This section features resources that executive branch agencies can use to build transparent and efficient ethics programs that are compliant with the ethics rules and regulations.
Each year, executive branch agencies submit to OGE responses to an Annual Questionnaire (Questionnaire). The Questionnaire asks for information about ethics officials and the administration
of agency ethics programs as well as core elements of the ethics program that assist in the identification and resolution of potential conflicts of interest. The compiled data provides valuable insights about the executive branch ethics program.
Post-election readiness presents important challenges for ethics officials. Regardless of the outcome of the Presidential election, we can anticipate a surge of activity to fill Presidentially appointed positions. The effective vetting of financial disclosures, drafting of ethics agreements, and follow-up are essential. OGE recently completed in-depth assessments of selected agencies in order to provide insight about specific programs and to identify and disseminate pertinent information to other agencies. OGE completed targeted assessments of post-election readiness at the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and State, which collectively account for nearly 40 percent of all Senate-confirmed Executive Branch positions. The reports reflect the essential elements of a successful ethics program, namely succession planning, specific and continuous training, and a program structure ensuring accountability. Agencies may find review of these reports helpful as they look for ways to evaluate and improve their own ethics programs.
U.S. Department of Justice (PDF)U.S. Department of State (PDF)U.S. Department of the Treasury (PDF)
The report is a continuation of a benchmarking project launched in 2010: "A Vision for Ethics Program Management: Benchmarking Success." This report provides information on the extent to which regulatory agencies have incorporated factors critical to the success of ethics program management. These success factors are leadership, awareness, resources and oversight. The report describes the concrete actions the regulatory agencies have taken to incorporate the critical success factors and highlights specific actions that all agencies may wish to consider incorporating into their ethics programs. The report also provides comparative data based on information the regulatory agencies provided in the "2010 Agency Ethics Program Questionnaire." This comparative data can be used to assist agencies in determining how best to allocate ethics program resources.
The report "A Vision for Ethics Program Management: Benchmarking Success" provides information on the extent to which cabinet-level agencies have incorporated factors critical to the success of ethics program management. These success factors are leadership, awareness, resources and oversight. The report describes the concrete actions the cabinet-level agencies have taken to incorporate the critical success factors and highlights specific actions that all agencies may wish to consider incorporating into their ethics programs. The report also provides comparative data based on information the cabinet-level agencies provided in the "2009 Agency Ethics Program Questionnaire." This comparative data can be used to assist agencies determine how best to allocate ethics program resources.
The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has conducted a focused assessment of select agencies’ processes and procedures for collecting, reviewing, and certifying financial disclosure reports, including reports filed by nominees for Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed (PAS) positions.
This report is the result of a six month effort of a working group comprised of staff from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and numerous ethics officials. The working group was initiated in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita at ethics officials request that the community come together to develop common solutions to shared problems and experiences. The effort culminated in a conference that was held March 21 and 22, 2006. In addition to the conference report, many speakers prepared Powerpoint presentations which are listed on the report. (Note: This file contains links to documents on web sites outside of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. These documents were not created and are not maintained by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics takes no responsibility for the accuracy, propriety or legality of these documents.)
OGE worked with several agencies to identify concrete actions that agency leaders may institute to promote an ethical culture and to support an agency’s ethics program.