|Memo to:||All Employees|
|From:||Michael W. Moore|
|Date:||October 4, 2001|
Attachment added 1/16/02
|Subject:||State Employee Election Work Guidelines|
As elections draw near across the state, I encourage all employees to take part in this fundamental freedom. This memorandum sets forth the guidelines to ensure compliance with the legal and ethical requirements for maintaining the separation of political activities from state work. Governor Bush is committed to ensuring that public resources are devoted to public business and not used to benefit any campaign or other political entity. I encourage all employees to review the following guidelines for proper guidance during the upcoming elections.
State employees are permitted to participate in campaign and other political activities on their own time. Participation in such activities is strictly voluntary. No employee should in any manner coerce another employee to participate in such activities. Care must be taken to document that campaign and other political activities are not undertaken during official working hours. Employees who choose to engage in campaign activities during normal working hours should do so only when on leave. In no event should employees take leave to participate in campaign or political activities when such leave would interfere in any way with the timely performance of state work. State employees should also not participate during working hours in arranging campaign or other political events. In addition, employees are strictly forbidden to use any state resources for campaign or other political purposes.
From time to time persons representing campaign and other political entities will seek to obtain information - through public records or otherwise - from state employees on particular issues of public interest. It is proper to provide such information in a non-discriminatory fashion. It is important that employees responding to such requests be mindful of the requirement that state resources (including the time of state employees during working hours) not be used to secure a special benefit for, or to further the candidacy of any political candidate. Such inquiries should be handled without respect to any partisan consideration and in the same manner that other citizen inquiries are handled.
It is inevitable that the Department of Corrections will on occasion receive communications related to campaign or other political matters. Such communications may properly be directed to the appropriate campaign or other political entity. State employees receiving these communications by phone should courteously inform the caller that campaign and other political matters are not handled by state employees, and refer the caller to the appropriate campaign or political entity. Communications received by mail or email should also be forwarded to the appropriate entity.
State employees during working hours are not to act as spokespersons for any campaign or other political entity. Press inquiries concerning the activities of a campaign or other political entity should be referred to the entity concerned.
No one should at any time accept a campaign or other political contribution in a state office, or in any other government-owned building. If someone attempts to deliver by hand a contribution in a state building, the contribution should be refused and the person tendering the contribution informed that it is a crime to make or receive political contributions in a government-owned building. Contributions received by mail at a state office should be returned to the sender with an explanation that it is official policy that campaign and other political contributions received in a state office be returned to the sender. Likewise, individuals located in a government building should not solicit a campaign or other political contribution at any time either in person or by any other means of communication. No one should transmit a communication soliciting a contribution by any means to any person located in a government building.
Finally, as disclosed in section 106.15(3), Florida Statutes, "No candidate shall, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any officer or employee of the state during working hours."
For more information or to read the entire state statutes, please visit the Florida Legislature at www.leg.state.fl.us.