Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Code of Ethics


2-2-102. Definitions. As used in this part, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Business" includes a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, trust or foundation, or any other individual or organization carrying on a business, whether or not operated for profit.

(2) "Compensation" means any money or economic benefit conferred on or received by any person in return for services rendered or to be rendered by the person or another.

(3) (a) "Gift of substantial value" means a gift with a value of $100 or more for an individual.

(b) The term does not include:

(i) a gift that is not used and that, within 30 days after receipt, is returned to the donor or delivered to a charitable organization or the state and that is not claimed as a charitable contribution for federal income tax purposes;

(ii) food and beverages consumed on the occasion when participation in a charitable, civic, or community event bears a relationship to the public officer's or public employee's office or employment or when the officer or employee is in attendance in an official capacity;

(iii) educational material directly related to official governmental duties;

(iv) an award publicly presented in recognition of public service; or

(v) educational activity that:

(A) does not place or appear to place the recipient under obligation;

(B) clearly serves the public good; and

(C) is not lavish or extravagant.

(4) "Judicial officer" includes all judicial officers, justices, district court judges, and judges of the judicial branch of state government.

(5) (a) "Local government" means a county, a consolidated government, an incorporated city or town, a school district, or a special district.

(b) The term does not include a district court or an entity under the control of the judicial branch of state government.

(6) "Official act" or "official action" means a vote, decision, recommendation, approval, disapproval, or other action, including inaction, that involves the use of discretionary authority.

(7) "Private interest" means an interest held by an individual that is:

(a) an ownership interest in a business;

(b) a creditor interest in an insolvent business;

(c) an employment or prospective employment for which negotiations have begun;

(d) an ownership interest in real property;

(e) a loan or other debtor interest; or

(f) a directorship or officership in a business.

(8) "Public employee" means:

(a) any temporary or permanent employee of the state, including an employee of the judicial branch;

(b) any temporary or permanent employee of a local government;

(c) a member of a quasi-judicial board or commission or of a board, commission, or committee with rulemaking authority; and

(d) a person under contract to the state.

(9) "Public information" has the meaning provided in 2-6-1002.

(10) (a) "Public officer" includes any state officer and any elected officer of a local government.

(b) For the purposes of 67-11-104, the term also includes a commissioner of an airport authority.

(11) "Special district" means a unit of local government, authorized by law to perform a single function or a limited number of functions. The term includes but is not limited to conservation districts, water districts, weed management districts, irrigation districts, fire districts, community college districts, hospital districts, sewer districts, and transportation districts. The term also includes any district or other entity formed by interlocal agreement.

(12) (a) "State agency" includes:

(i) the state;

(ii) the legislature and its committees;

(iii) all executive departments, boards, commissions, committees, bureaus, and offices;

(iv) the university system; and

(v) all independent commissions and other establishments of the state government.

(b) The term does not include the judicial branch.

(13) "State letterhead" means an electronic or written document that contains the great seal of the state provided for in 1-1-501 or purports to be a document from the state, a state agency, or a local government.

(14) "State officer" includes all elected officers and directors of the executive branch of state government as defined in 2-15-102 and all judicial officers, justices, district court judges, and judges of the judicial branch of state government.

History: En. 59-1702 by Sec. 2, Ch. 569, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 59-1702; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 18, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 562, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 122, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 77, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 156, L. 2019; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 440, L. 2023; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 559, L. 2023.