Proposed new ethics rules would circumscribe the participation of government employees in scientific societies such as AGU, although it is not yet clear to what extent (see Eos, Aug. 13, 1991).
The rules, entitled “Standards of Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch,” aim to establish uniform ethics guidelines for all executive agencies. Current regulations vary slightly from one agency to the next. The new rules have been proposed by the Office of Government Ethics, a small, independent agency that was part of the Office of Personnel Management until recently. The ethics office also interprets conflict of interest statutes and reviews the financial statements of presidential appointees.