Gov. Bev Perdue has signed an executive order extending the state’s gift ban to cover all executive branch employees under the Office of the Governor and Cabinet departments. The order does not cover employees under other Council of State departments, although the heads of those agencies, along with the UNC Board of Governors and State Board of Community Colleges, are encouraged to participate in the executive order.
The order follows a report that the Division of Motor Vehicles gave Verizon Business a no-bid contract to develop an eSticker inspections program. According to The Insider, the contract that could be worth more than $35 million is being looked at bh the SBI following revelations that Verizon staffers provided meals and gifts to high-ranking DMV and Division of Air quality officials.
The executive order takes effect immediately and prohibits the executive branch employees from accepting gifts from state vendors and contractors. Current state law makes accepting such gifts a misdemeanor for state employees responsible for awarding contracts or supervising construction to accept such gifts. While the expansion does not make it a crime for other state employees, it does make them subject to disciplinary action.