Governor's office reminds employees
of guidelines for political participation
In advance of the 2008 general election, the governor’s office last week reminded state employees of limitations on their political participation.
Generally, ITD and other state employees can support and work for candidates as long as they do so privately and do not infer any connection with a state agency. Participation is covered by executive order and by state statue.
Employees cannot use their official authority or influence in a political activity and must conduct themselves “in a manner which does not materially compromise the neutrality, efficiency, or integrity of the employee’s administration of state functions.” (Idaho Code 67-5311)
The governor’s office provided the following information to directors of state agencies:
Important points to remember:
Executive Order 2005-22 bars state employees from using state computers to access the Internet or email for the purpose of conducting political activity. In 1996, the Idaho Attorney General found that, according to state laws, “state time, resources or funds, including but not limited to, the use of telephones, fax machines, photocopiers and state mail systems may not be used by state employees for pecuniary gain or campaign activities.”
Idaho Code 67-5311 subsections (a) and (b) says “No classified employee of a state department covered by this act shall … Use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election to or a nomination for office, or affecting the result thereof; Directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command, or direct any other such officer or employee to pay, lend, or contribute any part of his salary or compensation or anything else of value to any party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes … ”
Idaho Code 67-5311 subsection (n) reminds state employees that any political activity in which they engage on the job must be “in a manner which does not materially compromise the neutrality, efficiency,or integrity of the employee’s administration of state functions.”