Executive Order 12731 (Oct. 17, 1990): 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.

Executive Order 12731 modified Executive Order 12674 in several ways.  Notably, Executive Order 12731:

  • Narrowed the applicability of the outside earned income ban;
  • Directed OGE to promulgate a regulation interpreting 18 U.S.C. 207;
  • Required that agency supplemental regulations be promulgated jointly with OGE at the agency’s expense; and
  • Revised the provisions relating to the delegation of the President’s authority to make certain determinations relating to the applicability of certain conflict of interest laws.