RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Limitations on the use of airplanes and state vehicles, not hiring relatives, and not taking them on official trips are just some of the restrictions Ecuador’s new President Guillermo Lasso has included in a Code of Ethics for the Executive branch.
Lasso, who took office on Monday and will serve until 2025, has established through a decree that relatives of Executive officials “up to the fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity, or those with whom there is a civil union relationship, may not be hired or appointed to any public position in which their relative has direct participation.”
Exempted from this restriction are those officials who have obtained an appointment, designation, or contract before the designation of officials at a higher hierarchical level of the Executive, in which case the corresponding authorities must be informed.
The decree also prohibits the participation, accompaniment, or travel of family members in the aforementioned degrees of consanguinity and affinity in diplomatic missions or similar nature to attend public affairs with public financing.
The exception is in those cases in which the accompaniment is necessary due to protocol demands and requirements of other countries or international instances, and in any case, “without any expenditure of public resources”, the document states.
It also states that the spouse of the president and vice-president of the Republic may not receive any salary, remuneration, or compensation in any form.
Regarding the use of State property, it states that presidential airplanes shall be used exclusively for official State business and that up to 48 hours after the trip, the list of passengers, description of the cargo of each passenger, the route of the airplane, the destination of the trip and its purpose must be published.
The Code also prohibits the use of State vehicles for activities unrelated to the exercise of the office, and regarding gifts, it states that gifts or any benefit, gift or reward, or any similar benefit, including invitations for vacations, among others, may not be accepted.
Regarding the promotion of personal image, it stipulated that the agencies and entities of the Executive Branch may not use public funds to carry out campaigns for such purposes.
It also prohibited the exhibition of portraits of authorities in public offices and public facilities and offices for personal meetings, parties, or events unrelated to public interest.
With the Code of Ethics, Lasso endorses his electoral campaign promise to fight corruption in Ecuador, a country where in recent years there have been several complaints in this regard. During the administration of Rafael Correa (2007-2017) it had been decreed that public officials must submit a declaration of assets.