January 21, 2021 •
President Biden Issues Ethics Executive Order
On January 20, President Joseph R. Biden signed an Executive Order mandating enhanced ethics rules for executive branch appointees. “Executive Order on Ethic Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel” requires new appointees sign and be contractually committed to the ethics pledge outlined in the order.
Appointees are prohibited from accepting gifts, with limited exceptions, from registered lobbyists and lobbying organizations for the duration of their service as appointees.
Appointees are also prohibited from participating in matters involving specific parties directly and substantially related to a former employer for two years after the date of appointment. Federal lobbyists and individuals registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act may not seek or accept employment with any executive agency with respect to which he or she lobbied within the two years before the date of the appointment. The order also prohibits certain golden parachutes from former employers and includes a general two-year prohibition on lobbying after leaving a position.
Covered appointees include every full-time, non-career Presidential or Vice-Presidential appointee, non-career appointees in the Senior Executive Service, and appointees to certain positions excepted from the competitive service. It does not include any person appointed as a member of the Senior Foreign Service or solely as a uniformed service commissioned officer.
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