March 19, 2014
by Walter M. Shaub, Jr.
At OGE, we are commemorating Sunshine Week by taking stock of how well we are doing at promoting transparency. A spirit of openness is consistent with our mission to ensure that the public can have confidence in the impartiality of the federal government.
With this guiding principle in mind, OGE has made an extensive array of documents available to the public on its website, www.oge.gov. For instance, we have automated the release of financial disclosure reports of Senate-confirmed nominees and appointees, providing immediate access when a requester completes an online request form on this website. We have also used this website to post ethics agreements and Ethics Pledge waivers of Senate-confirmed nominees and appointees. Other examples of key ethics program documents include: reports of OGE’s ethics program reviews of executive branch agencies; OGE’s reports and testimony to Congress; OGE’s budget submissions; copies of OGE’s correspondence with Congress; semiannual reports of non-federal source travel payments accepted by executive branch agencies; annual surveysof conflict of interest prosecutions and Ethics Pledge compliance (Annual Report on Executive Order 13490); OGE’s advice and guidance to agency ethics officials; executive branch ethics program policies; OGE’s strategic plans and performance reports; a compilation of relevant ethics laws and regulations; a compilation of OGE’s Federal Register issuances; user-friendly summaries of ethics rules; OGE’s FOIA reports; and contact information for OGE’s staff.
OGE’s 2014 Chief FOIA Officer Report highlights other efforts OGE has made to increase transparency, including efforts to harness technology. One example of these efforts is OGE’s new Twitter account (@OfficeGovEthics), through which we make the public aware of OGE’s activities in real time. Looking beyond Sunshine Week, OGE has committed in its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2014 through 2018 to continue exploring ways to make the ethics program transparent.