Governor Phil Scott Strengthens Code of Ethics for Executive Branch
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott issued an Executive Order this week, updating and enhancing the Executive Code of Ethics (Executive Order No. 19-17).
“The Executive Code of Ethics has long-reflected an important standard of integrity for Executive Branch appointees,” said Gov. Scott. “It was important to me to build upon the strength of past Codes so that, together with my entire Administration and appointees, we can continue to restore faith and trust in government, and uphold high standards for civil discourse and public service.”
Historically, the Code of Ethics has reflected a Governor’s interest in ensuring fairness and impartiality in the conduct of State business, while at the same time encouraging the recruitment and retention of those best qualified to serve in government.
Governor Scott has made changes designed to strengthen the Code, reflecting his expectations for all appointees. Key provisions added to the Code of Ethics by Governor Scott include:
- Language from the State Constitution that all governmental authority is derived from the people and all officers of government are accountable to them;
- Appointees are to act as examples and set a civil and respectful tone;
- Appointees shall manage electronic communications to facilitate compliance with State law regarding public access to records;
- Appointees shall be in good standing with respect to payment of all tax obligations, now including municipal and state taxes;
- Appointees shall ensure sexual harassment in the workplace does not occur or persist; and
- Full-time appointees shall attend training on issues relating to sexual harassment and governmental ethics at least annually.
The updated Code of Ethics has also been amended to reflect the additional reporting requirements and restrictions on lobbying from Act 79, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor earlier this year, which established the State Ethics Commission and set standards of governmental ethical conduct.
Executive Order 19-17 will replace Executive Order 09-11 and all Scott Administration appointees who signed the previous version at the time of their appointment will be required to sign the updated Code of Ethics. View Executive Order 19-17 at http://governor.vermont.gov/content/eo-19-17-executive-code-ethics-0.