POGO urges Obama to withdraw Lynn's nomination

A government watchdog group called on President Barack Obama today to withdraw the nomination of former Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn to be deputy secretary of defense because it said Lynn's appointment appears to circumvent the president’s new ethics order.

Under an executive order signed Jan. 21, lobbyists must wait two years before accepting positions at federal agencies they have lobbied. The order also bans federal employees from accepting gifts and appointees from accepting jobs from lobbyists, and it requires greater transparency of government documents.

The Project on Government Oversight asked Obama to withdraw Lynn’s nomination because it apparently violates the new rule. Although Lynn lobbied the Defense Department on Raytheon’s behalf as recently as the first quarter of 2008, White House officials granted Lynn a waiver, POGO said.

“President Obama should not compromise his standards and the effectiveness of the Department of Defense by allowing a top defense industry lobbyist to receive a waiver from these standards,” POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian said in a statement.

Lynn was not available for comment but has previously said that he has complied with all ethics rules.

The cooling-off period imposed on lobbyists entering government is a new type of ethics rule, said Scott Amey, general counsel at POGO. Most ethics prohibitions, including those in the House and Senate, focus on government officials waiting a prescribed amount of time before accepting a lobbying post.

“It seems as if the Obama administration took five steps forward with its order on openness, transparency and ethics, but when you look how it is going to be applied, if it is riddled with lobbyists who have received waivers, it has pretty much made the ban toothless,” Amey said.


About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • IT Modernization
    Eisenhower Executive Office Building (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

    OMB's user guide to the MGT Act

    The Office of Management and Budget is working on a rules-of-the-road document to cover how agencies can seek and use funds under the MGT Act.

  • global network (Pushish Images/Shutterstock.com)

    As others see us -- a few surprises

    A recent dinner with civil servants from Asia delivered some interesting insights, Steve Kelman writes.

  • FCW Perspectives
    cloud (Singkham/Shutterstock.com)

    A smarter approach to cloud

    Advances in cloud technology are shifting the focus toward choosing the right tool for the job and crafting solutions that truly modernize systems.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.