Public Sector Ethics

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: GP 112

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If you are an elected or appointed official, a employee, or a volunteer who works for and/or represents an agency that is supported by taxes, you are subject to a code of ethics. Does your agency mention ethics in job descriptions when hiring? Is it discussed in meetings? Are copies handed out to your taxpayers? What are the constraints and obligations if you decide to work for the government?


  • Introduction: Government Ethics In The United States
  • The Key Idea: Learn The Rule Of Law And The Bill Of Rights
  • Where Do Ethical Standards Come From?
  • Typical Issues: Nepotism, Privacy, Transparency, Favoritism
  • The Process Of Ethical Decision-Making
  • What If Something Is Legal, But Not Ethical?
  • Enforcing Ethical Standards


  • Create written ethical codes for officials and employees at all levels.
  • Provide yearly training in ethical issues for everyone.
  • Discuss enforcement and create policies to explain consequences.

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