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Program Functions and General Principles

Program Functions

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The CDC/ATSDR Ethics Program Activity is responsible for interpreting standards of conduct regulations, reviewing financial disclosure reports, and offering continuing ethics training and counseling services to ensure that CDC and ATSDR employees avoid situations that could violate ethics laws and undermine the public's trust in Government.

Employees are subject to statutes and regulations commonly referred to as "ethics" standards. The two basic sources of these standards are the criminal conflict of interest statutes and the administrative standards of ethical conduct.

The conflict of interest statutes at Chapter 11 of Title 18, United States code, prohibit a Federal employee from engaging in certain types of activities that would place the employee's own personal interests above the Federal Government's interests.

The standards of conduct regulation at 5 Code of Federal Regulations Part 2635 establishes principles of ethical conduct for employees of the executive branch.

This home page will provide you with data about the ethics program. You will be able to access the Office of Government Ethics Standards of Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch and other ethics publications, as well as ethics forms.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Ethics Program Activity, (404) 639-5003, Mail stop D-27.


General Principles

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Executive branch employees hold their positions as a public trust and American citizens have a right to expect that all employees will place loyalty to the Constitution, laws and ethical principles above private gain. Employees fulfill that trust by adhering to general principles of ethical conduct as well as specific ethical standards.

A Memorandum issued by President George W. Bush, January 20, 2001, states 14 general principles that broadly define the obligations of public service. Underlying these 14 principles are two core concepts:

  • employees shall not use public office for private gain, and
  • employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.

In addition, employees must strive to avoid any action that would create the appearance that they are violating the law or ethical standards. By observing these general principles, employees help to ensure that citizens have complete confidence in the integrity of Government operations and programs.

Reference: Executive Order (E.O.) 11222, E.O. 12674, as modified by E.O. 12731, 3 C.F.R., 1990 Comp., pp. 306-311; 5 C.F.R. § 2635.101.
  • Page last reviewed: May 12, 2009
  • Page last updated: May 12, 2009
  • Content source: CDC and ATSDR Ethics Program
  • Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS, CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.
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