Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

It's Elementary!

Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

It's Elementary!

Article excerpt

Contemplating ethics, the moral philosophy between right and wrong, perpetually leads me back to the basics. The concepts and fundamental principles are simple, and taught early, as indicated in, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. In his poem, we are reminded: "Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody."

As we mature, the message may (regrettably) change from Fulghum's talk of milk and cookies, and naps; but the basic principles remain and our ingrained personal ethics now also apply in our professional conduct. Throughout this issue, several definitions of ethics are provided; and, I add yet another from dictionary.com, "the rules or standards governing the conduct ... of the members of a profession." As members of AGA and the government financial management community, it is our duty to act with propriety. Members and CGFMs should adhere to AGA's Code of Ethics. In the Final Entry, CEO Ann Ebberts discusses this and many of the ethics-related resources AGA offers.

Setting the tone at the top is imperative. We invited David Montoya, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to explain how damaging an employee's unethical conduct can be to an organization (see page 52). …

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