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Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition,
Of or relating to moral action, conduct, motive or character; as, ethical
emotion; also treating of moral feelings, duties
or conduct; containing precepts of morality; moral. Professionally
right or befitting; conforming to professional
standards of conduct. Kraushaar v. La Vin, 181 Misc. 508, 42 N.Y.S.2d
ethics. See Canon (Canons of judicial ethics);
Code of Professional Responsibility; Legal ethics.
Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 553]
Office of Special Counsel-handle ethics complaints and violations
of law within the federal government.
XVI--OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS
OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH--Table of Contents
Basic obligation of public service.
service is a public trust. Each employee has a responsibility
to the United States Government and its citizens to place loyalty
to the Constitution, laws and ethical principles above private
gain. To ensure that every citizen can have complete confidence in the
integrity of the Federal Government, each employee shall respect and
adhere to the principles of ethical conduct set forth in this section,
as well as the implementing standards contained in this part and in
supplemental agency regulations.
principles. The following general principles apply to every employee
and may form the basis for the standards contained in this part. Where
a situation is not covered by the standards set forth in this part,
employees shall apply the principles set forth in this section in determining
whether their conduct is proper.
service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the
Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain.
shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious
performance of duty.
shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government
information or allow the improper use of such information to further
any private interest.
(4) An employee
shall not, except as permitted by subpart B of this part, solicit or
accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity
seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities
regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially
affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.
shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any
kind purporting to bind the Government.
shall not use public office for private gain.
shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private
organization or individual.
shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for
other than authorized activities.
shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking
or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government
duties and responsibilities.
shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.
shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including
all just financial obligations, especially those--such as Federal, State,
or local taxes--that are imposed by law.
shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity
for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national
origin, age, or handicap.
shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they
are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in this part.
Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or
these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective
of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.
(c) Related statutes. In addition to the standards of ethical conduct
set forth in this part, there are conflict of interest statutes that
prohibit certain conduct. Criminal conflict of interest statutes of
general applicability to all employees, 18 U.S.C. 201, 203, 205, 208,
and 209, are summarized in the appropriate subparts of this part and
must be taken into consideration in determining whether conduct is proper.
Citations to other generally applicable statutes relating to employee
conduct are set forth in subpart I and employees are further cautioned
that there may be additional statutory and regulatory restrictions applicable
to them generally or as employees of their specific agencies. Because
an employee is considered to be on notice of the requirements of any
statute, an employee should not rely upon any description or synopsis
of a statutory restriction, but should refer to the statute itself and
obtain the advice of an agency ethics official as needed.
NOTE: Part 1001 added to this chapter at 31 FR 873,
January 22, 1966 and revised at 32 FR 11113, Aug. 1, 1967, 36 FR 6874,
Apr. 9, 1971 and 61 FR 36996, July 16, 1996, supplement this part 735.
Subpart A—General Provisions
735.102 Disciplinary action.
735.103 Other regulations pertaining
Subpart B—Standards of Conduct
735.202 Safeguarding the examination process.
735.203 Conduct prejudicial
to the Government.
AUTHORITY: 5 U.S.C. 7301; E.O. 12674, 54 FR
15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified
by E.O. 12731, 55 FR
42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp.,
SOURCE: 57 FR 56434, Nov.
30, 1992, unless otherwise noted.
Subpart A—General Provisions
§ 735.101 Definitions.
In this part:
Agency means an Executive agency (other than the General
Accounting Office) as defined by 5 U.S.C. 105, the Postal Service, and
the Postal Rate Commission.
Employee means any officer
or employee of an agency, including a special Government employee, but
does not include a member of the uniformed services.
Special Government employee
means a ‘‘special Government employee,’’ as de-fined in 18 U.S.C. 202,
who is employed
in the executive branch, but does not include a member
of the uniformed services.
Uniformed services has
the meaning given that term by 5 U.S.C. 2101(3).
§ 735.102 Disciplinary
An employee’s violation of any of the regulations in subpart
B of this part may be cause for disciplinary action by the employee’s
agency, which may be in addition to any penalty prescribed by law.
§ 735.103 Other regulations
pertaining to conduct.
In addition to the standards of conduct in
subpart B of this part, an employee shall comply with the standards
of ethical conduct in 5 C.F.R. part 2635, as well as any supplemental regulation
issued by the employee’s agency under 5 C.F.R. 2635.105. An employee’s
violation of those regulations may be cause for the employee’s agency
to take disciplinary action, or corrective action as that term is used
in 5 C.F.R. part 2635. Such disciplinary action or corrective action may
be in addition to any penalty prescribed by law.
Subpart B—Standards of
§ 735.201 Gambling.
(a) While on Government-owned or leased property or while on duty for
the Government, an employee shall not
conduct, or participate in,
any gambling activity including the operation of a gambling device,
conducting a lot-tery
or pool, a game for money or property, or selling
or purchasing a numbers slip or ticket.
(b) This section does not
(1) Necessitated by an
duties; or (2) Under section 7 of Executive Order
12353 and similar agency-approved ac-tivities.
§ 735.202 Safeguarding
the examination process.
(a) An employee shall not,
either for or without compensation, engage in teaching, lecturing, or
writing for the purpose of the preparation of a person or class of persons
for an examination of the Office of Personnel Management or Board of
Examiners for the Foreign Service that depends on information obtained
as a result of the employee’s Government employment.
(b) This section does not
preclude the preparation described in paragraph (a) of this section
(1) The information upon which the preparation is based has been
made available to the general public or will be made available on request;
(2) Such preparation is
authorized in writing by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management
or his or her designee, or by the Director General of the Foreign Service
of his or her designee, as applicable.
§ 735.203 Conduct prejudicial
to the Government.
An employee shall not engage
in criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful
conduct, or other conduct prejudicial to the Government.
§ 0.206 Disclosure of information.
shall not disclose official information without proper authority, pursuant
to Department or bureau regulation. Employees authorized to make
disclosures should respond promptly and courteously to requests from
the public for information when permitted to do so by law (31
§ 0.207 Cooperation with official
shall respond to questions truthfully and under oath when required,
whether orally or in writing, and must provide documents and other materials
concerning matters of official interest when directed to do so by competent
§ 0.208 Falsification of official
shall not intentionally make false, misleading or ambiguous statements,
orally or in writing, in connection with any matter of official interest.
Matters of official interest include among other things: Transactions
with the public, government agencies or fellow employees; application
forms and other forms that serve as a basis for appointment, reassignment,
promotion or other personnel action; vouchers; leave records
and time and attendance records; work reports of any nature or
accounts of any kind; affidavits; entry or record of any
matter relating to or connected with an employee's duties; and
reports of any moneys or securities received, held
or paid to, for or on behalf of
the United States.
§ 1.9 Records not to be otherwise
withdrawn or disclosed.
Except in accordance with this part,
or as otherwise authorized, Treasury Department officers and employees
are prohibited from making records or duplicates available to any person
who is not an officer or employee of the Department, and are prohibited
from withdrawing any such records or duplicates from the files, possession
or control of the Department.
§ 1.10 Oral information.
(a) Officers and employees of the Department
may, in response to requests, orally provide information contained in
records of the Department that are determined to be available to the
public. If the obtaining of such information requires a search
of records, a written request and the payment of the fee for a record
search set forth in § 1.6 will be required.
(b) Information with respect to activities
of the Department not a matter of record shall not be disclosed if the
information involves matters exempt from disclosure under
5 U.S.C. 552 or the regulations in this
part, or if the disclosure of such information would give the
person requesting the information
advantages not accorded to other citizens;
§ 1.28 Training, rules of conduct,
penalties for non-compliance.
(a) Training. Subject to policy
guidance and regulations issued by the Deputy Secretary, who has Departmentwide
responsibility therefor, each component shall institute a training program
to instruct employees and employees of Government contractors covered
5 U.S.C. 552a(m), who are involved in
the design, development, operation or maintenance of any system of records,
on a continuing basis with respect to the duties and responsibilities
imposed on them and the rights conferred on individuals by the Privacy
Act, the regulations in this subpart, including the appendices thereto,
and any other related regulations. Such training shall provide suitable
emphasis on the civil and criminal
penalties imposed on the Department and the individual employees
by the Privacy Act for non-compliance with specified requirements of
the Act as implemented by the regulations in this subpart. (See
5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(9))
(b) Rules of conduct. In addition,
to the Standards of Conduct published in Part O of this title,
particularly 31 C.F.R. 0.735-44, the following are applicable to employees
of the Department of the Treasury (including, to the extent required
by the contract or
5 U.S.C. 552a(m), Government contractors
and employees of such contractors), who are involved in the design,
development, operation or maintenance of any system of records, or in
maintaining any records, for or on behalf of the Department, including
any component thereof.
(1) The head of each office
of a component of the Department shall be responsible for assuring that
employees subject to such official's supervision are advised of the
provisions of the Privacy Act, including the criminal penalties and
civil liabilities provided therein, and the regulations in this subpart,
and that such employees are made aware of their individual and collective
responsibilities to protect the security of personal information, to
assure its accuracy, relevance, timeliness and completeness, to avoid
unauthorized disclosure either orally or in writing, and to insure that
no information system concerning individuals, no matter how small or
specialized is maintained without
(2) Employees of the Department of
the Treasury involved in the design, development, operation, or maintenance
of any system of records, or in maintaining any record shall:
(i) Collect no information of
a personal nature from individuals unless authorized to collect it to
achieve a function or carry out a responsibility of the Department;
(ii) Collect from individuals only
that information which is necessary to Department functions or responsibilities,
unless related to a system exempted under
5 U.S.C. 552a (j) or (k):
(iii) Collect information, wherever
possible, directly from the individual to whom it relates, unless related
to a system exempted under
5 U.S.C. 552a(j);
(iv) Inform individuals from whom information
is collected about themselves of the authority for collection, the purposes
thereof, the use that will be made of the information, and the effects,
both legal and practical, of not furnishing the information. (While
this provision does not explicitly require it, where feasible, third
party sources should be informed of the purposes for which information
they are asked to provide will be used.);
(v) Neither collect, maintain, use
nor disseminate information concerning an individual's religious or
political beliefs or activities or membership in
associations or organizations,
unless (A) the individual has volunteered such information for the individual's
own benefits; (B) the information is expressly authorized by statute
to be collected, maintained, used or disseminated; or (C) the
activities involved are pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized
investigation, adjudication or correctional activity;
(vi) Advise their supervisors of the
existence or contemplated development of any record system which is
capable of retrieving information about individuals by individual identifier;
(vii) Disseminate no information concerning
individuals outside the Department except when authorized by
5 U.S.C. 552a or pursuant to a routine
use published in the Federal Register;
(viii) Assure that an accounting is
kept in the prescribed form, of all dissemination of personal information
outside the Department, whether made orally or in writing, unless disclosed
5 U.S.C. 552 and Subpart A of this
(ix) Maintain and process information
concerning individuals with care in order to insure that no inadvertent
disclosure of the information is made either within or without the Department;
(x) Assure that the proper Department
authorities are aware of any information in a system maintained by the
Department which is not authorized to be
maintained under the provisions
of the Privacy Act of 1974, including information on First Amendment
Activities, information that is inaccurate, irrelevant or so incomplete
as to risk unfairness to the individual concerned.
(3) Heads of components within the
Department or their delegates shall, at least annually, review the record
systems subject to their supervision to insure compliance with the provisions
of the Privacy Act of 1974 and the regulations in this subpart.
5 U.S.C. 552a (e)(9), (i) and (m))
(c) Criminal penalties.
(1) The Privacy Act imposes
criminal penalties on the conduct of Government officers or employees
as follows: Any officer or employee of an agency (which term includes
the Department of the Treasury):
(i) Who by virtue of the official's
employment or official position, has possession of, or access to, agency
records which contain individually identifiable information the disclosure
of which is prohibited by this section (5
U.S.C. 552a) or regulations established
thereunder, and who knowing that disclosure of the specific material
is so prohibited, willfully discloses the material in any manner to
any person or agency not entitled to receive it, or
(ii) Who willfully maintains a system
of records without meeting the notice requirements of paragraph (e)(4)
of this section (5
U.S.C. 552a)--shall be guilty of a misdemeanor
and fined not more than $5,000.
The Act also imposes a collateral criminal penalty on the conduct of
any person as follows:
"Any person who knowingly and willfully
requests or obtains any record concerning an individual from an agency
under false pretenses shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not
more than $5,000."
(3) For the purposes of
5 U.S.C. 552a (i), the provisions
of paragraph (c)(1) of this section are applicable to Government
contractors and employees of such contractors who by contract, operate
by or on behalf of the Department of the Treasury a system of records
to accomplish a Departmental function. Such contractor and employees
are considered employees of the Department of the Treasury for the purposes
5 U.S.C. 552a(i). (See
5 U.S.C. 552a (i) and (m).)