Executive Order 12674 (Apr. 12, 1989): Principles of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees

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In 1989, the President’s Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform recommended that individual agency standards of conduct be replaced with a single regulation applicable to all employees of the executive branch.  The Commission also made a number of other recommendations.  To address some of those recommendations, President Bush signed Executive Order 12674 on April 12, 1989.  President Bush signed Executive Order 12731 on October 17, 1990.  Executive Order 12731 restated Executive Order 12674 and incorporated certain modifications.  The new executive branch-wide standards of conduct regulation, the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, became effective in 1993 and was codified in 5 C.F.R. part 2635.

In brief, Executive Order 12674:

  • Set out fourteen basic principles of ethical conduct for employees of the executive branch;
  • Directed OGE to establish a single, comprehensive, and clear set of executive branch standards of conduct;
  • Directed OGE to promulgate regulations interpreting certain conflict of interest laws;
  • Directed OGE to establish a system of confidential financial disclosure by executive branch employees to complement the public financial disclosure system;
  • Authorized agencies to supplement the comprehensive executive branch-wide regulations by publishing agency supplemental regulations;
  • Directed agencies to coordinate with OGE in developing annual training plans;
  • Directed agencies to consult formally or informally with OGE, where practicable, prior to granting any individual waiver under 18 U.S.C. 208;
  • Directed agencies to ensure that the resources of the Designated Agency Ethics Official are sufficient to ensure the effectiveness of the agency ethics program;
  • Delegated the authority of the President to make certain determinations relating to the applicability of certain conflict of interest laws;
  • Promulgated an outside earned income ban applicable to certain political appointees; and
  • Revoked Executive Order 11222.