As reported on Change.gov, the office of the President-elect Barack Obama today announced the strictest, and most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history. The rules are:
- Federal Lobbyists cannot contribute financially to the transition.
- Federal lobbyists are prohibited from any lobbying during their work with the transition.
- If someone has lobbied in the last 12 months, they are prohibited from working in the fields of policy on which they lobbied.
- If someone becomes a lobbyist after working on the Transition, they are prohibited from lobbying the Administration for 12 months on matters on which they worked.
- A gift ban that is aggressive in reducing the influence of special interests.
Norm Ornstein, from the American Enterprise Institute, said in relation to the announcement:
Restoring trust in government is a prerequisite to enacting good policy and the tough choices the country needs. This ethics policy for the transition is a far-reaching, bold and constructive step to do just that. The policy may exclude some good people with deep experience in their fields, but it will also exclude those who see government service as a springboard to financial success, or who are more intent on pleasing future potential employers or clients than making tough choices in the public interest. As much as anything, this ethics policy is a statement about the tone and tenor of the Obama administration. It is a good sign.