January 11, 2016
by Walter M. Shaub, Jr.
Integrity is OGE’s secure, web-based system for collecting and reviewing public financial disclosure reports (OGE Form 278e) of executive branch filers. OGE developed this system pursuant to a Congressional mandate and launched it on January 1, 2015. The name Integrity highlights the important purposes of the financial disclosure process it supports: preventing financial conflicts of interest and increasing transparency through accurate reporting by top federal leaders.
A year after its launch, Integrity is off to a strong start. The system has been widely adopted throughout the executive branch, with over 100 agencies and more than 10,000 filers registered. Integrity’s user population continues to expand, and in 2016 every executive branch agency is expected to have registered filers in the system.
Security is a key feature of Integrity. The system is housed in a secure government cloud and has successfully undergone a full, independent security assessment. Both Integrity’s authentication provider and hosting environment have been assessed and approved under GSA’s FedRAMP cloud security program.
Another exciting feature is Integrity’s use of sophisticated filing “wizards” that ask questions about a filer’s specific financial interests in order to improve the accuracy of filing. Other key features include auto-complete for over 13,000 asset names, comment and endnote features, variable workflows that can be tailored to the needs of each agency, key notices and reminders, and convenient web-based access. For the ethics officials who review financial disclosure reports, Integrity can also compare a filer’s current report with a prior report to highlight changes in the filer’s financial interests.
This early success comes at an important moment in the history of public financial disclosure. Following the Presidential election in November 2016, OGE and agency ethics officials will be called upon to review and certify the financial disclosure reports of hundreds of Presidential appointees requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. Integrity will play a critical role ensuring that these reports are filed accurately, reviewed efficiently, and certified timely. By using Integrity this year, agencies are gaining the experience they will need to manage the high volume of nominee reports they will review during the presidential transitions starting in November 2016.
OGE looks forward to building on these early successes with Integrity by incorporating user feedback to continuously improve the system. Through electronic filing and a variety of other initiatives, OGE will continue to strengthen the financial disclosure process and prevent conflicts of interest in the executive branch.