Executive Order 13490 (Jan. 21, 2009): Prescribing Standards of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees

Read Full Text of Executive Order 13490: (HTML) (PDF

Read the Annual Reports on Executive Order 13490

  • 2009 Report (PDF)
  • 2010 Report (PDF)
    One waiver was inadvertently omitted from the 2010 report.  A total of 13 appointees appointed January 1 - December 31, 2010 were granted waivers from the requirements of Ethics Pledge paragraph 2.  The missing waiver is available here:  (PDF)
  • 2011 Report (PDF
  • 2012 Report (PDF)

Most of the executive branch ethics laws and regulations apply equally to career employees and to political appointees, but some apply only to political appointees (or to a defined category of political appointees) or the laws or regulations apply differently to them.  President Obama signed Executive Order 13490 on January 21, 2009.  It requires full-time political appointees, appointed on or after January 20, 2009, to sign the Ethics Pledge set out in section 1 of the Executive Order.  The Ethics Pledge requires that appointees comply with the additional restrictions set out in the Pledge.

In brief, Executive Order 13490:

  • Requires full-time political appointees to agree to additional restrictions by signing an Ethics Pledge;
  • Authorizes the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to grant a waiver of one or more of the restrictions;
  • Directs agencies to establish rules and procedures to ensure that every covered appointee signs the Ethics Pledge;
  • Requires that a covered appointee’s ethics agreement address certain matters;
  • Directs OGE to assist Designated Agency Ethics Officials in providing advice concerning the Ethics Pledge;
  • Directs OGE to take steps to apply the Ethics Pledge’s lobbyist gift ban to all executive branch employees;
  • Directs OGE to study or report on certain matters; and
  • Provides for enforcement of the Ethics Pledge.