Restrictions on Partisan Political Activities
The Legislative Division of Post Audit provides audit services on behalf of the Legislature. To maintain its credibility as an unbiased and non-partisan evaluator of government agencies and programs, it is critical that the division and its staff avoid even the appearance of partisan loyalties. Partisan activity by staff could undermine that credibility.
Legislative Post Audit has taken the position that because the strict appearance of non-partisanship is critical to its core mission to provide independent audit services to the Legislature, overt partisan political activities on the part of its employees unduly interfere with the normal operation of its business. As a result, such activities are strictly prohibited. On the other hand, because the division has no legitimate interest in the private political choices made by its employees, neither the division nor its management will in any way interfere with or try to influence those private choices.
Allowable Political Activities for Division Employees
All employees are encouraged to be well informed on matters of public policy and to vote in primary and general elections. Because registration with a specific political party may be a precondition for voting in a primary election, party affiliation is also allowable. Nothing in the division’s policies should be construed as in any way limiting or discouraging its employees from voting.
In addition, active participation in local elections and other local votes is permitted. Serving as a candidate in a municipal, county, or school board race is permitted, as is working on behalf of such candidates. Many such offices are nonpartisan and are unlikely to impinge on matters before the Legislature.
Prohibited Actions on the Part of the Division or its Management
Neither the Legislative Division of Post Audit, nor its management, will in any way attempt to influence the private political decisions of its employees. The division will not officially or unofficially endorse candidates for any public office, and support for a particular candidate shall not at any time be a condition of employment. Further, while employees are free to discuss matters of policy and politics in their private conversations, the division will take reasonable steps to ensure that employees do not feel pressured by their co-workers to take a particular political position or support a particular candidate for office.
Finally, although division employees are prohibited from many partisan political activities (as described below), the division recognizes that it does not have any authority over the friends or family of its employees. As such, neither the division nor its management will attempt to pressure an employee to stop a friend or family member from publicly expressing their political opinion.
Prohibited Political Activities for Division Employees
- Running for office in any state or federal election.
- Publicly supporting any candidate for office in a state or federal election. This includes soliciting donations, distributing campaign materials, or any other active role in such a campaign. It also includes making identifiable donations to these campaigns or displaying campaign materials (e.g., yard signs, bumper stickers) that support specific candidates.
- Using state resources, including time at work, on behalf of a candidate for any election. Using one’s official position, office space, or state-issued equipment for any political advocacy, communication, or other purpose is prohibited and will result in termination of employment.
- Engaging in active political activity at work. Casual private conversations about politics and policies are permitted, but employees may not use work time or state resources to actively promote candidates or partisan causes among their colleagues.
- Finally, all division employees are expected to recognize the critical importance of the division’s non-partisan position and should use good judgment in application of this policy.