Proposed ethics rules blasted


  • Lynn Teo Simarski


The Office of Government Ethics will redraft part of the guidelines it proposed this summer for the conduct of executive branch employees (see Eos, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3, 1991). A wave of negative reaction from associations and Congress has prompted the reexamination, particularly of the section addressing the participation of government employees in professional associations. The rewritten regulations will then be put out for public comment again.

Steven Potts, director of the Office of Government Ethics, expressed surprise that the volume of outside comments about that section had “substantially overshadowed” other responses. Potts spoke before a House hearing on October 22. Approximately 90% of the more than 1,000 responses to the ethics office commented on participation in professional associations. The office now plans to delay issuing the new regulations until next spring.