January 05, 2017

Republican Plan To Move Oversight Of Ethics Office Reversed

Public outcry and objections directly from president-elect Donald Trump has uprooted a Republican plan to rename and move the independent watchdog committee that oversees allegations of wrongdoing by House members back under the leadership of its own members.

To read more about the Office of Congressional Ethics, click here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/a-day-of-chaos-at-the-capitol-as-house-republicans-back-down-on-ethics-changes/2017/01/03/50e392ac-d1e6-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.f343a95dbbd4

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

December 22, 2016

Former FWS Senior Employee Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements in Disclosure Forms

A former senior employee of the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pleaded guilty to making false statements in several disclosure forms to conceal approximately $300,000 of income that he received from an association that received grants and cooperative agreements from the FWS.

To read the full article, click here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-fish-and-wildlife-service-employee-pleads-guilty-making-false-statements-disclosure

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Financial Disclosure, Issues: Outside Activities, News | Permalink

August 15, 2016

Proposed GSA Change

The GSA posted a proposed notice on changing the requirement for 1353 approval for waiver of conference fee when speaking.  It is now in alignment with 5 C.F.R. Sect. 204(g)(1).  It will no longer be considered "in-kind", which means 1353 approval is unnecessary.  To see the notice, click here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-08-15/pdf/2016-18556.pdf

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Gifts, News | Permalink

August 08, 2016

National Park Service Director Apologizes for Unethical Behavior

It came a little late, but National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has apologized for unethical behavior that he was investigated for last year.

The behavior was connected to a book about national parks he wrote for a nonprofit organization that has a cooperating agreement with the agency. The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General (IG) said he had the book published without getting approval from the department’s ethics office.

To read the fully story, click here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/06/02/park-service-chief-apologizes-for-unethical-behavior/?hpid=hp_regional-hp-cards_rhp-card-fedgov%3Ahomepage%2Fcard

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Outside Activities, News | Permalink

Former FDA Employee Pleads Guilty to Gathering "Political Intelligence"

Former FDA employee, Gordon Johnston, pleads guilty to using his connections after retirement to gather confidential "political intelligence" for a hedge fund.  This implicates ethics rules because a former government employee induced a current government employee to disclose nonpublic information.

"Political intelligence" was the subject of one of the provisions of the STOCK Act.  Section 7 of the STOCK Act required the GAO to prepare a report addressing six questions about political intelligence activities.  That report is available at http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653532.pdf, but the opening summary suggests that GAO found Congress's questions virtually impossible to investigate.  That said, the STOCK Act's definition of "political intelligence" – information derived from direct communications with a government employee and provided, in exchange for compensation, to a client who intends to use the information for investment purposes – seems to be exactly what happened in the case discussed above.

To read the full story, click here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/06/15/hedge-fund-manager-charged-with-reaping-32-million-profit-from-washington-style-insider-trading-scheme/

Posted by IEC Team Leader in GAO, Issues: Post Employment, News | Permalink

July 15, 2016

OSC Discplines Three for Hatch Act Violations

OSC says three disciplined for Hatch Act violations -- FederalSoup.com

The Office of Special Counsel said it recently obtained disciplinary actions against three federal employees for violations of the Hatch Act, which places certain restrictions on employees’ involvement in partisan political activity while on duty or in the federal workplace.

For the full article, click here.


Posted by IEC Team Leader in Hatch Act, News | Permalink

Freakonomics Features DoD's Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure

For those of you that might have missed it, NPR rebroadcasted its 2013 Freakonomics interview with Jeff Green and Steve Epstein about the DoD's Encyclopedia of Ethical failure.  The podcast can be heard at:


If you would like to take advantage of the Encyclopedia's examples for your ethics training, go to the DoD web site at:

http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/defense_ethics/main.html  ( PLEASE NOTE:  If you use Internet Explorer (IE) to view this site, you may find some pages open in html code only. Should you encounter this, please open "Tools" on the Menu bar, select "Compatibility View Settings" in the dropdown box - and add "dod.mil" to your approved sites. This is a recent security add for IE.  The use of other Internet Browsers may eliminate the need to use the Compatibility View feature.)  

Click on "DoD" guidance, and under "compliance" you will find the Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure which is full of ethics training examples.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Legal Ethics, News, Web Resources | Permalink

February 08, 2016

US Education official apologizes for judgment, collapses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Education Department's chief information officer collapsed Tuesday after undergoing grueling questioning from lawmakers about his work on side businesses with subordinates, failure to pay taxes on his profits and award of a government contract to a friend's company.

A department spokeswoman says the official, Danny Harris, collapsed following the three-hour hearing and was taken to a hospital, where he was evaluated by doctors.

Harris had testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about ethics complaints against him.

"I take full responsibility for how some of my actions have allowed questions to arise about my judgment. I view my behavior as unacceptable and I have learned from this experience," Harris told the panel. "Poor judgment. I make no excuses."

For the full story, click here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-education-official-apologizes-poor-081427509.html

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Issues: Misuse of Govt. Resources, Issues: Misuse of Position, Issues: Outside Activities, News | Permalink

June 10, 2015

Previously Concealed Misconduct Will Soon Become Public for Some Feds

Govexec.com reports:  Some federal employees’ dirty laundry will soon be aired to the public, under a new policy instituted by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

The IG’s office notified members of Congress last week it would make public summary reports of misconduct by Justice senior management -- meaning employees at the General Schedule 15 level, Senior Executive Service members and higher ranking officials -- and other investigations of “significant public interest.” Previously, such investigations would remain hidden from public view unless the department decided to prosecute the officials and a federal court released the records.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

February 12, 2014

Pentagon Going Full-Speed Ahead to Improve Ethics

The two top Defense officials have made ethics reform a “No. 1 priority” across military services, lines and commands.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Friday that he would soon appoint a new Pentagon senior ethics officer to report directly to him because “an uncompromising culture of accountability must exist at every level of command.”

On Sunday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey promised a new campaign to restore ethics after some recent lapses—examples of which include recent news reports that Air Force intercontinental ballistic missile launch officers were arrested for narcotics possession in Montana and that Navy trainers were implicated for cheating on tests at the Navy Nuclear Propulsion School in Charleston, S.C.

“Competence and character are not mutually exclusive,” Hagel told reporters. “They are woven together – they must be.” Asked whether the apparent rise in ethical lapses was related to the past decade’s wartime pressures, Hagel said, “Was it a constant focus of 12 years on two long land wars, taking our emphasis off some of these other areas? I don't know. We intend to find out.”

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

February 01, 2014

Happy Anniversary IEC Journal!!

The first IEC Journal post was published on this date, February 1, in 2004.  It's been a great 10 years of ethics news, announcements and collaboration!   Happy Anniversary IEC Journal- here's to many more years of ethics greatness!

-A special thanks to IEC Journal creator, Jerry Lawson, for reminding us of this special date! 


Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

December 18, 2013

Nonprofit Pearson pays $7.7 million in Common Core settlement

Pearson Charitable Foundation, the nonprofit arm of educational publishing giant Pearson Inc., has agreed to pay a $7.7 million settlement to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman after he determined that the foundation had created Common Core products to generate “tens of millions of dollars” for its corporate sister.

“The law on this is clear: non-profit foundations cannot misuse charitable assets to benefit their affiliated for-profit corporations,” Schneiderman said in a statement Thursday. T

he investigation by the attorney general examined Pearson’s efforts since 2010 to develop a line of classroom materials and tests built around the Common Core, new K-12 academic standards in reading and math that have been fully adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Pearson, the largest educational publisher in the world, sells instructional content, tests, systems and technology for profit to states, school districts and individual schools in the United States and across the globe. The adoption of the Common Core has created a lucrative opportunity for educational publishers, as states and schools rush to buy products “aligned” to the new standards.

According to the settlement, Pearson used its nonprofit foundation to develop Common Core products in order to win an endorsement from a “prominent foundation.”

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

December 16, 2013

Gallup Poll: Lobbyists rank last on ethics

Politico reports:  Congress can take heart that Americans still view one profession as having lower honesty and ethical standards than theirs, according to a new poll: lobbyists. Just 6 percent of Americans say lobbyists have high or very high honesty and ethical standards, making it last on a list of 22 professions surveyed about in a Gallup poll released Monday.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

September 27, 2013

Analysis: Trust in Federal Workers Hits New Low

GovExec reports: American confidence in federal employees has hit a new low, according to a nationwide poll of 800 registered voters released today by The George Washington University.  More than one-third of survey respondents -- 35 percent -- voiced “little or no confidence” in federal workers, up sharply from 23 percent in 2011. Only 19 percent of voters said they have “a lot of confidence” in federal workers, while 41 percent indicated “some confidence” and 5 percent were unsure.

Eroding respect for federal service is not a trivial matter. Essential compliance with laws and regulations is built on trust in the fair, responsible implementation of those laws and regulations.  Since 2009, phone surveys about American attitudes toward federal workers have been conducted for GW during the third quarter of each year by the Tarrance Group.

Despite this lack of trust, Americans still believe the federal government is a desirable career path. About three-quarters of registered voters, or 73 percent, still say they would encourage a young person to consider a federal job. Fewer than one in five, or 19 percent, would discourage a career in civil service.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

April 26, 2013

Former DA jailed after judge issues scathing opinion in rare Texas court of inquiry

ABA Journal reports:  An unusual court of inquiry held to probe the conduct of a former Texas district attorney has concluded with a blistering opinion by the presiding judge.

Former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson was briefly booked into jail Friday before being released on $7,500 bail after District Judge Louis Sturns determined that there was probable cause to support charges that Anderson had violated state law and acted in contempt of court by lying to a trial judge decades ago to win a conviction in a murder case, the American-Statesman reports.

The convicted man, Michael Morton, served nearly 25 years before he was exonerated.

“This court cannot think of a more intentionally harmful act than a prosecutor’s conscious choice to hide mitigating evidence so as to create an uneven playing field for a defendant facing a murder charge and a life sentence,” Sturns said.

Sturns found that Anderson concealed two critical items of evidence that could have helped Morton avoid conviction at trial. First, a police interview transcript showed that Morton's young son had witnessed the murder and said his father wasn't home when it occurred. Second, a man had parked a green van near the Morton home and several times walked into a wooded area behind the house.

The Judge's ruling represents the first step toward a potential prosecution of Anderson, who is now a sitting state court judge. Sturns issued a separate show-cause order requiring Anderson to appear in court to defend a criminal contempt citation, for which he could be sentenced to a maximum $500 fine and six months in jail if he is convicted.  Anderson's lawyer, Eric Nichols, said his client will appeal on statute-of-limitations grounds. He also argues that the facts do not support Sturns' finding and says he believes the court of inquiry went beyond the scope of its authority.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Legal Ethics, News | Permalink

April 23, 2013

Charles Rangel sues to overturn censure

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is suing House Speaker John Boehner and six other lawmakers to overturn his censure on ethics charges, arguing that members of the House Ethics Committee withheld evidence that could’ve cleared his name.

Besides Boehner, the lawsuit in federal court in Washington also names Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), then the House Ethics Committee Chairman. At the end of the Ethics Committee’s investigation, the House voted overwhelmingly to censure Rangel.

Rangel’s lawsuit aims to overturn that censure, according to USA Today, with the lawsuit claiming the ethics investigation involved “numerous, flagrant, knowing and intentional violations” of Rangel’s right to due process, including the committee withholding a memo written by former staffers arguing the investigation was tainted by misconduct.  Had Rangel known about the memo, the lawsuit says, he would’ve immediately moved to dismiss the investigation.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

December 31, 2012

Office of Congressional Ethics Needs Reauthorization to Continue

CNN reports:

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE)  -- which gets its mandate and funding from Congress -- must be reauthorized by this Congress, which soon adjourns, or early on by the new Congress. What's more, at least four of the OCE's board members are approaching the end of their terms, and new members must be selected and appointed for the organization to continue with its work.

No investigations or reports can be done by the office until their board is in place.

The OCE was formed four years ago when then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and others declared they wanted to "drain the swamp" of scandals and corruption in Washington.  Among the biggest scandals that prompted action was that of Jack Abramoff, a former lobbyist, who admitted in 2006 to illegally showering gifts on officials in exchange for favors.

Ken Boehm, chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center, commented that if the OCE is not reauthorized and new board members are not appointed, it would "(send) the message to the public that not only is the ethics system broken, but it doesn't even exist anymore."

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

August 24, 2012

Ethics-Related News for the Week

Several interesting ethics-related articles ran this week:





Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

May 03, 2012

IEC Contributor Pat Carney Honored

Pat Carney has not restricted his community service to extensive contributions to the Interagency Ethics Council. He has also been honored as the 2012 recipient of the Federal Communications Bar Association’s award for outstanding government service.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

May 01, 2012

New U.S. v. POGO decision

US District Court for DC issued its decision on the case about whether a Dept of Interior employee who received a $383,600 monetary award by a group that the employee had assisted in bringing a successful false claims action, had violated 18 USC 209. The case was previously vacated by the Circuit Court (United States v. POGO, 616 F.3d 544 (DC Cir. 2010)).  The District Court ruled against the employee, in summary judgment, and ordered him to repay the entire amount of the award (United States of America v. Project on Government Oversight, DDC CA No. 03-0096 (JDB)--March 21, 2012).

See FedSmith discussion http://www.fedsmith.com/article/3357/former-fed-who-breached-his-fiduciary.html

See DC Dist Court decision Download 86909812-US-v-POGO[1]

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

April 22, 2012

Balanced Perspectives on GSA Conference Scandal

A Washington Post column by Joe Davidson provides a more balanced perspective on the GSA conference scandal problem and the need for reform than most in the news media. He includes a quote from a federal employee:

“Unfortunately for those of us in agencies where a. we don’t have money for conferences to begin with, and b. we aren’t even allowed funds to buy coffee when we have on site meetings, the result of the GSA excesses will be increased scrutiny of all travel and training requests. So all of us, honest thrifty agencies included, will have to jump through more hoops and spend more time justifying everything we do.

“Thanks for making life harder for the rest of us govvies, GSA!”

An article in The Hill notes other interesting facts about the GSA scandal:

[O]ne might argue that the issue isn’t the cost, but the cover-up. Except there was no cover-up.  The “scandal” was not exposed by reporters meeting sources in parking garages. No one even had to file a Freedom of Information Act request. The waste was exposed by the GSA’s own inspector general.  Before anyone could demand that those responsible be fired – they were fired. And before anyone could say the problem goes all the way to the top, the person at the top, GSA Director Martha Johnson, resigned.

Bottom Line: It's important that those familiar with the facts not allow the news media feeding frenzy to create misleading impressions about government employees in general. The overwhelming majority are hard workers with sound judgment, far from the few bad apples at GSA.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

April 16, 2012

More fall out from GSA conference scandal

Here are some additional articles relaying more information on the GSA conference scandal:

Posted by Account Deleted in Inspectors General, Issues: Misuse of Govt. Resources, News | Permalink

April 13, 2012

Legislation Watch: HR. 4343

On March 29, 2012, Representative Wolf (R-Va.) introduced HR. 4343.  The Foreign Lobbying Reform Act seeks to add a new post-Govt employment restrictions to 18 U.S.C. § 207.  The new subsection, (m), would prohibit the President, the Vice President, any Member of Congress, most PAS (excluding uniformed members 0-7 and above), and the heads of certain Intelligence and Defense agencies, from aiding, advising, or representing a foreign entity before any employee of member of Congress, or any employee or officer of any agency or department of the executive branch for 10 years after leaving office.  

Read the Bill: Download HR 4343 (PGE)

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Post Employment, News | Permalink

April 04, 2012

President signs STOCK Act

OGE reports:

"On April 4, 2012, the President signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act) (S. 2038). The Act establishes new requirements for Executive Branch ethics programs, ethics officials, and the thousands of employees who currently file financial disclosure reports pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act. OGE fully supports the Act’s focus on improving transparency and promoting public confidence in government and is carefully analyzing the provisions of the new law. In consultation with DAEOs and other senior agency ethics officials, OGE will issue a series of Legal, Program, and Education Advisories to implement the Act’s provisions.

Questions from agency ethics officials should be directed to the OGE Team that supports your agency. Media and related inquiries should be directed to Vincent Salamone at (202) 482-9292."

See STOCK Act: Download STOCK Act

Posted by Account Deleted in Electronic Filing, Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Issues: Financial Disclosure, Issues: Post Employment, Issues: Seeking Employment, Miscellaneous, News, OGE | Permalink

April 03, 2012

GSA Head resigns over excessives conference spending

Multiple news outlets have reported on the resignation of Martha Johnson, her deputy, but not before firing two senior GSA officials over a 2010 GSA Western Regions Conference, held in Los Vegas.  Following an IG investigation, it was found that “many of the expenditures on this conference were excessive and wasteful, and that in many instances GSA followed neither federal procurement laws nor its own policy on conference spending.”  To read the GSA IG Report: Download GSA IG Report 2012.

Read more:

Posted by Account Deleted in Fiscal Law, Inspectors General, News | Permalink

April 02, 2012

DOD Bribe Taker's Emotional Appeal Sways No One

Judges hear a lot of excuses. Here's one that did not prevent the judge from imposing a 20 month sentence on an ex-DOD official:

“It was a one-time deal. I thought if I did that, I could walk away from Afghanistan,” Wade said in an emotional and occasionally rambling statement. “I had seen enough.”

Navy Times provides more:

Desi Deandre Wade is an Army veteran who was the Defense Department’s top firefighting official in Afghanistan when he was arrested at an August conference in Atlanta moments after taking a bag crammed with $95,000 in cash. He pleaded guilty to taking the bribe to influence a contract, saying Wednesday he wanted to return home to Georgia with enough money to leave behind a three-year stint in Afghanistan.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

March 30, 2012

Four Navy officials plead guilty to wide-raging scheme of fraud and corruption

Justice reports:

As part of the conspiracy, defense contractors provided Navy officials with over one million dollars in personal benefits, including cash, checks, retail gift cards, flat screen television sets, luxury massage chairs, home furniture and appliances, bicycles costing thousands of dollars, model airplanes, and home remodeling services. In return, the Navy officials placed millions of dollars in fraudulent orders with the defense contractors.

See DOJ Press Release at: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cas/press/2012/cas12-0328-Vangundy.pdf; see also Washington Post article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/navy-officials-contractors-plead-guilty-to-fraud-involving-1-million-in-bribes-in-calif/2012/03/28/gIQAfcQwgS_story.html.

Posted by Account Deleted in News | Permalink

March 28, 2012

Study Finds Most State Ethics Laws Lack "Teeth"

A CNN.com report discusses a recent study done by the Global Integrity nonprofit group, Public Radio International and Center for Public Integrity of state ethics laws.  The study found that, across the board, state ethics, open records and disclosure laws lack "teeth" to better enforce the rules.  States were given grades based on an assessment of corruption risk indicators.  New Jersey ranked top with a B+ and Georgia came in last with low scores in transparency and accountability. 

Posted by IEC Team 3 in News | Permalink

March 27, 2012

OSC Hatch Act press release

Two employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently served suspensions for sending partisan political e-mails while on duty and in the federal workplace.  See full press release at http://www.osc.gov/documents/press/2012/pr12_08ha.pdf

Posted by Account Deleted in News, OSC | Permalink

March 26, 2012

Ethics Articles from Fraud Facts Newsletter

The Spring 2012 Edition of Fraud Facts, an Air Force publication, has a couple of articles about ethics:

Workplace Ethics in Transition provides study results showing that there are currently "historically low levels of current misconduct in the American workplace and record high levels of employee reporting.  The percentage of employees who witnessed misconduct at work fell to a new low of 45 percent. That compares to 49 percent in 2009 and is well down from the record high of 55 percent in 2007.  Those who reported the bad behavior they saw reached a record high of 65 percent, up from 63" Unfortunately, the article contends that "As the economy gets better – and companies and employees become more optimistic about their financial futures – it seems likely that misconduct will rise and reporting will drop, mirroring the growth in pressure and retaliation that have already taken place and conforming to historic patterns." The article also purports to link social networking in the workplace with more ethical problems.

Leading by Example: Implementing a Values-Based Ethics Program at DoD explains DoD efforts to focus on values, rather than rules, arguing: Regulations can’t address every situation an employee faces, so a set of guiding principles are needed to help address the circumstances when the rules aren’t clear. This is the fundamental argument for a values-based ethics program. Best-in-class values-based ethics programs have several distinct features. They are based on a set of core values that are not only communicated from the top down, but they are integrated into everyday decisions throughout the organization. Best-in-class programs also train all employees on ethical decision-making every year. They focus on building an ethical culture where employees are encouraged to raise concerns, and they are rewarded for upholding standards of integrity.

Issues of Fraud Facts, including the most current, are available through a link on the right side of an Air Force website:

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

Aspen Institute Commission to Reform Appointment Process - White Paper

GovExec reports on the Aspen Institute-Rockefeller Foundation Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process white paper.  In this paper, the Commission recommends the House pass the Presidential Appointment & Efficiency & Streamlining Act, which was passed by the Senate in June 2011.  The report also says: "The nominees ... must navigate an archaic, unnecessarily burdensome and time-consuming background information process during their vetting and consideration for confirmation."  Read full article at: http://www.govexec.com/management/2012/03/panel-suggests-tighter-timeline-presidential-appointments/41558/

See The Presidential Appointment & Efficiency & Streamlining Act (S. 679) at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s679rs/pdf/BILLS-112s679rs.pdf.

Posted by Account Deleted in News | Permalink

March 23, 2012

DARPA Chief to Google

Wired Magazine's Danger Room has multiple articles about the departure of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) chief Regina Dugan for Google.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Post Employment, News | Permalink

March 22, 2012

STOCK Act passes Senate and heads to President

POLITICO reports (3/22/12 2:03pm):

After weeks of delays, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill banning congressional insider trading to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.

The Senate voted 96 to 3 to pass a watered-down STOCK Act, which would bar members of Congress, their staff and some federal workers from profiting from non-public information obtained through their jobs.


Posted by Account Deleted in Electronic Filing, Issues: Financial Disclosure, News, OGE | Permalink

March 21, 2012

Federal Times reports on possible STOCK Act vote

The Federal Times reports that the Senate may vote on the STOCK Act as early as Thursday morning.  See full article at http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120320/CONGRESS02/203200306/1001.

Posted by Account Deleted in Electronic Filing, Issues: Financial Disclosure, News | Permalink

March 20, 2012

Ethics in the News

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Conflicts of Interest, News | Permalink

March 08, 2012

White House Opens Ethics.gov Website

The government's Data.gov website is an effort to give citizens easy access to a variety of information about their government. The White House today unveiled Ethics.gov, which is a similar site focusing on ethics issues, including the following: 

As POGO notes:

This information has been available to the public in other digital corridors of the federal government, but until today, had not yet been brought under the same roof. This is a big deal. Being able to search all these records simultaneously marks a real step forward towards ethics transparency. 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

March 06, 2012

Ethics related news here, there, & everywhere... Oh my!

Posted by Account Deleted in Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

February 29, 2012

OGE's side-by-side comparision of the STOCK Act

It is worthy to take a look at the Office of Government Ethics side-by-side comparison of the various versions of the STOCK Act, which could create a public, sort and searchable, database of financial disclosure information in an effort to stymie insider trading concerns.  See Download S2038 side-by-side[1]

Posted by Account Deleted in Electronic Filing, Issues: Financial Disclosure, News, OGE | Permalink

February 15, 2012

Lobbyists sue Federal Govt over ban on Advisory Committees

Lobbyists who were serving or sought to serve, but were banned from federal advisory committees by the Obama administration, are suing the government to reverse the ban on their service on grounds that it violates the First Amendment. All plaintiffs were up or served on the Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITAC), which are jointly managed by the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. 

Read the full The Hill article at http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/210439-lobbyists-sue-obama-after-being-booted-from-boards 

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Advisory Committees, Issues: Special Gov. Employees, Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

Lobbyists sue Federal Govt over ban on Advisory Committees

Lobbyists who were serving or sought to serve, but were banned from federal advisory committees by the Obama administration, are suing the government to reverse the ban on their service on grounds that it violates the First Amendment. All plaintiffs were up or served on the Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITAC), which are jointly managed by the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. 

Read the full The Hill article at http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/210439-lobbyists-sue-obama-after-being-booted-from-boards 

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Advisory Committees, Issues: Special Gov. Employees, Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

February 13, 2012

Ethics Related News

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Misuse of Govt. Resources, Issues: Misuse of Position, News | Permalink

February 06, 2012

Shelby's STOCK Act

GovExec article discusses the implications of Congressman Shelby's amendments to the STOCK Act, introduced to address concerns about Congressmen not being covered by insider trading laws.  Under the amendment the impact has been expanded to try to cover many Executive Branch personnel.  As currently contemplated, the law could require:

  • Electronic availability of Public Financial Disclosure report
  • Posting of all stock trades of certain personnel, where the transaction exceeds $1,000, for all or some financial disclosure filers

See full article at http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2012/02/momentum-builds-require-feds-disclose-stock-trades/41092/.

For details about the various STOCK Act versions, see http://insidertrading.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004520.

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Issues: Misuse of Position, Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

February 03, 2012

Interesting article on Congress' Insider Trading Bill

If you missed it, the Senate overwhelmingly (96-3) passed the bill that would impose insider training restrictions on lawmakers this week.  The House is expected to take it up next week.  Interestingly, attached conflicting amendments would further impose this on certain Executive Branch employees.  See Associated Press article at http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/03/house-ready-to-consider-insider-trading-ban/.

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

January 05, 2012

Ethics Related News (Int'l)

Posted by Account Deleted in News | Permalink

December 01, 2011

Govt attorney pleads guilty to conflict of interest

Consumer Products Safety Commission attorney plead guilty to a conflict of interest violation and filing false statements on his "ethics forms."  The charges stem from his claim to have “Insider Knowledge” in advertising his private law practice and his failure to disclose this outside business on his disclsoure reports.  He also represented a private client before the Federal Government.

Read the full DOJ press release, see http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/Public-Affairs/press_releases/press08/GovernmentLawyerGuiltyofConflictofInterestandFilingFalseDisclosureForms.html.

Posted by Account Deleted in Inspectors General, Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Issues: Financial Disclosure, News | Permalink

November 17, 2011

The removal appeal of the employee implicated in US v. POGO is remanded

Consequences of United States v. Project on Government Oversight, 525 F.Supp.2d, 161, 164 (D.D.C. 2007).  The Dept. of Interior employee, Robert Berman received notice of his proposed removal for misuse of public office for personal gain.  The Federal Circuit suspended its review of the case pending the outcome of the DC Circuit case on whether he violated 18 USC 209 by accepting an award from POGO.  Since that case was remanded for a new jury verdict, so was the personnel removal case. 

See Berman v. Department of the Interior, C.A.F.C. No. 2010-3052 (nonprecedential) (Nov. 7, 2011) at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/10-3052.pdf.

Read related article at: http://www.fedsmith.com/articles/articles_display.php?a=3183&p=1

Posted by Account Deleted in Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Miscellaneous, MSPB, News | Permalink

"Financial Conflicts of Interest In and Out of Government" by Kathleen Clark

Several people have requested information related to Kathleen Clark's presentation at the September 2011 OGE Conference.  The article she wrote is published as "Financial Conflicts of Interest In and Out of Government" in the Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-02-03.  See http://law.wustl.edu/faculty_profiles/pages.aspx?id=223.

Posted by Account Deleted in Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

Ethics related news items

Please see the following news items which are related to ethics:

Posted by Account Deleted in Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

November 15, 2011

Presidential Executive Order: PROMOTING EFFICIENT SPENDING

On Nov. 9, 2011, the President signed an executive order to promote efficient spending in the Executive Branch.  See EO at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/09/executive-order-promoting-efficient-spending.  The EO is part of the Campaign to Cut Waste, and coincided with the announcement of the 2011 SAVE Award finalist.  See WH press release: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/09/we-cant-wait-president-obama-sign-executive-order-cut-waste-and-promote-.

Within 45 days, agencies must develop plans to reduce combined costs in the following areas to 20 percent below Fiscal Year 2010 levels by Fiscal Year 2013.

  1. Reduce Spending on Travel and Conferences.
  2. Cut Duplicative and Unnecessary Employee Information Technology Devices
  3. End Unnecessary Printing and Put It Online
  4. Limit Motor Vehicles
  5. Stop Swag – or Government Promotional Handouts

Posted by Account Deleted in Fiscal Law, Issues: Misuse of Govt. Resources, Issues: Travel, Miscellaneous, News | Permalink

November 01, 2011

News of Interest

The following articles may be of interest for our followers:

Posted by Account Deleted in News, Procurement | Permalink