Mission & Responsibilities

Vision – To achieve a high level of public confidence in the integrity of
executive branch programs and operations.

Mission – Provide overall leadership and oversight of the executive branch
ethics program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest.

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) oversees the executive branch ethics program and works with a community of ethics practitioners made up of over 5,000 ethics officials in more than 130 agencies to implement that program. When government decisions are made free from conflicts of interest, the public can have greater confidence in the integrity of executive branch programs and operations.

To fulfill its mission, OGE:

  • Advances a strong, uniform executive branch ethics program by interpreting and advising on ethics laws, policies, and program management; holding executive branch agencies accountable for carrying out an effective ethics program; contributing to the professional development of ethics officials; and modernizing and implementing the ethics rules and regulations. Learn More
  • Contributes to the continuity of senior leadership in the executive branch by providing assistance to the President and the Senate in the Senate confirmation process for Presidential nominees; promoting leadership support of the ethics program; and supporting succession planning in the ethics community. Learn More
  • Promotes transparency of the executive branch ethics program by raising the visibility of the ethics program and OGE, and by ensuring that ethics information is publicly available. Learn More

OGE’s mission is one of prevention. OGE does not adjudicate complaints, investigate matters within the jurisdiction of Inspectors General and other authorities, or prosecute ethics violations. Click here to learn where to report misconduct. OGE is the supervising ethics office for the executive branch ethics program and has no jurisdiction over the ethics programs of the legislative or judicial branches of the federal government or state or local government ethics programs.

The Executive Branch Ethics Program: Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to the work done by OGE, the head of each executive branch agency, ethics officials, federal employees, and the public all have an important role in implementing the executive branch ethics program.

Agency leaders play a significant role in promoting an ethical culture and supporting an agency’s ethics program. The head of each executive branch agency has primary responsibility for implementing the ethics program in that agency. To administer the day-to-day activities of the ethics program, each agency head appoints individuals to serve as the agency's Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) and Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official (ADAEO). Depending on the size of the agency, there may be additional professional ethics staff supporting the ethics program. Approximately 5,500 full-time and part-time ethics officials work in the executive branch to provide employees assistance in identifying and resolving potential conflicts of interest. Their duties include collecting and reviewing employees’ financial disclosure reports, providing employees with ethics training, counseling employees on ethics and standards of conduct issues, and maintaining compliant agency ethics programs.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each employee to understand and abide by the ethics laws and rules. Agency ethics officials are available to help each employee fulfill these responsibilities and to ensure that employees make decisions based on the public’s interests rather than their own financial interests.

The public’s role is to assist in holding government officials accountable for carrying out their duties free from conflicts of interest. In order to foster transparency, the ethics rules allow members of the public to access various government records, such as public financial disclosure reports, OGE ethics program review reports, and agency reports of travel payments provided by non-federal sources. With this information, the public can review the processes in place to detect and resolve conflicts of interest.

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