Government Ethics (USOGE), United States Office
The United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is charged with setting standards intended to regulate and ensure ethical conduct of personnel within the executive branch. The office's mission is to prevent personnel from using their position in the federal government for personal gain (monetary or otherwise), and to prevent fraud and abuses of power. Acting as an impartial review committee, the OGE also assesses cases of conflict of interest and ensures the veracity of financial and personal information provided by executive branch officials. The overall purpose of the OGE is to maintain a high standard of ethics in the practice of government and to build and maintain public trust.
The OGE is an independent agency within the executive branch. The director of the office, who is appointed by the president, oversees four divisions, each of which is responsible for different duties. The office of the director is charged with the verification and analysis of personal financial records of high-level members of the executive branch for conflicts of interest and violations of campaign finance, donation, and personal gain regulations. The director of the OGE also certifies similar disclosures for presidential appointments before sending the records to Senate for discussion of confirmation.
The Office of General Counsel and Legal Policy maintains the policy and legal structure of ethical practice and review in the executive branch. The committee advises necessary offices of changes laws and regulations, and recommends new policy to strengthen existing programs. General Counsel is also responsible for media relations for the OGE.
The Office of Government Relations and Special Projects (OGRSP) is responsible for advising Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the president on ethical implications of monetary, economic, and corporate policy. In recent years, the committee has addressed, in the wake of the Enron scandal, domestic corporate fraud and international anti-corruption measures.
The Office of Agency Programs (OAP) manages personnel education programs on ethics issues. The office coordinates ethics regulations and enforcement of ethical conduct with ethical review boards in the individual agencies of the executive branch.
█ FURTHER READING:
United States Department of Government Ethics. < http://www.usoge.gov >(December 1, 2002).