The department is committed to building public trust and confidence through effective communication with the public. The department’s code of ethics sets forth the department’s ethical principles and expectations in keeping with the Governor’s Code of Ethics and Chapter 112, Part III, Florida Statutes.
The General Counsel is the department’s designated Chief Ethics Officer. To ask questions on Ethics or to file an Ethics Complaint, contact the General Counsel. Managers and supervisors receiving reports of unethical conduct are required to refer the reports to the Chief Ethics Officer.
All reports or complaints of alleged violations of the department Code of Ethics will be reviewed and appropriate action taken. Complaints involving an allegation of a violation that would constitute a violation of the state statutory code of ethics may be referred to the Florida Commission on Ethics. Complaints, as appropriate, may be referred to the department’s Inspector General for investigation and handling.
Code of Ethics
January 2011 Revised Code of Ethics, Summary of New or Noteworthy Provisions
- The department must periodically review and evaluate the policy, and make recommendations to assure that the department maintains and effectively enforces the highest ethical standards for state officials and employees, and promotes consistency of State agency policies. Page 3, Department Ethics Policy. Please inform the Chief Ethics Officer of any recommended revisions or additions.
- The department must provide training on the subjects of ethics, public records, open meetings, records retention, equal opportunity and proper personnel procedures on an annual basis. Page 3.
- There is no longer a $25 threshold for the acceptance of gifts from non-lobbyists. An employee cannot accept any gift of any amount unless the receipt of such gift falls under one of the gift exceptions. Page 8.
- Employees may accept gifts (regardless of value) for activities involving volunteer campaign-related travel, lodging, and/or food beverage expenses upon approval from the Chief Ethics Officer. (However, gifts cannot be accepted if from a registered executive lobbyist.) Page 8.
- Employees are prohibited from traveling in a private aircraft unless they have obtained prior authorization from the Governor’s Office. The Department Director, Assistant Director and Chief of Staff are required by the Governor’s Code of Ethics to obtain prior authorization from the Governor’s Chief of Staff. All others should submit request to Department Chief Ethics Officer who will seek approval from the Governor’s Office. Page 10.
- Employees who are required to file financial disclosure forms must report and disclose any permissible gift (regardless of value) received from a non-lobbyist, (previously there was a $25 threshold), unless receipt of such gift is from a relative or friend for a special occasion such as a birthday gift or a gift of a meal or lodging from a friend. Please consult with the Chief Ethics Officer if you have a gift you may need to report. Page 12. Statutory reporting requirements (as opposed to Department Ethics Code reporting requirements) can be found at www.ethics.state.fl.us.