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

OGE’s New Approach to Ethics Education is a Success
November 25, 2015

by Walter M. Shaub, Jr.

Shortly after my appointment as Director in January 2013, I challenged OGE's training staff to modernize and expand our efforts to educate ethics officials throughout the executive branch. On May 9, 2013, we announced our strategy in a program advisory and launched the Institute for Ethics in Government. 

Through a combination of traditional and technological teaching platforms, OGE has achieved the goal we set in 2013. We have been able to reach more ethics officials, more often, with fewer resources than ever before. 

The effects of our efforts became apparent almost immediately. While OGE's education activities garnered just over 1,200 registrations in fiscal year 2012, we achieved nearly 4,000 registrations in fiscal year 2013. Over the next two fiscal years, the reach of our education activities continued to expand. In fiscal year 2015, we exceeded 7,500 registrations -a 500% increase since fiscal year 2012. In addition, 95% of training participants reported that they were better able to do their jobs as a result of OGE's training courses. 

OGE's new approach to ethics education is not just about doing more with less. We are also focused on working smarter and targeting areas of greatest need. For example, we have targeted small groups of ethics officials in critical positions for intensive in-person instruction over a period of several weeks at OGE's offices. In particular, we have been working with newer ethics officials who have recently been charged with leading their agencies' ethics programs. This targeted training takes participants much deeper into complex subjects than other training does. In this way, OGE is supporting the government's succession planning at a time when increasing numbers of ethics officials are becoming eligible for retirement.

We have also posted recordings of training sessions online in order to make them available to an unlimited audience of stakeholders and the general public. Posting these training sessions online increases transparency and supports agencies' ongoing training needs. I invite you to take a look at some of our work at www.youtube.com/OGEInstitute.

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