January 8, 2020
As we say “goodbye” to 2019, OGE looks forward to some exciting challenges in 2020.
Up first, and through the year: ensuring that the executive branch ethics community is ready and able to handle the many challenges that come with a presidential election year. To this end, OGE will host its National Government Ethics Summit in Bethesda, Maryland from March 10-12. The Summit will help ethics officials prepare to review the increased volume of financial disclosure reports that follow any election, by making certain that their ethics teams are well trained, their agency ethics policies are up-to-date, and their programs are resourced to manage the increased workload.
OGE will also continue its work to improve the way the public accesses ethics information. A rework of OGE’s website is already underway, and will provide more transparent and efficient access to the ethics records of senior officials and oversight records of executive branch agencies. It is our hope that these improvements will enable the public and research organizations to better understand the executive branch ethics program and fully use publicly available information.
OGE is working to make sure ethics rules keep pace with our changing world. OGE is in the process of modernizing the Standards of Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch as well as creating a regulation to help federal employees and donors navigate the creation and operation of legal expense funds. As we work toward these policy innovations, OGE will keep the public updated on our progress and apprised of opportunities to provide input.
Finally, OGE will continue to emphasize the importance of leadership support for executive branch ethics programs. During 2019, I met personally with the Senate-confirmed leaders of cabinet level agencies. I will continue that work in 2020 by meeting with the heads of regulatory agencies as well as those agencies that help prepare for and facilitate presidential elections. OGE will continue to emphasize the role that ethical leadership plays ensuring that our government can deliver for the American people.
Looking ahead to 2020, OGE’s team of experts is excited to help prepare our government for an election, improve transparency, and ensure ethics policies keep pace with our changing world. It is our privilege and honor to serve this country and its people, and we hope our efforts contribute to your confidence in government.