The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Ronald Reagan
Memorandum on Transition Standards of Conduct
November 18, 1988
Memorandum for Heads of Departments and Agencies

The President-elect's transition team has recently issued a statement regarding the ethical standards that will apply to all individuals serving in the President-elect's transition. A copy of those transition standards of conduct is attached.

The President-elect has indicated that specific individuals (including both private citizens and detailees from the Government) will be designated to serve as members of the transition teams assigned to specific Departments and agencies, as contemplated by the Presidential Transitions Effectiveness Act (P.L. 100-398).

Accordingly, in order to ensure an effective and orderly transition, while maintaining public confidence, I am directing that the personnel of each Federal Department or agency cooperate with authorized transition team members, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the performance of official duties. The White House Chief of Staff will verify those individuals of the President-elect's transition team designated to work in your Department or agency. The Office of the White House Chief of Staff will confirm that the designated transition team members have provided statements concerning their most recent employment and sources of funding, as required by P.L. 100-398, and copies of their written agreements to comply with the President-elect's standards of conduct.

Any information regarding noncompliance with the standards of conduct of the President-elect should be referred by you, or your designee, to the General Counsel of your Department or agency, who should consult with the Counsel to the President as to the appropriate action to be taken. The Counsel to the President may consult as appropriate with the Counsel to the President-elect.



As a condition of my being permitted to serve as a member of the transition of the President-elect, I agree to the following requirements:

1. I will hold in confidence any nonpublic information provided to me in the course of my duties with the transition and ensure that such information is used exclusively for purposes of the transition.

2. I will not use or permit to be used any non-public information, in any manner, for any private gain for myself or any other party, at any time during or after the transition.

3. I will disqualify myself from involvement in any particular transition matter which to my knowledge may directly conflict or appear to conflict with a financial interest of mine, my spouse, minor child, partner, client or other individual or organization with which I have a business or close personal relationship.

4. I will conserve and protect any federal property entrusted to me, and shall not use federal property, including equipment and supplies, other than for purposes directly related to transition activities.

5. I understand that my commitment to abide by these requirements may be made public and that this document will be made available to any department or agency to which I may be assigned. I will seek guidance from the Counsel to the President-elect, or designated agency ethics officials, as appropriate, if necessary to ensure compliance with these standards of conduct. I furthermore acknowledge that failure to comply with the above provisions may result in my dismissal from the transition and that other sanctions may be imposed as appropriate.

Signature Date

Name and Address:

Citation: Ronald Reagan: "Memorandum on Transition Standards of Conduct", November 18, 1988. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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