DO-04-002: 25th Anniversary Year Ethics Message

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January 13, 2004

DO-04-002

MEMORANDUM

TO: Designated Agency Ethics Officials, Alternate Designated Ethics Officials

FROM: Marilyn L. Glynn Acting Director

SUBJECT: 25th Anniversary Year Ethics Message

As you know, this is the 25th anniversary year of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA). Enacted on October 26, 1978, the EIGA established the foundation of the modern executive branch ethics program by creating the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to provide overall policy direction for the ethics program. And just as importantly, the EIGA also set forth certain responsibilities for the administration of the ethics program in each agency by the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO). OGE began to operate as an office on January 14, 1979, a date that marks the beginning of the partnership between OGE and DAEOs in administering the ethics program.

In order to commemorate the beginning of this partnership, I would like to invite you to take notice of this occasion in the 25th anniversary year through an ethics message to the employees of your agency. The purpose of the message is to heighten employee awareness and understanding of the ethics program. In order to assist you, I have attached a draft of a sample ethics message that you could adapt or modify for your own use on a website, via email communication, or otherwise.

As ethics officials, you play a key role in the effective administration of the ethics program. I want to thank you for the professionalism, dedication, and commitment that you bring to the program that are so essential to its success. I look forward to working with you to continue to improve and modernize the ethics program in the future.

Attachment

SAMPLE

Anniversary Year Ethics Message

This is the 25th anniversary year of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, a landmark ethics law that established the foundation of the modern ethics program in executive branch departments and agencies.

On this occasion, I want to encourage you to make use of the ethics resources that are available to our employees. The agency’s ethics staff, both in Washington and in its regional offices, is ready to provide advice whenever you are unsure about a situation and may need help in identifying and resolving an ethics issue. Our ethics staff can also help you understand your obligations under federal ethics laws and regulations, including what is required to meet financial disclosure obligations. In addition to our regular training activities, we are happy to provide additional ethics training and briefings as needed and requested.

The ethics laws and rules that govern employee conduct establish baseline legal standards to ensure that agency decision making is carried out in a fair and impartial manner and that employee’s relationships with contractors and others who do business with us are not tainted by personal gain. Ethics rules also help to ensure an ethical workplace, free of improper pressures. Finally, observing high ethical standards is essential to overall effectiveness in achieving our agency mission and promoting public confidence in the integrity of our programs and our employees.