United States Office of Government Ethics, Preventing Conflicts of Interest in the Executive Branch

OGE’s Unique Role Supporting Congress
May 22, 2019

Congress plays a central role in shaping and overseeing our government ethics program and OGE plays a unique role in supporting those efforts. OGE’s supporting role was particularly vital during the 115th Congress, which considered a large number of presidential nominations and introduced a record amount of legislation related to ethics, trends which continue into the current Congress. OGE assists Congress in a variety of ways and the results of that work are available to the public.     

OGE provides expertise on proposed legislative reforms. In order to help Congress develop effective ethics legislation, OGE tracks bills, actively responds to congressional requests about how proposals would affect the executive branch ethics program, and provides legislative proposals of its own.  Recently, OGE published an analysis of legislative trends, and a revision of the compilation of federal ethics laws.

OGE also directly supports the Senate in its Constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on nominees to senior executive branch positions. OGE does this by ensuring nominees comply with financial disclosure requirements and enter into agreements to avoid potential conflicts of interest. OGE provides this information directly to the Senate and makes it available to the public.   

In addition, OGE supports Congress in its oversight of the executive branch ethics program. When committees have concerns about ethical conduct within the executive branch, OGE responds to their requests for expert insight. OGE also provides expertise and substantive input on Government Accountability Office reviews.

Finally, OGE is held accountable by Congress as an executive branch agency. OGE regularly provides information about its performance and stewardship of taxpayer resources.

The 116th Congress continues to demonstrate the trend with high levels of interest in possible ethics reforms. OGE will continue to fulfill its unique role by providing expertise and services, by helping stakeholders stay informed, and by making the results of our work available.