• author
    • Donald Sanders

      Columnist
    • October 7, 2013 in Columnists

    Ethics to make you sick

    If this doesn’t make you sick — nothing will!

    Summary of the Executive Branch
    Standards of Ethical Conduct

    On February 3, 1993, the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, issued by the Office of Government Ethics for codification at 5 C.F.R. Part 2635, replaced the many individual agency standard of conduct regulations with a uniform set of standards applicable to all employees of the executive branch.

    Because they are intended to answer questions about the ethical conduct of more than a million individuals employed by more than 100 different federal agencies, the Standards of Ethical Conduct are detailed. They contain many examples and will readily answer most ethical questions employees will have. This summary is designed to give employees enough familiarity with the contents of the regulations to recognize ethical issues when they arise and to assist in looking up relevant provisions in the regulations.

    Because the summary provides only a shorthand reference to lengthier provisions in the regulations, an employee must refer to the regulation itself in resolving ethical issues that actually arise or may seek the advice of an agency ethics official.

    Synopsis of Subpart A – General Provisions

    The Principles of Ethical Conduct. The following Principles of Ethical Conduct apply to all employees of the executive branch and many form the basis for specific standards set forth in the regulations.

    • Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain.

    • Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.

    • Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

    • An employee shall not, except pursuant to the exceptions in subpart B, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee’s agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s duties.

    • Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

    • Employees shall make no unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.

    • Employees shall not use public office for private gain.

    • Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.

    • Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

    • Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, where there is a conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

    • Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.

    • Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those such as Federal, state and local taxes that are imposed by law.

    • Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.

    • Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or these Standards of Ethical Conduct.



    • Too bad all that has changed in their minds. And when the Supreme Court allows corporations to become people we all lose. This year court can make it even worse but upping the amount corporations can give. 1993 was a very different time and a time went your word meant something and the congress actually had morals and ethics. All of this saddens me.



    • Where’s is the part where the gov’t has to follow these? They seem to think they are all exempt, from it all.

      Saddens me too.



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