Gift Made with Intent to Influence
§ 54-05.1-06. Unlawful Means to Influence Legislative Assembly
In addition to the violation of any other provision of this chapter, it is unlawful for any lobbyist or for any other person:
- To directly or indirectly give or agree to give any money, property, or valuable thing, or any security therefor, to any person for that person’s service or the service of any other person in procuring the passage or defeat of any measure before the legislative assembly or either house thereof, or before any committee thereof, upon the contingency or condition that any measure will be passed or defeated.
- To directly or indirectly receive or agree to receive any such money, property, thing of value, or security for such service, upon any such contingency or condition, as set forth in the preceding subsection.
- To attempt to influence any member of the legislative assembly without first making known to such member the real and true interest the person has in such measure, either personally or as agent or attorney.
N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 54-05.1-06.
Extra Compensation for Official Duties
No current state statute or regulation falls under the category of “Extra Compensation for Official Duties.”
Gift Regardless of Giver Status
No current state statute or regulation falls under the category of “Gift Regardless of Giver’s Status.”
Gift from Lobbyist or Regulated Entity
- A lobbyist may not knowingly give, offer, solicit, initiate, or facilitate a gift to a public official. A public official may not knowingly accept a gift from a lobbyist. These prohibitions do not apply if the lobbyist is an immediate family member of the public official. “Gift,” as used in this subsection, means any item, service, or thing of value not given in exchange for fair market consideration, including gifts of travel or recreation. However, “gift” does not mean any purely informational material, campaign contribution, or, in order to advance opportunities for North Dakota residents to meet with public officials in educational and social settings inside the state, any item, service, or thing of value given under conditions that do not raise ethical concerns, as determined by rules adopted by the ethics commission. Such rules must be adopted within two years after the effective date of this article.
N.D. Const. Art. XIV, § 2 (1).
§ 54-05.1-05. Invitations and Gifts to Legislators
- When any lobbyist invites a legislator to attend a function sponsored in whole or in part by the lobbyist or the principal, the lobbyist shall, upon the request of the legislator, supply the legislator with the true or estimated cost of the gratuity and allow the legislator to attend the function and pay the legislator’s own share of the expenses.
- When any lobbyist offers a gift of a non-information-bearing nature to a legislator, the lobbyist shall, upon the request of the legislator, supply the legislator with the true or estimated cost of the gratuity and allow the legislator to pay the cost of and receive the gift.
N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 54-05.1-05.
Chapter 115-03-01. Gifts Between Lobbyists and Public Officials
North Dakota Administrative Code for Regulations for Lobbyists and Gift Giving
115-03-01-02. Gift Prohibitions and Penalties.
- A lobbyist may not knowingly give, offer, solicit, initiate, or facilitate a gift to a public official in conjunction with any effort by the lobbyist to lobby the public official. A public official may not knowingly accept a gift from a lobbyist offered in conjunction with the lobbyist efforts to lobby the public official.
- If a prohibited gift is received by a public official the gift will not be considered a violation if:
- The gift is not used and is returned within ten days after receipt of the gift or ten days after learning that the gift is prohibited; or
- The public official pays market value for the gift within ten days after receipt of the gift or ten days after learning that the gift is prohibited.
- The commission shall assess a civil penalty upon any individual who violates this section. If the gift has a value of five hundred dollars or more, the civil penalty may be up to two times the value of the gift. If the gift has a value of less than five hundred dollars, the civil penalty may be up to two times the value of the gift and may be up to one thousand dollars.
N.D. Admin. Code 115-03-01-02.
115-03-01-03. Exceptions to gift prohibitions.
This rule does not preclude or apply to the following:
- A gift by a lobbyist who is a member of the public official’s immediate family.
- Any item given where the public official is paying fair market value for the item.
- Purely informational material.
- A campaign contribution that is given in accordance with all applicable state laws, rules, and regulations governing campaign contributions.
- Reimbursement or payment for transportation, lodging costs, and meal costs not to exceed rates as authorized under North Dakota century code section 44-08-04 and office of management and budget Fiscal Policy #505 to facilitate attendance to a public or private educational and social event within the state, if the public official meaningfully participates in the event as a speaker or panel participant, presenter, or ceremonial event appropriate to the position, or if attendance is appropriate to the performance of official duties.
- Gifts or other things of value shared as a cultural or social norm as part of a public or private social and educational event.
- Food and beverage served for immediate consumption at any private or public social and educational event.
- Food or beverage with a value of ten dollars or less, excluding gratuity, purchased for a public official in conjunction with an informal social and educational event. The purchased food and beverage must be consumed during the event. A state resident must be present but is not required to be the purchaser of the food or beverage.
N.D. Admin. Code 115-03-01-03.
115-03-01-04. Public or private event notice.
- Prior to a public or private social and educational event, the sponsor shall file notice with the ethics commission providing details regarding the planned event. Notice does not constitute approval of the event by the ethics commission. If the sponsor is concerned with compliance with North Dakota law and these rules, the sponsor may request an advisory opinion from the ethics commission.
- No specific format of notice is required; however, it should include the event date, place, sponsor, educational purpose, estimated attendance, and estimated cost per attendee.
N.D. Admin. Code 115-03-01-04.
- “Gift” means any item, service, or thing of value not given in exchange for fair market consideration, including gifts of travel or recreation.
N.D. Admin. Code 115-03-01-01.
Definitions and Exceptions
Please see above sections for statute specific definitions and exceptions.
North Dakota Ethics Commission – Frequently Asked Questions