Tester posts his latest ethics review online

Helena judge Gordon Bennett conducted voluntary review

(CHESTER, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today posted online a new ethics review of his office.

Tester, the first member of Congress to post his daily public schedule online, is also the only member to voluntarily request regular ethics reviews of himself and his staff.

Retired Montana District Court Judge Gordon Bennett of Helena conducted Tester’s latest ethics review for the current session of Congress, after carefully examining Tester’s office policies and records, Senate ethics rules and other requested documents.

Judge Bennett’s review, conducted at no charge and no cost to taxpayers, is available online HERE.

“Senator Tester has established an ethics regime for his offices that provides clear, comprehensive and workable guidance for his staff and that regime appears to be substantially adhered to and effectively enforced,” Judge Bennett wrote in his review.  “I believe Senator Tester has demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication and established a new and more effective system of ethics deployment and control for his offices.”

Bennett’s review emphasizes Tester’s unique office policies banning former employees from lobbying him or his staff, and banning outside gifts and travel.  Tester’s office policies are considerably more strict than the Senate’s own ethics rules.

“I appreciate Judge Bennett investing his time to give things a full and fair look through, to make sure we’re staying on the right path,” Tester said.  “I take a lot of pride in leading the way for better transparency and more sunshine in Congress, and I welcome this review as a reminder that all public servants have an obligation to keep raising the bar as high as possible when it comes to ethics standards.”

Tester recently introduced his landmark Public Online Information Act, requiring the executive branch of the U.S. government to post online all public documents in a free, searchable database.

The non-partisan Sunlight Foundation hailed Tester’s legislation, saying it “redefines public information for the 21st century.”