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January 2, 2003
TO: Department Directors and Heads of Autonomous Agencies
FROM: Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
RE: Standards of Ethical Conduct

This directive establishes the basic policy of the Executive Branch regarding standards of ethical conduct for department directors, appointees of the Governor, and employees within the Executive Branch. The citizens of Michigan deserve the utmost confidence in the integrity of state government. Leaders in state government should set an ethical example. Because accountability and responsiveness are at the heart of representative government, compliance with ethical standards is a high priority for this administration. Accordingly:

  1. Department directors, employees of the Executive Branch not within the classified service, and appointees of the Governor to positions within the Executive Branch shall adhere to the following principles of ethical conduct:

    1. Place loyalty to and compliance with the Constitution and the laws of the United States and the State of Michigan, and the highest ethical principles above private gain;

    2. Give a full day's labor for a full day's pay, producing quality work and utilizing efficient and economical ways of accomplishing tasks;

    3. Protect, conserve, and judiciously use governmental personnel resources, property, and funds in accordance with prescribed constitutional, statutory, and regulatory procedures;

    4. Disclose governmental waste, fraud, and abuse to appropriate authorities;

    5. Not represent a personal opinion as the opinion of the Governor, the Executive Office of the Governor, state department or agency, or any other governmental entity;

    6. Not use for personal gain or benefit any confidential information acquired as a result of their position in state government or as a result of the performance of your governmental duties;

    7. Not divulge to an unauthorized person, in advance of the time prescribed for its authorized release to the public, confidential information acquired as a result of their position within state government or as a result of their performance of governmental duties;

    8. Not dispense special favors or privileges to anyone that reasonably may be construed as influencing the performance of their governmental duties;

    9. Not engage in direct or indirect business transactions, including real estate transactions, that result in or may result in profit, personal gain, or benefit of a person or organization other than the State of Michigan, or that are inconsistent with the honest performance of their governmental duties;

    10. Not accept or solicit a gift or loan of money, goods, services or other thing of value for the benefit of a person or organization, other than the State of Michigan, which tends to influence the performance of their governmental duties; and

    11. Not engage in outside employment or activities conflicting with their official governmental duties.

  2. Employees in the Executive Branch shall report any alleged violation of these standards of ethical conduct to their department director or agency head. Department directors or the heads of autonomous agencies shall be responsible for the preliminary examination and investigation of reports from Executive Branch employees of any violations. If, following a preliminary examination and investigation, the department director or agency head finds evidence of a violation or finds that further investigation is warranted, a report shall be submitted to the Legal Counsel to the Governor who will then notify the Governor. In the event that the alleged violation involves the department director or the head of an autonomous agency within a department, the department director or agency head shall recuse himself or herself from the matter and the preliminary examination or investigation shall be conducted by the next ranking person in the department or agency.

  3. If a violation of state or federal law is suspected, the department director or agency head shall immediately submit a report to the Legal Counsel to the Governor for referral to the appropriate legal authority.

  4. Department directors and agency heads shall instruct their employees that violations of these standards of ethical conduct are to be reported objectively and promptly so as to eliminate any attempts to thwart discovery or to obscure or discolor the facts. Department directors and agency heads shall also instruct their employees that care must be taken to maligning the character of persons who may be involved solely on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations or rumors. Department directors and agency heads shall exercise discretion and judgment in making their preliminary examinations and investigations, with the knowledge that accurate reporting of alleged violations of the standards of ethical conduct is important.

  5. State officials are reminded of their continuing obligations to comply with current state law relating to governmental integrity, ethics and conflicts of interest, and political activity, including but not limited to:

    1. 1978 PA 472, MCL 4.411 to 4.431 (relating to lobbyists, lobbying agents, and lobbying activities);

    2. 1978 PA 566, MCL 15.181 to 15.185 (relating to incompatible public offices);

    3. 1968 PA 318, MCL 15.301 to 15.310 (relating to conflicts of interest);

    4. 1968 PA 317, MCL 15.321 to 15.330 (relating to contracts of public servants with public entities);

    5. 1973 PA 196, MCL 15.341 to 15.348, (relating to standards of conduct for public officers and employees);

    6. 1976 PA 169, MCL 15.401 to 15.407 (relating to political activities by public employees);

    7. The Michigan Campaign Finance Act, 1976 PA 388, MCL 169.201 to 169.282; and

    8. Executive Order 2003-2.

  6. Department directors and agency heads shall be responsible for familiarizing employees and appointees with this Executive Directive and with departmental or agency policies, procedures, issuances, and work rules implementing this Executive Directive and for enforcing compliance within the scope of their authority.

Your cooperation in complying with this directive is appreciated.


Jennifer M. Granholm