Administration

Official sends memo to agency leaders about ethical conduct

The head of the Office of Government Ethics is calling on the leaders of government agencies to promote an “ethical culture.” 

David Apol, acting director of the ethics office, sent a memo to agency heads titled, “The Role of Agency Leaders in Promoting an Ethical Culture.” The letter was sent to more than 100 agency heads, CNN reported.

“It is essential to the success of our republic that citizens can trust that your decisions and the decisions made by your agency are motivated by the public good and not by personal interests,” the memo reads.

Several government officials are under investigation for their use of chartered planes for government business.

One Cabinet official, former Health secretary Tom Price, resigned over his use of private jets. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is also under scrutiny for his travels.

“I am deeply concerned that the actions of some in Government leadership have harmed perceptions about the importance of ethics and what conduct is, and is not, permissible,” Apol wrote.

The memo includes seven suggested actions that Apol says leaders should take to strengthen the ethical culture in their agencies. The suggestions include putting ethics officials in senior leadership meetings, and “modeling a ‘Should I do it?’ mentality versus a ‘Can I do it?’ mentality.”

“The public’s trust is not guaranteed,” Apol wrote. “We must earn that trust every day, because the loss of that trust is catastrophic.”

Tags Steven Mnuchin Tom Price

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