29 Dec 2017
- By Lori Lyn C. Lirio – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE Office of the Public Auditor is reminding government employees not to use government time and property for political purposes.
In a letter to all government branches and offices, Public Auditor Michael Pai said his OPA “has recently received multiple complaints concerning the use of government time and property for political purposes. If substantiated, these complaints amount to violations of the Commonwealth Ethics Code Act which includes an absolute prohibition that applies to public officials and public employees.”
He said the complaints allege that there were petitions circulating for political candidates during working hours, and that government computers and cell phones were used to advertise political fundraising events and to solicit donations.
“These activities, if substantiated, constitute criminal acts and would subject participating public employees and officials to judicial sanctions,” Pai added.
He said other unlawful activities in the government workplace include the sale of plate lunches to benefit a political candidate, the sale of tickets to political fundraisers, and recruiting volunteers for political campaign activities. “None of these activities should occur in government offices or on government time,” Pai added.
OPA, he said, is asking government department and office supervisors to prohibit such activities and to report any inappropriate political activities to OPA.
He said government employees must keep politics out of the government workplace. Violations may be reported anonymously at opacnmi.com or at 322-3937.
“Complaints will be investigated diligently and, when substantiated, referred for prosecution,” Pai added.
He said OPA offers training on the Government Ethics Code Act to any interested government offices. For more information or to schedule a presentation, contact Ashley Kost at 322-3937.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/101166-opa-keep-politics-out-of-public-offices