Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 282: Establishing a Public Integrity Policy for the Commonwealth

Date: 03/10/1989
Issuer: Michael S. Dukakis
Mass Register: No. 605

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts constitution provides that government officers are at all times accountable to the people and that "[g]overnment is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any man, family, or class of men. . . ." (Declaration of Rights, Article 5, 7);

WHEREAS, in the words of John F. Kennedy, "[n]o responsibility of government is more fundamental than the responsibility for maintaining the highest standards of ethical behavior by those who conduct the public business . . . . This principle must be followed not only in reality, but in appearance. For the basis of effective government is public confidence, and that confidence is endangered when ethical standards falter or appear to falter;" and,

WHEREAS, a program to assist managers and employees in state government in gaining a better understanding and appreciation of the requirements of public integrity laws and a policy to formalize many of the informal initiatives undertaken by executive branch agencies over the past six years will promote the aforementioned ideals;

NOW THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL S. DUKAKIS, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby establish a public integrity policy for the Commonwealth and order as follows:

ARTICLE I. Declaration of Policy

1.1 It shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to promote and insist upon the highest standards of integrity among all persons in public employment or government service. This policy obligates public employees and officials not only to comply with the laws of the United States and the Commonwealth, but also to scrupulously avoid any conduct that compromises their duty to act for the common good and in the public interest or which creates the appearance of such a compromise between public duty and private interest.

1.2 It follows from such a policy that it is the duty of each public employee to make every effort to eliminate illegal discrimination, fraud, and waste or mismanagement of public funds and to encourage others to do so as well.

1.3 This policy obligates public employees to strive for excellence and efficiency in the conduct of public service responsibilities, and to exercise those responsibilities in an impartial and fair manner that will promote respect for and confidence in public employment and government service.

ARTICLE II. Information and Education for State Managers

2.1 Handbook for Managers

All managers in state government shall receive a Public Integrity Handbook which shall set forth in plain and concise language a description of the various officers, agencies, and departments of state government with responsibility for promoting, preserving or maintaining integrity in public employment, together with explanations of the provision of such laws affecting public employees. This handbook shall be distributed by the Personnel Administrator and shall be revised from time to time, as appropriate, to reflect changes in law and policy.

2.2 Continuing Education Program for All Managers

The Secretary of Administration and Finance, after consultation with the State Office of Investigations within the Executive Office of Public Safety, the Attorney General, the State Ethics commission, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the Inspector General, and others as the Secretary may deem necessary, shall develop and implement a continuing education program in the area of public integrity for all state managers. This program shall include development of an automated system to enable public employees to access and retrieve laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and bulletins relating to public integrity.

ARTICLE III. Standards of Conduct

3.1 Cabinet secretaries of the executive offices, after consultation with agency heads and managers and the State Ethics Commission, shall develop specific standards of conduct for state managers based upon the general standards set forth in section 23 of chapter 268A of the General laws. Upon approval by the cabinet secretary, these standards shall be distributed to all affected managers and shall be available for public inspection.

3.2 These standards shall prescribe rules that insofar as possible define the types of outside income producing activities that are incompatible with the responsibilities of the managers in a particular agency.

3.3 These standards also shall include guidelines for managers who serve without compensation as directors or trustees of private organizations, or as members of a governmental body or an advisory board created by or under state law.

3.4 These standards also shall include guidelines regarding any gifts of transportation, lodging, food or entertainment received by a state manager from any source other than a relative.

3.5 These standards shall specify the range of sanctions for noncompliance and the process due any manager who is alleged or found to be in violation of a standard of conduct.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 10th day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirteen.

Michael S. Dukakis, Governor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Michael Joseph Connolly
Secretary of the Commonwealth

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