March 10, 2014
by Walter M. Shaub, Jr.
Today, OGE published its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2014 through 2018. As with all federal agencies, OGE’s work is the result of careful advance planning and goal setting. One important tool in this process is the Strategic Plan, which federal agencies are required to develop every five years. Drafting OGE’s plan was a reflective exercise that addressed the question of how OGE can best achieve its mission of providing “overall leadership and oversight of the executive branch ethics program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest.”
OGE’s contributing staff thought about where we have been and where we want to be in five years, asking “What do we do well, and what can we do better?” The group also sought input from key stakeholders, including agency ethics officials, Congressional staff, non-governmental organizations, and the public.
The product of this inquiry is a plan that communicates a vision for how OGE will use its limited resources to achieve its important mission. I view the plan as a roadmap that describes where we are going and why we need to go there. It describes the strategies OGE will use and documents how OGE will measure whether those strategies are working. In the Strategic Plan, we identify the following three goals that directly support achievement of OGE’s mission:
OGE will promote a strong, uniform executive branch ethics program by interpreting and advising on ethics laws, policies and program management; modernizing and implementing the ethics rules and regulations; holding executive branch agencies accountable for effectively managing their ethics programs; and contributing to the professional development of ethics officials through training.
An example of OGE’s work toward this goal is the planned Government Ethics Summit, which OGE will host during the month of September 2014. At minimal cost, the Summit will bring together more than 300 top agency ethics officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss the latest ethics policies and guidance, share model practices, and strengthen the professional network on which agency ethics officials can draw for support as they carry out their responsibilities.
OGE will contribute to the continuity of senior leadership in the executive branch by assisting the President and the United States Senate with regard to Presidential nominations, by pressing leaders of federal agencies to support their agencies’ ethics programs, and by supporting succession planning in the executive branch ethics program.
An example of our work toward this goal is OGE’s development of an executive branch-wide electronic filing system for public financial disclosure filers.
OGE will increase transparency by raising the visibility of both the executive branch ethics program and OGE through improved communication and by ensuring that ethics information is publicly available.
An example of our work toward this goal is OGE’s increasing presence on social media (follow us on Twitter @OfficeGovEthics) and posting timely updates to OGE’s website.
I hope you find the Strategic Plan helpful in gaining a better understanding of how OGE will go about achieving its important mission. I want to extend a special thanks to all those who provided input and assistance as we developed the plan, and I look forward to continued engagement with you as we implement the plan. To learn more about the specific work we have planned for this year, I also invite you to read our Annual Performance Plan, which describes short-range plans for the current fiscal year.