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Top Executive Branch Leaders File Public Financial Disclosures to Protect the Public Trust

May 15, 2024

Shelley Finlayson, Acting Director and Program Counsel

Across 140+ executive branch agencies, more than 26,000 public financial disclosure reports are due to be filed today by senior government leaders. These reports will be reviewed for compliance with disclosure requirements and conflicts of interest and then certified by ethics officials throughout the government. Reports will become available to request by the public 30 days after they are filed.

This important process was established 46 years ago by the Ethics in Government Act. Ever since, OGE has worked to make sure public financial disclosure keeps pace with financial innovation and technological changes. OGE accomplishes this through implementing regulations, guidance, training, an electronic filing system, and agency oversight.

Specifically, OGE does this by maintaining financial disclosure regulations and issuing periodic written guidance on financial disclosure to keep pace with new financial instruments, such as digital assets. OGE also issues guidance reminding ethics officials and filers of deadlines and procedures for implementing the program.

OGE also offers many  educational resources for both financial disclosure filers and the ethics officials who review and certify the financial disclosure reports. OGE offers on-demand guidance for reporting, which was updated and re-released this year, as well as opportunities for reviewers to practice conducting reviews, and for ethics officials to talk through program challenges. 

OGE ensures the information collected in disclosures is consistent by using the OGE Form 278e for all reports. OGE also provides filers, reviewers, and certifiers with free access to an advanced electronic filing system, Integrity.

Beyond these supports, OGE has an important oversight responsibility: to ensure that agencies are collecting and reviewing reports timely, maintaining appropriate standard operating procedures, and generally running an effective financial disclosure program. OGE carries out this role through its agency ethics program reviews and inspections.

OGE undertakes all of these efforts to keep the public financial disclosure system serving its purpose: to identify and prevent financial conflicts of interest for senior executive branch leaders who are responsible to serve the public and protect the public trust.