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The Change of the Calendar is a Time of Change for the Executive Branch Ethics Program

January 3, 2022

By: Emory Rounds, Director

As we welcome the New Year, this is a time of significant endings and important beginnings within the executive branch ethics program that keep it strong and working to prevent conflicts of interest.

At the end of the year, the public financial disclosure and annual ethics training – two systems that together work to protect government decision-making from financial conflicts of interest – are closed out.

OGE closes out the annual public financial disclosure season by sending a message to the head of each executive branch agency about the status of their filers. These messages almost always congratulate agency heads on success but, in rare cases, they provide notice of failures, so future improvements can be made.

The annual executive branch ethics training program – which ensures that more than a half-million federal employees receive the training they need to reinforce the understanding of their responsibilities to impartially serve the public – also closes its annual season.  

At the beginning of the New Year, each of these programs start, and the confidential financial disclosure season begins.

The new annual public financial disclosure season kicks off on May 15th when thousands of public financial disclosure reports are due to be filed across the executive branch. On the education and training front, ethics officials spend the first part of the New Year creating a year-long strategy to maintain ethics awareness in their agencies. They implement these plans throughout the year to make sure that the employees they serve have the information they need, when they need it, to protect the integrity of government.

And, the confidential financial disclosure cycle begins in earnest on February 15th, when hundreds of thousands of confidential financial disclosure reports are due to be filed across 140 federal agencies to help ensure that the executive branch remains free from financial conflicts of interest.

This is a busy time for the ethics community. I am immensely grateful for all the work that ethics officials did last year and I wish them the very best for the year ahead. There will be challenges, but I am confident in and optimistic for our ethics program, our government, and our country in 2022. 

Happy New Year!