Public employment is a public trust. It is the policy of the Commonwealth to promote and balance the objective of protecting government integrity and the objective of facilitating the recruitment and retention of personnel needed by this Commonwealth. Implementation of this policy requires that public employees discharge their duties impartially so as to assure fair competitive access to Commonwealth agency procurement by responsible contractors and that they conduct themselves in a manner that fosters public confidence in the integrity of the Commonwealth procurement process. It is also essential that those doing business with Commonwealth agencies observe high standards of honesty and integrity. 62 Pa.C.S.A. 2301


The state employee may not use his/her office or the authority of that office for the benefit of the outside entity or for personal gain. State Ethics Act 65 P.S. 401 etseq

There are two interests that a public employee must avoid when dealing with vendors:
  • Adverse Interest: Against the interest of some other party, usually so as to benefit one's own interest.
    • John Doe purchases products or services from Vendor A because Vendor A provides John Doe with tickets to the game or a trip to Paradise Island.
    • ...a fine of ($1,000.00) and or imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year; and shall automatically forfeit any office or employment under a State agency which he/she may hold. 71 P.S. 776.8
  • Conflict of Interest: A situation in which regard for one's duty leads to disregard for another or might be reasonably expected to do so. Conflicts of interest may be actual or potential.
    • John Doe purchases or appears to purchase products or services from Vendor A because Vendor A makes donations to his department.