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Outreach, Training, and Educational Services

A core mission of the Commission on Public Integrity is to train and educate the 250,000 State employees in the Executive Branch of government, as well as the thousands of lobbyists and their clients subject to our jurisdiction.

In 2009, the Commission continued its education outreach services by staffing information tables at the concourse of the Empire State Plaza in Albany. Commission staff was visible to nearly 10,000 State employees as well as members of the lobbying community and the thousands of people who visit the facility each year. Increased attendance at association meetings, and seminars conducted by various municipalities also facilitated training and education goals while limiting costly expenditures.

Electronic Library of Materials and “Green” Training

In an effort to reduce waste, save energy and conserve resources, the Commission's Training and Educational Services Unit (TES) provides its instructional materials in electronic format. Whenever possible, training workshops will continue this commitment to go "green" by providing hard copy reference materials only when absolutely necessary. An entire page on the Commission's website is dedicated to providing an electronic library of training and reference materials.

In 2009, we distributed 4,105 electronic publications, including pamphlets, newsletters, and other course materials. In addition, we distributed another 7,655 bound copies of the Public Officers Law (POL) booklet that we had remaining in our reference material inventory. The Commission will no longer publish any bound copies of the Public Officers Law but will solely rely on electronic media versions.

Ethics in Government Training

Ethical behavior, transparency, and full disclosure of activities are the foundation behind the core principles highlighted in our training. The Commission directly conducted 190 training sessions for 5,898 employees in 2009. Training can be designed to address a wider audience, or customized to the individual agency, authority, or public benefit corporation.

The Commission also provided continuing legal education (CLE) credits to 789 individuals.

Lobbying and Procurement Training

The Commission conducted 26 training sessions representing 379 clients and lobbyists in 2009. These classroom style instructor-led trainings in combination with the Really Simple Summary (RSS), or RSS news feeds, posted on the Commission website attempt to continually keep our constituents updated and advised of Commission news and advisories.

Online and Alternative Training Media

The Commission offers all its instructor-led training in both standard teleconference and video-conference formats. We offer these sessions as a way of lowering travel costs, increasing staff efficiency, and making our educational materials as accessible as possible.

In January of 2009, the Commission implemented an interactive online "Ethics Overview" training designed to assist agencies unable to take advantage of all the other training opportunities we offer. An example might be a State facility that operates on 24/7 basis or one that has staff who work on an alternate work schedule. A total of 237 individuals took the online "Ethics Overview" course in 2009. We also offer an online "Lobbying Act Training & Education" (LATE) program that is specifically designed to educate the participant on common mistakes made by new filers to the Commission. In 2009, 79 individuals completed this online LATE course.

On February 2nd, the Commission launched its newest version of the Lobbying On-Line Filing System; since that time Training and Educational Services has created a detailed series of "Help on Demand" (HOD) online training modules, which are brief single topic training videos hosted on the Commission's website. These online training modules were not created to replace a traditional instructor-led seminar, but rather, to refine and reduce the number of routine individual contacts the Commission receives.

We receive numerous telephone calls and e-mails to our Help Desk, Reception, Counsel's Office and Training that could be answered by taking one of our training modules. A HOD module will never replace a personal contact; however, it can assist those users who need help during off-hours. Since our "Help on Demand" training modules have been available in February of 2009, more than 3,400 Internet users have accessed them through our website.

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