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New Era of Ethics
February 25, 1998




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Government of the District of Columbia News Release
Fax 202-727-9561
Wednesday, February 25, 1998

CONTACT: Linda Wharton Boyd

New 8-Point Program Includes Mandatory Ethics Training for All D.C. Employees

Mayor Mayor Barry Jr., today launched a campaign designed to install an awareness of ethical reform and working by guiding principles within the D.C. government and local politics.

"While the D.C. government rushes to create a sense of urgency in management reform, we also must create a sense of urgency in ethical reform," said Mayor Barry.

"My transformation plan envisioned more than a reorganization of government. It envisioned a wholesale change in the culture and attitude in government service. It envisioned maintaining the highest standards of ethical behavior," said Mayor Barry.

"Our government is no worse off then many other big city and state governments. But a national spotlight shines on us daily, exposing us to greater ridicule than other cities facing similar difficulties. So we must become even more vigilant in demanding the highest standards of government service and local politics," said Mayor Barry.

"I want every one of our employees and managers to pay attention to ethics in government and politics With a sense of urgency and become pelt of a program to create a code of guiding principles and ethics in government service. I am directing Judge John Ferren to work closely with Personnel Director Elliott Whelan, Intergovernmental Relations Director Bernard Demczuk, Chief of Staff Jeanette Michaels, Special Assistant for Religious Affairs Rev. William Bennett and Communication Director Linda W. Boyd to establish a program that will incorporate the following eight points:

  • Require an ethics training seminar for all employees and managers and require annual refresher courses in ethics for all managers.
  • Require the Office of Corporation Counsel to assure that every employee unit is assigned an ethics officer and that these officers are highly trained in ethics counseling.
  • Establish a Citizen-Employee Ethics in Government and Politics Advisory Commission. This commission will begin the process of creating a code of guiding principles and ethics of government service to supplement existing regulations.
  • Establish an advertising campaign within government to provide and educate all employees to this new era of ethics and working by guiding g principles in government service.
  • Display the code of guiding principles and ethics on the back of every employee card card and in each government office.
  • Establish award and incentive programs to honor and encourage high standards of ethical thinking and behavior rather than relishing in the punishment of wrongdoing.
  • Create essay contests in schools on "What Constitutes Ethical Behavior?" Honor those students who participate and display their writings in One Judiciary Square and other government buildings and encourage character education curriculum in our public school system
  • Encourage employees to engage in moral reasoning and ethics seminars in the workplace by inviting some of the nation's top thinkers to address employees on this topic.

"Our city is on the verge of greatness. What I started in 1995 and initiated in 1996 with my Transformation Plan is beginning to bear fruit. We are turning the corner from fiscal collapse and service inadequacies to experiencing balanced budgets, surpluses and an excellence in management and service delivery.

"We have an opportunity to renew our spirits and renew our hopes to become the jewel of American cities. But, unless our government service and our civil politics are grounded in fundamental moral reasoning, inspired by a sense of ethical urgency and directed by a code of moral principles, then we run the risk of slipping back into a government of expediency, individuality and potential corruption. Guided by this 8-point program, there is no limit to the greatness of our nation's capital and the excellence of our municipal service," said Mayor Barry.

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