EA-11-05: 18th National Government Ethics Conference UPDATE

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June 14, 2011




TO:    Designated Agency Ethics Officials

FROM:    Matthew S. Cross
Associate Director for Education

SUBJECT:    18th National Government Ethics Conference UPDATE

As we continue to finalize the agenda for the upcoming 18th National Government Ethics Conference we would like to give you a sense of what to expect at this year's Conference.

The theme of this year's conference is Organizational Integrity: A Shared Responsibility. As such we plan to discuss issues that fall within OGE's jurisdiction as well as topics that intersect with the ethics rules and regulations. For example, we will have sessions on social media, 18 U.S.C. 209, gifts, E-Filing, the Hatch Act, Whistleblower Disclosure, and a workshop on how to develop agency-wide support for the ethics program. In addition, last year's popular session, "A Year in Review" by OGE's Office of General Counsel and Legal Policy is back as a plenary session.

The Conference has been expanded from two and half days to three days and will feature sixty-four concurrent breakout sessions, daily plenary sessions, and an exhibit hall. Conference sessions will be an hour and fifteen minutes and will be delivered in a lecture, panel, workshop or plenary format. We will have sessions geared toward varying levels of experience and we have a number of exciting new additions to our conference agenda.

What’s New in 2011?

Program Excellence and Innovation Hall
This year's conference will feature a new and improved exhibit hall. The Program Excellence and Innovation Hall will feature entrants of the Program Excellence and Innovation Awards as well as several other exhibits. Plan to visit the exhibit hall to see how other agencies overcome challenges in the areas of training, program management, electronic filing, communications and customer service. If you find something useful in the exhibit hall you will be able to cast your vote and help select the Program Excellence and Innovation viewer's choice award winners.

Learning Labs
This year's conference will feature three learning labs where attendees will have the opportunity to engage in discussion with experts in the areas of program management, program support and ethics education. Labs will provide highly engaging and interactive discussions on a number of topics. Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn from experts and your peers at the learning labs.

Poster Contest
Winners of the 2011 Ethics Awareness Poster Contest will be recognized and their poster concepts featured at the Conference. If you are looking for ways to promote ethics in your organization you just might find what you need at the poster contest exhibit.

Alternative Reality Game
This year we are pilot testing an alternative reality game (ARG) called iSpy, Operation: Ethics Infiltration.  The purpose of the game is to bring conference attendees together in fun and competition while enriching their conference experience. The game will give participants opportunities to:

  • Expand their professional network.
  • Gather and apply knowledge learned at the conference.
  • Identify ethics program model practices to take back to agencies.
  • Practice facilitating discussions on various ethics topics.
  • Learn about alternative training methods such as ARGs.

Virtual Conference
For those who are not able to attend this year's conference or can’t decide between two sessions occurring at the same time – don't worry. For the first time, OGE will make highlights of some conference sessions available for later viewing over the web.

Mobile Conference Application
In an effort to Go Green, we are very excited to announce that the Conference will have its very own mobile application (APP) and dedicated website. Conference attendees will be able to download the APP and access the website to view information such as the conference agenda, materials, handouts, and contact information for all attendees. Attendees will be able to create their own schedules and view a map of the conference facility. As part of the Go Green initiative, we will be limiting the distribution of paper copies of the agenda and conference materials.

Other Noteworthy Items

A more detailed agenda with session descriptions will follow as the conference draws closer as well as information about the APP and registration for the ARG game.

In the next several weeks OGE will send a survey to all conference registrants asking them to provide feedback and interest level on potential conference sessions.

We hope to see you in Orlando this September!