Perambulatory Clauses Of Executive Order 20

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Executive Order No. 20’s Content
In the preamble of Executive Order No. 20, Governor Haslam asserts that “establishing, communicating, complying with, and enforcing a comprehensive ethics policy within the Executive Branch… essential to maintaining public trust in government and ensuring the proper performance of government.” After the perambulatory clauses, Executive Order 20 adheres very closely to the basic format previously suggested that most state government follow. The first operative clause clarifies that the ethics policy applies to all Executive Branch employees – over 43,000 people – unless otherwise noted. The second clause discusses potential conflict of interests to avoid: “using public office for personal gain, giving preferential treatment to any individual, impeding government efficiency and economy, losing complete independence or impartiality, making government decisions outside of official channels, and affecting adversely the confidence of the public in integrity of government” (pg. 1-2).
The third clause actually covers three somewhat disparate areas:
1. Financial Interests;
2. Use of Information; and
3. Use of Government Property.
The fourth clause governs the receipt of gifts, the exceptions thereof, and disclosure procedures. Interestingly, the exceptions list is longer than the gift rule itself. For example gifts from immediate family members or those with whom you have a close personal friendship are acceptable, which seems logical.

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