Specifically, these complaints allege that some employees are seeking campaign donations during government time. This can take a variety of forms including the selling of plates for lunches to benefit a political candidate; selling tickets to political fundraisers, and recruiting volunteers for political campaign activities. The complaints received, if substantiated, would constitute criminal acts and potentially subject the government employees to judicial sanctions.
To be clear, if any such political activity has been undertaken by government employees, on government time, or using government equipment, it should stop immediately. If anyone has witnessed any such activity, they should report it to their immediate supervisor, or directly to OP A. Such violations of CNMI law will be investigated and, where warranted, it will be prosecuted diligently.
The aforementioned restrictions on political activity in the government workplace are found in the in the Government Ethics Code Act of 1992 (Ethics Act). Specifically, section 8534 (b) prohibits any public official or public employee from knowingly and willingly causing public
funds, time, personnel and/or equipment to be used for political and/or campaign activity. Violations may be punished under 1 CMC § 8572.
OPA is willing to conduct training on these (and any other) provisions of the Ethics Act if your office is interested. Should you have any questions or would like to schedule a presentation, please contact Ashley Kost at 322-3937.
View or download the original letter from the Public Auditor.