By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the
laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3,
United States Code, and sections 3301 and 7301 of title 5, United
States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Ethics Pledge. Every appointee in every executive
agency appointed on or after January 20, 2009, shall sign, and upon
signing shall be contractually committed to, the following pledge upon
becoming an appointee:
"As a condition, and in consideration, of my employment in the
United States Government in a position invested with the public trust,
I commit myself to the following obligations, which I understand are
binding on me and are enforceable under law:
"1. Lobbyist Gift Ban. I will not accept gifts from registered
lobbyists or lobbying organizations for the duration of my service as
"2. Revolving Door Ban All Appointees Entering Government. I
will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment
participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is
directly and substantially related to my former employer or former
clients, including regulations and contracts.
"3. Revolving Door Ban Lobbyists Entering Government. If I was
a registered lobbyist within the 2 years before the date of my
appointment, in addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 2,
I will not for a period of 2 years after the date of my appointment:
(a) participate in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment;
(b) participate in the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls; or
(c) seek or accept employment with any executive agency that I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment.
"4. Revolving Door Ban Appointees Leaving Government. If, upon
my departure from the Government, I am covered by the post employment
restrictions on communicating with employees of my former executive
agency set forth in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, I
agree that I will abide by those restrictions for a period of 2 years
following the end of my appointment.
"5. Revolving Door Ban Appointees Leaving Government to Lobby.
In addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 4, I also agree,
upon leaving Government service, not to lobby any covered executive
branch official or non career Senior Executive Service appointee for
the remainder of the Administration.
"6. Employment Qualification Commitment. I agree that any hiring
or other employment decisions I make will be based on the candidate's
qualifications, competence, and experience.
"7. Assent to Enforcement. I acknowledge that the Executive Order
entitled 'Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel,' issued by
the President on January 21, 2009, which I have read before signing
this document, defines certain of the terms applicable to the foregoing
obligations and sets forth the methods for enforcing them. I expressly
accept the provisions of that Executive Order as a part of this
agreement and as binding on me. I understand that the terms of this
pledge are in addition to any statutory or other legal restrictions
applicable to me by virtue of Federal Government service."
Sec. 2. Definitions. As used herein and in the pledge set forth in section 1 of this order:
(a) "Executive agency" shall include each "executive agency" as
defined by section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and shall
include the Executive Office of the President; provided, however, that
for purposes of this order "executive agency" shall include the United
States Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission, but shall
exclude the Government Accountability Office.
(b) "Appointee" shall include every full time, non career
Presidential or Vice-Presidential appointee, non career appointee in
the Senior Executive Service (or other SES type system), and appointee
to a position that has been excepted from the competitive service by
reason of being of a confidential or policymaking character (Schedule C
and other positions excepted under comparable criteria) in an executive
agency. It does not include any person appointed as a member of the
Senior Foreign Service or solely as a uniformed service commissioned
(1) shall have the definition set forth in section 2635.203(b) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations;
(2) shall include gifts that are solicited or accepted indirectly
as defined at section 2635.203(f) of title 5, Code of Federal
(3) shall exclude those items excluded by sections 2635.204(b),
(c), (e)(1) & (3) and (j) (l) of title 5, Code of Federal
(d) "Covered executive branch official" and "lobbyist" shall have
the definitions set forth in section 1602 of title 2, United States
(e) "Registered lobbyist or lobbying organization" shall mean a
lobbyist or an organization filing a registration pursuant to section
1603(a) of title 2, United States Code, and in the case of an
organization filing such a registration, "registered lobbyist" shall
include each of the lobbyists identified therein.
(f) "Lobby" and "lobbied" shall mean to act or have acted as a registered lobbyist.
(g) "Particular matter" shall have the same meaning as set forth in
section 207 of title 18, United States Code, and section 2635.402(b)(3)
of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.
(h) "Particular matter involving specific parties" shall have the
same meaning as set forth in section 2641.201(h) of title 5, Code of
Federal Regulations, except that it shall also include any meeting or
other communication relating to the performance of one's official
duties with a former employer or former client, unless the
communication applies to a particular matter of general applicability
and participation in the meeting or other event is open to all
(i) "Former employer" is any person for whom the appointee has
within the 2 years prior to the date of his or her appointment served
as an employee, officer, director, trustee, or general partner, except
that "former employer" does not include any executive agency or other
entity of the Federal Government, State or local government, the
District of Columbia, Native American tribe, or any United States
territory or possession.
(j) "Former client" is any person for whom the appointee served
personally as agent, attorney, or consultant within the 2 years prior
to the date of his or her appointment, but excluding instances where
the service provided was limited to a speech or similar appearance. It
does not include clients of the appointee's former employer to whom the
appointee did not personally provide services.
(k) "Directly and substantially related to my former employer or
former clients" shall mean matters in which the appointee's former
employer or a former client is a party or represents a party.
(l) "Participate" means to participate personally and substantially.
(m) "Post-employment restrictions" shall include the provisions and
exceptions in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, and the
(n) "Government official" means any employee of the executive branch.
(o) "Administration" means all terms of office of the incumbent
President serving at the time of the appointment of an appointee
covered by this order.
(p) "Pledge" means the ethics pledge set forth in section 1 of this order.
(q) All references to provisions of law and regulations shall refer to such provisions as in effect on January 20, 2009.
Sec. 3. Waiver.
(a) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or his or
her designee, in consultation with the Counsel to the President or his
or her designee, may grant to any current or former appointee a written
waiver of any restrictions contained in the pledge signed by such
appointee if, and to the extent that, the Director of the Office of
Management and Budget, or his or her designee, certifies in writing (i)
that the literal application of the restriction is inconsistent with
the purposes of the restriction, or (ii) that it is in the public
interest to grant the waiver. A waiver shall take effect when the
certification is signed by the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget or his or her designee.
(b) The public interest shall include, but not be limited to,
exigent circumstances relating to national security or to the economy.
De minimis contact with an executive agency shall be cause for a waiver
of the restrictions contained in paragraph 3 of the pledge.
Sec. 4. Administration.
(a) The head of every executive agency shall, in consultation with
the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, establish such rules
or procedures (conforming as nearly as practicable to the agency's
general ethics rules and procedures, including those relating to
designated agency ethics officers) as are necessary or appropriate to
ensure that every appointee in the agency signs the pledge upon
assuming the appointed office or otherwise becoming an appointee; to
ensure that compliance with paragraph 3 of the pledge is addressed in a
written ethics agreement with each appointee to whom it applies, which
agreement shall also be approved by the Counsel to the President or his
or her designee prior to the appointee commencing work; to ensure that
spousal employment issues and other conflicts not expressly addressed
by the pledge are addressed in ethics agreements with appointees or,
where no such agreements are required, through ethics counseling; and
generally to ensure compliance with this order within the agency.
(b) With respect to the Executive Office of the President, the
duties set forth in section 4(a) shall be the responsibility of the
Counsel to the President or his or her designee.
(c) The Director of the Office of Government Ethics shall:
(1) ensure that the pledge and a copy of this order are made
available for use by agencies in fulfilling their duties under section
(2) in consultation with the Attorney General or the Counsel to
the President or their designees, when appropriate, assist designated
agency ethics officers in providing advice to current or former
appointees regarding the application of the pledge; and
(3) in consultation with the Attorney General and the Counsel to
the President or their designees, adopt such rules or procedures as are
necessary or appropriate:
(i) to carry out the foregoing responsibilities;
(ii) to apply the lobbyist gift ban set forth in paragraph 1 of the pledge to all executive branch employees;
(iii) to authorize limited exceptions to the lobbyist gift ban
for circumstances that do not implicate the purposes of the ban;
(iv) to make clear that no person shall have violated the
lobbyist gift ban if the person properly disposes of a gift as provided
by section 2635.205 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations;
(v) to ensure that existing rules and procedures for Government
employees engaged in negotiations for future employment with private
businesses that are affected by their official actions do not affect
the integrity of the Government's programs and operations;
(vi) to ensure, in consultation with the Director of the Office
of Personnel Management, that the requirement set forth in paragraph 6
of the pledge is honored by every employee of the executive branch;
(4) in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management
and Budget, report to the President on whether full compliance is being
achieved with existing laws and regulations governing executive branch
procurement lobbying disclosure and on steps the executive branch can
take to expand to the fullest extent practicable disclosure of such
executive branch procurement lobbying and of lobbying for presidential
pardons, and to include in the report both immediate action the
executive branch can take and, if necessary, recommendations for
(5) provide an annual public report on the administration of the pledge and this order.
(d) The Director of the Office of Government Ethics shall, in
consultation with the Attorney General, the Counsel to the President,
and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, or their
designees, report to the President on steps the executive branch can
take to expand to the fullest extent practicable the revolving door ban
set forth in paragraph 5 of the pledge to all executive branch
employees who are involved in the procurement process such that they
may not for 2 years after leaving Government service lobby any
Government official regarding a Government contract that was under
their official responsibility in the last 2 years of their Government
service; and to include in the report both immediate action the
executive branch can take and, if necessary, recommendations for
(e) All pledges signed by appointees, and all waiver certifications
with respect thereto, shall be filed with the head of the appointee's
agency for permanent retention in the appointee's official personnel
folder or equivalent folder.
Sec. 5. Enforcement.
(a) The contractual, fiduciary, and ethical commitments in the
pledge provided for herein are solely enforceable by the United States
pursuant to this section by any legally available means, including
debarment proceedings within any affected executive agency or judicial
civil proceedings for declaratory, injunctive, or monetary relief.
(b) Any former appointee who is determined, after notice and
hearing, by the duly designated authority within any agency, to have
violated his or her pledge may be barred from lobbying any officer or
employee of that agency for up to 5 years in addition to the time
period covered by the pledge. The head of every executive agency
shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Government
Ethics, establish procedures to implement this subsection, which
procedures shall include (but not be limited to) providing for
factfinding and investigation of possible violations of this order and
for referrals to the Attorney General for his or her consideration
pursuant to subsection (c).
(c) The Attorney General or his or her designee is authorized:
(1) upon receiving information regarding the possible breach of
any commitment in a signed pledge, to request any appropriate Federal
investigative authority to conduct such investigations as may be
(2) upon determining that there is a reasonable basis to believe that
a breach of a commitment has occurred or will occur or continue, if not
enjoined, to commence a civil action against the former employee in any
United States District Court with jurisdiction to consider the matter.
(d) In any such civil action, the Attorney General or his or her
designee is authorized to request any and all relief authorized by law,
including but not limited to:
(1) such temporary restraining orders and preliminary and
permanent injunctions as may be appropriate to restrain future,
recurring, or continuing conduct by the former employee in breach of
the commitments in the pledge he or she signed; and
(2) establishment of a constructive trust for the benefit of the
United States, requiring an accounting and payment to the United States
Treasury of all money and other things of value received by, or payable
to, the former employee arising out of any breach or attempted breach
of the pledge signed by the former employee.
Sec. 6. General Provisions.
(a) No prior Executive Orders are repealed by this order. To the
extent that this order is inconsistent with any provision of any prior
Executive Order, this order shall control.
(b) If any provision of this order or the application of such
provision is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and other
dissimilar applications of such provision shall not be affected.
(c) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(1) authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(2) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(d) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(e) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right
or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity
by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or
entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(f) The definitions set forth in this order are solely applicable
to the terms of this order, and are not otherwise intended to impair or
affect existing law.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 2009