Ethics Legislation

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) was created by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and became a separate agency in 1989. Over the years, Congress has reauthorized the agency and enacted additional legislation related to the ethics program, including the STOCK Act in 2012.

OGE monitors Congressional activity for ethics and ethics-related legislation affecting the executive branch ethics program. OGE also submits legislative proposals to Congress for consideration in accordance with OGE’s mission to provide overall leadership and oversight of the executive branch ethics program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest.

On this page:


Legislative Updates

To keep agencies apprised of new developments in the executive branch ethics program, OGE provides relevant updates.

Publications

  • OGE publishes the Compilation of Federal Ethics Laws for the ethics community, which is updated after each Congress.
  • OGE publishes Legislative Legal Advisories, which are available in the Legal Research Search Collection. Recent legislative advisories have described legislative activity affecting the executive branch ethics program.

Congressional Oversight

OGE’s primary oversight committees are the:

  • House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
  • House Judiciary Committee's Constitution Subcommittee
  • Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee

Enacted Legislation


PUBLIC LAW 112–105—APR. 4, 2012 126 STAT. 291, 112th Congress An Act to prohibit Members of Congress and employees of Congress from using nonpublic information derived from their official positions for personal benefit, and for other purposes.


PUBLIC LAW 110–5—FEB. 15, 2007 121 STAT. 57 (Sec. 21069) section 405 of =the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended to read as follows: ‘There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007’.


PUBLIC LAW 107–119—JAN. 15, 2002 OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2001,115 STAT. 2382, 107th Congress An Act to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) to extend the authorization of appropriations for the Office of Government Ethics through fiscal year 2006.


PUBLIC LAW 104–179—AUG. 6, 1996 OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 1996, 110 STAT. 1566, 104th Congress An Act to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, to extend the authorization of appropriations for the Office of Government Ethics for 3 years, and for other purposes.


PUBLIC LAW 101-194--NOV. 20, 1989 ETHICS REFORM ACT OF 1989, 103 STAT. 1716, 101st Congress An Act to amend the Rules of the House of Representatives and the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to provide for Government-wide ethics reform, and for other purposes.


PUBLIC LAW 100-598-NOV. 3, 1988 OGE REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 1988, 102 STAT. 3031, 100th Congress An Act to reauthorize the Office of Government Ethics, and for other purposes.


PUBLIC LAW 98-150-NOV. 11,1983 97 STAT. 959, 98th Congress An Act to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to make certain changes in the authority of the Office of Government Ethics, and for other purposes.


PUBLIC LAW 95-521--OCT. 26, 1978 ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT ACT OF 1978, 92 STAT. 1824, 95th Congress The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) was created by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.


Legislative Proposals

OGE submits legislative proposals to Congress for consideration in accordance with OGE’s mission to provide overall leadership and oversight of the executive branch ethics program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest. For example, the Ethics in Government Act was enacted in 1978 but as with any statute, it needs to evolve to ensure its continued effectiveness in light of practical experience and application. OGE’s legislative recommendations are made based on OGE’s experience implementing the statue.

Proposed Ethics in Government Act Amendments

  • Proposed Ethics in Government Act Amendments of 2008. This proposal contained language that would have streamlined and simplified the public financial disclosure requirements applicable to senior officials of all three branches of the Federal Government(PDF)
  • Proposed Ethics in Government Act Amendments of 2003. This proposal contained language that would have streamlined and simplified the public financial disclosure requirements applicable to senior officials of all three branches of the Federal Government(PDF)

OGE's Reports to Congress that Contain Legislative Recommendations

  • Report to the President and to Congressional Committees on the Conflict of Interest Laws Relating to Executive Branch Employment (January 2006)(PDF)
  • Report to Congress Evaluating the Financial Disclosure Process for Employees of the Executive Branch, and Recommending Improvements to it (March 2005)(PDF)
  • Report to Congress on Improvements to the Financial Disclosure Process for Presidential Nominees (April 2001)(PDF)

Reports to Congress Containing OGE Contributions

  • Working Group Report to Congress and the President on Streamlining Paperwork for Executive Nominations (November 2012) (PDF)