|JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt today issued a strict code of conduct policy as part of his employee manual prohibiting the governor’s office staff from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
Blunt’s ban requires employees to reimburse lobbyists for meals, tickets, trips or any other item of value. The conduct policy also sets out clear guidelines prohibiting governor’s office employees from engaging in business with state government or in outside employment when that employment conflicts with the performance of duties in the office.
No previous Missouri governor has implemented a lobbyist gift ban, and Blunt’s office believes it is the first to produce an employee manual setting out the policies and procedures under which the governor’s office operates. The manual and the gift ban are consistent with Blunt’s campaign promise to provide more trust and accountability in state government.
“The professional conduct required by this code and lobbyist gift ban will help strengthen the confidence that must exist between the people and their government and sends a clear signal that the business of Missourians is the highest priority of this office,” Blunt said. “I am fortunate to have a fine staff that works tirelessly on behalf of Missouri taxpayers everyday, and I know they will strive to honor the commitments I made to help improve the quality of life in our great state.”
Blunt’s code of conduct policy addresses, among other things, that state equipment should only be used for state business, the observance of conflict of interest provisions in state law, prohibiting employees from using their public positions in a manner designed to create personal gain and prohibiting employees from directly or indirectly attempting to influence agency decisions in matters relating to prospective employers with whom employment has been accepted or is being negotiated.