|Government of the District of Columbia
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 25, 1998
CONTACT: Linda Wharton Boyd
MAYOR BARRY LAUNCHES A NEW ERA OF ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT AND LOCAL
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
- 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.