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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #95

Governor James J. Florio

Rescinded by Executive Order #2 (Whitman).

WHEREAS, since 1974 the New Jersey Executive Commission on Ethical Standards has had definitive rules for the establishment of blind trusts by State officers and employees; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 1 (January 18, 1990) and Executive Order No. 9 (April 18, 1990) established strict financial disclosure requirements for public officers and employees of the State of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to continually evaluate existing standards in order to make them more responsive to the citizens we represent; and

WHEREAS, the highest possible level of disclosure is necessary in order to maintain the public's faith that their government is acting in the best interest of the citizenry; and

WHEREAS, such disclosure should allow the public to have knowledge of the assets and holdings of public officers and employees; and

WHEREAS, ownership in any closely held corporation that does business with government entities can raise the appearance of a potential conflict of interest;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES J. FLORIO, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

I. Trusts

A. Blind trusts shall be eliminated in favor of full disclosure of assets by any regular State officer or employee (hereinafter "employee") or any special State officer or employee (hereinafter "officer"), see "Definitions," section V, infra, who is required by law or executive order to submit a financial disclosure statement to the Executive Commission on Ethical Standards.

B. After the date of this Order, no employee or officer who is required by law or executive order to submit financial disclosure statements to the Executive Commission on Ethical Standards ("Commission") shall maintain a blind trust. Furthermore, no such employee or officer shall establish a blind trust during that person's tenure.

C. The Commission shall immediately commence the process of terminating blind trusts held by any such employee or officer who is employed as of the date of this Order.

D. Any covered employee or officer who is employed as of the date of this Order shall forthwith notify the Commission as to the existence of a blind trust and the identity and address of the trustee. No later than June 30, 1993, the trustee shall advise the Commission of any and all assets held in such trust. The Commission shall review the assets and shall determine whether any such assets must be divested, consistent with the standards set forth in this Order. The Commission shall notify the trustee of its findings no later than August 15, 1993. The Commission shall afford the trustee 120 days after the date of notification to effectuate the orderly disposition of any such asset.

II. Interests in Closely Held Corporations or Similar Entities

A. No employee of a State agency who is required by law or executive order to submit financial disclosure statements to the Commission shall be permitted to retain any interest in any closely held corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or similar business entity doing business with any federal, state, interstate, or local government entity, except as provided in subsection 3 below.

1. Any such employee who is employed as of the date of this Order, and who retains any interest in any closely held corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or similar business entity doing business with any federal, state, interstate, or local government entity, shall notify the Commission as to his or her interest, and his or her spouse's interest, in such a business entity no later than June 30, 1993. The Commission shall review this disclosure statement to determine whether the business entities in which the employee has an interest are engaged in government-related business within the meaning of this Order, and whether the holdings are in compliance with the Conflicts of Interest Law and this Order. No later than August 15, 1993, the Commission shall notify the employee of its findings. The employee shall be afforded 120 days after the date of notification to effectuate the orderly disposition of any asset, or to demonstrate to the Commission that the business entity has ceased to do business with a government entity in a manner prohibited by this Order.

2. After the issuance of this Order, no State agency shall employ any person in a covered position who at the time of employment holds any interest in any closely held corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or similar business entity doing business with any federal, state, interstate, or local government entity, except as provided in subsection 3 below. No individual seeking employment in such a position shall divest a covered asset in a manner otherwise prohibited by this Order for the purpose of satisfying the provisions of this Order. Furthermore, no covered employee shall obtain any prohibited interest in a business entity during the employee's tenure.

3. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any purchase, sale, contract, or agreement with any government entity, other than a State agency, which is made or awarded after public notice and competitive bidding as provided by the Local Government Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., or such similar provisions contained in the public bidding laws or regulations applicable to any government entity in this State or any other jurisdiction, provided that any such purchase, contract, agreement, or sale, including a change in orders and amendments thereto, shall receive the prior approval of the Commission. The provisions do apply where the purchase, sale, contract, or agreement is authorized by any of the exceptions (e.g., professional or technical services, emergent matters, and unique compatibility) provided by the Local Government Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq, or such similar provisions contained in the public bidding laws or regulations of any other jurisdiction.

B. No employee or officer who is required by law or executive order to submit a financial disclosure statement to the Commission shall retain any interest in any closely held corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or similar business entity unless the Commission shall have first determined that the employee or officer may retain such an interest in such business entity.

1. Each covered employee or officer who is employed or appointed as of the date of this Order shall notify the Commission as to his or her interest, and his or her spouse's interest, in any such business entity no later than June 30, 1993. The Commission shall review the disclosure statement and shall determine whether the employee or officer may retain such interest in the business entity consistent with the standards set forth in the Conflicts of Interest Law and this Order. The Commission shall notify the employee or officer of its findings no later than August 15, 1993. The employee or officer shall be afforded 120 days after the date of notification to effectuate the orderly disposition of any asset or to demonstrate that the business entity has ceased the business activity in question.

2. After the issuance of this Order, no State agency shall employ or appoint any employee or officer to a covered position if such person holds any interest in any closely held corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or similar business entity, unless the Commission has reviewed such interest and determined that the employee or officer may retain such an interest. A person seeking such employment or appointment shall disclose to the Commission his or her interest, and his or her spouse's interest, in any such business entity as soon as practicable, and the Commission shall render a determination no later than thirty days after receiving such disclosure, or at its next regularly scheduled meeting. No individual seeking employment or appointment to such a position shall divest a covered asset in a manner otherwise prohibited by this Order for the purpose of satisfying the provisions of this Order.

III. Ongoing Review by the Commission

A. The Commission shall review all financial disclosure statements as they may from time to time be submitted by covered employees and officers to determine whether the covered persons have obtained ownership or interest in any assets that give rise to a present or potential conflict of interest, or a present or potential appearance of a conflict of interest, within the meaning of this Order.

B. Each covered employee or officer shall amend his or her financial disclosure statement within thirty days of gaining knowledge of (a) his or her, or his or her spouse's acquisition of any interest in any closely held corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or similar business entity; or (b) the commencement of any business activity covered by the provisions of this Order and as determined by the Commission, including, for example, a change in business plan authorizing business activity with a federal, state, interstate, or local government entity, by a business in which the employee or the employee's spouse has an interest covered by this Order.

C. Any employee or officer subject to this Order who acquires an interest prohibited under this Order by way of inheritance, bequest, or similar circumstance beyond his or her control shall follow the procedures for disclosure and disposition set forth in Section II of this Order.

IV. Limitations on Divestiture

A. All required divestitures shall be subject to the following conditions:

1. Divestiture must occur within the time periods prescribed above.

2. Ownership or control of the asset may not be transferred to a member of the employee's or officer's immediate family (see "Definitions," section V, infra).

3. The terms and conditions of any conveyance of ownership and control of the asset shall not contain any provisions regarding the return of the asset to the employee or officer subsequent to his or her State service.

V. Definitions

A. For the purpose of this Order:

1. "Member of the immediate family" shall mean a spouse, child, parent, or sibling residing in the same household.

2. "Asset" shall mean property of any kind, real and personal, tangible and intangible, having a value greater than $1,000.

3. "Interest" in a closely held corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or similar business entity shall mean any ownership or control of any profits or assets of such business entity.

4. "Doing business" with any federal, state, or local government entity shall mean business or commercial transactions involving the sale, conveyance, or rental of any goods or services, and shall not include such activities as compliance with regulatory procedures.

5. "Regular State employee" shall have the same meaning as "State officer or employee" as set forth at N.J.S.A. 52:13D-13b, and "special State officer" shall have the same meaning as "Special State officer or employee" as set forth at N.J.S.A. 52:13D-13e.

6. "State agency" shall mean any of the principal departments of State government and any entity allocated therein in conformance with N.J. Const. (1947), Art. V, IV, para. 1.

VI. Sanctions and Effective Date

A. The failure of an employee or officer to comply with the provisions of this Order shall constitute good cause for his or her removal from employment or office.

B. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this
day of in the Year of Our Lord, One
Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety
Three, and of the Independence of the
United States, the Two Hundred and
Seventeenth.

/s/ Jim Florio
Governor

Attest:

/s/ M. Robert DeCotiis
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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