United States Office of Government Ethics, Preventing Conflicts of Interest in the Executive Branch

Media FAQs

1. What does OGE do? 
2. Who do I call if I have a question about the ethical conduct of a Government employee?
3. Who is responsible for investigating Federal employee misconduct?
4. How do I learn more about specific ethics rules?
5. How do I obtain the names of nominees and/or appointees in the current Administration who have filed publicly available financial disclosure reports with OGE? 
6. What are some ethics documents I may obtain from OGE and/or other Executive Branch entities? 
7. How do I obtain copies of records that are not normally publicly posted or available on your website?
8. Are there any agency specific rules I should know about that supplement the normal ethics rules that apply to employees of executive branch agencies?
9. Where do I get information about the rules relating to Federal employees' involvement in political activities?
10. Who is responsible for prosecuting alleged violations of the criminal conflict of interest statutes?
11. Are there other Government offices that have ethics-related duties?
12. Where or who can I go to for help about an ethics matter not discussed above? 


1. What does OGE do? 

Click here to learn about the major components of OGE’s mission in the Executive Branch. 


2. Who do I call if I have a question about the ethical conduct of a Government employee?

If you are a reporter, you should contact the public affairs office of the agency that employs the Government employee. An agency’s public affairs office is in the best position to assist you in understanding the sometimes complex ethics rules that would apply to an employee’s conduct in a particular situation at an agency. Many times agency’s have their own supplemental regulations that will apply to the conduct of agency employees only. Similarly, it is also advisable for concerned citizens or other persons to contact an agency’s public affairs office for assistance in these matters.


3. Who is responsible for investigating Federal employee misconduct?

In most cases, the Inspector General (IG) of the department or agency involved investigates alleged misconduct. For a list of agency IGs, please visit the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency  (CIGIE). When necessary, the Federal Bureau of Investigation  of the Department of Justice may investigate alleged misconduct of federal employees. 


4. How do I learn more about specific ethics rules and issues?

OGE has prepared many helpful ethics materials that provide information on a range of topics including Government ethics laws, rules and policies that may be useful or of interest to the media. Click here to explore ethics-related topics that you might find useful in helping you understand Government ethics requirements.


5. How do I obtain the names of nominees and/or appointees in the current Administration who have filed publicly available financial disclosure reports with OGE?

Click here to obtain from the OGE Website the names of all individuals that have been nominated or been appointed by President Obama with the advice and consent of the Senate. The list also provides the positions and names of the offices these persons were nominated to or are currently serving in since the beginning of the Obama Administration. In general, each of these officials would have completed a financial disclosure report of some type as part of their confirmation process.  


6. What are some ethics documents I may obtain from OGE and/or other Executive Branch entities?

Click here to learn about and/or obtain the following documents:

  • Public Financial Disclosure Reports
  • Ethics Agreements of High Level Executive Branch Officials (Presidentially Appointed, Senate Confirmed)
  • Conflict of Interest Waivers
  • Certificates of Divestitures (CDs)
  • Pledge Waivers
  • Travel Reports (Agency Acceptance of Travel Payments from Non-Federal Sources)
  • Reviews of Agency Ethics Programs


7. How do I obtain copies of records that are not normally publicly posted or otherwise available on your website?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, allows persons to request copies of records not normally prepared for public distribution or otherwise publicly available. Click here for more information about making a FOIA request for these documents. To contact OGE's FOIA Requester Service Center or OGE's FOIA Officer click here.


8. Are there any agency specific rules I should know about that supplement the normal ethics rules that apply to employees of executive branch agencies?

Yes. Some agencies have published supplemental standards of conduct rules with required OGE concurrence. These rules apply to agency employees and augment the normal rules that apply to agency employees in the Executive Branch. Click here to see and access a list of supplemental rules issued by executive branch agencies.


9. Where do I get information about the rules relating to Federal employees' involvement in political activities?

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has jurisdiction on all matters involving the Hatch Act which prohibits Federal employees from engaging in certain political activities.  


10. Who is responsible for prosecuting alleged violations of the criminal conflict of interest statutes?

U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division, or the Appropriate U.S. Attorney's Office (generally in the jurisdiction where the alleged misconduct took place).


11. Are there other Government offices that have ethics-related duties?

Yes. For more information on other U.S. Government entities with ethics/conduct-related authority, click here for the “List of U.S. Government Entities with Ethics/Conduct-Related Authority.”


12. Where or who can I go to for help about an ethics matter not discussed above?

If you have further questions, please contact OGE’s Media Liaison, Elizabeth D. Horton at 202-482-9211 or send an e-mail to ContactOGE@oge.gov with your question.  If you prefer, you may also write or call.