Professional Development for Ethics Officials

Well-trained ethics officials help agency leaders and employees manage risks every day. Ethics officials must have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to provide expert counsel, identify and resolve conflicts of interest, deliver quality training, and manage effective programs, making their ongoing professional development vital to the strength of the ethics program. OGE has a responsibility to support this important effort.

Responsibilities of the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO)

The DAEO, acting directly or through other officials, must be an employee who has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to manage a significant agency program, to understand and apply complex legal requirements, and to generate support for building and sustaining an ethical culture in the organization. In addition, as the leader of the agency’s day-to-day ethics program, the DAEO assists the head of the agency in ensuring that the ethics staff is sufficiently trained to do their jobs. The DAEO is also responsible for ensuring that all officials performing ethics duties are properly qualified.


Key Legal Authorities

Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended

5 C.F.R. § 2638.104- Government ethics responsibilities of agency ethics officials

2638.309(b)- DAEO obligation to ensure that employees performing assigned ethics duties have the necessary ethics expertise


Key Advisories

Search the Legal Research Collection

PA-19-07: Templates for the Designation of DAEOs and ADAEOs; Procedures for Notifying OGE's Director of DAEO and ADAEO Designations (PDF)

By signing the designation, the agency head confirms that the designated individual meets the regulatory qualifications outlined in the designation and prescribed by 5 C.F.R. § 2638.104. These qualifications include the requirement that the DAEO has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to: manage a significant agency program, understand and apply complex legal requirements, and generate support for building and sustaining an ethical culture in the organization.


Resources

Institute for Ethics in Government (IEG)

The IEG provides a variety of education resources designed for the professional development of ethics officials. The IEG library includes archived recordings of web-based training presentations, slide decks, and job aids, which can be searched and sorted by topic, type, and complexity.

Summits and Conferences

This page contains links to past conferences and summits, including recorded presentations and session materials.


Agency Practices

As the supervising ethics office, OGE has insight into the methods, procedures, and practices of over 130 agency ethics programs and seeks to highlight these practices as a resource for improving ethics programs across the executive branch. The following practices are gathered from OGE program reviews, agency responses to Annual Agency Ethics Program Questionnaires and data calls, and OGE summits and conferences. While no single approach is one-size-fits-all, ethics officials may find other agencies’ practices useful to the effective and efficient administration of their own ethics program.

  • Take advantage of OGE's extensive library of on-demand training resources
  • Encourage ethics staff to participate in continuing ethics education and professional development activities, for example by incorporating specific topics or skills into individual development plans.
  • Volunteer to present a topic or serve on a panel at OGE’s National Government Ethics Summit.
  • Use the agency’s allotted slots to attend OGE’s National Government Ethics Summit. Staff who cannot attend in person may view the online portions of the Summit.
  • Incorporate insights from OGE’s Institute for Ethics in Government (IEG) Research blog into the agency’s ethics program.
  • Attend ethics-related professional associations, such as the Interagency Ethics Council.
  • Subscribe to, consult, and contribute to ethics-related journals or other professional publications.
  • Serve as go-to resources and mentors for new and developing ethics specialists.
  • Engage in ongoing or periodic supervisory and/or peer review of ethics advice before providing the advice to employees.
  • Incorporate ethics duties into position descriptions and performance appraisals of DAEOs and other ethics officials to help ensure that ethics duties are effectively carried out, and to promote transparency, accountability, and measurability.