NO 7: PROHIBITION AGAINST PERSONAL USE OF STATE PROPERTY AND CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GOVERNOR
WHEREAS, government employment is a privilege rather than a right, and is based upon the trust and confidence placed in the State's workers by the public; and
WHEREAS, all State employees and officers should be able to pursue the interests of the public in an environment that is free from political party influence or interference; and
WHEREAS, it is the obligation of every State employee and officer to pursue a course of conduct that will not engender public concern as to whether the individual is engaged in acts that may violate his or her public trust; and
WHEREAS, all State employees therefore must act in a manner consistent with that public trust, and must not take any actions that are intended, or appear to be intended, to achieve personal gain or benefit; and
WHEREAS, employees and officers of State agencies and public authorities are subject to certain ethical statutes and rules, including but not limited to the State Code of Ethics (Section 74 of the Public Officers Law), and statutory restrictions on business and professional activities (Section 73 of the Public Officers Law); and
WHEREAS, there are some areas where New York's existing statutes governing ethical standards can and should be improved or clarified;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, David A. Paterson, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of New York, do hereby order as follows:
1. "Agency" shall mean any state agency, department, office, board, commission or other instrumentality of the State, other than a public authority.
2. "Public authority" shall mean a public authority or public benefit corporation created by or existing under any State law, at least one of whose members is appointed by the Governor (including any subsidiaries of such public authority or public benefit corporation), other than an interstate or international authority or public benefit corporation.
B. Prohibition Against the Personal Use of State Property
1. State supplies, equipment, computers, personnel and other resources may not be utilized for non-governmental purposes, including for personal purposes or for outside activities of any kind. This prohibition includes but is not limited to the following:
a. Official stationery may not be used for non-governmental purposes, nor may State government resources be used to mail personal correspondence. The designation "personal" on agency stationery means only that the contents are meant for the personal viewing of the addressee and not that the sender is acting unofficially. All letters and other written materials printed on such official stationery are considered official, and thus the designation "unofficial" has no meaning and may not be used.
b. Under no circumstances may State mail, postage, internal office mail, or inter-city couriers be used for non-governmental purposes.
c. State telephones may not be used for non-governmental long-distance calls, except for toll-free calls, collect calls, and calls billed to a personal telephone number. State telephones may be used for incidental and necessary personal local calls that are of limited number and duration and do not conflict with the proper exercise of the duties of the State employee.
d. State computers shall be used only for official business, except that state computers may be used for incidental and necessary personal purposes, such as sending personal electronic mail messages, provided that such use is in a limited amount and duration and does not conflict with the proper exercise of the duties of the State employee.
e. State vehicles shall be used only for official business or incidental personal use associated with official business away from an employee's official work station. Individuals who are authorized by their agency or public authority to use a vehicle for personal purposes shall keep records of such use, and the value of such personal use shall be calculated and reported as personal income to such individual for tax purposes.
C. Prohibition Against Campaign Contributions to the Governor
1. No State agency officer or employee who serves at the pleasure of the Governor or their appointing authority, and no member of a public authority appointed by the Governor, may make or offer to make any monetary contribution to the campaign of the Governor, or to any political campaign committee organized by or for the specific benefit of the Governor. In addition, no such individual may request or demand that any other person make or offer to make any monetary contribution to the campaign of the Governor, or to any political campaign committee organized by or for the specific benefit of the Governor.
D. Application to Public Authorities
1. Each public authority shall adopt policies or rules applying the restrictions set forth above to all officers and employees who serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority.
1. Any violation of this order may result in dismissal or other appropriate sanction as determined by the appointing authority of the individual committing such violation.
GIVEN under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this eighteenth day of June in the year two thousand eight.
David A. Paterson
Secretary to the Governor