Seeking Advice

If you have questions concerning a specific situation after you complete your training you may seek assistance from the Ethics Commission in several ways:

  • For simple questions, you may contact the Ethics Commission by e-mail,, or telephone, (615) 741-7959.
  • For a more detailed question, you may request an informal response (IR). (Please note that the Commission may be required to issue an IR, even if not requested, because of the nature of the question.) The facts of the situation must be provided in writing (e-mail or letter). The Commission will respond with an answer, by e-mail, usually within 24 hours. (T.C.A. § 3-6-117)
  • For a question that deals with a statute that is subject to interpretation, the Commission must issue a formal advisory opinion (AO). The facts of the situation must be provided in writing. Because AOs are more complex and are issued by the Commission, the response time is longer than for an IR. You may view past AOs by clicking on the link Advisory Opinions on the Commission's website. 

In addition to seeking advice from the Commission, the Commission’s website ( can provide answers to many questions.  For example, because lobbyists and employer of lobbyists are subject to gift prohibitions (we will cover this in more detail later) you may want to go to the Commission’s website to determine if someone is a lobbyist or employer of a lobbyist.