Measuring agency ethics in US
11 February 2011
The US Office of Government Ethics has published a report on the way agencies give effect to integrity obligations. The material discloses how the 15 “Cabinet level” Federal agencies have developed “strategies for addressing factors that are critical to the success of an ethics program”. Agencies have self reported on their activities, including concrete measures taken regarding:
Leadership—the extent too which agency leaders and supervisors support and are involved in the program
Awareness—how aware employees are of the ethics program and its role and their personal ethical responsibilities
Resources—the way agency and ethics community resources are leveraged
Oversight—processes for the control and oversight of agency ethics programs.
The essence is the way agencies are setting standards, training all staff to understand what is expected of them, and ensuring that there is appropriate leadership, management and entrenchment of standards.
These can be seen as a variant of the “6 trust elements” which New Zealand State Services agencies are expected to adopt – having standards, promoting them, integrating them into operations, managers modelling them, staff knowing there are consequences for breaches, and agencies taking decisive action on breaches,
The scale of the commitment of US agencies is an eye opener.