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Special General Memorandum 08-01

SGM No. 08-01
MAY 14, 2008
TO: All Employees

FROM: Director

SUBJECT: Annual Reminder of the Principles and Standards of Ethical Conduct

Everyone who enters public service has a duty to maintain the highest standards of integrity in Government.  As Indian Health Service (IHS) employees, we must ensure that we demonstrate a high standard of professionalism and ethical conduct.  Each of us should be aware of all applicable ethics laws and regulations, including the following principles from the ?Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch?:

  1. Public service is a public trust, requiring employee loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.
  2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with their conscientious performance of duty.
  3. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.
  4. Employees shall not, except as permitted by the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 5, Volume 3, Chapter 16, Part 2635, Subpart B, Section 2635.202, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or regulated by employees' agencies, or from any person or entity whose interests may be substantially affected by the employees performing or not performing their duties.
  5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
  6. Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.
  7. Employees shall not use public office for private gain.
  8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.
  9. Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.
  10. Employees shall not seek, negotiate, or engage in outside employment or activities that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.
  11. Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to the appropriate authorities.
  12. Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, fulfilling all just financial obligations, especially Federal, State, or local taxes that are required by law.
  13. Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.
  14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in this part. A reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts shall determine if particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or standards have been violated.

These principles and the final regulations issued by the United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE) are available on the OGE Web site. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

The Department of Health and Human Services Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct is available on the IHS Program Integrity and Ethics Staff (PIES) Web site [PDF] Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving .

The PIES Web site contains the names and telephone numbers of the IHS ethics officials to contact if you have any questions.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethics in Government as we continue to serve American Indians and Alaska Natives.

/Robert G. McSwain/
Robert G. McSwain