DT-08-015: OGE 2008 Education and Communication Awards Announcement

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April 14, 2008



TO: Designated Agency Ethics Officials

FROM: Matthew S. Cross Associate Director for Education

SUBJECT: OGE 2008 Education and Communication Awards Announcement

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is pleased to invite submissions of nominations for the OGE 2008 Education and Communication Awards. The awards will be presented at the 16th National Government Ethics Conference on September 16 - 19, 2008 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The deadline for receipt of the nominations is May 30, 2008. Please refer to the attachment for nomination information.


OGE 2008 Education and Communication Awards Announcement

The OGE 2008 Education and Communication Awards recognize executive branch agencies that demonstrate ethics program success as a result of education and communication efforts. We are looking for agencies that:

  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to ethics education and communication;
  • Create a strong ethical culture as a result of these efforts; and
  • Utilize model practices to encourage understanding and awareness of ethical behaviors.

Established in 2007, the OGE training award program honored departments and agencies that took additional steps to ensure that ethics education is incorporated into the agency’s culture. This year, OGE is expanding the awards program to highlight communication products that increase employee awareness of ethics. Past award winners showed that they were innovative in delivering effective ethics education and program communications. Above all, award winners produced education and communication products that were:

  • Innovative: award winners found novel ways to educate and communicate with employees.
  • Creative: award winners took the initiative to design and deliver new education and communication products.
  • Transferable: award winners created products that would work in other agencies with minor modifications.
  • Successful: award winners created products that complied with regulations, exceeded expectations, fostered high ethical standards for employees, and helped to ensure that the Government's business is conducted with impartiality and integrity.

Nominations for training awards will be accepted from April 21, 2008 through May 30, 2008. To submit a nomination, please follow the instructions located in the "How to Apply" section of this DAEOgram.

Success Factors

Agencies do not win OGE education and communication awards by being effective at only one thing. They win awards by building comprehensive education and communication products that result in a strong ethical culture and an improvement in the public's confidence that the Government's business is conducted with impartiality and integrity.

The most successful applications:

  • Highlight innovative and novel product(s) that are used to deliver training and communicate with agency employees.
  • Provide evidence that the agency goes beyond compliance and takes initiative to deliver outstanding education and communication product(s).
  • Describe the outcomes achieved through the education or communication product(s).
  • Demonstrate a link between education or communication product(s), agency goals, and OGE goals.

The applications:

  • Are filled out completely.
  • Provide a detailed description of the education and communication product(s).
  • Describe the education and communication product(s) in a clear and concise manner.
  • Describe the audience that the education or communication product(s) was intended for.
  • Demonstrate how the education or communication product(s) had a positive impact on the agencies ethics program.
  • Include copies of the product(s) in either an electronic or hard copy format.

Past Winners

Established in 2007, the OGE Training Awards Winner’s Circle includes departments and agencies committed to effective, innovative ethics education products and communication tools.

OGE recognized the outstanding achievements of the:

  • Bureau of the Public Debt - EthicsSmart posters and newsletters used to complement ethics training. New posters are developed monthly. The monthly newsletter uses a question and answer format, provides tips and suggestions, and offers information for managers to discuss at staff meetings.
  • Communications Electronics Life Cycle Management Command - Ethics Smart Card. The credit card-sized cards provide useful information about permissible and impermissible post- employment activities. Easily read and portable, the cards were widely distributed to senior military and civilian personnel.
  • Natick Soldier Center - instructor-led, interactive training targeted to the specific needs of a highly educated group of scientists, engineers, and supporting staff. The training program contains numerous analogies and references to current events to illustrate various points. It effectively makes the case as to why the information is relevant to the audience.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Ethics Survivor, an instructor-led game based on the TV program. Props are used to facilitate the game and add an element of realism. Questions are used to explore a range of ethics issues.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development - a comprehensive ethics program. This program includes values-based instructor-led ethics training; customized rules-based instructor-led training; strong, visible agency leadership buy-in; annual ethics award (including a plaque and cash award); electronic ethics tip of the day; and an ethics web site.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture - an online horse race. Participants select ethics questions of varying degrees of difficulty. The question selected and the answer chosen define participants’ pace in the race.
  • The Department also has several Self-Help tools that allow employees to identify possible ethics problems. The tools support the work of the ethics official. By completing the tools, employees are either directed to the ethics official for guidance or learn that it is unlikely that they have an ethics problem.
  • U.S. Department of Commerce - an instructor-led program that uses flashcards. The flashcards cover a range of topics to include post employment, gifts, misuse of position, Hatch Act, etc. The instructor presents information and distributes the cards to participants. Based on the cards, participants state whether a particular behavior is or is not allowed.
  • U.S. Department of Education - Ethics Jeopardy, using the TV game show format. This instructor-led program is used for basic ethics training. By varying the format the game was used effectively for small and large groups.
  • U.S. Mint - 2006 General Training. This interactive, instructor-led training addresses gifts, conflicts of interest, outside activities, etc. The program provides a clear sense of why the training is important.
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management - an instructor-led program, Public Service and Ethical Leadership, sponsored by the Federal Executive Institute. The highly interactive program includes case studies, video clips, classic and contemporary readings, and self- assessment exercises.

Submittal Suggestions

OGE does not want to place constraints on submissions and we expect to receive a variety of education and communication products. However, applicants can review the past winners page to get a sense of the products that were recognized in 2007, the first year of the OGE training award program. Additionally, the following list highlights some of the items we hope to see this year. This list is not all inclusive and awards may be given for innovative education or communication products that do not fit in the categories below:

  • Newsletters
  • Posters
  • Podcasts
  • Instructor-led classroom training classes
  • Instructor-led web-based training classes
  • Self-paced web-based training classes
  • Print materials such as student guides, instructor guides, manuals, or pamphlets
  • On-the-job training sessions
  • Orientation training sessions
  • Instructional games
  • Quick references
  • Job aids
  • Instructional assessment tools
  • Instructional video clips
  • Instructional exercises

How to Apply

You must apply by May 30, 2008. Previous award winners can apply if they are submitting a new product or products. Products that were recognized in the previous year will only be considered if significant modifications were made to meet new learning objectives.

To apply for the 2008 OGE Education and Communications Awards, you must:

  1. Fill out the OGE Education and Communication Training Awards Application form,
  2. Submit the form to OGE, and
  3. Submit or provide access to your education or communication product(s).

To apply:

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to submit your application. You may download a free version from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

  1. Open the OGE Education and Communication Awards Application form by clicking on the hyperlink below. Please Note: The application will be available in an on-line format from April 21, 2008 through May 30, 2008. Candidates must submit their application and product(s) within this 6-week time frame.
  2. Application Form (http://www.usoge.gov/pages/training_wrkshops/training_wrkshps.html#trng_comm_awd)

  3. Enter all information into the electronic form.
  4. Click the submit button. This will send an electronic copy of the application form directly to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
  5. If you are unable to complete the application in one sitting you may save it for completion at a later time. To save your application at any time click the "Save Via Email" button at the bottom of the application and follow the instructions on the dialogue box. Please Note: Saving your application does not transmit your information to OGE. You must click the Submit button at the bottom of the form to send in your application. If you have any questions or experience technical difficulties, please contact Kaneisha Cunningham at ktcunnin@oge.gov or 202-482-9228.
  6. Submit or provide access to your education or communication product(s). OGE will accept your products in the following ways:

OPTION # 1: Submit Via Email

You may send copies of your education or communication products electronically (via email to Kaneisha Cunningham at ktcunnin@oge.gov). You may also send hyperlinks to your education or communication products if they are electronically accessible through the public internet. When submitting your products, please include the agency name, contact name and phone number used on the application form in the body of the email message.

OPTION # 2: Submit Via Postage

You may send copies of your education or communication products through the mail to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics ATTN: Kaneisha Cunningham, 1201 New York Avenue Suite 500 Washington DC 20005. When sending the copies, please include the agency name, contact name and phone number used on the application form. If the product is available in an electronic format, please send a CD or DVD with the electronic file(s).