The Office of Government Ethics has stressed the importance of “designated agency ethics officers” and alternative officers, saying that is a “key component” of an agency’s responsibility under the ethics laws.
A memo to heads of agencies says that they “serve a vital role in setting the tone and ensuring the success of your agency’s ethics program. Specifically, you are responsible for, and must exercise personal leadership in, establishing and maintaining an effective agency ethics program and fostering an ethical culture in your agency.”
The officials to be designated “are tasked with managing your agency’s ethics program. In order to ensure the program’s success, they must meet specific regulatory qualifications,” it said. Agencies must report designations to the OGE within 30 days.
The OGE has created a template for the selections, telling agency heads that by signing the designations, “you confirm that the individual has the necessary qualifications to manage your agency’s ethics program.”
“These templates serve to ensure that agency heads confirm that the individuals have the necessary qualifications to manage their ethics agency’s ethics program and to improve uniformity across the executive branch,” the OGE said in an online post.