Public Papers - 1992
Statement on Executive Branch Revised Standards of Conduct
In the first Executive order of my Presidency, I established a Presidential Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform to examine the ethics laws and regulations that govern the Federal work force. The Commission recommended that the Office of Government Ethics consolidate all executive branch standards of conduct regulations into a single set of regulations. By Executive Order 12674, issued April 12, 1989, I directed the Office of Government Ethics to develop a single comprehensive and understandable set of ethics regulations that would apply to all employees in the executive branch.
Tomorrow that enormous task will be completed. A single set of ethical standards will be published in the Federal Register and will replace over 100 different and often conflicting agency regulations. These new standards will be set forth in one place so that the public can examine them, so that those who do business with the Federal Government can easily understand them, and so that all executive branch employees will have a clear understanding of the rules governing them. The final rule addresses a broad range of ethical concerns including gifts from outside sources, financial interests, and circumstances presenting an appearance of impropriety. It also provides guidance to employees who are involved in activities outside their Government jobs or who are seeking other employment.
In the coming months, ethics officials in the departments and agencies throughout the executive branch will begin to brief the Federal work force on the new standards, another enormous endeavor. I want to reiterate my personal commitment to see that the standards set forth in these new regulations will be vigorously and conscientiously observed throughout the executive branch.
I am very grateful to the Office of Government Ethics and all the ethics officials in the Government for their work in developing these new standards.