Welcome to the Department of Education! Now that you are working here, you are subject to rules that govern your conduct as a government employee, including the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees in the Executive Branch; the Department of Education Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct; the Federal criminal conflict of interest laws; and the "Hatch Act" governing your participation in partisan political activities.
The basic principle of government ethics is fairly straightforward – public office is a public trust, and you may not use your government office for private gain. However, the rules that implement this principle may seem vast and complex. Below you will find links to some basic documents, including the Standards of Ethical Conduct and the 14 Principles of Ethical Conduct, as well as several documents that summarize the rules covering some common ethics questions. There is also a contact sheet with the names and numbers of individuals in the Department who can assist you with your ethics questions. You are encouraged to take some time to review these materials, and to call the Ethics Division if you have questions.
- Ethics Welcome Message from Secretary Arne Duncan
- Principles of Ethical Conduct
- Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch
- Department of Education Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct
- Ethics in a Nutshell
- Five Things Every New Employee Should Know about Ethics
- Ethics at a Glance: Gifts Between Employees
- Ethics at a Glance: Outside Activities
- Ethics at a Glance: Political Activities
- Ethics Orientation Questions and Answers
- Ethics Division Contact List