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Amendments to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 869 Into Law.

June 22, 1979

I have signed into law S. 869, a bill amending title V of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which strengthened safeguards against abuse of the "revolving door" between high-level Federal service and subsequent employment on behalf of private interests. As amended, these new safeguards will be effective July 1, 1979.

Since the enactment of the law, which I proposed in March 1977, the Office of Government Ethics was established in the Office of Personnel Management and developed regulations to implement the postemployment restrictions. During the course of its work, the operation of title V was examined very closely, and it was determined by the Office of Government Ethics and the Department of Justice, in conjunction with other executive agencies, that a literal reading of the law allowed for certain unintended results and might have unnecessarily restrictive effects in certain cases. I therefore decided to support adjustments in the language of the act to address these problems.

The process is now completed, and I am pleased to say that the amendments, together with the regulations which have been issued, have produced a balanced, effective package.

The amendments preserve the central protections of the law against misuse of influence acquired through public service while eliminating some ambiguities in the statute and providing reasonable adjustments where the effects of the original provisions might have been undesirable.

Enactment of this legislation would not have been possible without the outstanding leadership of Congressman George Danielson, floor manager of the bill in the House, and Senator Abe Ribicoff, floor manager in the Senate. The legislation received excellent cooperation on both sides of the aisle in the House and the Senate.

Congress responded promptly on my recommendation to clarify and refine the act, and because the Attorney General and the Office of Government Ethics have implemented the law with vigor and common sense, the foundation has been laid for a sound program fulfilling my commitment to assure that Federal officials are of the highest professional caliber and meet the highest standards of integrity, openness, and efficiency.

Note: As enacted, S. 869 is Public Law 9628, approved June 22.

Jimmy Carter, Amendments to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 869 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250376

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