Role of the Ethics Counselor Outline

By Schneider, Michael E. | Journal of Power and Ethics, January 2001 | Go to article overview
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Role of the Ethics Counselor Outline

Schneider, Michael E., Journal of Power and Ethics


A. Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. [section]101 et. seq.).

B. Executive Order 12674, "Principles of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees," April 12, 1989, as amended.

C. Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. 2635 (Office of Government Ethics Rules).

D. DOD 5500.7-R, JOINT ETHICS REGULATION (JER), 30 Aug 93. Change 4, effective 6 August 1998.


1. Public Service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain.

2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.

3. Employees 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 [provided for by regulation], 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.

5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

6. Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.

7. Employees shall not use public office for private gain.

8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.

9. Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

10. Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

11. Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.

12. Employees 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.

13. Employees 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.

14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or ethical standards. 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.


A. Provide written and oral advice, counseling, and assistance on all ethics matters.

B. Request assistance, through appropriate channels, from the DOD Component DAEO or designee on any matter that cannot be resolved locally.

C. Maintain a current copy of the JER, and all changes, for review by any DOD employee.

D. Maintain a thorough understanding of current DOD ethics policy through contact with the DOD Component DAEO, attendance at periodic ethics training courses, and other appropriate methods.

E. Promptly provide a copy to the DOD Component DAEO of precedental written decisions to assist uniformly throughout the DOD Components.

F. Perform other duties as assigned by written delegation from the DOD Component DAEO.

G. Review financial disclosure reports in accordance with Chapter 7 of the JER.

H. Conduct Ethics Training.


A. Advise, counsel, and render opinions concerning ethics law and regulations:


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