training mandated for New York State officers and employees who file an annual Financial Disclosure Statement ("FDS"). The CETC is a live, two-hour, instructor-led training that covers the Public Officers Law and other related ethics laws and regulations.

The College Ethics Office will continue to deliver the CETC to FDS filers at regular intervals, for FDS Filers to comply with the statutory ethics training deadlines. Please contact our Ethics Coordinator (Rafael Torres at rtorres@hostos.cuny.edu) for training dates.

We will present live CETC sessions via Zoom until further notice. You must have a computer or iPad connected to the Internet, in order to participate in this format. Continuing Legal Education Credits (“CLE”) for attorneys are not available for sessions hosted remotely.

Ethics Seminar – Refresher Course (ES)

The Ethics Seminar (ES) is an ongoing training requirement for FDS filers who have already successfully completed the CETC and are required to continue their mandatory ethics training requirements.

Everyone who has taken the CETC is required by law to take an ethics refresher every three years thereafter. This means, for example, those FDS filers who first took the CETC in 2020 must take an ethics refresher in 2023. Both the CETC and the ES satisfy the refresher training requirement, although the ES is only available to those who have already taken the CETC.
To register for ethics courses, please send an email to the Ethics Coordinator at rtorres@hostos.cuny.edu.



An honorarium is any payment made in exchange for rendering a service or activity that is not part of your official duties.  Examples include: delivering a speech, writing or publishing an article, or participating in a public or private conference, convention, meeting, or similar event.

An honorarium may also include payment or reimbursement of expenses for travel, lodging, or meal(s) related to the service performed.

A request for approval of an honorarium must be submitted in writing to your agency's Ethics Officer or his or her designated approving authority before performing the service or activity.  Statewide elected officials and State agency heads (including civil department heads) must submit an honorarium approval request to JCOPE.

Who is covered under the honoraria rules?

A “covered person” includes:

  • statewide elected officials;
  • Officers and employees of New York State agencies (including departments, boards, bureaus, divisions, commissions, and councils) (*other than unpaid and per diem officers of those entities); and
  • Members, directors, and employees of New York State public authorities and public benefit corporations (*other than unpaid and per diem members and directors of those entities).

¬  Unpaid and per diem officers are excluded from Public Officers Law § 73; however, they are still bound by the conflict of interest rules found in Public Officers Law § 74.



State officers and employees generally are prohibited from soliciting or accepting gifts of more than “nominal value” from individuals and entities that do business with the State. There are several exceptions to this prohibition. The rules on whether the acceptance of a gift is permissible are contained in the regulation 19 NYCRR Part 933.

“Nominal value” is not specifically defined. JCOPE will generally consider something that has a fair market value of $15 or less to be of nominal value.