Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

Executive Ethics Commission
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2021 FY 2020
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Procurement $ 7,365.7 57.0 $ 5,077.2 54.0
Ethics $ 374.5 3.0 $ 359.8 2.0
Non-Reporting Programs
Administrative Support  $ 777.8 9.0 $ 634.7 8.0
Totals $ 8,518.0 69.0 $ 6,071.7 64.0

Amounts may not sum to total due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

The Executive Ethics Commission (EEC) exercises powers and performs duties as prescribed by the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (5 ILCS 430) (Ethics Act) and the Illinois Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500). The EEC is comprised of nine commissioners, five of whom are appointed by the Governor and one each by the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer. The Commission appoints an executive director who has the authority to employ staff and determine their compensation as appropriations permit. EEC appropriations are also necessary to cover the compensation of chief procurement officers (CPOs), state purchasing officers (SPOs), and procurement compliance monitors (PCMs) appointed pursuant to the Procurement Code. The vast majority of the EEC's appropriation is used to cover personnel costs.

With respect to matters arising under the Ethics Act, the EEC has jurisdiction over officers and employees of executive branch state agencies, public universities, and regional transit boards. As part of its responsibilities, the EEC conducts administrative proceedings with respect to complaints of Ethics Act violations filed upon the conclusion of investigations conducted by executive inspectors general. When complaints are not filed with respect to investigations, the EEC receives investigation reports and reviews those reports for potential additional action. The EEC must or may publish such reports in which a determination has been made that there exists reasonable cause to believe a violation has occurred, depending upon the severity of discipline imposed and responses to those reports. In either case, the EEC must decide whether and how much information to redact from the reports it publishes. The EEC hears appeals of revolving-door determinations made by executive inspectors general regarding the appropriateness of state employees' acceptance of employment, compensation, or fees within one year of terminating state employment. The EEC exercises oversight responsibility with respect to annual ethics and harassment and discrimination prevention trainings that are required of all officers and employees subject to EEC jurisdiction and with respect to other types of training under the Act. The EEC also has a duty to prepare public information materials to facilitate compliance, implementation, and enforcement of the Ethics Act and hosts an annual ethics conference for state government ethics officers and other personnel. State agencies are required to report to the EEC ex parte communications they have received with respect to rulemaking, contested cases, and regulatory and licensing matters. The Ethics Act requires the EEC to promulgate rules to govern the performance of its duties and Executive Inspector General investigations. 

Executive Order 15-09, "Executive Order to Ensure Ethical and Responsive Government," issued January 13, 2015, established additional duties for the EEC. According to the Order, the EEC prepares, publishes, and receives Supplemental Statements of Economic Interest required to be filed by certain executive branch officers and employees under the jurisdiction of the Governor. The Order also directs the Commission's Executive Director to review and approve in advance, as appropriate, exceptions to the gift ban related to educational missions and travel for meetings to discuss state business.

In addition to Ethics Act matters, the EEC is charged with responsibilities related to the oversight of state agency procurement, and EEC appropriations also support the four independent CPOs, SPOs, and PCMs. The EEC appoints three of the CPOs, approves the fourth appointment, and establishes CPO compensation. The EEC is also authorized to appoint PCMs and establish their salaries. The EEC is authorized to conduct hearings for the removal of any of these procurement officials.

The Procurement Code also authorizes the EEC to grant exemptions from conflict-of-interest provisions and promulgates rules governing procurement communications reporting.

The four CPOs exercise procurement authority under the Illinois Procurement Code on behalf of and for the benefit of state agencies under the Governor and public institutions of higher education. The CPOs work with agencies and universities to meet their procurement needs while exercising independent authority, oversight, and approval designed to continuously improve the procurement process and ensure compliance with the law, fair treatment, diversity, integrity, transparency, and value. The CPOs direct and manage the Illinois Procurement Gateway (IPG) vendor portal and the Small Business Set-Aside Program. As an independent authority, the CPOs use objectivity and impartiality to approve content for procurement bulletins. Additionally, they conduct hearings for sole-source and emergency procurements, review potential conflicts of interest, provide a protest process for vendors, and conduct training for state personnel and vendors on a wide variety of procurement topics. The CPOs enforce the prohibition of political contributions by bidders and contractors. CPO appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Illinois Senate. CPOs are appointed to a term of five years and cannot be removed, except for cause after a hearing. Their salaries cannot be changed during the term.

The CPOs exercise their procurement authority through independent SPOs. SPOs report to the CPOs, are appointed to a five-year term, and cannot be removed except for cause after a hearing. SPO salaries cannot be diminished during the term. The SPOs have general direct oversight of procurement activities and approve to proceed at various stages of the process. SPOs work with purchasing staff at state agencies and public universities to meet their needs.

CPOs, SPOs, and PCMs provide an independent procurement structure that brings transparency and integrity to the procurement process while striving to achieve cost savings for the state through competitive bidding and economical procurement practices. PCMs exercise independent judgment in the review and oversight of the procurement process. PCMs promote best practices to improve compliance, effectiveness, and efficiency and ensure transparency, accountability, and integrity in the procurement process.

Finally, the independent Illinois Power Agency is subject to the oversight of the EEC, which is also responsible for appointing the Illinois Power Agency director and establishing the director's compensation.

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