Former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub stepped down, questioning the way he handled his feud over conflict of interest issues with President Donald Trump. But others call him the conscience of the government for doing what’s right in fighting to maintain the public trust.
Walter Shaub’s resignation leaves a hole in an already small office, and a question mark about what direction the ethic’s agency will go under a new leader.
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub are meeting on Monday to talk about recent comments about President-elect Trump and conflicts of interest.
Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, calling for transparency and public education to the ensure citizens know how his agency oversees and guards against executive branch ethics issues.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has called for more scrutiny of the Office of Government Ethics for its critical stance on President-elect Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest prior to taking office.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says he has spoken with Donald Trump about the unsubstantiated report claiming Russia had compromising personal and financial information about the president-elect
Both members of Congress and the Office of Government Ethics are attempting to get their hands around what was once an arcane federal ethics issue: discretionary trusts, and whether an executive branch employee’s interests in one violates the criminal conflict of interest statute.
The Office of Government Ethics revised its guidance for accepting gifts for the first time in nearly 25 years. Federal employees may continue to accept gifts worth $20 or less from an outside source, but OGE suggests they consider whether accepting the gift would bring up questions of integrity of impartiality.
The Office of Government Ethics finalized a series of sweeping changes to its executive branch ethics program days ahead of the upcoming presidential transition. OGE used nearly 40 years of feedback to write the new program, which strengthens ethics training for designated agency ethics officials and requires new political appointees to receive ethics training within the first 15 days of appointment.
The Office of Government Ethics has a new proposed rule that would exclude some federal employees at General Schedule 13 positions or below from having to automatically submit financial disclosures.
The upcoming presidential transition will bring thousands of new faces to top leadership positions, but they might find federal ethics rules to be more stringent than what they’ve seen in the private sector.
The Office of Government Ethics tweaked standards of ethical conduct for federal employees who seek new jobs outside the government. Federal employees must recuse themselves from agency matters if affect the financial interests of a prospective employer, the final rule said.
Without a doubt, the 2016 presidential transition is the top priority for the Office of Government Ethics this year. OGE Director Walter Shaub said his agency has more training courses and guides, as well as an electronic financial disclosure filing system, to help ethics officers prepare.
Agency preparations for the 2016 presidential transition are well underway. The Office of Government Ethics is adding more training programs to help its employees vet and process financial disclosure forms for new political appointees. And Congress just passed comprehensive transition legislation.
The Office of Special Counsel, Merit Systems Protection Board and Office of Government Ethics haven’t received authorization from Congress since 2007. But Congress says it wants to consider additional legislation and statutory changes before it issues new reauthorizations.