Saturday, April 5, 2008

Code of Ethics for Government Service


House Concurrent Resolution No. 175, July 11, 1958, 72 Stat. B12, provided for a Code of Ethics for all Government employees, including officeholders. See Public Law 96-303, set out below.


Public Law 96-303, July 3, 1980, 94 Stat. 855, provided: "That, under such regulations as the Administrator shall prescribe, each agency shall display in appropriate areas of Federal buildings copies of the Code of Ethics for Government Service.
"Section 2 (a) The Administrator shall provide for the publication of copies of such Code of Ethics and for their distribution to agencies for use under the first section of this Act.
"(b) The Administrator may accept on behalf of the United States any unconditional gift made for the purposes of this Act.
"Section 3. For purposes of this Act -
"(1) the term 'agency' means an Executive agency (as defined by Section 105 of Title 5, United States Code), the United States Postal Service, and the Postal Rate Commission;
"(2) the term 'Administrator' means the Administrator of the General Services Administation;
"(3) the Code of Ethics for Government Service shall read as follows -


"Any person in Government service should:

"I. Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department.

"II. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and regulations of the United States and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion.

"III. Give a full day's labor for a full day's pay; giving earnest effort and best thought to the performance of duties.

"IV. Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks accomplished.

"V. Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not; and never accept, for himself or herself or for family members, favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of governmental duties.

"VI. Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the duties of office, since a Governmental employee has no private word which can be binding on public duty.

"VII. Engage in no business with the Government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of governmental duties.

"VIII. Never use any information gained confidentially in the performance of governmental duties as a means of making a private profit.

"IX. Expose corruption wherever discovered.

"X. Uphold these principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust.

Your agency ethics official and the Office of Government Ethics are available to answer questions on conflicts of interest; and
"(4) the term 'Federal building' means any building in which at least 20 individuals are regularly employed by an agency as civilian employees.
"Section 4. The provisions of this Act shall take effect October 1, 1980. There shall be no costs imposed on the Federal Government for the printing, framing, or other preparation of the Code of Ethics for Government Service under this Act."

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