You are hereConflict of Interest
Conflict of Interest
Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.
Departmental Manual Chapter 3: Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities
Department of the Interior
Effective Date: 1/28/11
Series: Departmental Management
Part 305: Departmental Science Efforts
Chapter 3: Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities Originating
Office: Office of the Deputy Secretary
3 3.1 Purpose.
A. This chapter establishes Departmental policy on the integrity of scientific and scholarly activities the Department conducts and science and scholarship it uses to inform management and public policy decisions. Scientific and scholarly information considered in Departmental decision making must be robust, of the highest quality, and the result of as rigorous scientific and scholarly processes as can be achieved. Most importantly, it must be trustworthy. It is essential that the Department establish and maintain integrity in its scientific and scholarly activities because information from such activities is a critical factor that informs decision making on public policies. Other factors that inform decision making may include economic, budget, institutional, social, cultural, legal and environmental considerations.
B. This chapter also establishes scientific and scholarly ethical standards, including codes of conduct, and a process for the initial handling of alleged violations. This chapter is not intended to, and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees or agents, or any other person.
3.2 Background. The Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity dated March 9, 2009, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) 2010 guidance memorandum on scientific integrity call for ensuring the highest level of integrity in all aspects of the executive branch’s involvement with scientific and technological processes. The 2002 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Information Quality Guidelines, and the 2005 OMB Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review provide additional guidance for ensuring information quality. The Secretary issued Order No. 3305, Ensuring Scientific Integrity within the Department of the Interior, on September 29, 2010, directing the establishment of a Departmental Manual Chapter that sets forth principles of scientific and scholarly integrity and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of all Department of the Interior (DOI) employees in upholding these principles.
3.3 Scope. This chapter establishes requirements for the professional conduct and management of scientific and scholarly activities, and the use of scientific and scholarly information, by and on behalf of the Department. The requirements contained in this chapter are in addition to and do not supersede the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, DOI Supplemental Standards, any of the Criminal Conflict of Interest Statutes (18 U.S.C. §§ 201-209), or law enforcement actions and/or investigations and inspections for regulatory compliance. As of the effective date, this policy applies to:
A. All DOI employees, including political appointees, (hereafter employees) when they engage in, supervise, manage, or influence scientific and scholarly activities, or communicate information about the Department’s scientific and scholarly activities, or utilize scientific and scholarly information in making agency policy, management or regulatory decisions.
B. All contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, leasees, and grantees who assist with developing or applying the results of scientific and scholarly activities.
C. All volunteers who assist with developing or applying the results of scientific and scholarly activities.
3.4 Policy. The Department supports a culture of scientific and scholarly integrity. Science and scholarship play a vital role in the Department’s mission, providing one of several critical inputs to decision making on conservation and responsible development of natural resources, preservation of cultural resources, and responsibilities to tribal communities. The Department recognizes the importance of scientific and scholarly information and science and scholarship as methods for maintaining and enhancing our effectiveness and establishing credibility and value with all sectors of the public, both nationally and internationally. The Department is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the scientific and scholarly activities it conducts, and activities that are conducted on its behalf. It will not tolerate loss of integrity in the performance of scientific and scholarly activities or in the application of science and scholarship in decision making. The Department will:
A. Use clear and unambiguous codes of conduct for scientific and scholarly activities to define expectations for those covered by this policy.
B. Facilitate the free flow of scientific and scholarly information, consistent with privacy and classification standards, and in keeping with the Department’s Open Government Plan.
C. Document the scientific and scholarly findings considered in decision making and ensure public access to that information and supporting data through established Departmental and Bureau procedures—except for information and data that are restricted from disclosure under procedures established in accordance with statute, regulation, Executive Order, or Presidential Memorandum.
D. Ensure that the selection and retention of employees in scientific and scholarly positions or in positions that rely on the results of scientific and scholarly activities are based on the candidate’s integrity, knowledge, credentials, and experience relevant to the responsibility of the position.
E. Ensure that public communications policies provide procedures by which scientists and scholars may speak to the media and the public about scientific and scholarly matters based on their official work and areas of expertise. In no circumstance may public affairs officers ask or direct Federal scientists to alter scientific findings.
F. Provide information to employees on whistleblower protections.
G. Communicate this policy and all related responsibilities to contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, leasees, grantees, and volunteers who assist with developing or applying the results of scientific and scholarly activities on behalf of the Department, as appropriate.
H. Encourage the enhancement of scientific and scholarly integrity through appropriate, cooperative engagement with the communities of practice represented by professional societies and organizations.
I. Examine, track, and resolve all reasonable allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct while ensuring the rights and privacy of those covered by this policy and ensuring that unwarranted allegations do not result in slander, libel, or other damage to them.
J. Facilitate the sharing of best administrative and management practices that promote the integrity of the Department’s scientific and scholarly activities.
A. Conflict of Interest. Any personal, professional, financial, or other interests that conflict with the actions or judgments of those covered by this policy when conducting scientific and scholarly activities or using scientific and scholarly data and information because those interests may:
(1) Significantly impair objectivity; or
(2) Create an unfair competitive advantage for any person or organization, or
(3) Create the appearance of either (1) or (2).
B. Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Leasees, and Grantees. Groups, organizations, or individuals who provide goods or services to, or otherwise interact with the Department under terms specified in a written agreement (such as a cooperative agreement, grant, or memorandum of understanding), contract, lease, or permit.
C. Decision Makers. Departmental employees who may:
(1) Develop policies or make determinations about policy or management;
(2) Make determinations about expenditures of Departmental funds;
(3) Implement or manage activities that involve, or rely on, scientific and scholarly activities; or (4) Supervise employees who engage in scientific and scholarly activities.
D. Employees Who Engage in Scientific and Scholarly Activities.
(1) Individuals who conduct or directly supervise scientific and/or scholarly activities, including but not limited to proposing, performing, or reviewing inventory, monitoring, research, and assessment, or in reporting results of these activities; and
(2) Individuals who directly supervise or personally perform work involving the compilation and translation of scientific and scholarly data or information into formats used by the Department’s decision makers and other non-scientist or non-scholar personnel.
E. Fabrication. Making up data or results and recording or reporting them. (Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, 65 FR 76260-76264, December 6, 2000.) Fabrication does not include documented use of modeling or statistical techniques.
F. Falsification. Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. (Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, 65 FR 76260-76264, December 6, 2000.)
G. Plagiarism. The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. (Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, 65 FR 76260-76264, December 6, 2000.)
H. Reporting. Dissemination of scientific and scholarly activities and results.
I. Scientific Method. A method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested.
J. Scientific and Scholarly Activities. Activities involving inventorying, monitoring, experimentation, study, research, modeling, and scientific and scholarly assessments are scientific and scholarly activities. These activities are conducted in a manner specified by documented protocols and procedures and include any of the physical, biological, cultural, or social sciences as well as landscape architecture, engineering, mathematics, and statistics that employ the scientific method.
K. Scientific and Scholarly Assessment. Scientific and scholarly information constructed to evaluate a body of scientific and scholarly knowledge, typically by analyzing and synthesizing multiple factual inputs, data, models, assumptions, and/or by applying best professional judgment to bridge and/or characterize uncertainties in the available information.
L. Scientific and Scholarly Integrity. The condition resulting from adherence to professional values and practices, when conducting and applying the results of science and scholarship, that ensures objectivity, clarity, reproducibility, and utility and that provides insulation from bias, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, outside interference, censorship, and inadequate procedural and information security.
M. Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct.
(1) Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing scientific and scholarly activities, or in the products or reporting of the results of these activities. (Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, 65 FR 76260-76264, December 6, 2000.) Misconduct also includes: (a) intentionally circumventing policy that ensures the integrity of science and scholarship, and (b) actions that compromise scientific and scholarly integrity. Scientific and scholarly misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
(2) Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in the application of scientific and scholarly information to decision making, policy formulation, or preparation of materials for public information activities.
(3) A finding of scientific and scholarly misconduct requires that:
(a) There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant scientific and scholarly community.
(b) The misconduct be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.
(c) The allegation be proven by a preponderance of evidence. N. Scientific and Scholarly Product. The results of scientific and scholarly activities including the analysis, synthesis, compilation, or translation of scientific and scholarly information and data into formats used in the Department’s decision-making processes or publications.
O. Professional Judgment. An authoritative evaluation that is characterized by or conforms to the technical and ethical standards of a discipline, and requires specialized knowledge or applicable academic preparation.
P. Volunteer. A person who provides, under the terms of a Volunteer Agreement, uncompensated hours of service to the Department for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons. A volunteer is not subject to the wage, hour, and compensation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Q. Volunteer Agreement. The official Department document that must be reviewed and signed by the volunteer or volunteer group leader and the appropriate agency representative, before work can begin. The agreement statement of work will include the requirements of this chapter and describes the activity(ies) and circumstances under which the volunteer work is performed.
R. Supervisors and Managers. Employees who manage the people, funds and resources of the Department.
A. Deputy Secretary is responsible for:
(1) Providing leadership for the Department on scientific and scholarly integrity.
(2) Ensuring Departmental compliance with this policy.
(3) Designating the duties of Departmental Scientific Integrity Officer (DSIO) to a senior career staff person with scientific and/or scholarly credentials.
(4) Serving as the “Office of Primary Responsibility” for revisions to the policy in this chapter.
B. Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs:
(1) Serving as the neutral point of contact for receiving allegations of misconduct against DOI employees.
(2) Referring allegations to the DSIO or appropriate Bureau Scientific Integrity Officer (BSIO).
C. Departmental Scientific Integrity Officer is responsible for:
(1) Providing Department-wide leadership for implementing this chapter.
(2) Serving as Scientific Integrity Officer for the Office of the Secretary.
(3) Implementing this chapter as it pertains to bureaus and offices of the Department.
(4) Reviewing bureau implementation procedures for consistency with this policy.
(5) Ensuring the integrity and consistency of the process across the Department. (6) Coordinating with the appropriate Human Resources Offices.
(7) Providing additional guidance for implementing and updating this chapter, as needed.
(8) Conducting a review of allegations and submitted materials received from the Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs (OES) to determine whether an inquiry is warranted and appropriate next steps, following the procedures described in Section 3.8 below.
(9) Keeping the Deputy Secretary informed on the status of the implementation of this chapter.
D. Assistant Secretaries are responsible for:
(1) Providing leadership for their bureaus/offices on scientific and scholarly integrity.
(2) Ensuring their bureaus and offices comply with this policy. (3) Reviewing bureau/office-specific guidance, as appropriate.
E. Heads of Bureaus are responsible for:
(1) Providing leadership for the bureau on scientific and scholarly integrity.
(2) Designating a BSIO who will report to the Bureau Head or appropriate senior executive and will coordinate bureau level allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct with the DSIO.
(3) Ensuring bureau compliance with this policy.
(4) Developing bureau-specific guidance, as appropriate.
(5) Providing bureau employees with the policy and guidance.
(6) Ensuring employees and volunteers are aware of their responsibilities and comply with the policy and any bureau-specific guidance.
(7) Ensuring that contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, leasees, and grantees covered under the scope of this chapter are aware of their responsibilities for complying with the principles of this policy and any bureau-specific guidance.
F. Bureau Scientific Integrity Officers are responsible for:
(1) Implementing this chapter as it pertains to the bureau.
(2) Keeping the bureau head or appropriate senior executive informed on the status of the implementation of this chapter.
(3) Coordinating with the appropriate servicing human resources officer.
(4) Conducting a review of allegations and submitted materials received from the Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs to determine whether an inquiry is warranted and appropriate next steps, following the procedures described in Section 3.8 below.
(5) Coordinating with the DSIO on all submitted allegations and subsequent actions to ensure integrity and consistency of the process across the Department.
G. Managers and Supervisors are responsible for:
(1) Implementing this chapter as it pertains to their area of management or supervision.
(2) Taking appropriate administrative and disciplinary action.
(3) Consulting, as appropriate, with the DSIO, BSIO, Servicing Human Resources Officer (SHRO), Ethics Officer, Administrative Office or Contracting Office, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of the Solicitor (SOL) and Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR).
(4) Complying with this chapter, 370 DM 752 on Discipline and Adverse Actions, and established collective bargaining agreements.
(5) Ensuring that all contracts, written agreements, cooperative agreements, grants, permits, and leases, covered under the scope of this chapter and under their purview include the requirements of this policy in their performance work statement.
H. Employees and Volunteers are responsible for:
(1) Being aware of and upholding the principles contained in the Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct contained in this chapter, as well as principles of ethical conduct set forth in the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 CFR 2635).
(2) Complying with the policy and any additional bureau/office-specific guidance.
(3) Reporting to the appropriate officials, as described in Section 3.8 of this chapter, knowledge of scientific misconduct that is planned, is imminent, or has occurred.
(4) Ensuring that any contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, leasees, and grantees covered under the scope of this chapter with whom they are executing contracts, written agreements cooperative agreements, grants, leases or permits are aware of their responsibilities for complying with this policy and bureau/office-specific guidance.
(5) Upholding the employee responsibilities and conduct contained in Part 370 DM.
I. Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Leasees, and Grantees are responsible for abiding by the principles contained in this policy regarding the integrity of the Department’s scientific and scholarly activities, as specified in written agreements or statements of work.
J. Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct Review Panel members are responsible for:
(1) Impartially examining allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct, as requested.
(2) Preparing and submitting a report of findings to DSIO/ BSIO and responsible manager/supervisor.
(3) Complying with personnel requirements including established collective bargaining agreements and/or representational rights.
3.7 Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct.
A. All Departmental Employees, and all Volunteers, Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Leasees, and Grantees as described in section 3.3 (Scope) of this chapter, will abide by the following code of scientific and scholarly conduct to the best of their ability.
(1) I will act in the interest of the advancement of science and scholarship for sound decision making, by using the most appropriate, best available, high quality scientific and scholarly data and information to support the mission of the Department. (2) I will communicate the results of scientific and scholarly activities clearly, honestly, objectively, thoroughly, accurately, and in a timely manner.
(3) I will be responsible for the resources entrusted to me, including equipment, funds, my time, and the employees I supervise.
(4) I will adhere to the laws and policies related to protection of natural and cultural resources and to research animals and human subjects while conducting science and scholarship activities.
(5) I will not engage in activities that put others or myself in an actual or apparent conflict of interest.
(6) I will not intentionally hinder the scientific and scholarly activities of others or engage in scientific and scholarly misconduct.
(7) I will clearly differentiate among facts, personal opinions, assumptions, hypotheses, and professional judgment in reporting the results of scientific and scholarly activities and characterizing associated uncertainties in using those results for decision making, and in representing those results to other scientists, decision makers, and the public.
(8) I will protect, to the fullest extent allowed by law, the confidential and proprietary information provided by individuals, communities, and entities whose interests and resources are studied or affected by scientific and scholarly activities.
(9) I will be responsible for the quality of the data I use or create and the integrity of the conclusions, interpretations, and applications I make. I will adhere to appropriate quality assurance and quality control standards, and not withhold information that might not support the conclusions, interpretations, and applications I make.
(10) I will be diligent in creating, using, preserving, documenting, and maintaining scientific and scholarly collections, records, methodologies, information, and data in accordance with federal and Departmental policy and procedures.
B. In addition, for Scientists and Scholars:
(1) I will place quality and objectivity of scientific and scholarly activities and reporting of results ahead of personal gain or allegiance to individuals or organizations.
(2) I will maintain scientific and scholarly integrity and will not engage in fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting scientific and scholarly activities and their products.
(3) I will fully disclose methodologies used, all relevant data, and the procedures for identifying and excluding faulty data.
(4) I will adhere to appropriate professional standards for authoring and responsibly publishing the results of scientific and scholarly activities and will respect the intellectual property rights of others.
(5) I will welcome constructive criticism of my scientific and scholarly activities and will be responsive to their peer review.
(6) I will provide constructive, objective, and professionally valid peer review of the work of others, free of any personal or professional jealousy, competition, non-scientific disagreement, or conflict of interest. I will substantiate comments that I make with the same care with which I report my own work.
C. In Addition, for Decision Makers:
(1) I will do my best to support the scientific and scholarly activities of others and will not engage in dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation, coercive manipulation, censorship, or other misconduct that alters the content, veracity, or meaning or that may affect the planning, conduct, reporting, or application of scientific and scholarly activities.
(2) I will offer respectful, constructive, and objective review of my employees’ scientific and scholarly activities and will encourage their obtaining appropriate peer reviews of their work. I will respect the intellectual property rights of others and will substantiate comments that I make about their work with the same care with which I carry out and report the results of my own activities.
(3) I will adhere to appropriate standards for reporting, documenting and applying results of scientific and scholarly activities used in decision making and ensure public access to those results in accordance with Departmental policy and established laws.
3.8 Procedures for Reporting and Resolving Allegations Regarding Loss of Scientific and Scholarly Integrity.
The Department is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the scientific and scholarly activities it conducts, and are conducted on its behalf. It will not tolerate loss of integrity in the performance of scientific and scholarly activities or in the application of science and scholarship in decision making. This section outlines procedures for reporting and resolving allegations in a timely and fair manner (see Appendices A-1 and A-2).
A. Reporting an Allegation. Allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct with respect to DOI employees, volunteers, contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, leasees, and grantees must be submitted in writing. The Department will consider allegations submitted within 60 days of discovery of alleged misconduct. Allegations may be submitted by individuals or entities, internal or external to the Department. Misconduct includes intentional fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism and is not the result of honest error or difference of opinion, such as with a scientific and scholarly process or a management decision. Cases of fraud, waste, and abuse should be directly referred to the Office of Inspector General.
An initial notice of an allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct should be submitted to the OES and contain the following information:
(1) The name, affiliation, and signature of the person(s) submitting the allegation and the name and organization of the person(s) alleged to have committed the misconduct.
(2) Upon receipt of the above information, OES will open a file to track the allegation. The following additional information is required within 10 days of submission of the information in paragraph (1).
(3) A description of the allegation that includes the date, circumstances, and location of the alleged misconduct.
(4) Any documents or other relevant items (such as data, scientific papers, memos, etc.) with annotation showing specifically how the item relates to the allegation.
(5) An explanation of how the allegation relates to scientific and scholarly misconduct and demonstrating the impact of the alleged misconduct.
(6) A statement explaining any conflict(s) of interest the person making the allegation has with the subject(s), entity(ies), or situation(s), named in the allegation. Allegations may be returned if they do not contain the above information.
B. Inquiry into an allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct. The OES will refer allegations to the DSIO or the appropriate BSIO. Allegations related to bureau heads or offices within the Office of the Secretary will be referred to the DSIO. Allegations related to the bureaus will be referred to the appropriate BSIO.
(1) Where a union holds an exclusive recognition, managers and supervisor are reminded to fulfill their labor-management obligations, as appropriate, prior to implementing this policy.
(2) Particular attention should be given to any applicable collective bargaining agreement containing language which conflicts with this policy.
(3) Such language prevails over this policy until the contract is renegotiated or unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. The bureau Human Resources Office should be contacted for assistance.
C. The DSIO or BSIO will conduct a review of the allegations and submitted materials to determine whether an inquiry is warranted. Allegations that have been previously resolved will not be reopened unless substantial new information is submitted. If the DSIO or BSIO determines that the allegation does not warrant investigation, or that the allegation was previously investigated, the DSIO or BSIO will dismiss the allegation and inform the submitter.
D. If the DSIO or BSIO determines that an inquiry is warranted:
(1) If Employees and/or Volunteers are the Subject of the Allegation:
(a) The DSIO or BSIO will contact the responsible manager(s) of the subject of the allegation (henceforth referred to as the “subject”) to inform the manager (s) that an allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct has been filed. For employees and volunteers, the responsible manager will normally be the supervisor, except when it is ascertained that the supervisor may have a conflict of interest, in which case an appropriate responsible manager will be assigned.
(b) The DSIO or BSIO working with the responsible manager and an assigned Servicing Human Resources Officer (SHRO), will conduct an inquiry to determine if the allegation is covered under the provisions of this chapter and will provide consistency, oversight, and guidance throughout the entire process.
(c) The subject will be notified in writing (Appendix B - Sample Notification of Allegation of Scientific Misconduct) that an allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct has been filed against them. The notification shall be conducted privately and preferably in person. At the time of notification, the manager will ensure that all original records and materials relevant to the allegation are immediately secured.
(d) Throughout the inquiry and fact finding, confidentiality must be maintained and identities of the subject of the allegation and person submitting the allegation will be protected.
(2) If Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Leasees, or Grantees are the Subject of the Allegation:
(a) The DSIO or BSIO will contact the appropriate federal official responsible for the activities of the contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, leasees, or grantees that are the subject of the inquiry to inform the official that an allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct has been filed. The appropriate official could be the Contracting Officer or Financial Assistance official (CO/FA) or permit/lease manager. The DSIO or BSIO working with the appropriate official shall notify the subject’s organization (or the subject in the case of a single independent contractor, cooperator, partner, permittee, leasee, or grantee) of the allegation to request investigation and remedy.
(b) Throughout the inquiry and fact finding, confidentiality must be maintained and identities of the subject of the allegation, their organization, and person submitting the allegation will be protected.
E. Potential outcomes of inquiry into an allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct.
(1) Employees and Volunteers:
(a) If the DSIO or BSIO working with the manager establishes through the inquiry that no misconduct has occurred, the case will be dismissed and closed. The DSIO or BSIO working with the manager will issue a memorandum to the subject with a copy to the DSIO (if from the BSIO) explaining that the case is dismissed (Sample Closure Memorandum - Appendix C).
(b) If during the inquiry the DSIO or BSIO working with the manager determines that an incident occurred but (1) was not intentional or reckless and therefore not misconduct, or (2) that misconduct occurred, however there is no need for further fact finding; the DSIO or BSIO will work with the manager and SHRO to determine appropriate corrective action, as necessary. The DSIO or BSIO and manager will meet with the subject to explain any actions that will be taken concerning this incident, close the case, and report resolution of the case to the DSIO (if from the BSIO).
(c) If the DSIO or BSIO working with the manager determines that there appears to be merit to the allegation, and that a formal review and further fact finding by a panel of experts is required to determine the validity of the allegation and the extent and nature of the alleged misconduct, then the DSIO or BSIO will notify the manager and the subject(s) and a panel will be established as follows.
(i) In the case of an allegation against a bureau employee, the bureau head will then establish a Scientific and Scholarly Integrity Review Panel (SIRP). The bureau head may not influence the panel process or results. The BSIO will have oversight over the panel and inform the DSIO of the resolution.
(ii) In the case of an allegation against a bureau head or an Office of the Secretary employee, the DSIO will inform the relevant Assistant Secretary or the Deputy Secretary, as appropriate. Either the Assistant Secretary or the Deputy Secretary, or designee, will establish a SIRP. The DSIO will have oversight over the panel.
(2) Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Leasees, and Grantees: (a) If the DSIO or BSIO working with the appropriate CO/FA official establishes that no misconduct has occurred then no further action will be taken against the subject’s organization. The appropriate CO/FA official will issue a memorandum to the subject’s organization with a copy to the BSIO and DSIO explaining that no further action will be taken, and that the case will be closed.
(b) If the DSIO or BSIO working with the appropriate CO/FA official determines that there appears to be merit to the allegation, the subject’s organization will be requested to investigate the matter and provide the results to the government, certifying that the results of the investigation are true and accurate to the best knowledge of the organization. Penalties for falsifying results of an investigation may include, but not be limited to, termination of the contract or agreement or suspension and/or debarment from future federal awards.
(c) If no misconduct is reported by the subject’s organization and the DSIO or BSIO working with the appropriate CO/FA official accepts this report, no further action will be taken against the subject’s organization. Working with the appropriate CO/FA official, a memorandum will be issued to the subject’s organization with a copy to the BSIO and DSIO explaining that no further action will be taken concerning this allegation, and that the case will be closed. The DSIO or BSIO working with the appropriate CO/FA official has the authority to question the organization’s report until all issues have been satisfactorily addressed, after which the DSIO or BSIO will close the case.
(d) If misconduct is reported by the subject’s organization, the DSIO or BSIO, working with the appropriate CO/FA official will decide the course of action with regard to the organization to include, but not be limited to, acceptance of the organization’s resolution of the misconduct, issuing a poor performance review, termination of the contract/agreement or initiation of debarment procedures. The BSIO will report resolution of the case to the DSIO.
F. Formal Review and Fact Finding by Scientific and Scholarly Integrity Review Panel (Employees and Volunteers Only).
(1) Guidance for establishment and operations of the Scientific and Scholarly Integrity Review Panel (SIRP) are provided in Appendix D.
(2) The SIRP Chair will notify the subject that a SIRP will be convened to conduct fact finding related to the allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct; advise the subject on his/her rights and responsibilities during this process, and ask the subject to sign an Employee/Volunteer Information and Acknowledgement Form - Appendix E. The subject will be entitled to have a representative if desired; however legal fees are the responsibility of the subject.
(3) The SIRP will provide a report as outlined in Appendix D. The report produced by this panel falls under the Privacy Act, and will constitute pre-decisional, deliberative material containing analysis and recommendations related to Agency policy. These reports are intended to provide advice, recommendations, and opinions which are part of the deliberative, consultative, decision-making processes of the Department.
(4) Within 30 calendar days of the completion of the fact finding report, the Chair of the SIRP shall forward the report to the appropriate bureau head(s), BSIO(s), and the DSIO. The DSIO or BSIO, as appropriate, will work with the responsible manager and SHRO to determine corrective or disciplinary action. If the SIRP determines there is no misconduct, the manager will issue a memorandum to the subject with a copy to the DSIO or BSIO explaining that no further action will be taken concerning this allegation and that the case will be closed (Appendix C).
G. Corrective and Disciplinary Actions (Employees and Volunteers Only).
(1) If the incident that led to the allegation of misconduct is determined to have resulted in an impact to the integrity of the science or scholarship, the manager will take steps to correct the loss of integrity and to prevent future occurrences of the sequence of events that led to the impact to integrity.
(2) For employees, if the allegation is determined to have merit either as a result of the inquiry led by the DSIO or BSIO or as a result of further fact finding by an SIRP, the responsible manager and SHRO will work together to determine the appropriate action to be taken using the Departmental Manual chapter 370 DM 752 - Discipline and Adverse Actions, and any union contracts, as applicable. (3) For volunteers, if the allegation is determined to have merit either as a result of the inquiry led by the DSIO or BSIO or as a result of further fact finding by an SIRP, the manager will determine appropriate action which may include loss of privileges or termination of their volunteer service agreement.
H. Appeal Rights (Employees and Volunteers Only). If disciplinary action is taken against an employee, they may have appeal rights under Departmental Manual chapter 370 DM 752 - Discipline and Adverse Actions, and any union contracts, as applicable. Employees should contact their SHRO for additional information.
I. Resources for Federal Employees and Volunteers.
(1) The Department's COnflict REsolution PLUS (CORE PLUS) system for managing conflict in the workplace, jointly managed by the Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution and its counterparts in the bureaus, provides managers and employees with tools and assistance to address science and scholarship integrity issues and concerns. CORE PLUS assistance may include, but is not limited to, facilitating consultation to help define issues or specific concerns, providing training on effective communication and conflict management, coaching parties in their attempts to resolve conflicts on their own, facilitating meetings, mediating (when it is appropriate and the parties are willing to participate), or securing the services of other alternative dispute resolution practitioners, such as ombudsman assistance, acceptable to all parties.
(2) The informal conflict management and alternative dispute resolution processes available through CORE PLUS do not take the place of any other avenue of redress available to managers and employees. See 370 DM 770.
3.9 Participation as an Officer or Member on the Board of Directors of Professional Societies or other non-Federal Organizations.
The Department encourages the enhancement of scientific and scholarly integrity through engagement with the communities of practice represented by professional societies. The Department encourages employees to participate in outside professional organizations in order to enhance their professional development, especially when that participation advances the Department’s mission, programs, and operations. Department scientists, scholars, and other professionals should engage in scientific, scholarly, and other activities with these professional networks in accordance with the following guidelines.
A. An employee’s service as an officer or as a member on the board of directors (or in any position that creates a fiduciary duty under State or other applicable law) of a non-Federal organization may create an actual or apparent conflict of interest or may affect the employee’s ability to act impartially. Employees in these positions must avoid any activity that may create the potential for preferential treatment, improper official endorsement, inappropriate use of official time, actual or apparent loss of impartiality, disclosure of non-public information, or any situation that would adversely affect the public’s confidence in the Department. Employees wishing to serve in an official capacity in any position that creates a fiduciary duty to a non-Federal organization are required to complete, prior to serving in such a role, the waiver, memorandum of understanding (MOU), and recusal memorandum described below.
B. Employees serving in their official capacity on advisory committees, working groups, or other positions that do not create a fiduciary duty to a non-Federal organization must comply with all applicable ethics statutes and regulations during the period of their service. Employees should consult with an ethics counselor to ensure compliance with these statutes and regulations and should obtain supervisory approval to ensure bureau or Departmental interest in the employee’s participation. They are not, however, required to complete the waiver, MOU, and recusal memorandum described below.
(1) Service in a Personal Capacity as an Officer or Member of a Board of Directors or in any Position that Creates a Fiduciary Duty. Employees serving in their personal capacity as an officer or member on the board of directors of a non-Federal organization or in any position that creates a fiduciary duty must adhere to all applicable ethics statutes and regulations and should consult with their Bureau’s Deputy Ethics Counselor or the Departmental Ethics Office to ensure their compliance. Failure to comply could result in violation of the Federal criminal conflicts of interest statute (18 U.S.C. § 208) or violation of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees (5 C.F.R. 2635).
(2) Service in an Official Capacity as an Officer or Member of a Board of Directors or in any Position that Creates a Fiduciary Duty. Departmental employees may participate in their official capacity as an officer or member on the board of directors of non-Federal organizations or in any position that creates a fiduciary duty when the Department or their Bureau has determined that such participation is in the best interest of the Federal Government. In order to avoid any actual or apparent conflicts of interest, employees could, in an alternative, serve as a designated non-voting liaison, representing the Department or their bureau. When serving in their official capacity as an officer or on the board of directors of a non-Federal organization or in any position that creates a fiduciary duty to that organization, Department employees must adhere to the following requirements:
(a) Prior to service as an officer or member of the board of directors of a non-Federal organization or in any position that creates a fiduciary duty, employees must receive a Conflicts of Interest Waiver (Appendix F). Waivers shall only be granted by the Designated Agency Ethics Official or a bureau head and will not be granted retroactively. To initiate the waiver process, Departmental employees should contact the Departmental Ethics Office or their Deputy Ethics Counselor.
(b) Employees must execute a written MOU (Appendix G), acknowledging that their primary duty of loyalty is to the U.S. Government should the interests of the Government conflict with the interests of the non-Federal organization. The MOU must be signed by the executive director or an officer of the non-Federal organization and by the Designated Agency Ethics Official or Bureau Head. (c) Employees must execute a Recusal Memorandum (Appendix H) in which they acknowledge that they may not be involved in any official government matter that would affect the financial interest of the non-Federal organization, including the following: decisions or discussions pertaining to grants, contracts, cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), or other support; the preparation of requests from the non-Federal organization to obtain Federal funds or manpower to support its activities; approval of Federal travel authorizations to travel on behalf of the non-Federal organization; or fundraising and lobbying on behalf of the non-Federal organization.
A. Statutes and Regulations.
(1) 5 U.S.C. 301 allows the head of an executive department to prescribe regulations for the conduct of its employees.
(2) 43 CFR 20.501 requires employees of the Department to comply with all Federal statutes, Executive Orders, Office of Government Ethics and Office of Personnel Management regulations, and Departmental regulations.
(3) 43 CFR 20.502 states that employees are required to carry out the announced policies and programs of the Department.
(4) 56 FR 28012-28018 is the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, which provides guidelines for all research involving human subjects conducted, supported or otherwise subject to regulation by any federal department or agency.
(5) 7 USC, 2131-2159 is the Animal Welfare Act as Amended, which requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.
(6) 43 CFR 20.502(a) states that an employee is subject to appropriate disciplinary action if he or she fails to comply with any lawful regulations, orders, or policies.
(7) 18 U.S.C. 208 and 5 CFR 2635 Subparts D and E state that department scientists and scholars are subject to requirements pertaining to conflict of interest and appearance of a lack of impartiality.
B. Departmental Manual - 370 DM 752.
C. Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR 2635.
D. Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, 65 FR 76260-76264, December 6, 2000.
E. Whistleblower Protection Act, 5 USC, 2302(b)(8).
Sample Notifications of Allegation of Scientific Misconduct
FROM: DSIO or BSIO
CC: DSIO and Manager
SUBJECT: Allegation of Scientific Misconduct
An allegation of scientific misconduct has been filed with the Department of the Interior regarding the following: Insert as specific and detailed a description of the allegation as possible here, but do not disclose the name of the person who filed the allegation.
This allegation has not yet been investigated or determined to have merit. However, pursuant to the Department of the Interior’s scientific integrity policy, I will be conducting an inquiry to determine its merits. Under the Department’s procedures, you must preserve and provide to my office all original research records and materials relevant to the above allegation.
An interview will be scheduled with you to discuss the allegation and will be part of the official record. You may also provide for the record a written response to the allegation.
Once an inquiry into this matter is concluded, I will inform you in writing that: (1) a review of this matter has dismissed the allegation and the matter is closed; (2) a review of this matter has verified that scientific misconduct has taken place and you will be contacted about possible additional action; or (3) the allegation has been referred to a Scientific Integrity Review Panel (SIRP) for further fact-finding. If the matter is referred to an SIRP, the Chairperson of the Panel will notify you of your rights concerning their review, your obligations during their investigation, and your opportunity to respond to the allegation.
If a Panel conducts fact-finding into this allegation, I will review their findings to determine the appropriate action necessary to resolve this matter. You will be advised of the action to be taken.
If conflict arises as this process proceeds or if the action was not deliberate and was more about a disagreement or difference of opinion, I may utilize the Department's CORE PLUS system for managing conflict in the workplace. The CORE PLUS system is jointly managed by the Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution and its counterparts in the bureaus, and provides managers and employees with tools and assistance to address science and scholarship integrity issues and concerns. CORE PLUS assistance may include, but is not limited to, consultation to help define issues or specific concerns, providing training on effective communication and conflict management, coaching parties in their attempts to resolve conflicts on their own, facilitating meetings, mediating (when it is appropriate and the parties are willing to participate), or securing the services of other alternative dispute resolution practitioners, such as ombuds assistance, acceptable to all parties.
I have attached a copy of the DOI Manual chapter xxxxx on Scientific Integrity. Please review it carefully and let me know if you have any questions about this process.
Sample Closure Memorandum
FROM: DSIO or BSIO
CC: DSIO and Manager
SUBJECT: Resolution of Allegation of Scientific Misconduct
I am pleased to inform you that, after an inquiry into the allegation of scientific misconduct that was filed against you, I have found no merit in the charge. (Insert as specific and detailed a description of the allegation as possible but do not disclose the name of the person who filed the allegation). As a result, the concerns of this allegation are considered closed. I appreciate your cooperation in this important process.
Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct Review Panel
A Scientific Integrity Review Panel (SIRP) will be established by the Head(s) of a Bureau(s) for Bureau related allegations of misconduct or by the DSIO for allegations of misconduct against the Bureau Head or Office of the Secretary. The SIRP will conduct fact finding and review allegations of misconduct reported against DOI employees and volunteers. The panel shall address the materiality or significance of the alleged misconduct and explain why the conduct does or does not constitute a serious deviation from accepted practices under institutional or general scientific and scholarly standards. To fully understand the severity of alleged misconduct, an effort to determine deliberate intent should be included in the investigation. Scientific and scholarly misconduct is the result of a deliberate action by an employee or volunteer that compromises the scientific integrity of the conduct, production, or use of scientific and scholarly activities and assessments. Misconduct includes intentional fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism and is not the result of honest error or difference of opinion with a scientific and scholarly process or a management decision.
Three criteria are necessary to establish research misconduct (Federal Policy on Research Misconduct):
(1) There is a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community, and
(2) The misconduct is committed intentionally or knowingly or recklessly, and
(3) The allegation is proven by a majority of evidence.
COMPOSITION OF THE PANEL
The SIRP shall consist of a Chairperson and at least three subject matter experts that may come from any part of the Department as appropriate. The Bureau Head(s) or DSIO, or a designee in consultation with the BISO and appropriate senior management as needed shall appoint the panel members based on the specific discipline or a specific area of expertise that is required to understand the probable nature of the alleged misconduct. The Chairperson, with the concurrence of the Bureau Head (s) or DSIO, will select additional panel members as needed. The Bureau Head (s) or DSIO may replace any panel member at any time. Depending on the Bureau’s needs, this may be a standing committee.
Panel members shall have appropriate expertise to evaluate the allegations of scientific misconduct. The integrity and fairness of the peer-evaluation process is paramount, every effort will be made to maintain a balance of subject matter expertise at, appropriate grade levels among panel members.
SERVICING HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICE, ETHICS OFFICE, OR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANCE
The Chairperson of the Panel will set the specific dates, time, and place for the panel to meet. The servicing human resources officer will serve as an ad hoc member of the panel and along with the, BSIO or DSIO, and the Bureau or Department Ethics office, will provide support or advice to the panel as necessary.
PANEL OPERATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Chairperson of the Panel will ensure that information concerning the case is distributed to panel members at least two weeks prior to the meeting date.
The Panel, at its discretion, will conduct fact-finding and may utilize one or both of the following methods: (1) Securing and reviewing documentary evidence including all original experimental records, protocols, and data; (2) Interviewing relevant persons, whether in person, or by telephone; and securing written statements from the interested parties, as necessary.
The Chairperson of the Panel shall advise panel members of the extreme importance of confidentiality of materials and discussions relating to the alleged scientific misconduct. There is to be no release of information by panel members pertaining to any allegation. All discussions by the panel shall be safeguarded and not shared outside of the Scientific Integrity Review Panel.
The Scientific Integrity Review Panel will arrive at a consensus decision, if possible, about whether or not misconduct has occurred. Consensus decision means that all panel members, including the Chairperson, agree in general with a decision; this is distinct from a majority-rule decision. In the consensus-based process, panel members work together to develop a finding with which all of the members of the panel can agree. The Chairperson will determine if consensus has been reached by asking all panel members if they agree with the finding. If consensus is reached, then the Panel shall write a report of their findings that contains: a summary of the findings, the basis for determining whether or not scientific misconduct occurred, and an assessment of the seriousness and extent of any misconduct found that is in violation of the DOI Policy on Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities.
The Panel will take the time necessary to address all of the relevant issues associated with the allegation in order to reach a consensus finding. If after all efforts are exhausted, the Panel is still unable to reach consensus about whether or not misconduct has occurred, then a majority decision will be made. In this case, the panel report will include majority and minority findings.
The report produced by this panel will constitute pre-decisional, deliberative material containing analysis and recommendations related to Agency policy. These reports are intended to provide advice, recommendations, and opinions which are part of the deliberative, consultative, decision-making processes of the Department of the Interior. At a minimum the report will include: (1) Summary of the alleged misconduct, (2) Summary of the fact finding activities of the panel, (3) Discussion and conclusion as a result of the fact finding and (4) Appendices as needed containing supporting documents and written statements. The report and supporting documents constitute the record of the panel activities and will be kept according to the appropriate records disposition schedule by the appropriate DSIO or BSIO.
Within 30 calendar days of the completion of the review and fact finding, the Chairperson of the Panel shall forward the completed report to the BISO, DSIO, and responsible manager.
Employee and Volunteer Information and Acknowledgement Forms
EMPLOYEE INFORMATION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORM
The Chairperson of the Scientific Integrity Review Panel will ensure that the subject of the allegation initials each statement below and returns the original signed/dated form to the Chairperson. A copy of the completed form will be provided to the subject of the allegation. The employee acknowledges that:
I have been informed and I understand this is a formal review and fact-finding process involving matters relating to my official duties as a Federal employee.
I have been informed and I understand that, as a Federal employee, I am required to cooperate with this formal process and provide truthful answers.
I have been informed and I understand that if I refuse to cooperate and answer questions during this formal process, my refusal to cooperate can be a basis for disciplinary action, which may result in my removal from Federal service.
I have been informed and I understand that if I provide information during this formal process that I know to be false at the time I provided the information, my providing false information can be a basis for disciplinary action that may result in my removal from Federal service and also can be a basis for criminal prosecution.
I understand that I will have the opportunity to respond to the allegation and to present evidence to the Scientific Misconduct Review Panel orally and/or in writing and that I may have representation at my own expense.
I understand that I may have rights as an employee during this process, and that my servicing Human Resources Office can inform me of these rights.
Signature: _________________________________ Date: ___________________
Name (please print): ________________________________________________________
Position Title, Series and Grade: ______________________________________________
Duty Station: _____________________________________________________________
PRIVACY ACT NOTICE. Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, you are advised of the following:
1. Authority. Solicitation of this information is authorized by 5 U.S.C. 301 that allows the head of an executive department to prescribe regulations for the conduct of its employees and other authorities cited at 305 DM 3.10.
2. Principal Purpose. The principal purpose for soliciting the information is to implement the Policy on Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities of the Department of the Interior at 305 DM 3.
3. Routine Uses. Routine uses of the solicited information are the same as those listed in the system notice OPM/GOVT-1.
4. Effect of Noncompliance. Failure to provide the solicited information may result in disciplinary action, including the removal from Federal service.
VOLUNTEER INFORMATION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORM
The Chairperson of the Scientific Integrity Review Panel will ensure that the subject of the allegation initials each statement below and returns the original signed/dated form to the Chairperson. A copy of the completed form will be provided to the subject of the allegation.
The Volunteer acknowledges that:
I have been informed and I understand this is a formal review and fact-finding process involving matters relating to my official duties as a DOI volunteer.
I have been informed and I understand that if I refuse to cooperate and answer questions during this formal process, my refusal to cooperate may result in termination of my volunteer agreement.
I have been informed and I understand that if I provide information during this formal process that I know to be false at the time I provide the information; my providing false information can be a basis for termination of my volunteer agreement.
I understand that I will have the opportunity to respond to the allegation and to present evidence to the Scientific Integrity Review Panel orally and/or in writing and that I may have representation at my own expense.
Signature: _________________________________ Date: ___________________
Name (please print): ________________________________
PRIVACY ACT NOTICE. Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, you are advised of the following:
1. Authority. Solicitation of this information is authorized by 5 U.S.C. 301 that allows the head of an executive department to prescribe regulations for the conduct of its employees and other authorities cited at 305 DM 3.10.
2. Principal Purpose. The principal purpose for soliciting the information is to implement the Policy on Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities of the Department of the Interior at 305 DM 3.
3. Routine Uses. Routine uses of the solicited information are the same as those listed in the system notice INTERIOR/DOI-05.
4. Effect of Noncompliance. Failure to provide the solicited information may result in termination of your volunteer agreement.
Conflict of Interest Waiver Request Template
To: [Name of Bureau Ethics Counselor]
From: [Deputy Ethics Counselor]
Subject: Conflict of Interest Waiver for [Employee Name]
The purpose of this memorandum is to request that you grant [Employee Name] a waiver of the criminal conflict of interest provisions that may apply to [his or her] service in an official capacity as [an officer or a member of the board of directors, or other position] of the [name of outside non-profit organization] [abbreviation]. [Employee Name]’s official [Department or bureau] duty is to serve as the [title]. As such, [he or she] [explain the employee’s duties, including information that shows how they relate to service in the outside organization (may require more than one sentence)].
The criminal conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. § 208(a), requires that an employee refrain from participating personally and substantially in an official capacity in any particular matter that will have an effect on the financial interests of any organization in which the individual serves as an officer, director, trustee, or employee.
In the absence of: (1) specific statutory authority placing a federal employee in an officer or director position in an ex officio capacity; (2) a release of fiduciary obligations by the organization (if permitted by state law); or (3) a waiver of the requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 208(a), the statute effectively would preclude [Employee Name]’s service, as an official duty activity, as [officer, director or other position] with the [name of outside non-profit organization]. [Describe the position in the outside organization and the outside organization].
[Describe the relationship of the outside organization to [Department or bureau] programs and operations.]
A memorandum of understanding between the [Department or bureau] and the [name of outside non- profit organization] concerning the service of [Employee Name] is attached.
Inasmuch as [Employee Name]’s appointment with the [name of outside non-profit organization] is not pursuant to a statute or release of fiduciary obligations, [he or she] has requested that you, as the official to whom waiver authority is delegated, authorize [his or her] participation in certain particular matters that may affect the financial interests of the [name of outside non-profit organization]. Under 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1), a waiver may be granted if the official to whom waiver authority is delegated determines that the disclosed financial interest is “not so substantial as to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the employee’s services to the Government.”
In the course of [his or her] assigned duties, the following types of particular matters potentially could come before [Employee Name] for [his or her] personal and substantial participation:
(1) particular matters of general applicability, such as legislation, regulation, or policy that may affect the financial interests of the [name of outside non-profit organization] as a member of a class of similarly situated entities;
(2) matters that affect the financial interests of the [name of outside non-profit organization] through investigation or regulation of the [name of outside non-profit organization];
(3) particular matters involving specific parties, such as grants, contracts, or application approvals that specifically involve the [name of outside non-profit organization] or otherwise affect its financial interests; or
(4) other miscellaneous matters involving the conduct of the [name of outside non-profit organization] and [Department or bureau] support.
While performing the usual and customary duties of the position of [officer, director or other position] with an outside organization as an official [Department or bureau] activity, any actions taken either in the Federal workplace or at the organization that affect the financial interests of the outside organization are deemed official matters to which 18 U.S.C. § 208(a) applies. For example, such actions may include:
(a) requesting that official travel funds be spent or other government resources be utilized for the employee to conduct the affairs of the organization;
(b) signing a training authorization to use [Department or bureau] funds to pay for an employee to attend a conference or other meeting of the organization;
(c) speaking as an official duty activity at a conference or other meeting of the organization;
(d) providing advice and consultation with respect to, or otherwise conducting, the business affairs of the organization including voting on matters that come before the [name of outside non-profit organization] officers and board members.
While the financial impact may be insignificant, under well-settled precedent, 18 U.S.C. § 208(a) has no de minimis aspect.
I believe that a waiver under 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1) to allow [Employee Name] to serve as an [officer or a member of the board of directors, or other position] for [name of outside non-profit organization] in [his or her] official capacity is justified for the following reasons:
First, because [Employee Name] will serve as [position with the outside non-profit organization] as an official duty activity, and [Employee Name]'s position in the outside organization is fully known to the [Department or bureau], the risk that the integrity of the services that the government expects from [Employee Name] would be affected by [his or her] service is greatly diminished. Moreover, the [Department or bureau] has already determined that, to a significant degree, the interests of the [Department or bureau] and the interests of the [name of outside non-profit organization] are consonant. The [Department or bureau] expects that the interests of the [Department or bureau] and the interests of the [name of outside non-profit organization] can both be furthered through the performance of [Employee Name]’s official duties and service with the [name of outside non-profit organization].
Second, most, if not all, of the particular matters in which [Employee Name] would participate would not have a significant effect on the financial interest of the [name of outside non-profit organization] because of the limits in this request set forth below. [Employee Name] will have no involvement in any [Department or bureau] grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other Federal support (financial or otherwise) to the [name of outside non-profit organization] other than the use of travel or training funds solely for [Employee Name]’s service with the [name of outside non-profit organization]. [Employee Name] will not participate in investigations of the activities of the [name of outside non-profit organization], other than as a provider of information or testimony. [Employee Name] will not participate in developing regulations that would impact the [name of outside non-profit organization] or be involved in enforcing regulations pertaining to the [name of outside non-profit organization].
Contradictory with Limitations 1
Accordingly, if approved, the requested waiver will permit [Employee Name] to serve as an [officer or a member of the board of directors, or other position] in [name of outside non-profit organization] and permit participation in [his or her] capacity with the [name of outside non-profit organization] in particular matters that will affect the financial interests of the [name of outside non-profit organization], EXCEPT the particular matters listed below that might have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of the [name of outside non-profit organization] as to which [Employee Name] has committed to recuse [himself or herself].
[Employee Name] may not participate in any of the following particular matters because they may affect the financial interests of the [Department or bureau] and the [name of outside non-profit organization] or otherwise violate Federal laws or regulations:
1. Any involvement or participation in decisions pertaining to [Department or bureau] grants, contracts, cooperative agreements [list any other types of agreements that the [Department or bureau] might have with the outside non-profit organization], or other support to include personnel and equipment to the [name of outside non-profit organization], except the actions specifically permitted above, that is:
“(a) requesting that official travel funds be spent or other government resources be utilized for the employee to conduct the affairs of the organization;
(b) signing a training authorization to use [Department or Bureau] funds to pay for an employee to attend a conference or other meeting of the organization;
(c) speaking as an official duty activity at a conference or other meeting of the organization;
(d) providing advice and consultation with respect to, or otherwise conducting, the business affairs of the organization including voting on matters that come before the [name of outside non-profit organization] officers and board members.”
2. Any involvement or participation in any regulatory or investigatory matters on behalf of any Department or agency of the U.S. Government involving the [name of outside non-profit organization] other than as a provider of information or testimony.
3. Preparation or presentation of requests from the [name of outside non-profit organization] to obtain any Federal funds, manpower, or any other form of Federal support on its behalf to support [name of outside non-profit organization] activities, except as permitted in 1.(a) through (c) above.
4. Lobbying on behalf of the [name of outside non-profit organization] in any manner to a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government as prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 1913. This includes the use of money appropriated by any enactment of Congress to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, at any time unless specifically authorized by Act of Congress. This does not prevent employees of the United States or of its departments or agencies from communicating to Members of Congress or other officials, at his request, or to Congress or such official, through the proper official channels regarding requests for any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriations which they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business.
5. Approval of Federal travel authorizations to travel on behalf of the [name of outside non-profit organization].
6. Participation in fundraising activities of the [name of outside non-profit organization].
A copy of the recusal memorandum is attached. In this manner, [Employee Name]’s service with the [name of outside non-profit organization] is severed from his service as the [Employee’s Department or bureau duty title] on particular matters where both the [name of outside non-profit organization] and the [Department or bureau] may have financial interests, thereby avoiding any potential that [he or she] could act contrary to interests of the [Department or bureau] for the benefit of the [name of outside non-profit organization].
[Employee Name] understands and agrees that, as an official duty activity, no separate compensation or reimbursements may be received from the [name of outside non-profit organization] in connection with his or her service. Travel, lodging, per diem or other incidental expenses incurred by [Employee Name] on behalf of the [name of outside non-profit organization], if any, may be accepted by the [Department or bureau] under 31 U.S.C. § 1353 as appropriate. Acceptance of [Employee Name] travel expenses, if any, from the [name of outside non-profit organization] shall be accomplished via a Form DI-2000 which must be approved by the [Departmental or bureau] Ethics Office prior to the travel, or when circumstances do not permit prior approval, within seven days of conclusion of the travel.
1. MOU between the [Department or bureau] and the [name of outside non-profit organization], dated
2. [Employee Name] Recusal letter, dated
3. Form DI-2000, Acceptance of Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source
__________ Waiver granted, subject to the terms and conditions stated above, based on my determination, made in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1), that the disclosed financial interests are not so substantial as to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the service which the government may expect from the employee.
__________ Waiver denied.
[Departmental or Bureau Ethics Counselor]
[Name of Department or bureau]
I have read and fully understand ALL of this 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1) waiver decision and its limitations. I agree to fully comply with its limitations and acknowledge my understanding and compliance by signing below:
[Employee Name] Date:
[Department or bureau]
Memorandum of Understanding Template
Memorandum of Understanding
between the (U.S. Department of the Interior or bureau)
1. This Memorandum of Understanding sets forth the agreement between the (Department or bureau) [abbreviation] and the (organization name) [abbreviation] concerning the service of (employee name) as an [officer or member of a board of directors] of the (organization name) as a part of (his or her) official government duties through [month/year]. (Employee name) will be serving as _____________________. It is estimated that the amount of official time (employee name) will spend on this activity will be approximately (number) hours per month.
2. Before (employee name) performs any duties as an [officer or member of a board of directors] of the (organization name) as part of (his or her) official duties (he or she) must be granted a waiver under the Federal conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. § 208. Waivers that permit an employee to serve as an officer or a member of a board of directors are limited and enable (employee name) to serve as an [officer or board member] of the (organization name) in (his or her) official capacity as a [Department or bureau] employee without violating 18 U.S.C. § 208. However, even if an 18 U.S.C. § 208 waiver is granted, (employee name) may not make or participate in any official decisions on behalf of the (Department or bureau) regarding any request from the (organization name) for public funds or support. (Employee name) may not take any actions that violate Federal, state or local law. Requests for public funds or support include, but are not limited to grants, cooperative agreements, contracts or any other action where the (organization name) is requesting any form of support from the Department of the Interior or one its bureaus. To ensure that no conflicts of interest arise, the (organization name) agrees that it will notify the (Department or bureau) Ethics Office if it intends to seek public funds or support from the Department of the Interior or one of its bureaus. Notice will be provided to: [Department or bureau] Ethics Office [address]. The (organization name) also understands that if it elects to request public funds or support from the Department of the Interior or one of its bureaus, (employee name) may be directed to resign as an [officer or board member] in the (organization name) in (his or her) official capacity.
3. The primary beneficiary of (employee name)’s service as an [officer or board member] in the (organization name) is intended to be the (Department or bureau). It is expected that the benefits to the (Department or bureau) will include, but not be limited to the following:
a. acquisition of state-of-the-art technical information about (name subjects).
b. knowledge about organizational arrangements and relationships of organizations with which the (Department or bureau) interacts, in order to enhance the working relationships between the (Department or bureau) and such other organizations;
c. improved understanding of current issues in the (name the field of endeavor) that concern (Department or bureau) missions and operations;
d. utilization of professional networks and channels to disseminate information relevant to the accomplishment of (Department or bureau) missions; and
e. utilization of other mechanisms to facilitate accomplishment of (Department or bureau) missions, functions and processes, such as meetings, conferences, symposia, and publications.
4. In order to avoid the possibility of an actual or potential use of public office for private gain, when [name of employee] uses official time to serve as an [officer or board member] in the (organization name), the following principles will apply:
a. Federal employees may not represent anyone other than the United States before an agency or court in connection with any particular matter in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest. (18 U.S.C. § 205)
b. When serving as an officer or member of a board of directors of a non-Federal organization in an official capacity, Federal employees must refrain from any involvement or participation in or taking any official action on behalf of the Department of the Interior or its bureaus on any application or request for public funds or other support by the (organization name). (18 U.S.C. § 208)
c. If a Federal employee's participation in a project undertaken in conjunction with a private organization was done as a part of (his or her) official duties, the Federal employee is prohibited from receiving any supplementation of his/her Federal salary. (18 U.S.C. § 209)
d. Federal employees are prohibited from using appropriated funds, official time or Government equipment to instigate or generate lobbying activity on any issue pending before or of interest to the Congress or an official of any government. (18 U.S.C. § 1913)
e. Federal employees are prohibited from being involved in the fundraising activities of the (organization name).
f. Federal employees may not utilize official Government postage, stationery, envelopes, or labels for other than official Government business. (18 U.S.C. § 1719)
The relationship between the (organization name) and the (Department or bureau) addressed in this document is intended to enhance service to the American public through more efficient applications of (Department or bureau) programs. All actions should be directed toward attainment of that mutually beneficial goal.
5. Under Federal law, a Federal employee serving in (his or her) official capacity owes (his or her) first duty of loyalty to the Government of the United States. By signing this memorandum of understanding, the (organization name) acknowledges and consents to the fact that since (employee name) is acting as an [officer or a member of a board of directors] in (organization name) in (his or her) official capacity as a (Department or bureau) employee, (employee name) will owe (his or her) first duty of loyalty to the United States Government and specifically the (Department or bureau) before that of the (organization name) if those interests ever conflict. Consequently, to the fullest extent permitted by state law, the (organization name) agrees to waive any fiduciary duty owed by (employee name) to the (organization name) as an [officer or a member of a board of directors] in the (organization name) when (employee name) acts in the interests of the United States Government. This waiver is limited to actions taken in the interests of the United States Government by (employee name) as an [officer or a member of a board of directors] in the (organization name) while acting in (his or her) official capacity. (Employee name) retains a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the (organization name) except when in conflict with the interests of the United States Government.
6. The (organization name) agrees to provide (employee name) liability insurance coverage for any acts performed as an [officer or board member] in the (organization name) equivalent to liability coverage provided to other [officers or board members] of the (organization name). The (organization name) agrees to hold the United States harmless for acts taken by (employee name) in (his or her) official [Department or bureau] capacity as an [officer or board member] in the (organization name).
The foregoing is not intended to impose on the (organization name) any obligations or restrictions other than those set forth above. The (organization name) has an obligation to respect the limitations described above on the activities and function of (employee name) and benefits which may be received by the (Department or bureau). This agreement does not constitute a representation or warranty by the (organization name) as to the benefits which the (Department or bureau) will receive in fact from (employee name)’s service as an officer or member of the board of directors in the (organization name). Nor does the (organization name) assume any obligation to inquire into or enforce (employee name)’s compliance with paragraph 4 above.
[Official Department or Bureau Position]
[Departmental or Bureau]
Recusal Memorandum Template
TO: [Supervisor Name and Title] Date
FROM: Name, Title and address [employee signs here]
SUBJECT: Notice of Recusal by [Employee name]
1) This is to notify you that I have an interest in the [name of outside non-profit organization] [abbreviation] because I have been elected as [officer or board of director position] with the [name of outside non-profit organization] through [end date month/year]. I will not be serving as [officer or board of director position] in an official [Department or Bureau] capacity unless and until I am granted a waiver of the conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1), by the Director of the [Department or bureau].
2) Even though a waiver granted to me pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1) by the Director of the [Department or bureau] will allow me to serve as [officer or board of director position] and act on [name of outside non-profit organization] matters utilizing limited Government time and resources, I will not involve myself with the following:
a. Any [Department or bureau] grants, contracts, cooperative agreements or other agreements with the [name of outside non-profit organization];
b. Providing support to the [name of outside non-profit organization], including personnel or equipment from or to the [name of outside non-profit organization];
c. Directing a subordinate to speak at any conference or other meeting of the [name of outside non-profit organization];
d. Participating in investigations of the activities of the [name of outside non-profit organization], other than as a provider of information or testimony;
e. Developing regulations that would impact the [name of outside non-profit organization] or enforcing regulations pertaining to the [name of outside non-profit organization];
f. Preparation or presentation of requests from the [name of outside non-profit organization] to obtain any Federal funds, manpower, or any other form of Federal support to support [name of outside non-profit organization] activities. A waiver will permit me to request official travel authorizations to attend and/or to be a speaker or presenter at meetings or conferences of the [name of outside non-profit organization] but approval of my travel authorization requests must be based on a determination by my travel approval authority that my attendance or presentation at the meeting or conference of the [name of outside non-profit organization] is in the best interests of the [Department or bureau];
g. Lobbying on behalf of the [name of outside non-profit organization] in any manner to a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government as prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 1913. This includes the use of money appropriated by any enactment of Congress to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, at any time unless specifically authorized by Act of Congress. This does not prevent employees of the United States or of its departments or agencies from communicating to Members of Congress or other officials, at his request, or to Congress or such official, through the proper official channels regarding requests for any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriations which they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business;
h. Participation in fundraising activities of the [name of outside non-profit organization]; or
i. Approval of Federal travel authorizations of [Department or bureau] employees to attend meetings or conferences of the [name of outside non-profit organization].
3. I have retained a copy of this recusal memorandum for my records and distributed it as listed below.
Copy to: [Departmental or bureau] Ethics Office
Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.
Scientific Integrity Policy
The Agency has established, and continues to promote, a culture of scientific integrity for all of its employees. This policy provides a framework intended to ensure scientific integrity throughout the EPA and promote scientific and ethical standards, including quality standards; communications with the public; the use of peer review and advisory committees; and professional development. It also describes the scope and role of a standing committee of Agency-wide scientific integrity officials to implement this policy. (1)
Science is the backbone of the EPA’s decision-making.1 The Agency’s ability to pursue its mission to protect human health and the environment depends upon the integrity of the science on which it relies. The environmental policies, decisions, guidance, and regulations that impact the lives of all Americans every day must be grounded, at a most fundamental level, in sound, high quality science. When dealing with science, it is the responsibility of every EPA employee to conduct, utilize, and communicate science with honesty, integrity, and transparency, both within and outside the Agency. To operate an effective science and regulatory agency like the EPA, it is also essential that political or other officials not suppress or alter scientific findings.
At the EPA, promoting a culture of scientific integrity is closely linked to transparency. The Agency remains committed to transparency in its interactions with all members of the public. These values were first expressed in then Administrator William Ruckelshaus’ “Fishbowl Memo” (19 May 1983) . This memorandum established a culture of integrity and openness for all employees by promising the EPA would operate “in a fishbowl” and “will attempt to communicate with everyone from the environmentalists to those we regulate, and we will do so as openly as possible.”
This Scientific Integrity Policy builds upon existing Agency and government-wide policies and guidance documents, enhancing the EPA’s overall commitment to scientific integrity. This commitment is evidenced by the Agency’s adherence to the 2002 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Information Quality Guidelines , the 2005 OMB Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review , the EPA’s Quality Policy  for assuring the collection and use of sound scientific data and information, the EPA’s Peer Review Handbook  for internal and external review of scientific products, and the EPA’s Information Quality Guidelines  for establishing the transparency, integrity, and utility of information published on the Agency’s websites.
The Agency has appointed a Scientific Integrity Official to champion scientific integrity throughout the Agency. The Scientific Integrity Official chairs a standing committee of Deputy Scientific Integrity Officials representing each EPA Program Office and Region. These senior-level employees provide oversight for the implementation of the Scientific Integrity Policy at the EPA, act as liaisons for their respective Programs and Regions, and are available to address any questions or concerns regarding this policy.
III. Policy Applicability
As of the effective date, all Agency employees, including scientists, managers, and political appointees, are required to follow this policy when engaging in, supervising, managing, or influencing scientific activities; communicating information in an official capacity about Agency scientific activities; and utilizing scientific information in making Agency policy or management decisions. In addition, all contractors, grantees, collaborators and student volunteers of the Agency who engage in scientific activities are expected to uphold the standards established by this policy and may be required to do so as part of their respective agreements with the EPA. (2)
This policy is created against a complicated regulatory backdrop; it is intended to guide Agency activities in an area that is already subject to a number of rules and policies for various purposes. When there is overlap with other applicable rules and guidance, this policy is not intended to preempt other authorities, but instead to work in conjunction with and supplement them. This policy is intended to improve the internal management and operation of the Agency. It does not create any obligation, right or benefit for any member of the public, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees or agents, or any other person.
Actions taken in accordance with this policy are subject to the availability of appropriated funds, and must be authorized under and consistent with existing authorities, including applicable law and regulations, Executive Orders, and Federal and EPA ethics, information, and personnel rules and policies. This policy does not limit the legal requirements contained in the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 C.F.R. 2635), EPA Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct (5 C.F.R. 6401), any of the criminal conflict of interest statutes (18 U.S.C. 201-209), the Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. 7321 – 7326) or its implementing regulations (5 C.F.R. 734), or law enforcement actions and/or investigations and inspections for regulatory compliance. Special attention should also be given to the EPA clearance procedures3 and compliance with the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552.
IV. Scientific Integrity Policy
The Agency has long fostered a culture of scientific integrity through its Principles of Scientific Integrity . These principles were developed in 1999 in conjunction with the EPA’s National Partnership Council (NPC), a partnership of Agency labor unions and management. The Principles of Scientific Integrity sets forth the Agency’s commitment to conducting science objectively, presenting results fairly and accurately, and avoiding conflicts of interest.
Consistent with the EPA’s Principles of Scientific Integrity, the Agency’s Scientific Integrity Policy reaffirms the expectation that all Agency employees, including scientists, managers, and political appointees, regardless of grade level, position, or duties:
- Ensure that the Agency’s scientific work is of the highest quality, free from political interference or personal motivations.
- Represent his/her own work fairly and accurately.
- Appropriately characterize, convey, and acknowledge the intellectual contributions of others.
- Avoid conflicts of interest and ensure impartiality.
- Be cognizant of and understand the specific programmatic statutes that guide their work.
- Welcome differing views and opinions on scientific and technical matters as a legitimate and necessary part of the scientific process.
- Accept the affirmative responsibility to report any breach of this Scientific Integrity Policy.
To promote scientific integrity throughout the Agency, this policy outlines four specific areas: a) the culture of scientific integrity at the EPA, b) public communications, c) the use of peer review and Federal Advisory Committees, and d) professional development of government scientists. In addition, the policy establishes the Scientific Integrity Committee, chaired by the Agency’s Scientific Integrity Official, to implement this policy.
A. Promoting a Culture of Scientific Integrity at the EPA
Successful application of science in Agency policy decisions relies on the integrity of the scientific process both to ensure the validity of scientific information and to engender public trust in the Agency. Thus, it is essential that the EPA’s policymakers involve science experts on scientific issues and that the scientific information and processes relied upon in policymaking manifest scientific integrity, quality, rigor, and objectivity. The Agency reaffirms and promotes scientific integrity across the EPA by supporting the culture of scientific integrity, enhancing transparency within scientific processes, and protecting Agency scientists.
1. To support a culture of scientific integrity within the Agency, this policy:
- Promotes a culture of scientific integrity, fostering honest investigation, open discussion, refined understanding, and a firm commitment to evidence.
- Requires adherence to applicable Agency information quality, quality assurance, and peer review policies and procedures, ensuring that the Agency produces scientific products of the highest quality, rigor, and objectivity for use in policy decisions.
- Recognizes the distinction between scientific information, analyses, and results from the policy decisions made based on that scientific information; policy makers within the Agency weigh the best available science, along with additional factors such as practicality, economics, and societal impact, when making policy decisions.
- Prohibits all EPA employees, including scientists, managers, and other Agency leadership, from suppressing, altering, or otherwise impeding the timely release of scientific findings or conclusions.
- Requires all Agency employees to act honestly and refrain from acts of scientific misconduct. Scientific misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing scientific and research activities, or in the publication or reporting of these activities; scientific misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
- Requires adherence to Agency documents that address the use and characterization of scientific information in Agency policy development, such as EPA’s Action Development Process , the EPA’s Guidance for Risk Characterization  and Risk Characterization Handbook .
- Recognizes that while Agency risk assessments are intended to address the needs of risk management, quantitative conclusions should not be influenced by possible risk management implications of the results.
2. To enhance transparency within Agency scientific processes, this policy:
- Requires reviews by Agency managers and other Agency leadership regarding the content of a scientific product to be based only on scientific quality considerations, e.g., the methods used are clear and appropriate, the presentation of results and conclusions is impartial.
- Ensures scientific findings are generated and disseminated in a timely and transparent manner, including scientific research performed by contractors, grantees, or other Agency partners who assist with developing or applying the results of scientific activities.
- Establishes the expectation that when communicating scientific findings, Agency employees include a clear explication of underlying assumptions, accurate contextualization of uncertainties, and a description of the probabilities associated with both optimistic and pessimistic projections, if applicable.
- Strengthens the actual and perceived credibility of Agency science by, e.g., ensuring that the selection of candidates for scientific positions is based primarily on their scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity; ensuring that scientific studies used to support regulatory and other policy decisions undergo appropriate levels of independent peer review; setting clear standards governing conflicts of interest; and adopting appropriate whistleblower protections.
- Recognizes the value of independent validation of scientific methods.
- Recognizes the value of independent review of the Agency scientific facilities and testing activities, as occurs with accreditation by a nationally or internationally recognized sanctioning body and as required by Agency policy directives .
- Facilitates the free flow of scientific information. The Agency will continue to expand and promote access to scientific information by making it available online in open formats in a timely manner, including access to data and non-proprietary models underlying Agency policy decisions. Further, the use of non-proprietary data and models are encouraged, when feasible, to increase transparency.
3. To assure the protection of Agency scientists, this policy:
- Prohibits managers and other Agency leadership from intimidating or coercing scientists to alter scientific data, findings, or professional opinions or inappropriately influencing scientific advisory boards. In addition, policy makers shall not knowingly misrepresent, exaggerate, or downplay areas of scientific uncertainty associated with policy decisions.
- Mandates the Scientific Integrity Official, with input from the Deputy Scientific Integrity Officials, to develop a transparent mechanism for Agency employees to express differing scientific opinions. When an Agency employee substantively engaged in the science informing an Agency policy decision disagrees with the scientific data, scientific interpretations, or scientific conclusions that will be relied upon for said Agency decision, the employee is encouraged to express that opinion, complete with rationale, preferably in writing. It is expected that any differing scientific opinions will be resolved during internal deliberations and if not, will be addressed during scientific peer review. The report from the peer review panel will be made available for the policy makers’ consideration. When no peer review occurs, differing scientific opinions will be reflected in the Agency’s deliberative documents for the policy makers’ consideration.
- Extends whistleblower protections  to all EPA employees who uncover or report allegations of scientific and research misconduct, or who express a differing scientific opinion, from retaliation or other punitive actions. Employees who have allegedly engaged in scientific or research misconduct will be afforded the due process protections provided by law, regulation, and applicable collective bargaining agreements, prior to any Agency action. All Agency employees should be familiar with these protections and avoid the appearance of retaliatory actions.
B. Release of Scientific Information to the Public
Scientific research and analysis comprise the foundation of all major EPA policy decisions. Therefore, the Agency should maintain vigilance toward ensuring that scientific research and results are presented openly and with integrity, accuracy, timeliness, and the full public scrutiny demanded when developing sound, high-quality environmental science. This policy is intended to outline the Agency’s expectations for developing and communicating scientific information to the public, to the scientific community, to Congress, and to the news media by further providing for and protecting the EPA’s longstanding commitment to the timely and unfiltered dissemination of its scientific information – uncompromised by political or other interference. This policy recognizes the importance of, and the need to foster a culture of, openness regarding the results of research, scientific activities, and technical findings. To that end, the EPA strongly encourages and supports transparency and active, open communications through various forms including, but not limited to, publication in peer-reviewed or refereed journals, conference papers and presentations, media interviews, responses to Congressional inquiries, web postings, and news releases.
Full and open communication is a shared responsibility throughout the Agency. To fulfill this shared responsibility, the following describes both what is expected of the EPA’s employees and what they, in turn, can expect from others in the Agency.
1. EPA Scientists and Managers
The Agency’s scientists and managers are expected to:
- Represent Agency scientific activities clearly, accurately, honestly, objectively, thoroughly, without political or other interference, and in a timely manner, consistent with their official responsibilities. While a scientist’s primary responsibility is to pursue their scientific activities, it is also a scientist and his/her manager’s responsibility to provide timely responses to requests for information by the media, the public, and the scientific community.
- Freely exercise their right to express their personal views provided they specify that they are not speaking on behalf of, or as a representative of, the Agency but rather in their private capacity. Scientists and managers must clearly identify that the information represents their views and not necessarily those of the EPA and use the following disclaimer language when presenting scientific information on matters that do not reflect their official Agency scientific activities and direct responsibilities:
The views expressed in this [article/chapter/paper/speech] are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Notify their managers when communicating in an official Agency capacity. Outreach activities and media interactions are expected to adhere to Agency ethics regulations  and clearance procedures (4) associated with ensuring accuracy and disseminating scientific information and scientific assessments. Scientists and managers are also expected to notify and coordinate with appropriate Agency offices that might receive public inquiries to ensure that scientific information for the general public and media is clearly, comprehensively, consistently, and accurately presented and explained.
- Be available to answer inquiries from the news media regarding their scientific work. If the scientist or manager is unwilling or unable to communicate directly with the news media, he/she should still provide timely assistance to the public affairs office to help prepare and approve full and accurate responses to media inquiries.
- Review, correct, and approve the scientific content of any proposed Agency document intended for public dissemination that significantly relies on their research, identifies them as an author, or represents their scientific opinion. Disputes associated with the dissemination plan for a scientific product will be resolved first by the employees’ direct supervisors, and if necessary, the Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education (OEAEE) and the Deputy Scientific Integrity Official or his/her designee.
2. Policy Officials
Public and media questions about any policy implications raised by scientific studies should be addressed by designated Agency officials responsible for conveying information about EPA policy matters, such as program policy experts or designated spokespersons.
3. Public Affairs Staff
- Agency public affairs staff, with input from program managers, will designate knowledgeable and articulate spokespersons from Regional, Program, or HQ offices to coordinate with EPA scientists and managers for the purpose of ensuring that Agency research is clearly, accurately, and accessibly presented, in a timely manner, thereby best serving the needs of the media and the public.
- Under no circumstances should the public affairs staff attempt to alter or change scientific findings or results. The role of the public affairs officer is to ensure that the science is plainly and clearly communicated for the intended audience in a timely fashion.
- The public affairs staff from Regional, Program or HQ offices should attend interviews with members of the media, when possible, to ensure that the Agency is being fully responsive to media questions in a timely manner and to ensure responsiveness, consistency, and accuracy both on the part of the interviewer and when responding to future information requests.
- Members of the public affairs staff from Regional, Program, or HQ offices must alert and coordinate with involved scientists and managers when the public affairs staff receives media inquiries about their research or other scientific activities.
- During a nationally significant incident or environmental crisis, OEAEE may officially activate or follow the EPA National Approach to Response Crisis Communications Plan . During such episodes, this plan establishes the EPA’s process for communicating critical environmental information to the public and for coordinating public information among EPA field operations, Regional Offices, and Headquarters. Under the plan, OEAEE has the communication lead for coordinating and publicly disseminating pertinent information. OEAEE will closely coordinate with involved Agency scientists to ensure the accuracy of any Agency scientific information to be issued by the EPA.
4. Congressional Relations Staff
- Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations (OCIR) staff members are expected to coordinate with Agency scientists and managers to ensure that Congressional inquiries regarding EPA science receive prompt, accurate, and responsive answers.
- If testifying before Congress in their official capacity (i.e., on behalf of the EPA), scientists and managers should review prepared testimony with OCIR staff and communicate on matters associated with their work or area(s) of expertise in an accurate and clearly understandable manner.
- Senior management in the Congressional and Program/Regional Offices will provide any statements needed to address policy-related questions.
C. Peer Reviewand the Use of Federal Advisory Committees
1. Peer Review
Independent peer review of Agency science is a crucial aspect of scientific integrity. To ensure that scientific products undergo appropriate peer review by qualified experts, the EPA relies on its Peer Review Policy  and Peer Review Handbook . The Peer Review Handbook is a how-to manual used by Agency staff. Agency-wide peer review policies have been in place since 1993  and establish the EPA’s policy for peer review of scientific work products, including economic and social science products, that are intended to inform Agency decisions. The handbook includes specific expectations for categories of scientific products, including influential scientific information (ISI) and highly influential scientific assessments (HISA). In compliance with OMB’s 2004 Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, the EPA posts a Peer Review Agenda  for its ISIs and HISAs. In addition, the 2009 Addendum to the EPA’s Peer Review Handbook entitled: “Appearance of a Lack of Impartiality in External Peer Reviews”  provides additional clarity for the regulatory definition of “appearance of a lack of impartiality” for individuals who serve on peer review panels, criteria for applying this definition, and illustrative examples.
The Agency’s quality and peer review programs are further supported by its Summary of General Assessment Factors for Evaluating the Quality of Scientific and Technical Information . This document describes the assessment factors and considerations used by the Agency to evaluate the quality and relevance of scientific and technical information. These assessment factors are founded in guidelines, practices, and procedures that constitute the EPA’s information and quality systems, including existing program-specific quality assurance policies.
2. Federal Advisory Committees
The Peer Review Handbook describes the range of peer review options, from individual letter reviews from outside experts to large, formal reviews by Federal Advisory Committees (FACs) or the National Academy of Sciences. Federal Advisory Committees are an important tool within the EPA for ensuring the credibility and quality of Agency science, enhancing the transparency of the peer review process, and providing for input from the EPA's diverse customers, partners, and stakeholders. In almost all cases, FACs meet and deliberate in public and materials prepared by or for the FAC are available to the public. Consistent with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 USC Appendix 2) , implementing regulations from the General Services Administration (41 CFR Part 102-3) , and guidance that lobbyists not serve on FACs , the EPA’s scientific or technical FACs are expected to adhere to the following procedures (5):
- Transparent recruitment of new FAC members should be conducted through broad-based vacancy announcements, including publication in the Federal Register, with an invitation for the public to recommend individuals for consideration and submit self-nominations.
- Professional biographical information (including current and past professional affiliations) for appointed committee members should be made widely available to the public (e.g., via a website). Such information should clearly illustrate an individual’s qualifications for serving on the committee.
- The selection of members to serve on a scientific or technical FAC should be based on expertise, knowledge, contribution to the relevant subject area, balance of the scientific or technical points of view represented by the members, and the consideration of conflicts of interest. Members of scientific and technical FACs should be appointed as special government employees. The Agency is to make all Conflict of Interest Waivers granted to committee members publicly available (e.g., via a website).
- All reports, recommendations, and products developed by FACs are to be treated as solely the findings of such committees rather than of the EPA, and thus are not subject to Agency revision.
At the EPA, FACs are overseen by the Office of Federal Advisory Committee Management and Outreach (OFACMO) with legal support from the Office of General Counsel (OGC). All EPA FACs are expected to comply with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 USC Appendix 2)  and the regulations issued by the General Services Administration (41 CFR Part 102-3) .
The Agency adheres to the current standards governing conflict of interest as defined in statutes and implementing regulations. The Office of General Counsel’s Ethics Office develops standard procedures and ethics training for Special Government Employees (SGEs) who serve on scientific FACs. These procedures include the submission and review of Confidential Financial Disclosure Forms for SGEs serving on advisory committees, EPA Ethics Advisory 08-02: “Ethics Obligations for Special Government Employees” , and completion of an online and/or in-person Office of Government Ethics course. Some FACs at the EPA are staffed with representative members. These committee members represent the point of view of a group or organization and are not subject to the conflict of interest requirements referenced above.
D. Professional Development of Government Scientists
Scientific leadership is a key component of advancing the mission of the EPA. Agency scientists are therefore encouraged to engage with their peers in academia, industry, government, and non-governmental organizations, consistent with their work responsibilities. Examples of encouraged professional activities include presenting their work at scientific meetings, serving on editorial boards and on scientific expert review panels, and actively participating in professional societies and national/international scientific advisory and science assessment bodies. It is Agency policy to:
- Encourage publication and presentation of research findings in peer-reviewed, professional, or scholarly journals and at professional meetings.
- Allow Agency scientists to become editors or editorial board members of peer-reviewed, professional, or scholarly journals.
- Allow participation in professional societies, committees, task forces and other specialized bodies of professional societies, including serving as officers or on the governing boards of such societies.
- Encourage Agency scientists to obtain training to keep current their scientific qualifications and professional certifications.
- Allow Agency scientists to accrue professional awards, honors and patents for their research and discoveries.
V. The EPA’s Scientific Integrity Committee
The Agency’s Scientific Integrity Committee is charged with implementing, reviewing, and revising as needed policy governing the four specific areas of scientific integrity described in the previous section. The committee is chaired by the Scientific Integrity Official and consists of Deputy Scientific Integrity Officials that represent each of the Agency’s Program Offices and Regions, in accordance with its charter .
A. Roles and Responsibilities of the Scientific Integrity Committee
Provide leadership for the Agency on scientific integrity. Implement this policy across the Agency in a consistent manner. Promote Agency compliance with this policy, including safeguarding against and mechanisms to ensure accountability for any alteration or manipulation of scientific data by managers and other Agency leadership. Address Scientific Integrity Policy concerns, updates, and amendments. Provide an annual meeting and report on scientific integrity implementation and scientific misconduct issues within the Agency. Keep the Agency’s Senior Leadership informed on and involved with the Agency-wide status of scientific integrity, as necessary and appropriate. Develop a framework for Agency clearance procedures for scientific products as a guidance for Program Offices and Regional Offices. Evaluate Program Offices’ and Regional Offices’ clearance procedures for scientific products and make recommendations as appropriate to promote standardization across the Agency.
B. Scientific Misconduct
The Scientific Integrity Official or his/her designee shall coordinate with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on issues of scientific misconduct. The Agency already has in place clearly articulated policies protecting against scientific misconduct by all Agency employees, including managers and other Agency leadership, in the following two important documents:
- Scientific Misconduct in the EPA Conduct and Discipline Manual (Appendix - Guidance on Corrective Discipline, Tables of Offenses and Penalties #45 - Scientific Misconduct) includes discipline guidelines for fabrication, plagiarism, misrepresentation, and causing a subordinate to engage in scientific misconduct .
- Policy and Procedures for Addressing Research Misconduct provides policy on reporting, procedures, investigations, and adjudication of research misconduct by the EPA’s employees, contractors, and recipients of assistance agreements .
As part of its mandate, the Scientific Integrity Committee oversees the development and implementation of training related to scientific integrity for all Agency employees. Contractors, cooperators, grantees, and volunteers are also encouraged to take this training and may be required to do so if such training is part of their respective agreements with the EPA.
In addition, accredited EPA laboratories provide annual Laboratory Ethics and Data Integrity Training for scientists engaged in generating scientific data to support cleanups, enforcement, and environmental assessments. This annual scientific ethics training fulfills accreditation standards and reinforces an understanding of the laboratory ethics policy.
D. Annual Reporting
The Scientific Integrity Official, with input from the Deputy Scientific Integrity Officials, is responsible for generating and making publicly available an annual report to the EPA Science Advisor on the status of scientific integrity within the Agency. The report is expected to highlight scientific integrity successes throughout the Program Offices and Regions, as well as identify areas for improvement and develop a plan for addressing critical weaknesses, if any. As part of this annual review, Deputy Scientific Integrity Officials are responsible for certifying compliance with the Agency Scientific Integrity Policy and report on scientific integrity implementation and scientific misconduct issues within their respective Offices or Regions. In advance of completing the annual report, the Scientific Integrity Committee will conduct an Agency-wide annual meeting on scientific integrity that will include the involvement of senior EPA leadership, reports from offices and programs, and an opportunity for input from the EPA scientific community.
The report should include, but is not limited to, the findings of scientific integrity violations. The report should also include lessons learned during the previous year, input from the annual meeting, and recommendations for action/deliberation by the Scientific Integrity Committee during the upcoming fiscal year, to ensure continuous improvement in implementation of the Scientific Integrity Policy.
E. Amending the Scientific Integrity Policy
This policy will become effective upon approval.
At a minimum, this policy is to be reviewed every two years by the Scientific Integrity Committee to ensure its effectiveness and adherence with applicable rules and regulations. This policy shall be revised as recommended by the Scientific Integrity Committee and approved by the EPA Science Advisor.
(1) In this document, “science” and “scientific” are expansive terms that refer to the full spectrum of scientific endeavors, e.g., basic science, applied science, engineering, technology, economics, social sciences, and statistics. The term “scientist” refers to anyone who collects, generates, uses, or evaluates scientific data, analyses, or products.
(2) In addition, the EPA often uses existing data and information generated by third parties to inform its decisions. The EPA’s Information Quality Guidelines requires the quality and scientific soundness of this type of data to be reviewed and documented prior to use.
(3) 5 CFR 2635.702(b) provides “an employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that could reasonably be construed to imply that his agency or the government sanctions or endorses his personal activities or those of another.” See also 5 CFR 2635.807(b) for more specific requirements related to uncompensated teaching, speaking, and writing. Section 807(b)(1) provides that an employee “may include or permit the inclusion of his title or position as one of several biographical details when such information is given to identify him . . . provided his title is given no more prominence than other significant biographical details.” It should be clearly understood that, except as permitted by 5 C.F.R. 2635.807(a)(3), an employee may not receive compensation from any source other than the Government for teaching, speaking, or writing that relates to the employee’s official duties .
(4) The EPA Scientific Integrity Committee will develop an Agency-wide framework for the approval of scientific communications. Each Program Office and Regional Office will develop and document procedures for review and approval, consistent with the Scientific Integrity Committee’s framework. The procedures will include guidance for review elements, time frames for review and approval, and a process for redress if review procedures are not met.
(5) Peer-reviewed committees convened solely for the purpose of reviewing research proposals to provide individual input on intra- or extramural funding decisions are not covered by this policy. GSA has provided additional guidances [24-27].
 Ruckelshaus, William (1983) Fishbowl Memo. http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/history/topics/policy/fishbowl.html
 Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (2002) Information Quality Guidelines. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/iqg_oct2002.pdf
 Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (2005) OMB Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/memoranda/f...
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2008) EPA Quality Policy. http://www.epa.gov/irmpoli8/policies/21060.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2006) Peer Review Handbook, Third Edition. http://www.epa.gov/peerreview/pdfs/peer_review_handbook_2006.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2002) Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity, of Information Disseminated by the Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/QUALITY/informationguidelines/documents/EPA_InfoQuali...
 U.S. Government Printing Office (1997) 5 CFR 2635.702 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-1997-title5-vol3/pdf/CFR-1997-title5-vo...
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1999) Principles of Scientific Integrity. http://www.epa.gov/osa/pdfs/scientific-integrity-principles.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011) Action Development Process Library. http://intranet.epa.gov/actiondp/
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Science Policy Council (1995) Guidance for Risk Characterization. http://www.epa.gov/spc/pdfs/rcguide.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Policy Council (2000) Risk Characterization Handbook. http://www.epa.gov/spc/pdfs/rchandbk.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011) Policy to Assure Competency of Laboratories, Field Sampling, and Other Organizations Generating Environmental Measurement Data under Agency-Funded Acquisitions, and (2004) Assuring the Competency of Environmental Protection Agency Laboratories. http://www.epa.gov/fem/pdfs/fem-lab-competency-policy.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2000) Employee Rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act. http://intranet.epa.gov/ohr/rmpolicy/ads/orders/1000.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2002) The Ethics Program. http://intranet.epa.gov/ogc/ethics.htm
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009) National Approach to Response Crisis Communications Plan. http://intranet.epa.gov/ohr/rmpolicy/ads/orders/2010.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2006) Peer Review and Peer Involvement at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/peerreview/pdfs/peer_review_policy_and_memo.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Science Advisor (1993) Peer Review Program. http://www.epa.gov/peerreview/
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2004) Peer Review Agenda. http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_pr_agenda.cfm
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009) Addendum to the Peer Review Handbook, Third Edition: Appearance of a Lack of Impartiality in External Peer Reviews. http://www.epa.gov/peerreview/pdfs/spc_peer_rvw_handbook_addendum.pdf
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2003) A Summary of General Assessment Factors for Evaluating the Quality of Scientific and Technical Information. http://www.epa.gov/spc/pdfs/assess2.pdf
 Title 5 United States Code, Appendix 2 (1972) http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/laws/fed-advisory-committee/09....
 41 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 102-3 (2006) Federal Advisory Committee Management http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2006-title41-vol3/pdf/CFR-2006-title41-...
 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary (2010) Presidential Memorandum – Lobbyists on Agency Boards and Commissions. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-lobby...
 GSA Guidance (1998) Appointment of Consultants to FACA. http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100786
 GSA Guidance (2011) Appointment of Special Government Employees. http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100796
 GSA Guidance (2000) Public Access to Records (FACA). http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100785
 GSA Guidance (2011) When FACA is and is Not Applicable to Interactions with the Private Sector. http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100794
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2008) Ethics Obligations for Special Government Employees. http://intranet.epa.gov/ogc/ethics/08-02.pdf  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011) Scientific Integrity Committee Charter (Draft). http://www.epa.gov/osa/pdfs/draft-charter-scientific-integrity-committee...  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Human Resources (1985) Appendix - Guide on Corrective Discipline. http://intranet.epa.gov/ohr/rmpolicy/ads/cadm/html/app.htm  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2003) Policy and Procedures for Addressing Research Misconduct. http://intranet.epa.gov/ohr/rmpolicy/ads/orders/3120-5.pdf
Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.
CDC Guidance on Scientific Integrity
CDC GUIDANCE ON SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
Office of the Associate Director for Science (OADS)
Table of Contents
Roles and Responsibilities
CDC Core Values
Foundations of Scientific Integrity
Ensure a Culture of Scientific Integrity
Ensure Credibility of Government Research
Facilitate the Free Flow of Scientific and Technological Information
Establish Principles for Conveying Scientific and Technological Information to the Public
Response to Media Inquiries
Speak on Official Work without Interference from Media Communication or Policy Office
Mechanisms to Resolve Disputes that Arise During Clearance Process
Use of Federal Advisory Committees
Professional Biographical Information
Membership Selection Process
Public Availability of Conflict of InterestWaivers
Federal Advisory Committee Reports, Recommendations, and Products
Professional Development of Government Scientists and Engineers
Encourage Publication of Research Findings in Peer-Reviewed, Professional, or Scholarly Journals 20 Encourage Presentation of Research Findings at Professional Meetings
Scientists Serving as Editors of Editorial Board Members
Scientists Participating in Professional or Scholarly Societies, Committees, and Task Forces
Allow Government Scientists and Engineers to Receive Honors and Awards for Their Research
Purpose: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR–henceforth referred to as CDC) has numerous policies on various aspects of scientific integrity that may not be known to its scientists. This document provides an overarching summary of the policies, activities, and guiding principles that exist within CDC in support of four key areas of scientific integrity: (1) foundations of scientific integrity in government, (2) public communications, (3) use of federal advisory committees, and (4) professional development of government scientists and engineers. This guide allows CDC scientists, and those who support its scientific endeavors, to easily locate the appropriate policies that support the agency’s principles for scientific integrity. The purpose of this guide is to ultimately strengthen scientific integrity in the conduct of CDC science, assure the public of the credibility of the agency’s scientific findings and results, and provide a transparent platform to demonstrate CDC’s commitment to a culture of scientific integrity. By embodying the principles of scientific integrity, CDC will continue to uphold the core values of accountability, respect, and integrity.
Scope: The guiding principles in this document represent an identification and synthesis of policies and activities that support scientific integrity in the four key areas. They are meant to complement and highlight the numerous CDC policies and activities that address and support scientific integrity and serve as an overarching framework under which existing policies and more detailed program guidance and activities will continue. Because of the integrated nature of the guiding principles outlined herein and the broadness of some policies, many of the same policies and activities may be cited across multiple sections of this guide.
Roles and responsibilities
Office of the Associate Director for Science (OADS): OADS provides service and support to CDC scientists as they work to protect people’s health and improve the quality of their lives. The focus is on strengthening the quality and integrity of science at CDC and on implementing the laws, regulations, and policies related to quality and integrity in science. The OADS is also home to the Office of Scientific Integrity, which provides guidance on federally mandated regulations and assists CDC scientists with difficult ethical issues by using a framework of moral principles and values in a transparent and inclusive process. In addition, the Office of Scientific Quality establishes and promotes standards for internal scientific clearance and evidence-based guidelines to ensure that all scientific products authored by CDC staff members or published by CDC and released for public use are of the highest quality and are scientifically sound, technically accurate, and useful to the intended audience. OADS also establishes and promotes recommended peer review practices and procedures to ensure that funding of research and scientific programs supports the most meritorious ideas and projects and is based on a fair, impartial, and transparent review process. The office is also responsible for ensuring that the agency’s internal extramural research processes avoids bias or the appearance of conflict of interest, both scientifically and fiscally, throughout the entire grant/cooperative agreement lifecycle.
Scientific Oversight Offices: Associate Directors for Science (ADSs) throughout the agency are tasked with ensuring scientific quality and integrity. The ADS structure at CDC also provides an alternate route for raising issues of concern outside of the direct supervisory chain.
Center/Institute/ Office (CIO) Directors: CIO Directors implement standards and policies that support the quality, impact, and credibility of CDC’s research and public health programs. This oversight includes ensuring relevance of research agenda, conducting internal and external review processes, and achieving the highest standards of excellence in strategy, science, service, and systems in their respective units.
Division Directors: Division leaders provide technical expertise, frontline input, and oversight of their division by identifying and communicating opportunities to enhance efficiency and effectiveness (i.e., ideas, problems, solutions, and recommendations that impact divisions).
Supervisors: Managers ensure policies are enforced, practices are followed, and training is provided for appropriate conduct of science and reporting of scientific findings and results.
Scientists: Subject matter experts ensure accuracy, validity, and appropriateness of results and findings and ensure practices are consistent with guidelines on scientific integrity. Scientists must also ensure credibility of research conducted with external partners and implement appropriate policies regarding such collaborations.
CDC Core Values
Accountability—As diligent stewards of public trust and public funds, we act decisively and compassionately in service to the people’s health.We ensure that our research and our services are based on sound science and meet real public needs to achieve our public health goals.
Respect—We respect and understand our interdependence with all people, both inside the agency and throughout the world, treating them and their contributions with dignity and valuing individual and cultural diversity. We are committed to achieving a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization.
Integrity—We are honest and ethical in all we do. We will do what we say. We prize scientific integrity and professional excellence.
Foundations of Scientific Integrity in Government
Ensure a Culture of Scientific Integrity
As the nation’s public health agency, CDC places primary emphasis on scientific evidence for developing policies, guidelines, and recommendations. Central to this process is a commitment to transparency, honesty, and thorough consideration of the research outcomes. This approach is strengthened by observing high standards of professionalism, adhering to policies and systems for preserving the quality of information and rigorously evaluating data, research findings, and results, as well as strictly adhering to policies that protect human subjects, ensuring proper animal care and use, protecting privacy, engaging in responsible conduct of research, and ensuring professional ethics. Scientific documents (manuscripts, reports, guidelines, recommendations, etc.) are reviewed through a clearance process that captures discussions, deliberations, iterations, and approvals conducted prior to releasing information to the public. CDC ensures a culture of scientific integrity in research and activities through policies, procedures, and practices that address scientific integrity. Through CDC’s core values (accountability, respect, and integrity http://www.cdc.gov/about/organization/mission.htm), agency employees affirm that they are honest and ethical in all that they do, and that they prize scientific integrity and professional excellence. Through the core values, CDC employees also affirm a commitment to ensure that research and services are based on sound science, meet real public needs, and help achieve public health goals.
Quality and objectivity of scientific research and information: CDC has a responsibility to conduct the best science and is committed to disseminating scientific findings and results without being influenced by policy or political issues. Although CDC may conduct research in areas relevant for making policy decisions, the goal of such research is to provide the best evidence to drive policy in the right direction. CDC is committed to ensuring that all information products authored, published, and released by CDC for public use are of the highest quality and are scientifically sound, technically accurate, and useful to the intended audience. CDC is also committed to the timely release and availability of information to ensure the health of the public. As stated in the CDC policy on Clearance of Information Products Disseminated Outside CDC for Public Use, clearance of scientific documents at CDC will be conducted by professionals responsible for ensuring the quality of science reported by the agency. The required level of clearance officials in the approval chain will be determined based on the type of information product under review and the urgency, sensitivity, or importance of the content. As stated in the CDC Authorship Policy, CDC authors should ensure that information is high quality, appropriately communicated, and based on sound, ethical science.When appropriate and necessary, authors should engage the expertise of other subject-matter experts or obtain independent review. CDC authors are responsible for ensuring that all ethical considerations have been addressed, including Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, conflicts of interest, plagiarism and other research misconduct. CDC authors should strive to immediately release information when required to protect public health. CDC authors and clearance officials are required to use an agency-wide electronic workflow system, eClearance, which helps ensure consistent clearance procedures and manages, tracks, and documents the clearance process of information products.
CDC is committed to integrating the principle of information quality into every phase of information development including creation, collection, maintenance, and dissemination. CDC adheres to federal guidelines that ‘‘provide policy and procedural guidance to federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by federal agencies’’ (Pub. L. 106–554). HHS Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies http://aspe.hhs.gov/infoquality, developed in accordance with the provisions of Pub. L. 106-554 and OMB government-wide requirements include CDC-specific guidelines that ensure the integrity of science and policymaking by requiring that information released to the public be objective. CDC strives to ensure standards of quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information that is disseminated to the public. Through the clearance review process, CDC seeks to provide information that is accurate, clear, complete, valid, unbiased, timely, and useful. In accordance with the CDC policy for Peer Review of Research and Scientific Programs, CDC research and science programs will be subject to periodic, independent, external peer reviews, which address quality, integrity, direction, and impact, and help ensure informed decisions and effective public health research and programs.
Protection of scientific integrity and investigation of misconduct allegations: The conduct of all science, research, and programs at CDC is governed by applicable Public Health Service Act provisions, other applicable laws, regulations, policies, and guidance documents on scientific integrity, with employee adherence to robust ethical standards for the responsible conduct of research, the protection of human subjects, animal welfare, and the prevention of inappropriate influence.
In accordance with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 CFR 2635), CDC employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty, and shall avoid any actions that create the appearance that they are violating the law or ethical standards of public service. To avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest, certain designated CDC employees, whose duties and responsibilities require personal and substantial participation in decisions or exercising significant judgment with direct and substantial effect on financial, regulatory, or administrative activities, must disclose information about certain financial holdings to comply with the Confidentiality Financial Disclosure System Policy for CDC/ATSDR.
CDC has established high standards of intellectual honesty in the formulation, conduct, and reporting of scientific research. CDC employees are expected to adhere to all applicable federal laws and regulations, departmental, and CDC policies and guidelines governing research activities. Research misconduct, (defined by policies on research misconduct 42 CFR 93), refers to fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research results. Under the CDC policy for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct, CDC employees shall be responsible for reporting observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the Research Integrity Officer. Employees must cooperate in the review of allegations, and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. The policy requires that allegations of scientific misconduct be processed promptly, confidentially, and fairly, and that investigations must balance concerns for protecting the integrity of research as well as the careers and reputations of researchers. In instances when the observed conduct does not fall under the definition of research misconduct but may lead to loss of integrity, fact-findings should still be undertaken and preemptive measures instituted to prevent loss of integrity. The Associate Director for Science structure throughout CDC supports quality and integrity of science and serves as a channel through which such inquiries and mitigation may be handled.
Broad population representation in research and protection of research subjects and data: To benefit the health of all people, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics, and to ensure that research involving human participants is sufficiently representative of population subgroups, all external and internal research funded by CDC must include women, minorities, and persons under the age of 21, unless otherwise justified, as described in the CDC policies for Inclusion of Women and Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Research and Inclusion of Persons Under the Age of 21 in Research.
CDC has an ethical and legal obligation to ensure that individuals are protected in all public health research activities it conducts. Therefore, it is imperative that a clear distinction is made between what constitutes public health research and public health nonresearch as outlined in the CDC policy on Distinguishing Public Health Research and Public Health Nonresearch. Policies for the ethical and responsible conduct of research include protections for human research participants. All research involving human participants that is conducted or supported by CDC must comply with the Basic HHS Policy for Protection of Human Research Subjects (45 CFR 46) and the CDC policy for Protection of Human Subjects. Clinical investigations that involve the use of drugs, biologics, or devices—whether unlicensed or used outside standard medical practice—are subject to FDA regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) (21 CFR 50 and 56). This includes research by CDC employees or supported by CDC through funding or provision of other tangible support conducted in or out of the United States. CDC investigators conducting research involving human subjects must follow procedures and submit proposed activities to the CDC Office of Scientific Integrity for review and approval prior to the start of research, obtain CDC's IRB approval, and maintain documentation as described in the policy. In compliance with the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and, to the extent applicable, the Public Health Service Act (Section 301[d] and Section 308[d]), investigators must also protect the privacy and confidentiality of research participants in the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information.
When CDC laboratories use in-house methods or systems to test human, animal, or environmental samples where individual identifiable test results that impact patient diagnosis, management, or treatment are reported, the methods or systems must meet minimum quality standards (e.g., Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act [CLIA] , comparable standards) for performance specifications (e.g., accuracy, reliability), as described in the CDC policy for Establishment of Method Performance Specifications before Reporting Results from In- House Developed Laboratory Tests.
When animals are used in research or other activities conducted or supported by CDC, all CDC employees who care for or use animals in their work have the legal and ethical responsibility to treat animals humanely, and comply with federal laws, regulations, and policies including the Public Health Service policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Animal Welfare Act and subsequent animal welfare regulations, and the CDC Laboratory Animal Care and Use Policy. All CDC investigators must submit animal care and use protocols for review and approval by the CDC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) through the CDC Animal Care and Use Program Office. All animal research funded by CDC by extramural researchers must have a protocol approved by the local institution’s IACUC.
The policy on Oversight and Clearance of Dual-Use Research of Concern seeks to ensure that CDC’s intramural research is consistent with its imperative to safeguard the nation’s health and well-being. The policy outlines CDC’s process for assessing dual-use potential and subsequent clearance requirements, ensuring that when projects meet dual-use research criteria, a process is in place to provide thoughtful and informed consideration of options that could mitigate or manage such risks.
Ensure Credibility of Government Research
CDC is committed to ensuring high standards of professionalism and adhering to policies and systems for preserving the quality of information, rigorously evaluating data, research findings, and results, as well as strictly adhering to policies that protect human subjects, ensure proper animal care and use, privacy, responsible conduct of research, and professional ethics. The agency scientific oversight offices are tasked with ensuring scientific quality and integrity. The Office of Scientific Quality was established within OADS to increase the impact of CDC research and science by promoting standards and recommended practices for scientific quality, relevance, credibility, transparency, and utility within the agency and throughout the public health community. The Office of Scientific Integrity ensures that CDC science activities and staff maintain high standards of scientific integrity by complying with the
Federal laws, regulations, and policies, including U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for the protection of human research participants, including support for CDC's Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Animal Welfare Act and Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, including support for the CDC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
Paperwork Reduction Act
The Public Health Service Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Selection of candidates for scientific positions: CDC uses available hiring and compensation authority including HHS Policy for Title 42 Appointment of Scientists, Title 38 Physician and Dentist Pay, and qualification standards and procedures for research positions under Title 5. Decision makers and advisors, from team leads to the directors of the national Centers, Institute, and Offices (CIOs), are research scientists, physicians, nurses, and other public health professionals who were competitively selected based on scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity. Scientific personnel hired under Title 42 special hiring authority must have "professional stature and experience that is commensurate with the duties of the position being filled” and have sufficient qualifications. These criteria ensure that the best scientific talent is recruited and retained to lead the science and research programs of the agency. CDC’s Physicians Comparability Allowance policy authorizes payment of special allowances to enhance the recruitment and retention of physicians to solve documented severe recruitment and retention problems. CDC also follows the guidance set forth in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Group Coverage Qualification Standards for Professional and Scientific Positions (positions that primarily involve scientific inquiry or investigation, or research-type exploratory development of a creative or advanced scientific nature). CDC continuously competitively announces positions for medical officers. The agency has a formal Executive Compensation Committee that oversees these three activities shown above. Additionally, the Peer Review Promotion Process for Title 5 Scientific Research Positions is a standard operating procedure to ensure consistency and fairness in the peer review process throughout CDC. CDC also uses a Fellowship Program policy to encourage and promote scientific research, studies, and training through the expertise of U.S. citizen and non- citizen distinguished scientists and medical officers.
Peer review of data and research to support policy decisions: The Peer Review Manual and the CDC policy for Peer Review of Research and Scientific Programs provide general guidance on the independent, external peer review of all extramural and intramural research at CDC, including external peer review by Boards of Scientific Counselors and other external peer review groups of scientific programs and public health practice (non-research). CDC program scientists may nominate experts to serve as peer review panelists; however, the Scientific Review Administrator (SRA) in charge of the peer review meeting will make final determinations regarding the composition of the peer review panel and conflicts of interest. Intramural scientists may also advise Extramural Research Program Office (ERPO) staff regarding programmatic priorities to be considered during the secondary review process.
Clear standards governing conflicts of interest: The external peer review process includes an independent assessment of research and scientific programs by experts who are external to CDC. The CDC policy on Peer Review of Research and Scientific Programs states that reviewers must provide written assurance that their reviews are free of real or perceived conflicts of interest. Peer review addresses scientific technical quality and, as appropriate, assesses mission relevance, impact, and direction. Intramural scientists having real or perceived conflicts of interest with the applications under review may not attend or participate in initial peer review or secondary review meetings.
As stated in the CDC Authorship Policy, objectivity is an important value in science and is the basis for public trust. A Guidance Document on Disclaimers for CDC Scientific Publications and Presentations serves to clarify the use of disclaimers on CDC publications and presentations. The document also represents the interpretations and guidance from the CDC Excellence in Science Committee (EISC) and the CDC Office of the Associate Director of Science (OADS) on implementation of the disclaimer requirements in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) bulletin. To ensure the scientific integrity and objectivity of information products authored in whole or in part by CDC staff, it is important to avoid situations in which financial or other interests might compromise or give the appearance of compromising the work. Disclosure of financial or other conflicts does not eliminate the potential for bias but rather provides additional information in which the objectivity of the science or information can be evaluated. For CDC information products, authors should comply with HHS/CDC guidelines for disclosing conflicts of interest in accordance with the Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for HHS employees (5 CFR 5501). By prohibiting conflicts of interest, these rules guard against the possibility that an employee's scientific or policy work will be influenced by inappropriate considerations.
Prevent loss of integrity and investigate allegations of misconduct: Research misconduct, defined by the Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct (42 CFR 93), refers to fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Under the CDC policy for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct, all CDC employees shall be responsible for reporting observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the Research Integrity Officer. Employees must cooperate in the review of allegations and the conduct of inquiries and investigations. The policy and procedures require that allegations of scientific misconduct be processed promptly, confidentially, and fairly, and that investigations must balance concerns for protecting the integrity of research as well as the careers and reputations of researchers. In instances when the observed conduct does not fall under the definition of research misconduct but may lead to loss of integrity, fact-findings should still be undertaken and preemptive measures instituted to prevent loss of integrity.
Appropriate whistleblower protections: The Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002, also known as the No FEAR Act, requires that federal agencies be accountable for violations of antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws. All CDC staff are required to complete a mandatory No FEAR Act training. In accordance with the HHS Office of Research Integrity’s Guidelines for Institutions and Whistleblowers, CDC is committed to complying with the policies, regulations, and procedures as outlined in the Act. Additional guidance is provided to all CDC managers and supervisors in the Human Resources Reference Guide.
Facilitate the Free Flow of Scientific and Technological Information
To facilitate the free flow of scientific and technological information consistent with privacy and classification standards, CDC promotes the availability of scientific information by publishing research papers, disseminating guidelines and recommendations, participating in conferences and meetings with members of the public and private sector, and making a variety of information available to the public through the CDC website and other media.
Promote access to and use of scientific information and data: CDC supports free flow of scientific data and other information between health agencies and other federal and private stakeholders, researchers, and the public (CDC/ATSDR Policy on Releasing and Sharing Data). At the same time, CDC recognizes the need to ensure high standards of shared information and to protect sensitive information in compliance with applicable federal laws related to privacy.
CDC is committed to ensuring that all information products authored by its staff members or published by CDC are released for public use in a timely manner, are of the highest quality and are scientifically sound, technically accurate, and useful to the intended audience (Clearance of Information Products Disseminated outside CDC for Public Use). Centers and offices are encouraged to establish mechanisms to recognize and reward not only authorship, but also the other numerous essential contributions to public health science and to the process of developing and disseminating information products. The spirit of collaboration with external partners in developing authorship capability among a wide range of staff members is promoted by the CDC Authorship Policy.
CDC facilitates dissemination of scientific information by publishing research findings and periodical reports to the public for free (online or printed), including the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) series, Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID), Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD), and in peer reviewed journals published outside the agency.
The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) is a publicly available online resource for evidence-based recommendations and findings about what works to improve public health. It identifies information about public health interventions and effectiveness, studied populations, costs, benefits and harms, and gaps in research.
CDC ensures data collected or sponsored by CDC researchers are available for public use. CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) offers downloadable public-use data files through the (CDC) file transfer protocol (FTP) server (http://www.cdc.gov/DataStatistics/). Users of this service have access to data sets, documentation, and questionnaires from surveys and data collection systems and must comply with data use restrictions to ensure that the information will be used solely for statistical analysis or reporting purposes. Public-use data files are provided to allow access to the full scope of the data. NCHS makes every effort to release data collected through its surveys and data systems in a timely manner. Several data sets are available:
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
National Health Care Surveys (NHCS)
National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)
National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG)
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
National Immunization Survey (NIS)
Longitudinal Studies of Aging (LSOA)
State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS)
CDC WONDER database provides a single point of access to a wide variety of reports and numeric public health data, making CDC’s information resources available to health professionals and the public. WONDER enables data dissemination, online data queries and analysis, and visualization and reporting for public health data collections. WONDER’s partners include programs throughout CDC and other agencies. CDCWONDER furthers CDC's mission of health promotion and disease prevention by accelerating and simplifying access to public health information for state and local health departments, the Public Health Service, and the academic public health community. CDCWONDER is valuable to public health research, decision making, priority setting, program evaluation, and resource allocation.
Additionally, each national center of CDC has an Internet page that provides up-to-date evidence-based information for different categories of users (i.e., public health stakeholders, health practitioners, researchers, the media, and general public).
The CDC Public Access Project will allow CDC to expand access to scientific information by making it available in open formats, connecting with more people and sharing its research, program activities, current public health recommendations and guidelines, and other information. The Public Access Project was launched in 2011. The project goals are to
Increase accessibility of results for the public, health care providers, educators, and scientists
Create a permanent archive of publications and other materials, including videos, tool kits, books, white papers, posters
Facilitate collaboration by creating a single, searchable, archive from many diverse sources Improve health literacy through easy access to CDC publications
Increase accountability by making the results available to the public
Ensure transparency of official activities: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires peer review for influential scientific information publications before they are disseminated to the public (OMB Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review). Issues that must be considered include transparency of the review process, conflicts of interest, and appropriateness and independence of reviewers. The OMB bulletin also requires that Highly Influential Scientific Assessments (HISAs) expected to have an impact of more than $500 million, are controversial, or are of significant interagency interest undergo rigorous review by experts outside HHS and allow for public participation in the peer review process. CDC reports information about the status of HISAs and Influential Scientific Information (ISI) activities on a publicly accessible CDC website (CDC Office of Public Health Research Peer Review Agenda).
CDC strives to ensure ready access to records and data that will help improve and promote the health of the American public, while complying with applicable federal laws such as the Federal Records Act and documenting the official activities of CDC. This compliance includes adhering to objectives, responsibilities, standards, guidelines, and instructions to ensure CDC meets all federal records management regulations, laws, and best practices for the management of electronic records (CDC Records Management policy and Management of Electronic Records Policy.
Facilitate open communication among scientist and with the public: CDC recognizes that public health and scientific advancement are best served when scientific information is openly shared and used by the public, public health professionals, health care providers, educators, policy makers, businesses, and private-sector organizations. Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly series created to strengthen CDC’s common scientific culture and foster discussion and debate on major public health issues (e.g., obesity, tobacco use, HIV/AIDS, hospital-associated infections, malaria). It is an open and candid dialog about the issues, with emphasis on cutting- edge science and the potential impact different interventions may have toward improving health. Beginning September 2009, the sessions highlight how CDC and partner organizations are already addressing these challenges and discuss recommendations for future research and practice. The series is eligible for continuing education credits in seven categories. All sessions, including archives of the previous sessions, are open to the public through a live broadband link.
The Public Health Grand Rounds is highly successful: external audiences have consistently grown in numbers, and in 2010, almost 200,000 external viewers watched these sessions.
CDC scientific workgroups foster an environment for cross agency and trans-disciplinary research.With membership from throughout the agency, the CDC scientific workgroups nurture the scientific interchange in a cross-cutting manner and in accordance with the CDC Work Groups Policy.
The CDC Excellence in Science Committee (EISC) promotes CDC's scientific infrastructure and facilitates communication and collaboration that enhance scientific areas and activities needed for state of the art conduct of science. EISC is the primary scientific policy development body at CDC. EISC provides a forum for information exchange among Associate Directors for Science (ADSs) and leaders of CDC scientific workgroups. As advocates for scientific integrity, EISC serves as a consulting body for science-related issues. It makes recommendations to the national centers, or the CDC Director and ATSDR Administrator, when appropriate. The CDC Vital Signs monthly fact sheets are a call to action for a single, important public health topic. Each issue consists of several parts, including an MMWR early release the first Tuesday of every month; a professionally designed fact sheet for consumer audiences, a dedicated website that mirrors the fact sheet about the current topic, a media release, and a series of announcements via social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). CDC Knowledge to Action Science Clips is a weekly compilation of literature featuring CDC-authored publications, key scientific articles selected by subject-matter experts, and public health articles posted in the media. Science Clips include access to abstracts in PubMed and to full free text content, if available; subscriptions to RSS feeds for specific topics of interest; and ability to feature Science Clips on state and local health department websites through content syndication. Since June 2010, Science Clips are shared via the Health Alert Network (HAN) email list.
CDC-Sponsored Conferences: Sponsorship of relevant conferences can provide opportunities to actively further CDC's mission. Many CDC-sponsored conferences are scientific meetings that provide a venue for presenting scientific results and for discussing and evaluating science that affects public health and might result in policy development or practice. The guiding principles to ensure that scientific meetings will be conducted in a meritorious and unbiased manner are set forth in the agency policy for Securing Approval for Sponsorship of Conferences.
Establish Principles for Conveying Scientific and Technological Information to the Public
In harmony with CDC efforts to provide information that is accessible to the largest public audience possible, there are principles for the accurate and clear presentation of information. Through research reports, guidelines, and recommendations, CDC seeks to convey the strength of the evidence of the results, the limitations, and the appropriate application of information.
CDC policies, procedures, and programs address principles for, and promote the distribution of, scientific information from CDC to the public. Each of these emphasizes accuracy, clarity, quality, and a commitment to scientific evidence in the development of advice and CDC recommendations for clinicians, public health practitioners, community organizations, state and local health departments, and the public on how to improve the effectiveness of public health interventions and practices.
Evidence based public health guidelines and recommendations: CDC is currently revising and developing the next generation of recommended standards for developing and disseminating agency guidelines. These will include materials and Internet tools, training, and high-quality methods and frameworks to obtain evidence that support guidelines, ensure credibility, and promote acceptance by the users. CDC Guidelines: Improving the Quality is a guide that offers several recommendations and a detailed process for CDC staff who develop guidelines. Careful attention should be given to this guide when planning and coordinating, assessing need, developing frameworks, gathering evidence, reviewing, and writing guidelines.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) series, published by CDC, is the primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, accurate, objective, and authoritative public health information and recommendations for the news media and public health community (public health practitioners, teachers, educators and students, clinicians, and researchers). Contributors who submit articles to MMWR must adhere to detailed publication standards provided in the Instructions to Authors. Submissions must undergo a clearance review process by subject- matter experts and editors to ensure clarity, accuracy, and usefulness.
The Community Guide conducts systematic reviews of public health interventions. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services uses the results of these reviews to issue evidence- based recommendations and findings to the public health community. The Task Force is an independent, nonfederal, volunteer body of public health and prevention experts, whose members are appointed by the Director of CDC. The Community Guide requires a rigorous systematic review of scientific studies through a formal process to identify all relevant studies, assess their quality, and summarize the evidence. The scientific process reduces bias, improves power and precision, summarizes evidence about effectiveness, analyzes whether findings can be generalized, and identifies knowledge gaps and needs for additional research. The task force categorizes and issues findings as
Recommended (the systematic review of available studies provides strong or sufficient evidence that the intervention is effective)
Recommended Against (the systematic review of available studies provides strong or sufficient evidence that the intervention is harmful or not effective)
A rationale statement may accompany these findings to explain a recommendation or other conclusion.
Free and timely release of scientific information and data: As stated in the CDC/ATSDR Policy on Releasing and Sharing Data (and consistent with the OMB, HHS, and CDC Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated to the Public), public health and scientific achievements are best served when data are released or shared with other public health agencies and researchers in an open, timely, and appropriate way. CDC strives to have data release policies that are fair to all users, regardless of organizational affiliation. CDC investigators must conduct research with integrity, and the resulting data must be of the highest quality possible. Before data are released or shared, all phases of data collection, transmission, editing, processing, analysis, storage, and dissemination must be evaluated for quality and tested for completeness, validity, reliability, and ability to be reproduced. All released data must have documentation that describes the method of data collection, what the data represent, completeness and accuracy of data, and potential limitations for use, including information to preclude misinterpretation.
In its communication with the public and the news media, CDC is committed to openness, free exchange of information and data, accuracy, timeliness, and responsiveness. Further, CDC offers the widest practical and appropriate dissemination of information about public health research, science, programs, and recommendations. In compliance with the Code of Conduct for CDC Media Relations Employees policy for Release of Information to News Media, CDC media relations employees are to be honest and accurate, respond promptly, and promote the free flow of scientific and technical information.
CDC-HR-2005-02 Merit Promotion Plan Policies
CDC-HHS-HR-2006-01 HHS Performance Management Appraisal Program
CDC-HR-2002- 02 Physicians Comparability Allowance
CDC-HR-2002-10 On-the-Spot Awards Program
CDC-HR-2004-01 Priority Placement Program
CDC-GA-2002-09 Peer Review of Research and Scientific Programs
CDC-GA-2005-06 Clearance Of Information Products Distributed Outside CDC for Public Use
CDC-GA-1996-01 Inclusion of Women and Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Research
CDC-GA-1997-01 Guidance for Collaboration With the Private Sector
CDC-GA-1997-02 Securing Approval For Sponsorship of Conferences
CDC-GA-2005-19 Confidential Financial Disclosure System Policy for CDC/ATSDR CDC-GA-2006-03 Internal Controls Program
CDC-SA-2003-01 Laboratory Animal Care and Use Policy
CDC-SA-2006-01 Inclusion of Persons under the Age of 21 in Research
CDC-SA-2009-01 Establishment of Method Performance Specifications Before Reporting Results From In-House Developed Laboratory Tests
CDC-SM-2007-01 Oversight and Clearance of Dual-Use Research of Concern Policy
CDC-GA-1998-01 Export Controls for Biological, Chemical and Related Technical Data and Equipment CDC-GA-1999-02 CDC and ATSDR Specimen and Data Bank Policy CDC-SA-2010-01 CDC/ATSDR Procedures for protection of human research participants: 2010 http://www.cdc.gov/od/science/integrity/docs/cdc-policy-human-research- protections.pdf The CDC Select Agent Regulations (42 CFR Part 73)
CDC-GA-2005-07 Records Management Policy
CDC-GA-2005-14 CDC/ATSDR Policy on Releasing and Sharing Data
CDC-GA-2007-03 Management of Electronic Records
CDC-IR-2000-01 Record Keeping Procedures for Managing E-mails and Attachments That Qualify as Federal Records
CDC-SA-2002-01 responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct
CDC-GA-2008-02 Procedures and Public Release Policy for After Action Reports, Improvement Plans, and Corrective Action Programs
CDC-SA-2010-02 Distinguishing Public Health Research and Public Health Nonresearch Coordination and Management of Domestic Field StaffAssignments
CDC issues a variety of guidelines, recommendations, principles and policies for conveying scientific and technological information to the public.
When CDC learns of confusion about a CDC-issued public health message and determines that clarification or additional information should be published, CDC will take reasonable steps, using plain language, to address confusion. In addition, when CDC issues or releases a product in an expedited time frame or based on uncertain or incomplete information and determines additional information should be published to clarify the original public health message, even if there is no evidence of confusion, it will take appropriate steps to publish the additional information.
Response to Media Inquiries
In compliance with the Code of Conduct for CDC Media Relations Employees policy for Release of Information to News Media, CDC media relations employees are to be honest and accurate, respond promptly, and promote the free flow of scientific and technical information. In its communication with the public and the news media, CDC is committed to openness, free exchange of information and data, accuracy, timeliness, and responsiveness. Further, CDC offers the widest practical and appropriate dissemination of information about public health research, science, programs, and recommendations. In keeping with the desire for a culture of openness, CDC employees may, consistent with this policy, speak to members of the press about their work.
Speak on Official Work without Interference from Media Communication or Policy Office
CDC is committed to ensuring that all information products authored by its staff members or published by CDC are released for public use in a timely manner, are of the highest quality and are scientifically sound, technically accurate, and useful to the intended audience (Clearance of Information Products Disseminated outside CDC for Public Use). Consistent with policy for Release of Information to News Media, presenters at public events, such as conferences or meetings, may conduct interviews with media regarding their presentation while on site without interference from CDC media employees.
CDC media relations employees will adhere to the following code of conduct:
- Be honest and accurate in all communications
- Honor publication embargoes
- Respond promptly to media requests and respect media deadlines
- Act promptly to correct the record or erroneous information, when appropriate
- Promote the free flow of scientific and technical information
- Protect non-public information
- CDC will release information consistent with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provisions.
Mechanisms to Resolve Disputes that Arise During Clearance Process
In compliance with the Code of Conduct for CDC Media Relations Employees policy for Release of Information to News Media, CDC media relations employees are to be honest and accurate, respond promptly, and promote the free flow of scientific and technical information. “CDC employees who present personal or individual views must make clear that they are presenting their personal or individual views—not the views of CDC or HHS—and they should not be sourced as a CDC or HHS representative in the piece.” (CDC-CM-2009-01)
National center directors have ultimate responsibility for the technical, scientific, and programmatic accuracy of all information that is related to their respective programs and released by CDC (CDC-CM-2009-01). The Office of the Director for each center . . . must develop procedures . . . for resolving disputes that arise during the clearance process. (CDC- GA-2005-06).
CDC adheres to these principles in its communication with the media and public:
CDC communication is science-based, timely, accurate, respectful, credible, and consistent (STARCC).
CDC embraces intellectual honesty and transparency in its release of information to fully empower public decision making. CDC accepts scientific debate and respects the peer-review process.
CDC’s communication is empathetic, respectful, non-judgmental, and never arrogant toward others.
CDC considers diverse cultural and societal values and beliefs when developing messages.
CDC does not use trickery or deceptive communication techniques to advance public health recommendations or its reputation.
CDC is accountable for its actions and recommendations, whether they are good or bad, popular or not.
CDC’s good reputation is not sacrificed for the sake of any past, current, or future employee or partner.
CDC respects the right of its detractors to voice their opposition and does not impute the source’s motives but does vigorously correct errors and challenge misjudgments.
CDC embraces the idea that plain language works best to eliminate ambiguity in its research results and health recommendations for the public.
CDC admits its mistakes, past and present, and takes responsibility for correcting them.
CDC does not withhold information only to avoid embarrassment.
Training is offered one or more times annually to all scientific/technology professionals at CDC:
CDC Media Relations Training
CDC High Stakes Communication Training
CDC Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Training
CDC Risk Smart Communications Training
Policy: CDC-CM-2009-01: CDC Media Relations Policy: Release of Information to News Media.
Policy: CDC-GA-2005-06: Clearance of Information Products Disseminated Outside CDC for Public Use
Policy: CDC GA-2002-02: Freedom of Information Act
Policy: CDC-GA-2001-08: Employee Testimony in Litigation
HHS Transmittal 86.01, Public Affairs Management Manual, issued 11/21/1986.
CDC-IS-2002-03, National Security Information. CDC.
CDC-GA-2005-14 CDC/ATSDR Policy on Releasing and Sharing Data
CDC-IS-2005-02, Controlled Unclassified Information. CDC, last updated 7/22/2009.
CDC Press/Media Relations Officers, last updated 2/23/2011.
Standards of Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR 2635, last updated 1/1/2010.
OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 4: Release and Dissemination of Statistical Products Produced by Federal Statistical Agencies. OMB, March 7, 2008.
Use of Federal Advisory Committees
Federal advisory committees are a key component of CDC's overall strategy to engage the public and stakeholders in its efforts and commitment to improve people's health.
The process used by CDC to recruit candidates for its advisory committees is addressed in CDC’s Federal Advisory Committee Management Handbook, paragraph V.C. and Appendix I. CDC uses a broad range of recruitment tools that consistently yields a diverse pool of qualified candidates. Solicitation of individual names comes from staff, leaders in pertinent fields, and scientific and professional organizations. Nominees may also be received from agency officials, members of Congress, the general public, current or former committee members, professional organizations, universities and colleges, the IMPAC II database (containing names of past committee members), and the CDC committee management database of current and past committee members. Additionally, nominees may be solicited through Federal Register Notices (including self-nominations) or newspapers.
Professional Biographical Information
CDC maintains a Federal Advisory Committee website that serves as a portal for public access to information about each committee including its membership, meeting minutes, and charter.
Member biographical information includes current professional affiliation, title, city and state, and term of appointment. Other efforts to improve transparency of committee composition include the following:
Committee websites that provide detailed biographical information about members, by-laws, meeting agendas and, as appropriate, other committee documents
Committee meeting materials (e.g. pamphlets, booklets, papers, handouts) with photos and biographical information about members
Professional biographical information is made available to the public subject to Privacy Act and other statutory/regulatory considerations.
Membership Selection Process
CDC follows the General Services Administration’s guidance for ensuring that the advisory committee is representative and balanced (Federal Advisory Committee Membership Balance Plan).
All committee charters established, re-chartered, amended, or renewed include balanced membership plans. “Balance” refers to the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by Federal advisory committees. The balance plan addresses such matters as expertise, knowledge, and contribution to the relevant subject area and diversity (gender, ethnic, racial, geographic) among members. The HHS Secretary or CDC Director, in accordance with the charter, will assess and consider membership balance whenever they appoint new committee members to serve on a particular committee.
Public Availability of Conflict of Interest Waivers
Consistent with the mandates of the Office of Government Ethics, CDC implements rigorous processes requiring advisory committee members to confidentially report their financial interests each year (see Ethics Rules for Advisory Committee Members). Federal law prohibits a committee member with certain conflicts of interest from participating in an advisory committee meeting unless a waiver is granted. Consistent with Federal law (18 U.S.C. 208 and 5 CFR 2640.304), CDC will continue to make Conflict of Interest waivers granted to committee members available to the public upon request.
Federal Advisory Committee Reports, Recommendations, and Products
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix, Section 5(b)(3)), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act implementing regulations (41 CFR 102-3.105(g)) require that the advice, recommendations, and reports of advisory committees will not be inappropriately influenced by the committee appointing authority, a federal agency, or by any special interest, but will instead be the result of the advisory committee’s independent judgment. Reports, recommendations, and products produced by FACs should be treated as solely the findings of such committees rather than of the U.S. Government, and thus are not subject to intra- or inter- agency revision.
Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S. Code Appendix
GSA Federal Advisory Committee Management, Final Rule, 41 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 101-6 and 102-3
CDC-GA-2000-02 Federal Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
CDC-GA-2001-05 Financial Disclosure for Federal Advisory Committee Members Appointed as Special Government Employees
HHS General Administration Manual, Chapter 9-00
HHS Committee Management Handbook
CDC Federal Advisory Committee Management Handbook
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS
CDC is committed to investing in human capital and workforce development which is critical to accomplishing the agency’s mission. CDC’s workforce is its most important asset, and strategic learning investments enhance recruitment and retention efforts, increase skill sets, introduce innovative practices, provide incentives, and reward employees. This commitment to workforce development is expressed in the following agency activities:
CDC University provides employees with training opportunities that support CDC's mission and goals. The School of Public Health Science, Research, and Medicine offers training through a cooperative curriculum development effort of CDC University (CDCU) and the Advisory Council to the School of Public Health Science, Research, and Medicine. Together, the Council and CDCU use competency gap analysis to drive curriculum priorities.
CDC promotes outside training opportunities for civil service employees to advance their ability to protect public health (Long Term Education policy).
CDC provides employees with flexible learning opportunities through use of Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs).
Employees and supervisors are responsible for developing an agreement in the form of a competency-based Individual Development Plan (IDP) (Refer to the CDC Guide to the Individual Development Plan).
The Initiative for Leadership Enhancement and Development (I LEAD) is a competency- based framework for CDC's leader-building efforts. I LEAD offers a structured pathway through the leadership curriculum called a Leadership Development Map (LDM)
CDC’s formal mentoring program, administered by CDC University, is a structured extension of informal mentoring that is an integral part of CDC culture.
Short-term scientific rotations support the professional development of a scientist interested in pursuing a career track as an Associate Director for Science (ADS) or in the science leadership, management and policy field.
CDC scientific workgroups foster an environment for cross agency and trans-disciplinary research.With membership from throughout the agency, the CDC scientific workgroups nurture the scientific interchange in a cross-cutting manner. CDC Work Groups Policy.
The CDC policy on Awarding Continuing Education Credits or Units outlines the policies and procedures for CDC or joint-sponsored activities when continuing education credits are to be awarded by CDC.
CDC recognizes that the professional development of government scientists and researchers benefits CDC’s scientific programs and builds the agency’s credibility and reputation. As such, CDC has instituted policies and made venues available to promote and encourage professional growth as demonstrated in the following sections.
Encourage Publication of Research Findings in Peer-Reviewed, Professional, or Scholarly Journals
Publishing: CDC encourages professional dissemination of findings of scientific research by employees and CDC-funded researchers. Multiple venues exist for scientists and researchers to publish their work. Research studies may be published in the Morbidity and MortalityWeekly Report (MMWR) for example, or in non-CDC publications including journals, books, chapters, editorials, reviews, proceedings, or abstracts. Additional avenues to present scientific information include CDC publications such as Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) and Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD).Selected CDC-authored publications are posted at the CDC Science Clips website to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge for the public health community and interested members of the public. CDC promotes scientific authorship by offering courses to improve manuscript writing skills through CDC University. CDC also promotes scientific authorship by paying fees associated with publication of work done by CDC scientists.
Authorship: Research publications are typically authored or co-authored by CDC staff scientists as part of their official duties. However, publications may also be authored by CDC partners or advisory committees, or CDC-convened working groups. To ensure the scientific integrity and objectivity of information products authored in whole or in part by CDC staff, it is important to avoid situations in which financial or other interests might compromise or give the appearance of compromising the work.CDC authors should comply with HHS/CDC guidelines for disclosing conflicts of interest and refer to the CDC Authorship Policy for guidance on authorship criteria, roles and responsibilities for publication, and copyright rules for federal employees. Works created by employees of the United States Government as part of their employment are considered a "Work of the United States Government." Copyright protection is not available for these works in the United States (see policy on Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials). However, employees are also advised that the federal government is subject to copyright law and must act to ensure that third parties’ rights are not violated.
CDC management provides a wide range of opportunities for scientists to develop authorship capability. Centers and offices should also encourage a spirit of collaboration among staff members, and external partners, and should provide opportunities for partners to serve as authors on CDC publications. It is CDC's policy to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information that it disseminates to the public as set forth in the policy on Clearance of Information Products Distributed Outside CDC for Public Use. CDC ensures that disseminated information is in accordance with the standards of quality set forth in the OMB and HHS Guidelines (Guidelines for Ensuring the Quality of Information Disseminated to the Public).
Encourage Presentation of Research Findings at Professional Meetings
Conference attendance by CDC scientists: CDC researchers are encouraged to participate in professional society meetings and other public venues to share their results with colleagues in the public and private sectors. CDC may pay for an employee to attend a conference as a developmental assignment under the HHS Conference Travel Policy and in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations.
CDC-Sponsored Conferences: Sponsorship of relevant conferences can provide opportunities to actively further CDC's mission. Many CDC-sponsored conferences are scientific meetings that provide a venue for presenting scientific results and for discussing and evaluating science that affects public health and might result in policy development or practice. The guiding principles to ensure that scientific meetings will be conducted in a meritorious and unbiased manner are set forth in the agency policy for Securing Approval for Sponsorship of Conferences.
Collaborations with the Private Sector for Conference Sponsorship: Partnerships with nonfederal organizations enable CDC to expand its public health networks, thereby improving the usefulness of research and the dissemination and effectiveness of health interventions. Collaborations with the private sector might involve professional education, including conference sponsorship. The agendas and missions of private organizations may overlap to a greater or lesser degree with those of CDC. Even where such overlap exists, CDC and private organizations can have fundamental differences. CDC's Guidance for Collaboration with the Private Sector discusses the need to assess the suitability of potential collaborations with not- for-profit and for-profit organizations. The Office of General Council (OGC) should be consulted when contemplating co-sponsorships and/or collaborations with any entity.
Scientists Serving as Editors or Editorial Board Members of Professional or Scholarly Journals
To the extent allowed by the Standards of Ethical Conduct, CDC encourages its qualified scientists to participate on editorial boards or to serve as editors of professional journals. The HHS Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct (5 CFR 5501) states that written approval is required prior to engaging, with or without compensation, in such duties to a non-Federal entity as an officer, director, or board member, or as a member of a group, such as a planning commission, advisory council, editorial board, or scientific or technical advisory board or panel, which requires the provision of advice, counsel, or consultation.
Scientists Participating in Professional or Scholarly Societies, Committees, and Task Forces
CDC scientists are allowed participation in professional or scholarly societies, committees, task forces and other specialized bodies of professional societies, including addressing concerns related to serving as officers or on governing boards of such societies.
Serving in an official capacity: CDC scientists are encouraged and often expected to participate in external working groups, task forces, committees, and professional society organizations. Most activities related to an employee’s official duties do not require written approval and are considered an extension of official duties, although it is prudent to for an employee to alert his/her supervisor of such participation. However, participation beyond ordinary membership (e.g., holding office, committee membership) must be approved in advance through the Ethics Program Activity Office. As stated previously, official duties requiring written approval include: serving on an advisory committee, serving as a federal liaison, serving on a standard-setting body, or serving as an officer, trustee or on the board of directors of an outside organization. Such activities require submission of a waiver to avoid implicating criminal financial conflict of interest statutes found in 18 U.S.C. 202-209. Collaboration with the private sector, including professional organizations, can raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest between CDC’s general responsibilities and responsibilities growing out of the collaboration. Thus, CDC’s written Guidance for Collaboration with the Private Sector outlines principles to ensure that CDC attends to its primary mission and to govern the assessment of the potential collaboration. Additionally, CDC staff assigned or detailed to non-profit public health organizations and liaison staff based in national-level partner organizations must act in accordance with CDC policy on the Coordination and Management of Domestic Field Staff Assignments.
Participation as a member: CDC promotes membership in professional organizations. To encourage such participation, CDC policy on Procurement of Agency Membership in Professional Organizations, allows payment for agency membership in a professional organization when it is determined that the membership is of benefit to CDC or ATSDR. Only one membership per agency per professional organization is allowed. Title 5 U.S.C. 5946, prohibits the use of appropriated funds for the payment of individual membership fees or dues for officers or employees of the Government. Additionally, the CDC Financial Management Office should be consulted prior to the purchase of agency memberships in professional organizations.
Participation as an official of an organization: Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208, official participation in an outside organization as an officer, director, or trustee is prohibited except when (1) participation is authorized by statute; (2) waiver is submitted in accordance with 18 U.S.C. 208 (b)(1); (3) the release of fiduciary obligations associated with participation are consistent with state law. Employees who will be collaborating with the private sector should receive orientation and guidance from the CDC Ethics Officer about the agency's principles, criteria, and recommendations for collaborating with the private sector (see CDC’s policy on Guidance for Collaboration with the Private Sector). The CDC Ethics Officer shall serve as a consultant to employees developing private sector collaborations. The Ethics Officer will involve others (e.g., Office of the General Counsel) as needed.
Serving in a personal capacity: CDC employees may participate in activities outside the workplace if the employment or activity does not conflict with HHS duties and does not violate a federal statue or regulation. Employees must obtain approval before engaging in an outside activity that requires the use of professional qualifications readily identified with CDC employment. Additionally, in accordance with 18 U.S.C 208, employees who serve as an officer, director, trustee, or employee of nonprofit organizations may not participate in matters affecting the financial interest of that organization, absent a waiver or exception. CDC employees are encouraged to contact the Ethics Program Activity Office for consultation and submission of the Request for Approval of Outside Activity (form HHS-520).
Allow Government Scientists and Engineers to Receive Honors and Awards for Their Research and Discoveries
Government scientists and engineers should be allowed to receive honors and awards for their research and discoveries, to the extent allowable by applicable federal law, with the goal of minimizing, to the extent practicable, disparities in the potential for private-sector and public- sector scientists and engineers to accrue the professional benefits of such honors or awards. CDC scientists are recipients of numerous honors, awards, and other forms of recognition, acknowledged through both internal and external means:
Internal awards and recognition: CDC awardees are often acknowledged and have their work highlighted on CDC’s intranet, through Science Clips, and during CDC awards ceremonies. Centers and offices are encouraged to find ways to recognize and reward not only authorship but other numerous essential contributions to public health science and to the process of developing and disseminating information products. Excellence in scientific authorship is also recognized through internal venues that highlight research with major impact and honors and awards for scientific excellence (e.g. the Shepard Award, CDC/ATSDR awards, center awards). CDC also has an Incentive Awards Program, carried out in accordance with the Government Employees Incentive Awards Act, to reward superior accomplishments, which includes, for example, the On-the-Spot Award (see On-the-Spot Award Program Policy). This award provides supervisors with a mechanism to immediately recognize employees whose significant extra efforts and contributions help CDC accomplish its goals and objectives or who perform in an exemplary manner.
Awards from outside sources: In certain circumstances an award may be accepted for meritorious public service or achievement, including work performed at CDC. Awards may not be accepted from entities with interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties. Additionally, CDC employees may not accept outside compensation for performing official duties. Employees are prohibited from accepting compensation for teaching, speaking, or writing that “relates to their official duties” or if invited to perform work by a prohibited source that has government matters pending. An award that has a market value of more than $200 requires prior written determination by the Departmental Ethics Committee (DEC) that the award is part of an established program of recognition. CDC researchers may contact the Ethics Program Activity Office for consultation and to obtain the HHS Office of the General Council Ethics Division “Form for Review/Approval of Awards”
Official Duty Honoraria: CDC employees are allowed and encouraged to participate in speaking engagements, but they are prohibited from accepting compensation for teaching, speaking, or writing that “relates to their official duties.” Federal employees may not accept contributions or supplementation of their government salary for performance of an official duty.
CDC-HR-2000-01 Fellowship Program
CDC-HR-2008-01 Long term Education program
CDC-HR-2005-05 Management of Training: Individual Learning Accounts
CDC-GA-2005-08 Authorship Policy
CDC-GA-1997-01 Guidance for Collaboration With the Private Sector
CDC-GA-1997-02 Securing Approval For Sponsorship of Conferences Procurement of Agency Membership in Professional Organizations Awarding Continuing Education Credits or Units CDCWork Groups CDC-HR-2002-10 On-the-Spot Awards Program
The policies and activities outlined in this document apply to all CDC science and research programs. The scientific oversight offices (Associate Directors for Science) throughout the agency are charged with upholding the principles of scientific integrity stated in these policies and contained within their respective centers, institutes and offices. Training: CDC will use this guidance as framework for training of its staff to increase awareness of all the laws, regulations, policies and guidance on scientific integrity.
The Schwan Food Company Business Ethics Code of Conduct
The Schwan Food Company recognizes that employees
have an inherent understanding of ethical business conduct.
Our mission is: “Delight consumers with an unmatched
food experience that delivers superior value.” To achieve this
mission, we must be diligent in ensuring that our reputation
is maintained in every country, community, and location
where we do business. Our business ethics program is
the guiding principle of who we are and how we conduct
The business ethics program consists of our Code of
Conduct, ongoing communication and training, and
communication channels in which individuals can ask
questions or communicate concerns. The goal of the
business ethics program is to prevent, identify, and
correct issues as we continue to serve our valued customers.
Our Business Ethics Code of Conduct guides all of us,
from board of directors to new employees, to achieve
the highest level of ethical business conduct. Each of us
is responsible for becoming familiar with the Code and
applying its principles.
We have a rich heritage, which is reflected in our core
values and in our Code of Conduct. We are committed
to ensuring that our actions reflect our words. Remember
that our reputation and our future depend on the manner
in which we conduct ourselves and the decisions we make
Allan L. Schuman Greg Flack
Chairman of the Board CEO, President and COO
Allan L. Schuman
Chairman of the Board
CEO, President and COO
BUSINESS ETHICS LINE 1.800.818.9065
Table of Contents
The Schwan Business Ethics Program Overview ..................................2
Worldwide Applicability. .........................................................................2
Our Core Values and Code of Conduct .................................................3
Knowing and Complying with the Code and Law ................................3
Asking Questions and Communicating Concerns ................................4
Follow-up and Retaliation .......................................................................6
We are Responsible for Telling the Truth ...............................................6
Mutual Respect .................................................................................................7
Dignity in the Workplace ........................................................................7
Health and Safety ....................................................................................8
Business Practices .............................................................................................9
Competition / Antitrust ..........................................................................9
Insider Trading .......................................................................................10
Conflicts of Interest / Entertainment & Gifts .....................................11
Vendor Relationships .............................................................................13
Use of Company Resources ...................................................................14
Accuracy & Retention of Business Records .........................................15
Confidential and Proprietary Information ............................................17
Media and Public Discussion ................................................................18
Civic and Political Activity ....................................................................18
Regulatory & Legal Inquiries................................................................19
THE SCHWAN BUSINESS ETHICS PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Schwan Business Ethics Code of Conduct is a guide to the ethical and legal
responsibilities governing each of us. It is not a complete rule book that addresses
every ethical issue, nor a summary of all laws and policies. Rather, the Code gives us
guidance and directs us to resources to help make the correct decisions. Throughout
the Code of Conduct, we speak of company rules and policies. In these cases please
refer to the employee handbook, your supervisor, or Human Resources for the
specific policy guidelines.
We acknowledge and appreciate the wide variety of cultural and political differences
of the countries in which we operate. While we recognize local laws and customs
may dictate the necessity for this Code to be flexible, we do expect all employees to
adhere to the philosophies and underlying principles of the document.
The Ethics and Law departments are corporate support functions. As such, guidance
should be sought from these resources when necessary regardless of the country in
which your respective business operates.
*Note: All references to “Schwan” or “the company” throughout this document includes the
subsidiary companies of Th e Schwan Food Company.
OUR CORE VALUES & CODE OF CONDUCT
Schwan values growth, helping one another, enthusiasm, hard work and integrity.
These values are the foundation of the Business Ethics Code of Conduct. The
Code is the cornerstone of the Schwan business ethics program and applies to all
employees, contractors, officers, and members of the board of directors.
In complying with the Code of Conduct, the following basic questions should guide
• Do you believe that what you are doing or are being asked to do may be illegal
• Could someone’s health or safety be endangered by the action?
• Would you be unwilling or embarrassed to tell your family, friends, or co-workers?
• How would you feel if this was reported in a newspaper?
• Is it the right thing to do?
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR KNOWING AND
COMPLYING WITH THE CODE AND THE LAW
It is the duty of all of us to know, understand, and comply with the Code of Conduct
and applicable laws. It is part of our jobs, of our responsibility, of who we are and how
we conduct business.
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ASKING QUESTIONS AND COMMUNICATING CONCERNS
If you have a question or a concern about a point of ethical conduct, there are
a number of channels available for assistance. As employees, we each have a
responsibility to communicate any circumstances or actions that violate or appear to
violate the principles of the Code of Conduct. Your resources for seeking assistance or
communicating concerns include:
• Your supervisor or another member of management
• A Human Resources Representative
• The Ethics Department
The Schwan Food Company
115 West College Drive
Marshall, MN 56258
• The Business Ethics Line
The company provides a business ethics telephone line within the United States
and Canada. The business ethics line is managed and staffed by an independent
third-party firm that is experienced in handling sensitive matters. The line
provides the means to ask questions, receive guidance, or communicate concerns.
Company operations outside the United States and Canada may be subject to
local laws or regulations that govern the use of such an ethics line. An ethics line
may not be available for use in these other countries. For clarification regarding
the rules that apply to the country in which you work, you should contact your
supervisor, a member of management, or a Human Resources representative.
Nonetheless, even if an ethics line is not available within your country of
employment, the traditional methods of presenting questions or issues to a
supervisor, another member of management, or a Human Resources representative
are available to you.
Employees within the United States and Canada can contact the business ethics
line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-818-9065 and have the option to
Within the U.S.: 1-800-818-9065 (You may remain anonymous.)
Within Canada: 1-800-818-9065 (You may remain anonymous.)
• The Law Department
The Schwan Food Company
115 West College Drive
Marshall, MN 56258
The following chart should help you see the process for seeking assistance,
asking a question, or raising a concern:
an ethical issue.
Contact direct Call the respective
supervisor, a member business ethics line
of managment, or if available in
human resources. his/her country.
Receive guidance. --------- The call
Make an is sent to the
informed decision. Ethics Department.
action is taken.
FOLLOW UP AND RETALIATION
The business ethics program is designed to ensure that anyone acting in good faith
has the means to communicate questions, concerns, or apparent violations of the
Code of Conduct without fear of retaliation. The laws that govern the use of business
ethics lines diff er by country. In some countries, business ethics line callers may be
able to remain anonymous and no attempt will be made to identify them. However,
callers should know that it is often more difficult to appropriately investigate issues
raised anonymously. Callers within the United States and Canada do have the option
Retaliation in any form against an individual who in good faith reports a known or
suspected violation of the Code of Conduct, a law, or other policy is itself a violation
of company policy and the Code of Conduct. Suspected acts of retaliation should be
reported immediately to the Ethics Department.
WE ARE RESPONIBLE FOR TELLING THE TRUTH
Investigations of actual or potential violations of the Code of Conduct or other
company policies or laws may be conducted. Discussions are a fundamental part of
the process whether they relate to a question, concern, or investigation. If
you are interviewed or asked to provide information regarding an actual or potential
violation, it is important, necessary, and required that you cooperate fully and
DIGNITY IN THE WORKPLACE
No matter what Schwan business you work for, or what part of the world you work
in, everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity. We are committed to a
policy of equal opportunity for all qualified applicants and employees without regard
to race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status,
or other legally protected status.
We are committed to providing a workplace that is free from harassment,
intimidation, and abuse.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: The quality assurance manager asks one of his subordinates out on a
date. The subordinate is not interested in dating him, but is scared to say no
because her manager has stated that it would be beneficial for her career for
her to go out with him.
A: The subordinate should say no to her manager and contact another
member of management, a Human Resources representative, or the business
ethics line to report the issue. Please refer to company policy in regard to
acceptable relationships in the work place.
Q: A facility supervisor is reviewing the applications he received for
an open material handler position. There are five male applicants and one
female. When deciding who to call back for an interview, he decides not to
call the female back because the last female employee he hired was not a
very hard worker.
A: This decision on the part of the facility supervisor is inappropriate. All
applicants must have equal opportunity for employment. No decisions or
assumptions should be made based on an applicant’s race, gender, religion,
age, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or other legally
HEALTH & SAFETY
Schwan is committed to providing a safe work environment. We all have a
responsibility to abide by all applicable laws, rules, practices, and precautions to
protect ourselves, coworkers, and our customers. This includes reporting to work
free from the influence of any illegal or controlled substances that could prevent one
from conducting work activities safely. We all have a responsibility to immediately
communicate accidents and unsafe practices or conditions to appropriate personnel.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: The truck that a route sales representative (RSR) is scheduled to use
is in need of some vital repairs. Prior to informing his manager about the
necessary repairs, the RSR asked a coworker if there are any spare trucks
available for that day. He is told there are not, so he decides to use the truck
anyway so that he does not have to make the day up on Saturday.
A: The decision to use the impaired truck is wrong. Not only does it put
the RSR in danger, it also puts the general public in danger and violates
Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Employees should
always report mechanical issues with company vehicles or equipment to
Q: You become aware that the wrong ingredients were used to make
sundae cones. You are not sure if you should tell your supervisor due to the
amount of overtime it would take to start from scratch and the financial
hardship it would cause the company.
A: Inform your supervisor immediately. The safety of our products and
our customers is our first priority.
The countries in which Schwan operates now or in the future have fair competition
or antitrust laws that safeguard the rights of consumers and prohibit restraint of
trade, unfair practices, or abuse of economic power. The company is committed to
conducting business in a manner that promotes fair competition and free enterprise
consistent with these principles. In general, agreements to fix or control prices,
agreements to allocate markets or customers, or agreements in which a seller refuses
to sell one product unless the buyer agrees to purchase another product are contrary
to these principles and our Code of Conduct. If you have questions about how
the antitrust or similar laws apply to a particular situation, please seek appropriate
guidance from applicable company policy, a member of management, the Law
Department, or the Ethics Department.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: A customer sales representative received a phone call from a
competitor’s sales representative. During the conversation, the competitor
stated how many hours he had worked lately and that it would be nice if
he didn’t have to service quite as many stores. He suggested that he and the
company’s representative should divide the city in half and each service one
A: The company’s customer sales representative declined the offer and
reminded the competitor that it is illegal to enter into any such agreement.
The Schwan Food Company and its subsidiary companies are privately-held
companies. However, there are various securities laws to which we are bound and
committed. Employees may come into possession of confidential and highly sensitive
information relating to public companies. Those who have non-public information
relating to a public company, may not use that information for their own benefit or
the benefi t of others and may not pass that information on to others or encourage
others to make transactions involving the securities of that public company.
It is Schwan policy that employees who have non-public information may not buy or
sell the securities of that public company until such time after public disclosure of the
information as required under the applicable laws of the country concerned. If you
have questions regarding how securities or similar laws apply to a particular situation,
please seek appropriate guidance from applicable company policy, a member of
management, the Law Department, or the Ethics Department.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: An area sales manager considered buying stock in a regional grocery
store which is one of her customers. She decided that it would be a good
idea to discuss the situation with her manager first to ensure that it would
not be a violation of the Code of Conduct.
A: Since the area sales manager has a business relationship with the
grocery store, she may be inclined to make questionable decisions on behalf
of Schwan to ensure that her personal stock is more profitable. The area sales
manager was right to seek guidance.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: An administrative assistant heard a rumor that Schwan would be
acquiring a small publicly traded frozen-food manufacturer. She thought
it may be a good financial decision to purchase some of the publicly traded
company’s stock before the transaction was finalized and made public. She
decided to contact her manager prior to making a final decision.
A: Individuals who obtain non-public information may not purchase or
sell securities until such time after public disclosure of the information as
required under the applicable laws of the country concerned. Purchasing the
stock would have been a violation of the Code of Conduct. She was right to
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST / ENTERTAINMENT & GIFTS
A conflict of interest exists where an individual’s interests conflict with the interests
of Schwan. While conducting the company’s business we must avoid conflicts of
interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, as well as any relationship or
activity that might impair one’s ability to make objective and fair decisions when
performing at work. Schwan is committed to competing on the basis of the quality of
its products and services. Employees should avoid any actions that result in business
being gained in exchange for any gift, meals, or entertainment. We should also avoid
actions that create the impression that business was gained in exchange for gifts,
meals, or entertainment.
Some examples of potential conflict situations are:
• Employees or members of their immediate family affiliated with a fi rm which either
provides goods or services to a Schwan business unit or is a competitor of Schwan;
• Employees or members of their immediate family acting as a contractor,
vendor, or consultant to Schwan;
• Holding a second job that interferes with your employment with Schwan;
• Use of Schwan’s confidential information in a way that advantages the employee or
members of their immediate family.
The giving or receiving of gifts can create a conflict of interest or can appear to be
a conflict of interest. To ensure that business-related gifts, meals, or entertainment
are not subject to abuse and do not create or appear to create a conflict of interest,
Schwan only permits gifts to be given or received if they are limited in occurrence
and reasonable in value. Gifts also must not influence or give an appearance of
influencing the recipient. Employees may accept occasional meals, refreshments,
entertainment, and similar business courtesies so long as they are not lavish or
excessive and do not create the appearance of an attempt to influence business
decisions. Under no circumstance will any employee accept or give any gift or
courtesy as a bribe. More specific guidance is available in company policy or from an
appropriate member of management.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (United States) and the laws of other countries
restrict the giving or receiving of gifts, meals, and entertainment to government
officials. Schwan prohibits gifts to or from government employees unless applicable
regulations permit the giving and acceptance of the gift. We prohibit payment of
gratuities to public officials to expedite or obtain routine governmental actions, except
where such practices are lawful and customary. In such cases, payments must be
limited to customary amounts, be properly documented, and be approved in advance
by the Law Department.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: A route sales representative (RSR) is scheduled to service his mother
on his weekly route. Th e RSR wonders if this creates any issues in complying
with the Code of Conduct. He decides to discuss the situation with his
A: Th is does create a special situation. All customers must be treated
fairly. The relationship between the RSR and his mother may create an
appearance of preferential treatment towards her. Th e decision may be made
to give his mother’s account to another RSR. Th e RSR was right to seek
Q: A territory sales leader (TSL) is accepting bids for snow removal and
lawn maintenance for his depot. Th e TSL gives one of the depot employees
the details of the competing firms to ensure that the employee’s son will win
A: The TSL violated company policy and the principles of fair
competition in the bidding process by disclosing the bid information.
In addition, it may be inappropriate for the son of an employee to be a
contractor for the depot.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: While establishing an internet connection in a foreign country, a
manager was informed by an employee of the government-owned telephone
company that an additional $20 would have to be paid to ensure that the
internet connection would be established within the required deadline.
A: Any time an additional payment is required or requested by a
governmental official, contact must be made with the Law Department. The
Law Department is responsible for making the determination as to whether
the requested payment is legal, reasonable, and customary. Th e payment
must also be fully documented to ensure full disclosure.
We select our suppliers, vendors, and contractors in a non-discriminatory manner
based upon the quality, price, service, delivery, and supply of goods and services. Such
decisions must never be based on personal interest or the interests of family members.
All vendor, supplier, and business relationships with outside parties should be
formalized in written agreements in accordance with company purchasing and
contracting policies. It is generally not appropriate for an employee to also act as a
vendor to the company.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: A new vendor for a Schwan subsidiary learns that the category
director is a football fan. In recognition for the new account that was
established, the vendor sent the category director two tickets to the game
for the director and a guest.
A: In this case, there appears to be no business purpose to the outing. The
director should refer to company policy and/or seek appropriate guidance
regarding the appropriateness of accepting the tickets.
USE OF COMPANY RESOURCES
Schwan provides the necessary resources to its employees for the purposes of
fulfilling their responsibilities. Resources include materials, financial assets, inventory,
land, equipment, technology, information, and an employee’s time at work. The
use of Schwan Resources for personal business, individual profit, or any unlawful,
unauthorized, or unethical purpose is prohibited by company policy.
The computer systems (including e-mail and Internet access) are Schwan resources
and are provided for legitimate business activities by authorized individuals.
Employees should not have an expectation of privacy regarding the use of computer
systems, e-mail, Internet, or other Schwan programs.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: An Information Services Department (IS) employee receives a request
from a friend for a list of all of the company e-mail addresses. The friend
wants to use the e-mail addresses to solicit business for a new company.
A: The IS employee explained to his friend that it is against company
policy to share company e-mail addresses for non-Schwan related purposes
and declined his request.
ACCURACY & RETENTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS
It is the company’s policy to record and report its business information honestly and
accurately. Individuals involved in creating, transmitting, or entering information
into Schwan financial and operational records are responsible for doing so accurately
and with appropriate supporting documentation. No officer, employee, or agent may
make any entry that intentionally hides or disguises the true nature of a transaction.
Compliance with established company policies, our system of internal controls,
and generally accepted accounting principles is necessary at all times. Instances of
employees knowingly entering false or inaccurate information into the Schwan
accounting or other systems is prohibited and may be illegal.
Our commitment to accuracy and appropriate retention of business records includes
prohibiting unauthorized destruction of or tampering with any records, whether in
written or electronic form, when we are required to maintain the records or when we
have reason to know of threatened or pending government investigation or litigation
relating to the records. Records include such things as paper copies, electronic files,
audio/video recording, microfiche, and microfilm. If you have questions about
whether particular records should be retained, please seek appropriate guidance from
applicable company policy, a member of management, the Law Department, or the
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: As the year is coming to a close, the manager of a bakery plant realizes
operations have already exceeded the annual business plan. Th e plant
manager asks the division chief financial officer if the remaining profit for
the year can be reported at a later date in order to have a head start on the
A: Doing so would cause false and inaccurate information to be
recorded. Th is action is inappropriate and a violation of the Code of
Conduct. All income and expenses must be recorded in the period in
which they are earned.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: A food service salesperson had a customer who demanded that the
salesperson alter an invoice. Th e customer wanted the invoice to show a
higher price than what was actually paid and to show delivery to a different
store. Th e customer stated that he would no longer do business with Schwan
unless the salesperson agreed to falsify the invoice.
A: Th e salesperson refused to make the changes because he knew it
would be a violation of the Code of Conduct. Losing a customer with
questionable ethics is much better than compromising the integrity of
Q: While traveling for business, two employees had dinner together. The
senior of the two employees paid for the meal and was reimbursed by the
company for the expense. The other employee took a copy of the receipt and
turned it in as well for reimbursement.
A: The action of the second employee is not only a violation of the Code
of Conduct, but it is also illegal - he stole from the company.
Q: An hourly employee is having a hard time keeping up with his
workload. He knows he has the necessary programs on his home computer
to complete his work so he decides to complete the tasks over the weekend.
A: These tasks are considered a part of his job, no matter where the
tasks are completed. Hourly employees are not allowed to complete work
functions without being compensated. The employee should speak to his
supervisor and work out an arrangement that will allow the tasks to be
completed and to be compliant with all applicable laws.
Q: A route sales representative (RSR) arrives at the depot early on a
Monday morning for a safety meeting. She does not punch in because she
doesn’t want the time spent at the meeting to be counted against her DOT
A: Company policy and DOT regulation require all time spent
performing work functions to count as hours-of-service time. The
employee must clock in to ensure this time is included in her DOT
CONFIDENTIAL & PROPRIETARY INFORMATION
We all have a responsibility to safeguard confidential business information and use
such information only for company purposes. Confidential business information
includes without limitation, the company’s inventions; trade secrets; business
plans and projections; sales, cost and profit figures, and projections; new product
or marketing plans; customer details and programs; research and development
ideas or information; manufacturing processes or methods; personnel information;
information regarding potential acquisitions, divestitures and investments; and any
other matters considered or reasonably expected to be considered confidential by the
Each of us has a responsibility to protect confidential proprietary information.
Releasing such information must be done with a valid business purpose, proper
authorization, and, as appropriate, a properly executed confidentiality agreement.
Schwan expects the same commitment to confidentiality from its consultants and
suppliers. Employees will not do business with suppliers or vendors who need access
to the company’s confidential information until an appropriate confidentiality
agreement is accepted by the suppliers or vendors. If you have questions about this,
please seek appropriate guidance from applicable company policy, a member
of management, the Law Department, or the Ethics Department.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: A marketing manager is preparing an ad campaign for a new type of
pizza. She is very excited about the product and the plan she has developed
to take it to market. She would like to discuss the concept with a friend
who works for an outside advertising company. She is not sure if this is a
violation of the Code of Conduct so she decides to check with her manager
A: She made the right decision to check with her manager. Sharing nonpublic
information with someone outside of the company is a violation of
the Code of Conduct.
MEDIA & PUBLIC DISCUSSION
The Public Relations & Communication Department is responsible for all contact
with the media. This includes newspapers, magazines, trade publications, radio,
television as well as any other external sources looking for information about
Schwan. Unless you are specifically authorized to represent Schwan to the media, any
request for information must be referred to the Public Relations & Communication
All of us must be careful not to disclose any confidential, personnel, or business
information through public or casual discussions, or to the media. Any stories,
articles, speeches, records of operations, pictures, or other material in which the
company name is mentioned or indicated, must be submitted through your
supervisor, for approval by the Public Relations & Communication Department prior
Schwan is committed to conduct its business in an environmentally conscientious
manner that is socially responsible, scientifically based, and economically sound. It is
Schwan policy to abide by all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
CIVIC AND POLITICAL ACTIVITY
We believe governments benefit from citizens who are politically active. For this
reason, the company encourages each of us to participate in civic and political
activities in his or her own way.
Schwan is prohibited by U.S. federal law from contributing to any campaign for
federal elected office, and to campaigns in states or other countries with similar
prohibitions. The financial and other resources of the company shall not be used for
any direct or indirect political activity, except where allowed by law.
Only employees specifically authorized by the company can lobby elected or
appointed government officials to influence proposed or existing legislation,
regulation, rule, code, or ordinance that affects Schwan business. Those employees are
responsible for knowing and strictly conforming to the legal requirements applicable
to such matters.
Participation in voluntary political action committees (PAC) which operate in
accordance with the law is permitted. Schwan corporate policy provides guidance
related to employee political activity. Consult the Government and Community
Affairs Department or the Law Department if you have any questions in this area.
Example Application – Question & Answer
Q: Th e company is sponsoring an ice cream social at one of the local
elementary schools during parent teacher conferences. One of the
employees who signed up to hand out ice cream is also running for the
school board. While he is handing out ice cream, he also distributes some
A: These actions are inappropriate because an employee is using
corporate resources to conduct a political campaign in violation of company
policy and campaign law. For additional guidance regarding civic and
political activities, contact the Government and Community Affairs
Department or the Law Department.
REGULATORY & LEGAL INQUIRIES
It is Schwan’s policy to cooperate with government authorities in their proper
performance of inquiries or investigations. It is important that such matters be
properly coordinated with Schwan. Any inquiry from government officials or entities
may include requests for information, notice of an investigation, or the service of a
Any inquiry from a government official or entity should be referred to the Law
Department, unless you have been specifically authorized to respond to such
inquiries. In that case, you are required to provide accurate information and fully
inform the Law Department.
BUSINESS ETHICS LINE: 800-818-9065
COMPANY E-MAIL: email@example.com
©2012 The Schwan Food Company. All Rights Reserved.
Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2003.
Available through your local bookseller or by mail from Canadian Government Publishing Communication Canada Ottawa (Ontario) KIA OS9
Telephone: (613) 941-5995
Orders only: 1-800-635-7943 (Canada and U.S.A.)
Fax: (613) 954-5779 or 1-800-565-7757 (Canada and U.S.A.)
Catalogue No.: BT22-89/2003
This document is available in multiple formats.
This document is available on the TBS Web site at the following address: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Statement of Public Service Values and Ethics
The Role of the Public Service of Canada . . . . 5
Objectives of this Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Public Service Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Democratic Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Professional Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Ethical Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
People Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Responsibilities, Authorities and Accountabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Overall Responsibility of Public Servants . . . 11
Public Servants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Deputy Heads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Treasury Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Public Service Integrity Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Effective Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Chapter 2: Conflict of Interest Measures
Objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Measures to Prevent Conflict of Interest . . . . . 19
Methods of Compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Outside Employment or Activities . . . . . . . . . 24
Gifts, Hospitality and Other Benefits . . . . . . . 25
Solicitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Legal Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Preferential Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Chapter 3: Post-Employment Measures
Objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Overall Responsibility of Public Servants . . . . 29
Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Before Leaving Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Limitation Period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Reduction of Limitation Period . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Exit Arrangements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Reconsideration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Chapter 4: Avenues of Resolution
Public Service Values and Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Measures on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Failure to Comply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Enquiries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Confidential Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Assets, Liabilities and Trusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Assets and Liabilities Subject to a Confidential Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Assets Not Requiring a Confidential Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Divestment of Assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Statement of Public Service Values and Ethics
The Role of the Public Service of Canada
The Public Service of Canada is an important national institution, part of the essential framework of Canadian parliamentary democracy. Through the support they provide to the duly constituted government, public servants contribute in a fundamental way to good government, to democracy and to Canadian society.
The role of the Public Service is to assist the Government of Canada to provide for peace, order and good government. The Constitution of Canada and the principles of responsible government provide the foundation for Public Service roles, responsibilities and values.
The democratic mission of the Public Service is to assist Ministers, under law, to serve the public interest.
Objectives of this Code
The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service sets forth the values and ethics of public service to guide and support public servants in all their professional activities. It will serve to maintain and enhance public confidence in the integrity of the Public Service. The Code will also serve to strengthen respect for, and appreciation of, the role played by the Public Service within Canadian democracy.
The Code sets out Public Service values as well as Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Measures.
The Code should be read in the context of the duties and responsibilities set out in A Guide for Ministers and Secretaries of State.
Ministers are responsible for preserving public confidence in the integrity of management and operations within their departments and for Values and Ethics Code 6 7 for the Public Service maintaining the tradition of political neutrality of the Public Service and its continuing ability to provide professional, candid and frank advice.
Public Service Values
Public servants shall be guided in their work and their professional conduct by a balanced framework of public service values: democratic, professional, ethical and people values.
These families of values are not distinct but overlap. They are perspectives from which to observe the universe of Public Service values.
Democratic Values: Helping Ministers, under law, to serve the public interest.
- Public servants shall give honest and impartial advice and make all information relevant to a decision available to Ministers.
- Public servants shall loyally implement ministerial decisions, lawfully taken.
- Public servants shall support both individual and collective ministerial accountability and provide Parliament and Canadians with information on the results of their work.
Professional Values: Serving with competence, excellence, efficiency, objectivity and impartiality.
- Public servants must work within the laws of Canada and maintain the tradition of the political neutrality of the Public Service.
- Public servants shall endeavour to ensure the proper, effective and efficient use of public money.
- In the Public Service, how ends are achieved should be as important as the achievements themselves.
- Public servants should constantly renew their commitment to serve Canadians by continually improving the quality of service, by adapting to changing needs through innovation, and by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs and services offered in both official languages.
- Public servants should also strive to ensure that the value of transparency in government is upheld while respecting their duties of confidentiality under the law.
Ethical Values: Acting at all times in such a way as to uphold the public trust.
- Public servants shall perform their duties and arrange their private affairs so that public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of government are conserved and enhanced.
- Public servants shall act at all times in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny; an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.
- Public servants, in fulfilling their official duties and responsibilities, shall make decisions in the public interest.
- If a conflict should arise between the private interests and the official duties of a public servant, the conflict shall be resolved in favour of the public interest.
People Values: Demonstrating respect, fairness and courtesy in their dealings with both citizens and fellow public servants.
- Respect for human dignity and the value of every person should always inspire the exercise of authority and responsibility.
- People values should reinforce the wider range of Public Service values. Those who are treated with fairness and civility will be motivated to display these values in their own conduct.
- Public Service organizations should be led through participation, openness and communication and with respect for diversity and for the official languages of Canada.
- Appointment decisions in the Public Service shall be based on merit.
- Public Service values should play a key role in recruitment, evaluation and promotion.
This Code applies to all public servants working in departments, agencies and other public institutions listed in Part I, Schedule I, of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.
This Code is a policy of the Government of Canada. Public service institutions not covered by this Code should respect its spirit and should adopt similar provisions for their organizations.
Responsibilities, Authorities and Accountabilities
Overall Responsibility of all Public Servants
All public service activities should be consistent with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service. Where questions arise about its application, see Chapter 4, “Avenues of Resolution.”
In addition to the stipulations outlined in this Code, public servants are also required to observe any specific conduct requirements contained in the statutes governing their particular department or organization and their profession, where applicable.They are also required to observe the relevant provisions of more general application including the following:
- Access to Information Act;
- Criminal Code of Canada;
- Financial Administration Act;
- Official Languages Act and Regulations;
- Privacy Act;
- Public Service Employment Act; Public Service Staff Relations Act.
Related Treasury Board policies:
- Contracting Policy;
- Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace;
- Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace.
This Code forms part of the conditions of employment in the Public Service of Canada. At the time of signing their letter of offer, public servants acknowledge that the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service is a condition of employment. All public servants are responsible for ensuring that they comply with this and that they exemplify, in all their actions and behaviours, the values of public service. In particular, they have the following obligations:
a) Public servants must report, within 60 days of their first appointment or any subsequent appointment, transfer or deployment, all outside activities, assets, and direct and contingent liabilities that might give rise to a conflict of interest with respect to their official duties. To this end, a Confidential Report must be filed with their Deputy Head.
b) Every time a major change occurs in the personal affairs or official duties of public servants, they must review their obligations under this Code. If a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists, they must file a new Confidential Report with their Deputy Head.
c) When negotiating financial arrangements with outside parties, public servants must assure compliance with the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Measures in accordance with directives on this matter issued by Treasury Board. When in doubt, public servants must immediately report the situation to their supervisors in order to seek advice or direction on how to proceed.
When faced with an ethical dilemma, public servants are encouraged to use the opportunities and mechanisms established by their Deputy Head to raise, discuss and resolve issues of concern related to this Code.
Public servants who feel they are being asked to act in a way that is inconsistent with the values and ethics set out in Chapter 1 of this Code should first attempt to raise the matter using the usual reporting relationship. Further avenues for resolution are contained in Chapter 4 of this Code.
Deputy Heads and senior managers have a particular responsibility to exemplify, in their actions and behaviours, the values of public service. They have a duty to infuse these values into all aspects of the work of their organizations. It is expected that they will take special care to ensure that they comply at all times with both the spirit and the specific requirements of this Code.
In particular, Deputy Heads have the following obligations:
a) To ensure that the letter of offer, for an initial appointment, includes the following: “You will find enclosed a copy of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service. This Code is a key policy for the management of human resources and is part of your conditions of employment.” Deputy Heads must ensure that public servants are provided with a copy of the Code on any subsequent appointment. They must ensure that public servants in their organization are informed of the requirements of this Code on an annual basis.
b) To encourage and maintain an ongoing dialogue on public service values and ethics within their organizations, in a manner that is relevant to the specific issues and challenges encountered by their organizations.
c) To ensure that mechanisms and assistance are in place to help public servants raise, discuss and resolve issues of concern related to this Code. This includes designating a senior official to assist public servants to resolve issues arising from the application of the Code.
d) To determine the appropriate method for a public servant to comply with the Code, as set out in Chapters 2 and 3, in order to avoid conflicts of interest. In doing so, the Deputy Head will try to achieve mutual agreement with the public servant.
e) To ensure that the personal information in Confidential Reports is secured in a central repository and treated in complete confidence, in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Deputy Heads may add compliance measures beyond those specified in this Code to reflect their department’s particular responsibilities or the statutes governing its operations. They must consult with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and ensure that bargaining agents are consulted at the departmental level in advance of implementing new measures. The Deputy Head will inform the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, in writing, of any additional measures and their effective dates.
Deputy Heads may delegate responsibilities and authorities for the implementation of the Code, but they may not delegate their accountability for ensuring that the Code is fully upheld and advanced within their organization or for the specific matters outlined in this section.
Treasury Board will ensure through its Secretariat that information and educational materials related to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service are widely available. It will also maintain an advisory support service for Deputy Heads and for designated departmental officials on the interpretation and promotion of the Code.
Treasury Board, through its Secretariat, will monitor the implementation of the Code in departments and agencies. On a regular basis, Treasury Board, through its Secretariat, will review the performance of departments in the implementation of the Code through its modern management accountability framework.
The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service will be subject to a review five years after it comes into effect.
Public Service Integrity Officer
The role of the Public Service Integrity Officer is to receive, record and review disclosures of wrongdoing in the workplace, including breaches to the Code, and to make recommendations where warranted to Deputy Heads for resolution. Further, the Public Service Integrity Officer may report on any cases dealing with breaches of the Code as part of his or her annual report to the President of the Privy Council that is tabled in Parliament.
The effective date of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service is September 1, 2003.
Conflict of Interest Measures
The objective of these measures is to establish rules of conduct respecting conflict of interest and to minimize the possibility of conflicts arising between private interests and public service duties of public servants. These measures serve to uphold the Public Service Values set out in Chapter 1, as well as the Post-Employment Measures in Chapter 3.
Measures to Prevent Conflict of Interest
Avoiding and preventing situations that could give rise to a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, is one of the primary means by which a public servant maintains public confidence in the impartiality and objectivity of the Public Service.
These Conflict of Interest Measures are adopted both to protect public servants from conflict of interest allegations and to help them avoid situations of risk. Conflict of interest does not relate exclusively to matters concerning financial transactions and the transfer of economic benefit. While financial activity is important, it is not the sole source of potential conflict of interest situations.
It is impossible to prescribe a remedy for every situation that could give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict. When in doubt, public servants should seek guidance from their manager, from the senior official designated by the Deputy Head, or from the Deputy Head, and refer to the Public Service Values stated in Chapter 1 as well as the following measures as benchmarks against which to gauge appropriate action.
Public servants have the following overall responsibilities:
a) In carrying out their official duties, public servants should arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest from arising.
b) If a conflict does arise between the private interests and the official duties of a public servant, the conflict should be resolved in favour of the public interest.
Public servants also have the following specific duties:
a) They should not have private interests, other than those permitted pursuant to these measures, that would be affected particularly or significantly by government actions in which they participate.
b) They should not solicit or accept transfers of economic benefit.
c) They should not step out of their official roles to assist private entities or persons in their dealings with the government where this would result in preferential treatment to the entities or persons.
d) They should not knowingly take advantage of, or benefit from, information that is obtained in the course of their official duties and that is not generally available to the public.
e) They should not directly or indirectly use, or allow the use of, government property of any kind, including property leased to the government, for anything other than officially approved activities.
Methods of Compliance
For a public servant to comply with these measures, it will usually be sufficient to submit a Confidential Report to the Deputy Head. The Confidential Report outlines the public servant’s ownership of assets, receipt of gifts, hospitality or other benefits, or participation in any outside employment or activities that could give rise to a conflict of interest.
There will be instances, however, where other measures will be necessary. These include the following:
a) avoiding or withdrawing from activities or situations that would place the public servant in real, potential or apparent conflict of interest with his or her official duties; and
b) having an asset sold at arm’s length or placed in a blind trust where continued ownership would constitute a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with the public servant’s official duties.
In such cases, the Deputy Head will make the decision and communicate it to the public servant. In determining appropriate action, the Deputy Head will try to achieve mutual agreement with the public servant in question and will take into account such factors as:
a) the public servant’s specific responsibilities;
b) the value and types of assets and interests involved; and
c) the actual costs to be incurred by divesting the assets and interests, as opposed to the potential that the assets and interests represent for a conflict of interest.
The types of assets and interests that should be included in a Confidential Report, those that need not be declared, as well as procedures for divesting assets are all set out in Appendix A.
It is to be noted that a public servant may not sell or transfer assets to family members or others for purposes of circumventing the compliance measures.
Outside Employment or Activities
Public servants may engage in employment outside the Public Service and take part in outside activities unless the employment or activities are likely to give rise to a conflict of interest or in any way undermine the neutrality of the Public Service.
Where outside employment or activities might subject public servants to demands incompatible with their official duties, or cast doubt on their ability to perform their duties in a completely objective manner, they shall submit a Confidential Report to their Deputy Head. The Deputy Head may require that the outside activities be curtailed, modified or terminated if it is determined that real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists.
Gifts, Hospitality and Other Benefits
Public servants are called upon to use their best judgment to avoid situations of real or perceived conflict. In doing so, public servants should consider the following criteria on gifts, hospitality and other benefits, keeping in mind the full context of this Code.
Public servants shall not accept or solicit any gifts, hospitality or other benefits that may have a real or apparent influence on their objectivity in carrying out their official duties or that may place them under obligation to the donor. This includes free or discounted admission to sporting and cultural events arising out of an actual or potential business relationship directly related to the public servant’s official duties.
The acceptance of gifts, hospitality and other benefits is permissible if they
a) are infrequent and of minimal value (low-cost promotional objects, simple meals, souvenirs with no cash value);
b) arise out of activities or events related to the official duties of the public servant concerned;
c) are within the normal standards of courtesy, hospitality or protocol; and
d) do not compromise or appear to compromise in any way the integrity of the public servant concerned or his or her organization.
Where it is impossible to decline gifts, hospitality and other benefits that do not meet the principles set out above, or where it is believed that there is sufficient benefit to the organization to warrant acceptance of certain types of hospitality, a public servant shall seek written direction from their Deputy Head. The Deputy Head will then notify the public servant in writing whether the gifts, hospitality and other benefits are to be declined or retained by the department, donated to charity, disposed of, or retained by the public servant concerned.
At no time should public servants solicit gifts, hospitality, other benefits or transfers of economic value from a person, group or organization in the private sector who has dealings with the government.
In the case of fundraising for charitable organizations, public servants should ensure that they have prior authorization from their Deputy Head to solicit donations, prizes or contributions in kind from external organizations or individuals. The Deputy Head may require that the activities be curtailed, modified or terminated where it is determined that there is a real or apparent conflict of interest or an obligation to the donor.
The above provisions are designed to ensure the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service is consistent with paragraph 121(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, which states the following:
… every one commits an offence who, being an official or employee of the government, demands, accepts, or offers or agrees to accept, from a person who has dealings with the government, a commission, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind directly or indirectly, by himself or through a member of his family or through any one for his benefit, unless he has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government that employs him or of which he is an official, the proof of which lies on him.
Avoidance of Preferential Treatment
When participating in any decision making related to a staffing process, public servants shall ensure that they do not grant preferential treatment or assistance to family or friends.
When making decisions that will result in a financial award to an external party, public servants shall not grant preferential treatment or assistance to family or friends.
Public servants should not offer any assistance to entities or persons that have dealings with the government, where this assistance is not part of their official duties, without obtaining prior authorization from their designated superior and complying with the conditions for that authorization.
Providing information that is easily accessible to the public to relatives or friends or to entities in which public servants or their family members or friends have interests is not considered preferential treatment.
The objective of these measures is to establish rules of conduct respecting post-employment. These measures complement the Public Service Values set out in Chapter 1, as well as the Conflict of Interest Measures in Chapter 2.
Without unduly restricting their ability to seek other employment, former public servants should undertake to minimize the possibility of real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their new employment and their most recent responsibilities within the federal public service. Before leaving employment, public servants should disclose their intention of future employment and discuss potential conflicts with their Deputy Head.
The overall responsibility cited above applies to all public servants covered by the Code. The measures that follow apply specifically to those public servants staffed in executive positions (EX) or their equivalent as well as EX minus 1 and EX minus 2 positions and their equivalent (e.g., PM-06, IS-05, AS-07).
A Deputy Head may designate other positions as being subject to these measures (where the position involves official duties that raise post-employment concerns), or exclude positions from the application of the post-employment measures (when the official duties of these positions do not raise concerns for post-employment). Before doing this, the Deputy Head must consult the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat as well as appropriate bargaining agents when applicable.
Before Leaving Office
Public servants must disclose, in a Confidential Report to their Deputy Head, all firm offers of employment that could place them in a real, Values and Ethics Code 30 31 for the Public Service apparent or potential conflict of interest situation. They must also disclose immediately the acceptance of any such offer.
Former public servants shall not, within a period of one year after leaving office
a) accept appointment to a board of directors of, or employment with, entities with which they personally, or through their subordinates, had significant official dealings during the period of one year immediately prior to the termination of their service;
b) make representations for, or on behalf of, persons to any department or organization with which they personally, or through their subordinates, had significant official dealings during the period of one year immediately prior to the termination of their service; or
c) give advice to their clients using information that is not available to the public concerning the programs or policies of the departments or organizations with which they were employed or with which they had a direct and substantial relationship.
Reduction of Limitation Period
A Deputy Head has the authority to reduce or waive the limitation period of employment for a public servant or former public servant. Such a decision should take into consideration the following:
a) the circumstances under which the termination of their service occurred;
b) the general employment prospects of the public servant or former public servant;
c) the significance to the government of information possessed by the public servant or former public servant by virtue of that individual’s position in the Public Service;
d) the desirability of a rapid transfer of the public servant’s or former public servant’s knowledge and skills from the government to private, other governmental or non-governmental sectors;
e) the degree to which the new employer might gain unfair commercial or private advantage by hiring the public servant or former public servant;
f) the authority and influence possessed while in the Public Service, and the disposition of other cases.
A decision by a Deputy Head to waive or reduce the limitation period will be recorded in writing.
A Deputy Head must ensure that a public servant who is intending to leave the Public Service is aware of these post-employment measures.
A public servant or former public servant may apply to the Deputy Head for reconsideration of any determination respecting his or her compliance with the post-employment measures.
Avenues of Resolution
Public Service Values and Ethics
Any public servant who wants to raise, discuss and clarify issues related to this Code should first talk with his or her manager or contact the senior official designated by the Deputy Head under the provisions of this Code, according to the procedures and conditions established by the Deputy Head.
Any public servant who witnesses or has knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace may refer the matter for resolution, in confidence and without fear of reprisal, to the Senior Officer designated for the purpose by the Deputy Head under the provisions of the Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace.
Furthermore, any public servant who believes that he or she is being asked to act in a way that is inconsistent with the values and ethics set out in Chapter 1 of this Code can report the matter in confidence and without fear of reprisal to the Senior Officer, as described above.
If the matter is not appropriately addressed at this level, or the public servant has reason to believe it could not be disclosed in confidence within the organization, it may then be referred to the Public Service Integrity Officer, in accordance with the Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace.
It is expected that most matters arising from the application of this Code can and should be resolved at the organizational level.
Measures on Conflict of Interest and Post-employment
With respect to the appropriate arrangements necessary to prevent conflict of interest or to comply with the post-employment measures described in Chapters 2 and 3 of this Code, it is expected that most situations will be addressed by discussing the matter with the public servant, identifying avenues of resolution and taking appropriate action. When a public servant and the Deputy Head disagree on the appropriate arrangements to prevent conflict of interest or to comply with the post-employment measures in this Code, the disagreement shall be resolved through the established grievance procedures.
Failure to Comply
A public servant who does not comply with the requirements of this Code is subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Enquiries about this Code should be referred to the responsible departmental officer who, in turn, may direct questions regarding policy interpretation to the following:
Office of Values
and Ethics Policy and Planning Sector
Human Resources Management Office (HRMO)
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
This form can be accessed through the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Web site at the following address: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.
Assets, Liabilities and Trusts
Assets and Liabilities Subject to a Confidential Report
Public servants must carefully evaluate on a regular basis whether their assets and liabilities need to be included in a Confidential Report. In doing so, they must take into consideration the nature of their official duties and the characteristics of their assets and liabilities. If there is any real, apparent or potential conflict between the carrying out of their official duties and their assets and liabilities, a Confidential Report must be filed. If there is no relationship, no report is required.
The following is a list of examples of assets and liabilities that must be reported in a Confidential Report if they do, or could, constitute a conflict of interest. This list is not exhaustive.
a) publicly traded securities of corporations and foreign governments, and self-administered Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), and self-administered Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) that are composed of these securities, where these securities are held directly and not through units in mutual funds;
b) interests in partnerships, proprietorships, joint ventures, private companies and family businesses, in particular those that own or control shares of public companies or that do business with the government;
c) commercially operated farm businesses;
d) real property that is not for the private use of public servants or their family members;
e) commodities, futures and foreign currencies held or traded for speculative purposes;
f) assets placed in trust or resulting from an estate of which the public servant is a beneficiary;
g) secured or unsecured loans granted to persons other than to members of the public servant’s immediate family; Values and Ethics Code 40 41 for the Public Service
h) any other assets or liabilities that could give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest due to the particular nature of the public servant’s official duties; and
i) direct and contingent liabilities in respect of any of the assets described in this section.
Assets Not Requiring a Confidential Report
Assets and interests for the private use of public servants and of their family members, as well as non-commercial assets, are not subject to the compliance measures. For example, such assets include the following:
a) residences, recreational properties and farms used or intended for use by public servants or their families;
b) household goods and personal effects;
c) works of art, antiques and collectibles;
d) automobiles and other personal means of transportation;
e) cash and deposits;
f) Canada Saving Bonds and other similar investments in securities of fixed value issued or guaranteed by any level of government in Canada or agencies of those governments;
g) Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Registered Education Saving Plans that are not self-administered;
h) investments in open-ended mutual funds;
i) guaranteed investment certificates and similar financial instruments;
j) annuities and life insurance policies;
k) pension rights;
l) money owed by a previous employer, client or partnership; and
m)personal loans receivable from members of public servants’ immediate families and small personal loans receivable from other persons where public servants have loaned the moneys receivable.
Divestment of Assets
Public servants must divest assets where their Deputy Head determines that such assets constitute a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest in relation to their duties and responsibilities. Divestment, where required, must take place within 120 days of appointment, transfer or deployment. Divestment of assets is usually achieved by selling them through an arm’s-length transaction or by making them subject to a blind trust arrangement. Where divestment is by means of sale, confirmation of the sale, such as a broker’s sales receipt, shall be provided to the Deputy Head. Where divestment is by means of a blind trust, the Office of the Ethics Counsellor will assist the Deputy Head and the public servant to set
up a blind trust and to determine whether a specific blind trust meets the requirements of the Conflict of Interest Measures. The Ethics Counsellor will also make recommendations to the Deputy Head on the reimbursement of certain trust costs to the public servant by the home organization.
The University of Connecticut Code of Conduct
Letter from the President
The University of Connecticut is committed to
assuring the highest standard of integrity in all
aspects of University life and in all University
and University-sponsored activities. While this
goal is simply stated, its attainment requires
concerted effort on the part of all members of
the University community, particularly faculty,
administrators and staff. Federal, state and local
regulations which govern our activities are increasingly complex, and as the
University’s activities expand in size, scope and prominence, it is important
that all of us understand relevant policies and know what is required in
terms of compliance and reporting.
The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees is the body that is
ultimately responsible for ensuring full compliance. At the Board’s
direction, the University has established a Compliance Program to help in
our efforts to adhere to all federal, state and local regulatory requirements.
A key ingredient of an effective Compliance Program is the establishment of
a Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct was developed with input from
faculty, administrators and staff.
This Code serves to guide the conduct of University activities in support of
the University’s mission and is designed to serve three key purposes:
1. To set the basic standards of workplace behavior that the University
expects of all faculty, administrators and staff.
2. To state publicly the University’s long-term commitment to the
highest standards of integrity in education, research, health care,
public engagement and service.
3. To assure that faculty, administrators and staff understand their
shared responsibility for keeping the University in full compliance
with all applicable laws, regulations and policies.
Please read the Code carefully, and take all steps necessary to apply its
standards. The University’s Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics is
responsible for monitoring compliance and serving as a resource for
questions and guidance on the Code, and on the University policies and
procedures that spell out compliance requirements in greater detail.
A key element in assuring University-wide compliance is a system for
reporting potential violations. In an institution this large and active, there
may be areas of confusion; regrettably, there may also be instances in which
individual behavior does not meet appropriate ethical expectations. Any
University employee who observes a possible violation of law, regulation,
policy or approved procedure has an obligation to report it. While a key
element is reporting inappropriate activity, I want to emphasize that the
most important element of any compliance or ethics program is working
cooperatively to assure a positive climate of openness and integrity. Great
universities function as true communities in which faculty, administrators,
staff and students collaborate to achieve common goals. That holds true
for instruction, research, public engagement, service and, at the most
fundamental level, ethical compliance.
I want to thank you for understanding and adhering to these standards, and
for your commitment to the highest level of ethical conduct in fulfillment
of our institutional responsibilities.
The University of Connecticut Ethics Statement
The standards contained in this Code of Conduct reflect the University of Connecticut’s core values as they have been articulated over time by generations of faculty, staff, administrators, students and the State of Connecticut. These values are essential and enduring tenets of our organization. A statement of these values, while reiterating concepts already well understood, is helpful in outlining the context in which our Code will operate. Please be advised that violation of the standards in this Code of Conduct may result in appropriate disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal.
Members of the University community value truth, the pursuit of truth, intellectual curiosity and academic freedom. Our faculty and students seek to create new knowledge and are committed to sharing ideas, research findings and the products of intellectual and creative pursuits with the broader community.
Members of the University community are truthful and sincere in their words and actions and do not intentionally mislead others or provide inaccurate information.
Institutional and individual behaviors at the University reflect fundamental moral and ethical values. Our actions are beyond reproach and avoid both the fact and the appearance of impropriety.
The University honors and respects individuality and demonstrates tolerance for the personal beliefs and cultural differences of all individuals. As members of an academic community, we seek to foster a spirit of civility and collegiality through open and honest communication. We strive to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of all persons. We protect the private and confidential information that is provided by our patients and research participants, faculty, administrators, staff, students, volunteers and others. We value an environment that is free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, incivility, disrespect and violence.
The University and its members expect that the professional standards and requirements that are applicable to the academic, research, clinical, engagement, administrative and other professions comprising our community will be followed. We are responsible and accountable for our actions and are expected to make reasonable efforts to comply with all applicable federal, state and local government laws and regulations. As individuals and as an institution, we also strive to follow ethical business practices and to act as good stewards of the resources made available to us.
Introduction to the University of Connecticut Code of Conduct
In all its endeavors, the University of Connecticut is dedicated to excellence that is demonstrated through national and international recognition. As Connecticut’s public research, land-grant and sea-grant university, through freedom of academic inquiry and expression, we create and disseminate knowledge by means of scholarly and creative achievements, graduate and professional education, and public engagement and service. Through our focus on teaching and learning, the University helps every student grow intellectually and become a contributing member of the state, national and world communities. Through teaching, research, engagement and service, we embrace diversity and cultivate leadership, integrity and engage citizenship in our students, faculty, staff and alumni. As our state’s flagship public land and sea grant institution, we promote the health and well being of Connecticut’s citizens through enhancing the social, economic, cultural and natural environments of the state and beyond.
If you are faced with an ethical issue, you should consult this Code of Conduct as well as current University policies and procedures. You are responsible and accountable for addressing your ethical dilemmas. Consultation with your supervisor, manager, other appropriate colleagues, or the Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics are avenues available to employees.
The Code of Conduct includes “Questions to Ask Yourself" after each set of Standards. These questions are intended to be thought provoking and assist employees by providing examples of matters that each of us may face during our employment with the University. For guidance regarding individual situations that relate to any of these or other questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics.
The University of Connecticut values all members of its community and recognizes that each person contributes to the overall success of the institution. The University further recognizes that it is through the efforts of its faculty, administrators and staff that it achieves national and international prominence and delivers a world class education to its students. The culture of the University is one of respect, civility, trust, cooperation and collaboration among all its members. We believe all members of the University community are entitled to an environment that ensures collegiality and mutual respect.
Conduct of Faculty, Administrators and Staff
- Members of the University community shall perform their duties in a fair and ethical manner in accordance with established policies, procedures and regulations.
- Members of the University community shall carry out their duties with professionalism. The University supports the efforts of its faculty, administrators and staff to achieve and maintain professional standards.
- The University provides equal opportunity and access to its employment, programs, benefits and services.
- Supervisors have a particular responsibility to support the Code of Conduct and to demonstrate compliance within their units.
- Relationships of an inappropriate personal nature between supervisors and those they supervise are prohibited.
- The University values an environment that promotes a spirit of civility and collegiality, while fostering open and constructive intellectual debate.
- All members of the University community have a responsibility to treat each other with consideration and respect. Managers and supervisors have an elevated responsibility to demonstrate these behaviors and support their expression in the workplace.
- Engaging in behaviors that harass, intimidate, bully, threaten or harm another member of the University community does not support a respectful and civil work environment.
- The University encourages and respects diversity within the university community and does not allow discrimination on the basis of age, race, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law in any activity or operation of the institution.
- The University affirms its dedication to foster a community that condemns all forms of discrimination or acts of intolerance including sexual harassment, intimidation and retaliation.
- Confidentiality of faculty, staff, patient and student records is respected and maintained in accordance with University policies and procedures, federal laws and state regulations. We use such records for legitimate purposes only and in accordance with proper authorization.
- The University’s computer and telecommunication networks are University resources that are provided to employees, students and volunteers to allow them to carry out the functions of the institution. Those who use the computer and telecommunication networks are responsible for the appropriate use of these resources. We understand, support and abide by the policies concerning the ethical and responsible use of computers and electronic information at the University of Connecticut.
- The University of Connecticut Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics strives to ensure that we meet the highest possible standards where relevant federal, state and local regulations, laws and guidelines are concerned. This office supports ethical conduct by all faculty, administrators and staff and requires ongoing monitoring of policies, procedures and practices. Education is a key component of this program.
Health and Safety
- We are responsible for complying with all workplace safety and health regulations and will report unsafe conditions, equipment or practices to appropriate University officials, as required by law.
Conflict of Interest
- We, as employees of the State of Connecticut, adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Connecticut Code of Ethics for Public Officials, as well as the University’s Guide to the State Code of Ethics.
- We will not engage in outside activities which will create an actual conflict of interest and will strive to avoid the appearance of a conflict. If faced with a potential conflict of interest, members of the University community shall disclose the nature of the conflict to the appropriate parties.
- We do not accept gifts, including food and beverage, from vendors, lobbyists or any other person or entity that is doing business with or seeking to do business with the University unless permitted under the Connecticut Code of Ethics for Public Officials.
- We do not accept secondary employment that will impair our independence of judgment as to our official duties or which will require us to disclose confidential information.
- We will not use our state positions for personal financial gain beyond our official compensation, or for the financial benefit of our family members or domestic partners.
- We will not use state resources for personal use or for use unrelated to our University responsibilities.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Have I treated others as they wish to be treated?
- Do I make discriminatory and harassing statements?
- Have I used my position to intimidate or isolate others?
- As a faculty member or staff member, should I accept a gift from a student?
- Do I frequently use my University telephone for personal phone calls?
- Do I use my contacts at the University to help my outside business?
- Do my outside professional activities create an appearance of a conflict of interest?
- Do I maintain appropriate professional relationships with students, colleagues, patients, clients and customers?
- Have I used my position to gain employment for a family member?
- Even if I have access to certain records, do I have the authority to view them and/or distribute them to others?
- Do I know what to do if I think that a University record has been accessed inappropriately by someone inside or outside the University?
- Do I take shortcuts that create a safety hazard?
The University of Connecticut recognizes education as one of its primary missions and strives to maintain a professional environment conducive to the development of its students. To that end, the University believes that the purposes of an educational institution are best served by attracting and developing scholars of proven professional and personal competence and integrity and by assuring those teachers and scholars freedom to expand human knowledge and understanding.
- We educate students from a wide range of backgrounds and respect differences in each individual’s heritage and goals.
- We respect the individual choices that students make for career paths.
- We respect each student as a valuable individual regardless of age, race, color, nationality, ethnicity, ancestry, marital status, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or personal beliefs.
- We acknowledge and support students' rights to question faculty members, the administration and staff in good faith.
- We comply with all applicable statutes and regulations.
Student conduct is governed by the applicable codes of conduct and professional standards of conduct adopted by their schools. While this Code applies primarily to faculty, administrators and staff, its underlying principles are, however, common to codes and regulations governing students.
The Division of Athletics operates a broad-based program of intercollegiate athletics and recreational and intramural opportunities that reflect the ethical philosophy of the University, the interest of the student body and the desires of the University’s internal and external constituencies.
- We offer student-athletes the opportunity to excel in academic achievement and athletic accomplishments.
- We foster among our students a sense of citizenship, leadership and social responsibility and encourage adherence to the highest standards of integrity and ethics. We promote principles of good sportsmanship, honesty and fiscal responsibility in compliance with University, state, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and conference regulations. 10
- We promote and support the University’s comprehensive commitment to diversity and equity, providing equitable opportunity for all students and staff, including women and members of minority groups.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do I foster an environment that is conducive to learning?
- Am I providing each student an equal opportunity to learn?
- Do I react negatively when students challenge or critique my interpretation of source material?
- Do I protect the privacy of each student’s academic record and personal information?
- Are my grading practices fair and understood by all of my students?
- Do I regularly update my teaching materials?
- Am I a role model for my students regarding professional values?
- Do I acknowledge and support providing student athletes equitable and appropriate opportunities to excel in academic achievement?
Research Principles and Standards
The University of Connecticut is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct and integrity in research. These standards include honesty, trustworthiness, objectivity, accountability, openness, respect and fairness when dealing with other people, a sense of responsibility towards others and loyalty to the ethical principles espoused by our institution.
The University expects these standards to be maintained by all academic, research and relevant support staff, students and their supervisors and other individuals conducting research or involved in the peer review process within or on behalf of the University. Prompt reporting to the appropriate institutional administrative committees of violations of human subjects' protection, laboratory safety, or humane treatment of animals is expected.
We understand that academic freedom is essential to creating an atmosphere in which scholarship flourishes. Promotion of intellectual freedom is consistent with assuring a climate of integrity and the University has the right and the obligation to inquire into all instances of alleged or apparent misconduct in scholarly activities.
- We properly collect, record and maintain research data.
- We take responsibility for all publications and presentations of which we are author or co-author.
- We appropriately acknowledge, in publications and presentations, those who have contributed to our research.
- We grant access to our research data to co-investigators involved in generating the data.
- We grant reasonable access to our research equipment and resources to other University investigators involved in research.
- We, the University and its faculty, administrators and staff, do not interfere with the research conducted by students or faculty.
- We do not tolerate plagiarism, falsification, or fabrication of research data, or other scientific misconduct.
- We abide by all federal and state laws and regulations, in addition to the University’s policies and procedures, when performing studies involving human subjects.
- We respect human research participants and are committed to their safety.
- We protect human subjects by securing institutional review and approval for any research.
- We adhere to approved protocols and obtain prospective institutional approval of any changes in those protocols.
- We engage all human subjects, or their appropriate representatives, before initiating a research protocol, in a meaningful informed consent process including explanations of possible risks and benefits.
- We allow potential or current participants to withdraw from a study at any time without prejudice.
- We notify human subjects in a timely fashion of any serious adverse events associated with a human subjects study.
- We conduct appropriate education and training before initiating a human subjects study.
- We abide by all federal and state laws and regulations, in addition to the University’s policies and procedures, regarding the care, transport, maintenance and use of animals.
- We are committed to the humane treatment of animals in research.
- We protect research animals by securing appropriate institutional review and approval for any research. �?We adhere to approved protocols and obtain prospective institutional approval of any changes in those protocols.
- We conduct appropriate education and training before initiating animal research.
- We abide by all federal and state laws and regulations, in addition to the University’s policies and procedures, concerning laboratory safety.
- We seek prior approval of appropriate University committees when research involves hazardous chemical substances, bio-hazardous materials or radioactive materials.
- We properly document, store, handle, transport and dispose of radioactive, bio-hazardous and hazardous chemical materials, pharmaceuticals and investigative drugs.
- We participate in appropriate education and training before initiating studies involving such materials.
- We comply with all workplace safety and health regulations and will report unsafe conditions, equipment or practices to our supervisors or other appropriate University officials.
- We attend required instructional and training sessions when dictated by funding or oversight agencies.
- We use research funds only for their designated purposes.
- We accurately account for time and effort related to research funding.
- We disclose financial conflicts of interest to University administrators and, as appropriate, manage such conflicts in accordance with existing policies and procedures.
- We properly acknowledge sponsorship of research in our publications and presentations.
- We disclose inventions produced from our research to the University so that consideration is given to the protection of intellectual property.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do I work safely in the lab?
- Have I received training and approval to use research materials?
- Have I collected data and documented my research accurately?
- Did I face a conflict of interest today? Does it bias my research?
- Do I protect the safety and well-being of my human or animal subjects?
- Did I obtain proper consent from my human subjects?
- Do I respect the privacy of research participants? Do I appropriately protect the confidentiality of their research data?
Public Engagement and Outreach Standards
The primary purpose of public engagement is to serve external constituents in a manner that leads to enhanced teaching and research. Public engagement efforts impact on the reputation of the University. Engaged scholarship, as a component of public engagement, results from public engagement and outreach. It focuses on those activities that promote advanced understanding and creative works in a mutually beneficial manner. Public engagement, which includes outreach and public service, consists of all activities where the University offers its resources, both human and physical, to external constituencies in such a manner where there is a partnership or that engaged scholarship results. These efforts are on behalf of the public good and not for private gain. The term University resource refers to those activities and entities that the University makes available to its various constituencies which may involve a cost to access. As a land and sea grant university, the University of Connecticut is committed to our mission that includes public engagement as measured by the impact of teaching and research on the world outside of the insitution. In the spirit of true partnership, we seek to expand our interactions with groups beyond our campuses in areas of mutual concern and enhance their access to the resources available at the University. In addition to collaborations in the arts and humanities, we encourage constructive partnerships in new areas of interdisciplinary excellence, such as Health and Human Behavior, the Environment, and Human Rights. Th rough broadened access and reciprocal interaction, we realize synergistic outcomes that further strengthen the University and benefi t the people of Connecticut as well as those beyond the state borders.
- We believe the reputation of the University is tied to its responsiveness to the needs of the citizens and communities of the State.
- We reach out to and engage communities in reciprocal partnerships.
- We are respectful of our community members, demonstrate cultural competence in their interactions, and comply with University policies while engaged in and with communities, just as we would on campus.
- We strive for responsible engaged scholarship and community-based programs to the benefi t of communities by involving our partners in the planning, execution and dissemination of the knowledge gained by such programs.
- We translate and disseminate research results to real world applications to address problems.We recognize and respect the knowledge and behaviors of our partners as we work in a collaborative environment.
- We eff ectively communicate these standards and values with the organization.
- We actively engage students in community experiences as part of our service learning priority.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Have I ensured that the public engagement eff ort is consistent with the University’s mission and vision?
- How do I solicit input regarding community needs when designing, planning, and conducting my engaged scholarship or community-based project?
- How can I work with community members as equal and collaborative partners in all phases of the project, from planning to dissemination of fi ndings, and avoid the perception of using the group for my gain?
- How do I handle the fi ndings of my work to ensure confi dentiality when appropriate?
- Am I culturally sensitive to the diverse needs of community members and partners, starting with the selection and training of my University team members?
- How can I prioritize considerations of diversity when designing, planning and conducting my community-based research or program, identify any barriers to participation and work to ameliorate or eliminate such barriers?
- How will my actions refl ect how the University is viewed in the community?
- How do I manage, use and share resources of the University in a manner that is respectful to partners?
- How do I teach and engage my students in the work of the community as they apply classroom learning to real world situations?
Patient Care Standards
Clinicians associated with the Health Center, Storrs and regional campuses and other University health care facilities provide compassionate primary and specialty health care in an academic environment. We focus on delivering quality patient care and fostering continuous improvement through scientifi c knowledge that is shared with patients, colleagues and the public.
- We, each faculty and staff member involved in patient-related activities, are expected to understand and support the applicable Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
- We strive to deliver health care that is based on contemporary scientific knowledge and technology.
- We provide educational resources and opportunity for consultations with other health care programs to assist our patients in the planning of their treatment.
- We strive to consider the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our patients in making our treatment recommendations.
- We do not extend or receive payments or benefi ts in exchange for referrals. Our health care and referrals are based on the well-being of and best treatment for our patients.
- Patients have a right to ask members of their health care team about the role of students and residents in their care and to receive complete and accurate information. We explain to our patients the importance of the educational mission at the University as it relates to their treatment.
- We provide our patients with information necessary to make informed health care decisions. Th is includes reviewing medical fi ndings with each patient, as well as discussing alternative treatment options and the associated risks and benefi ts.
- We prepare clear, honest and accurate patient medical documentation in a timely manner. We maintain the confi dentiality of this information in accordance with existing University policies and procedures, federal laws and state regulations, including but not limited to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). �?We provide clinical facilities and laboratories to support quality care for our patients. We adhere to appropriate policies and procedures to ensure that we retain certifi cation in all aspects of program function as required by institutional, state and federal regulatory agencies.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do I demonstrate respect and compassion for my patients and their families?
- Was the care that I provided today in the best interest of my patients?
- Did I answer my patients' questions to the best of my ability or assist them in obtaining the information they requested?
- Do I offer all of the needed resources and services to my patients or assist them in making a referral to obtain those services?
- Do I respect the privacy of my patients and protect the confidentiality of their health information?
- Did I document my patient care thoroughly and accurately today?
Business, Fiscal and Legal Standards
The University of Connecticut adheres to established business standards in its conduct as an institution of higher education and as a health care provider. We comply with all applicable federal, state and local government laws and regulations and strive to follow ethical business practice standards. We endeavor to conduct all University business with honesty, integrity, accuracy and fairness.
- We strive to make all purchasing decisions based on the best interests of and value to the University. The University follows fair business practices in its contracting.
- We recognize the value of obtaining competitive bids when appropriate, maintaining independence, ascertaining the financial and legal status of vendors and obtaining clear written agreements for services or goods to be purchased.
- We comply with all state guidelines regarding procurement activities. We comply with all laws relating to pricing, competition and business arrangements.
- In the course of doing business, the University creates and receives information that could directly affect the success of its business ventures or those of its current or prospective business partners. If used inappropriately, this information could unduly benefit individuals who have access to such information. The University depends on the ethical business practices and personal integrity of its employees to protect this information from premature or improper use and disclosure.
Physical property and intellectual property, including data
The University’s physical property includes property that is owned by the University but entrusted to individuals or organizational units within the University. Examples include office and departmental equipment and supplies, vehicles, facilities, cash, reports and records, including clinical and billing records in department offices, computer software, electronic files and data, patents, trademarks and service marks.
- We utilize such resources properly and protect property against loss, theft, misuse and waste.
- Research materials, inventions or devices developed through the use of University resources are the property of the University. Rights to such property may be transferred to other parties (such as commercial sponsors) only with express written authorization. Materials subject to copyright are generally not the property of the University.
- Research data are considered the property of the principal investigator or the joint property of collaborating individuals when research data are generated by a principal investigator working in collaboration with one or more faculty colleagues.
- Research data generated by postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, research trainees or others who have had significant intellectual input, shall be considered the joint property of the collaborating individuals.
- The use of any form of intellectual property covered by copyright and license agreements and used for face-to-face, distance teaching purposes or a combination of the two, will comply with copyright law and the terms of the license agreement under which it was obtained. Examples include books, journal articles, newspapers, images, audio, and video in physical or electronic form owned or borrowed by the University or the instructor.
Financial Records and Funding Sources
- We understand that the federal and state governments constitute major funding sources for the University in student financial aid, research and other areas. As such, we acknowledge responsibility for the stewardship of such funds, understanding and complying with federal and state laws and regulations.
- We maintain accurate and timely financial records in accordance with the University’s policies and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. We use appropriate internal financial controls to safeguard assets and to ensure compliance with all internal and external accounting rules and regulations. We cooperate fully with internal and external auditors and regulatory agencies during examinations of all books and records and do not alter or destroy any documents in anticipation of such reviews.
- We, as employees of the University, accurately account for our time and properly document when seeking reimbursement for work-related expenses.
- We charge and bill for patient care services in accordance with third party regulations and applicable state and federal laws. We bill for medically appropriate services that are clearly and accurately documented in the medical record. We submit claims for services in a timely manner. We maintain accurate patient accounts and promptly correct billing errors.
- We acknowledge that clinical care providers, coding personnel and billing staff have a collective responsibility to understand the third party regulations and federal and state laws governing the services they are providing.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Did I document my work clearly, honestly and accurately?
- When I sign a document, do I understand what I am signing?
- Do I understand when the competitive bidding process must be used?
- Have I signed a contract without obtaining proper authorization?
- Am I wasteful of University supplies?
- Was I honest with my coding of patient visits today?
- Do I share my computer password with others?
External Relations and University Advancement
Government relations and political activity
- We depend, as a public institution, upon the support and trust of federal and state officials.
- We will not make representations on behalf of the University without official authorization.
- We do not engage in partisan political activities while on state time nor will we use University resources for the purposes of influencing a political election.
- We adhere to federal and state laws which provide guidance for the political activities of the University employees.
Public access to University information
- We facilitate accurate, ethical and timely news coverage of significant programs and the achievements of faculty, administrators, staff, students and alumni.
- We comply with all federal and state laws and regulations as well as all University polices regarding the release of information about activities of the University, or its employees, students, volunteers, patients or research subjects, carefully balancing privacy rights with the public’s interest.
- We recognize that the process of raising charitable funds requires ethical and sensitive interactions with prospective and current donors. Although we may release general information about alumni or other supporters, we respect an individual donor’s intent and honor all requests for anonymity.
- We recognize that the primary responsibility for development of prospective donors lies with the University of Connecticut Foundation. The Foundation works in cooperation with offices and departments across the University but is organizationally independent of the University itself.
- We acknowledge that University Communications is the University’s primary and official liaison to the news media- international, national, regional, state and local-and that this department is responsible for initiating, developing and maintaining effective, productive and beneficial relations with the news media in communicating University news and in responding to media requests.
- We respect the individual freedom of faculty, staff and administrators to express their personal opinions on University actions and policies, while also recognizing that University Communications is responsible for coordinating official University comment on all matters regarding the institution.
- We understand that the University encourages its faculty, staff and administrators to serve as members of community panels, boards, civic organizations, professional associations and other similar voluntary associations. An employee assuming such a role is not acting as a spokesperson of the University.
- We recognize that University Communications is responsible for establishing and maintaining the University’s graphic standards and that specific standards apply to the use of the University’s logos and seals.
- We understand that the University has legal rights regarding the use of its name, logos and seals and protected trademarks.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Have I referred media requests to University Communications?
- Should I talk “off the record" to a reporter?
- When is it appropriate to talk to the media about my research or to comment on the research of others? �?Should I speak on behalf of the University to government officials regarding University matters?
- Can I be identified as a University employee in my political or charitable activities?
- Do I maintain clear boundaries between my professional role and my personal activities that are unrelated to the University?
Resources, Additional Information and Reporting
The University has established the Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics to oversee its internal audit and compliance programs and to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures.
Obtaining Additional Information, Reporting Compliance Concerns and Non-Retaliation Policy
- For additional information please refer to the appropriate website or contact the office at the phone numbers or email addresses noted below. If you wish to report suspected violations of laws, regulations, rules, policies, procedures, ethics or any other information you feel uncomfortable reporting to your supervisor or faculty administrator, you may also contact the Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics directly using the phone numbers or email addresses listed below.
Storrs and Regional Campuses:
9 Walter’s Avenue, Unit 5084
Storrs, CT 06269-5084
Phone: (860) 486-4526
Fax: (860) 679-1608 E
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: (860) 679-4180
Fax: (860) 486-4527
- If you wish to report a concern or a suspected violation anonymously you may contact the University’s REPORTLINE using the contact information below. The REPORTLINE is operated by a private (non-University) company. No effort is made to identify the person reporting and no trace of the call is performed. Information received is given to the Compliance Officer for appropriate action. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by independent specialists trained to obtain complete and accurate information in a confidential manner. If you wish, you may obtain information about the Compliance Office response to your call by following up with the REPORTLINE at a later date. To contact the REPORTLINE:
Storrs and Regional Campuses
Web reporting address: https://www.compliance-helpline.com/uconncares.jsp
Other Reporting Options
- State Auditors of Public Accounts
The Whistle Blower Act, Section 4-61dd of the Connecticut General Statutes, authorizes the Auditors of Public Accounts to receive information concerning matters involving corruption, unethical practices, violation of State laws or regulations, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or danger to the public safety occurring in any State department or agency. Upon receiving such information the Auditors are required to review such matters and report their findings and any recommendations to the Attorney General. The Auditors shall not, after receipt of any information from a person under the provisions of this section, disclose the identity of such person without his/her consent unless the Auditors determine that such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the review. You can file a complaint with the Auditors of Public Accounts by calling (860) 566-1435 or toll free at (800) 797-1702. Website: www.state.ct.us/apa
- Federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729-3733)
This act permits a person with knowledge of fraud against the federal government to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government against those that committed the fraud. The person filing the lawsuit is also known as the “whistleblower" or “qui tam" plaintiff. The “qui tam" plaintiff must notify the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) of all information regarding the fraud. If the DOJ takes the case and fraud is proven the “qui tam"plaintiff is entitled to a portion of the money recovered by the federal government. Under the False Claims Act the “qui tam"plaintiff is protected from retaliation that may result from his or her involvement in the case. This is known as Whistleblower Protection.
- University policy prohibits retaliation if you report in good faith a compliance concern to any supervisor, faculty, administrator, the Compliance Office, the REPORTLINE or any appropriate agency outside of the University. If you feel that you have been subject to retaliation, you should contact the Compliance Office immediately. The Compliance Office will respond to all reports in a timely manner in order to resolve any non-compliance and to educate regarding compliance concerns.
Code of Ethics and Business Conduct
AGDA Code of Ethics
Why graphic design needs a Code of Ethics
What use is a Code of Ethics to a graphic designer or related professional? Isn't it just another boring slab of legalese, more pompous than pertinent? We hope not! Our Code of Ethics is here to establish what constitutes 'fair play'. It is intended to provide protection for both designers and clients from unethical business practices and the havoc that can be caused by unwitting ignorance.
By detailing (in something close to plain English) professional conduct expectations in the key aspects of client/designer/subcontractor relationships, AGDA provides national benchmarks for professional service and conduct in the graphic design profession.
The Code of Ethics is a powerful tool in dealing with destructive practices such as competitive free pitching, to which AGDA is unequivocally opposed.
The Code of Ethics will also serve to enhance clients' understanding of the how/what/why of graphic design.
Purpose of this Code
The purpose of this Code of Ethics ('the Code') is to provide AGDA Members ('Member/s') with internationally accepted standards of professional ethics and conduct. This Code contains guidelines for the conduct of Members in fulfilling their professional obligation. Members agree to be bound by these guidelines. This Code was nationally ratified by the AGDA membership in October 1996.
This Code of Ethics is based on the Model Code of Professional Conduct for Designers published in 1987 by ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design Associations), ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) and IFI (International Federation of Interior Architects/Interior Designers).
A Member, supplier or client may call upon AGDA for arbitration of a dispute regarding a Member's fulfilment of professional obligation. The guidelines in this Code will be used by an appointed AGDA Grievance Committee as the basis for reaching a decision and making a recommendation.
A Grievance Committee will consist of local, non-partisan industry experts, with the selected committee list being submitted to involved parties for approval. The Grievance Committee is not intended to offer legal advice, but to act in an impartial manner to clarify issues and recommend equitable and amiable resolutions to conflicts. All proceedings are held in the strictest confidence, but from time to time, AGDA will publish case histories without real names in the interest to educating Members and the public about professional conduct.
1. A Member's responsibilities when practicing in a country other than Australia
AGDA requires that Members accept the Code and Practice of the appropriate design association within that country (contact your local AGDA Secretariat for a current listing of overseas design associations). (Link to Contacts)
2. A Member's responsibilities to the community
2.1 The environment
A Member shall work in a manner so that as little harm (direct or indirect) as possible is caused to the natural environment.
2.2 Conflict of interest
A Member shall not knowingly accept a position or commission in which a personal interest conflicts with professional obligation and duty.
2.3 Professional conduct
A Member shall not act in a manner that compromises the status of the design profession.
2.4 Design standards and support of AGDA
A Member shall encourage high standards of design and professional conduct, and support the aims of AGDA.
3. A Member's responsibilities to the client
3.1 Client's best interests
A Member shall always act in the best interests of the client, within the limitations of professional obligation and the guidelines of this Code.
3.2 Conflict of interest
A Member shall not knowingly accept commissions on directly competing products or services without first informing, and obtaining written consent from, the clients. Directly competing products or services are those where the possibility of 'insider' information could give involved parties material and unfair advantage.
A Member shall hold confidential all information of a client's organisation and activities that is not available through public records. A Member accepts this same responsibility for all subordinates involved with the client's projects.
4. A Member's responsibilities to other designers
4.1 Predatory pricing (free pitching)
AGDA discourages members from predatory pricing practices such as free pitching, loss leading and other pricing below break-even. Members should be aware that such practices will damage the economic viability of their business.
4.2 Existing commissions
A Member shall not knowingly accept a commission to work on a project for which there is an existing designer without first informing the other designer. This clause applies specifically to projects, and not to clients whose design needs require using a number of designers for different projects or accounts. As a matter of professional courtesy, AGDA encourages its Members to inform a client's existing designer/s if a Member receives a commission from that client.
4.3 Plagiarism and breach of copyright
A Member shall not, under instruction from a client or independently, plagiarise work or knowingly breach copyright.
4.4 Criticism of another designer's work A Member shall be fair in the criticism of another designer's work. A Member shall not belittle or denigrate the work or reputation of another designer.
5.1 Presentations for securing commissions
Preliminary to securing a commission, a Member is should present a proposal in writing which covers: an understanding of the brief an outline of how the project will be undertaken an estimate of fees In addition to the above, a Member may also present: examples of previous work qualifications and details of experience of project team members
5.2 Accepting a commission
Prior to accepting a commission, a Member shall provide in writing to the client, and obtain written consent from the client for: an accurate description of the work to be carried out an estimate of fees and charges, or the basis on which these are to be calculated the terms and conditions of the design work's undertaking, completion and payment disclosures, as set out in this Code, relating to any other financial or other interests the Member may have in the project.
A Member shall inform, and obtain consent from, a client before subcontracting principal design work. For design-related subcontracting, a Member shall inform the client of the scope of subcontracted work and the terms of subcontracting, including any fees or charges that will be applied by the Member to the subcontractor's fees and expenses.
6.1 Fees and charges
A Member shall charge a fee, royalty, salary or other agreed upon form of remuneration. A Member may, after informing the client, add a reasonable handling and administration charge to all reimbursable items that pass through the Member's accounts. A Member should, in the case of handling and administration charges, inform the client of the existence and nature of these charges.
6.2 Free pitching
AGDA is unequivocally opposed to the unfair manipulation of designers with the aim of garnering unpaid work (commonly known as 'free pitching'). Client practices which do damage to a member's business are those that award projects or commissions on the basis of the commissioner's acceptance of unpaid design submissions (eg. unpaid competitive tendering or speculative work)
6.3 Fee reductions and non-paying commissions
A Member may provide a fee reduction for, or a donation of service to, a charitable or non-profit organisation.
6.4 Financial interests in a project other than declared fees
Where the Member is in a position to receive financial or another form of material benefit from a company or individual who may benefit from the Member's recommendations to a client, the Member must inform the client of this situation in advance of making the recommendation.
6.5 Selection of another designer
A Member involved in assisting a client in the selection of another designer shall not accept any form of payment from the designer recommended.
7. Design competitions
A Member shall not take part in any design competition if the terms of the competition are not approved by AGDA. AGDA bases its assessments on the International Competition Guidelines published by ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design Associations). A Member or organiser of a competition can contact AGDA to review a competition's terms and provide recommendations and/or approval.
8. Self promotion and publicity
A Member shall not use false, misleading or deceptive statements in advertising or publicity material. The content must be fair to clients and other designers, and must not compromise the status of the design profession.
A Member shall claim authorship to the extent of the involvement in a project. Where a project is a collaborative effort, each designer/consultant shall be credited for specific areas of authorship. A Member shall neither claim credit for, nor allow a client to associate their name with, a project which has been so changed as to no longer substantially be the original work of the Member.
8.3 Use of a Member's name in the promotion of a product or service
A Member's name may be used in the promotion of articles designed or services provided, but only in a manner appropriate to the status of the design profession.
Professional Practices for Art Museum Curators
Statement of Mission
Adopted by the membership of the AAMC, April 2001.
Curators have a primary responsibility for the acquisition, care, display, and interpretation of works of art. The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) was founded in 2001 to support the role of curators in shaping the mission of art museums in North America. The goals of the AAMC are to:
- Serve as an advocacy group for the curatorial profession
- Articulate the standards for the profession • Promote research and scholarship through an annual meeting and educational programs on selected themes held at venues throughout North America
- Exchange information through a website and monthly newsletter
- Facilitate online discussions addressing a wide variety of relevant topics
- Recognize distinguished achievement in the field through annual awards
- Facilitate the exchange of information about traveling exhibitions
- Provide a collegial forum for discussion about museum issues in North America
- Accomplish these goals in cooperation with museum directors, trustees and other staff
4 Preface and Acknowledgments
6 General Principles
7 The Curator’s Responsibilities
7 As Related to the Collection
8 As Related to Exhibitions
9 Scholarship and Professional Development
9 Scholarly Activity
10 Intellectual Property
12 The Curator’s Role and Relationship to Particular Constituencies
12 The Work of Art
12 The Public
12 The Director and Other Museum Administrators
13 Development Staff
13 Trustees and Patrons
13 Other Museum Relationships
14 Professional and Academic Contacts
15 Potential Conflicts of Interest
15 Relations with Dealers, Auction Houses, Private Collectors, and Living Artists
17 Personal Collecting
19 External Professional Commitments, Employment, and Public Statements
21 Sources Cited
Preface and Acknowledgments
At the time of the establishment of the Association of Art Museum Curators, the first board of trustees, reflecting the strong interest of the new membership, determined that one of the highest priorities for the AAMC was the compilation of a document that would provide a manual for professional standards held by art museum curators. This mandate acknowledged our responsibility as curators to agree upon our own professional values, especially in regard to existing codes of ethics and professional standards established by the American Association of Museums (AAM), and the American Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). The first AAMC Board, under the leadership of Gary Tinterow, advanced this priority to the membership, where it was enthusiastically embraced. His initiative was carried on with the support and leadership of the succeeding AAMC president, Elizabeth Easton, and the board of trustees. A standing committee for professional standards was established to write these guidelines, nearly three years in the making. This document, written by volunteers from our membership, can now provide a basis, albeit incomplete and imperfect, upon which we all can articulate our professional goals and standards of behavior in the present and future.
Special thanks go to the committee members and AAMC trustees who participated in the writing and editing of this document:
Jay Fisher, The Baltimore Museum of Art (Co-Chair)
Gloria Groom, Art Institute of Chicago (Co-Chair)
Ronni Baer, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Colin Bailey, The Frick Collection
Christa Clarke, Newark Museum
Gail Davidson, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Douglas Druick, Art Institute of Chicago
Carol Eliel, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
George Keyes, Detroit Institute of Arts
Michael Komanecky, The Dayton Art Institute
Walter Liedtke, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jeannine O’Grody, Birmingham Museum of Art
Lori Pauli, National Gallery of Canada
Paul Schimmel, Museum of Contemporary Art
Josh Siegel, Museum of Modern Art
Gary Tinterow, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (President, AAMC, 2001–2003)
Elizabeth Easton, Brooklyn Museum, (President, AAMC, 2003–2006)
George T.M. Shackelford, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (President, AAMC, 2006–present)
The writers thank Sally Block, Director, AAMC; Charles Dibble, Manager of Curatorial Publications, The Walters Art Museum; and Susan Higman Larsen, Director of Publications, Detroit Institute of Arts for their contribution to the preparation and editing of the manuscript and Maxwell L. Anderson, Director, Indianapolis Museum of Art; Melissa Chiu, Director, Asia Society Museum; Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art; Philippe de Montebello, Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Michael Shapiro, Director, High Museum of Art for their valuable insights and comments.
Members of the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) believe that the core mission of art museums1 is to collect, preserve, study, interpret, and display works of art for the benefit of the public. As dedicated professionals trained in the history of art, curators have a primary responsibility to carry out this mission, in close collaboration with the museum director2 and other members of the staff. Curators must consider the well-being of the museum in which they are employed. These responsibilities must be balanced with the ethics of their scholarly disciplines. Whenever allegiance to ethical standards poses the risk of conflict with the interests of the museum, curators must seek direction from an appropriate authority (their director, department head, or museum counsel). Curators must recognize that they hold positions of trust and should act with uncompromising integrity.
The following manual surveys the range of current practices at museums in the United States and Canada. It has been compiled after consulting professional guidelines of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the American Association of Museums (AAM), the College Art Association (CAA), as well as those of many museums. It is neither comprehensive nor prescriptive. Instead, the document outlines the typical responsibilities and challenges that curators may face in their work and identifies some typical and appropriate practices that have developed within the profession. Curators are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their employer’s guidelines regarding professional conduct.
Although curators have many duties and responsibilities, their primary value to the museum lies in their specific expertise. Curators are art historians engaged in scholarship with a special emphasis on physical objects. Many museums provide the necessary resources—library, research time, grant and sabbatical opportunities—for curators to pursue scholarship. This scholarly activity enhances curators’ understanding of the works in their care, and redounds to the credit of their museum.
Given their unique position as art historians and keepers, curators have particular knowledge of and access to art objects that can generate valuable new insights.
The Curator’s Responsibilities
A. As related to the collection
The curator’s primary responsibility is the care, presentation, interpretation and acquisition of works of art in the collection. This means that a work of art under the curator’s care, and works under consideration for acquisition, must be thoroughly researched in order to ensure their authenticity, quality, and historical importance. Uncertainties about a work’s authenticity, origins, condition, presentation, or provenance should immediately be brought to the attention of the museum administration. The proper care, presentation, and interpretation of works from the collection require that curators have broad, substantive knowledge of art history and specialized knowledge in their fields. Curators should maintain that expertise in order to fulfill their responsibility to their collections and their profession.
1. Acquisitions. Acting in accordance with the policy of their museums, curators make recommendations for the acquisition of works of art for the collection. Acquisitions—whether through purchase, gift, or bequest—should be guided by the mission of the museum as well as by the curator’s expertise. Therefore, curators, having specialized knowledge, should be involved in the decision to acquire a work and then in presenting the object to their museum’s acquisition committee.
2. Deaccessions. The curator, or department chair, should initiate any recommendation for the disposition or deaccessioning of works of art from the collection. Procedures for approving proposed deaccessions differ from museum to museum: in many institutions, a curator’s recommendations are considered by the director and the appropriate committee and then submitted to a board of trustees for final decision. Curators must be candid and forthcoming with their director should they have any reservations about objects proposed for deaccession, whether or not the objects emanate from their department.
3. Loans. Curators have a resposibility to safeguard the objects in their care. When working with the museum to decide whether a work of art in their permanent collection should be lent ot another insitiution, they must consider the stability of the piece and its viability for travel, and the educational justification for the loan. In collaboration with the conservation staff, curators make recommendations to their director for all loans of works of art from the collection for which they are responsible.
4. Documentation/Research. Curators contribute to the intellectual integrity of the collection by ensuring that records on works of art under their care are properly maintained.
B. As related to exhibitions
Curators conceive and guide exhibitions that shed new light on and lead to a better understanding of particular works, artists, movements, cultures, or historical moments in the history of art. Expanding public understanding of the subject and enhancing the quality of the visitor’s experience should count among the goals of any exhibition.
Teams of individuals are required to mount an exhibition. Curators work with other professionals both within and outside the museum, including registrars, conservators, educators, designers, development staff, financial officers, editors, publicists, art handlers, archivists, and security staff. To uphold the integrity of the exhibition, the curator in charge should be actively involved in all aspects of its organization.
Scholarship and Professional Development
Together with acquisition and preservation of works of art, original research and scholarly writing are among the most critical activities performed by museum curators. Curators bring to their work considerable knowledge and experience that often originates outside the museum and their research extends beyond the confines of the working week. Museums, in the form of their collections, libraries, archives, laboratories, equipment, grants, and travel funds, provide resources that contribute to the research carried out by their staff. Curators must accept the responsibility of addressing different audiences in their writing and speaking about their collections, whether a scholarly audience of their peers or a broader public without specialized knowledge of the field. This responsibility extends to their writing, for museum publications as well as labels produced for the collection galleries or special exhibitions. In adapting their scholarship for a context extending beyond their immediate peers, curators can rely upon the expertise of educators in effectively addressing the general museum visitor.
A Scholarly activity
In most museums, curators are responsible for a collection, or areas of a collection, related to their scholarship and expertise; for that reason, ensuring curators’ professional development through scholarly research is essential to enriching public understanding and enjoyment of the collection and to bringing distinction to the museum. Scholarly research and writing are often dependent on available time, and museums should support sustained periods of concentration for curators to undertake such projects. Many museums have programs for sabbaticals and paid or unpaid leave. This is particularly important for curators who take on ambitious projects and for those who derive benefit from travel or periods of residence elsewhere in order to pursue their scholarly interests on the museum’s behalf. Opportunities to visit distant exhibitions and collections or attend colloquia are, for most curators, as important as time to work in libraries and archives. Many museum budgets include funds for ongoing research related to the permanent collection as well as potential acquisitions. Museums benefit from their curators’ participation in conferences, seminars, and other educational opportunities. Many museums pay fees and membership dues for professional organizations on their staff’s behalf and underwrite the costs of traveling to and attending events sponsored by these organizations.
B. Intellectual property (3)
No text should be reprinted, altered, translated, or reused for a different purpose without first consulting the original author whenever possible.
1. Appropriate acknowledgement of scholarly work. Most scholarly writing is based on previous texts. Any written work consulted or adapted for a new publication should be documented or otherwise acknowledged, regardless of the source, published or unpublished. This includes, but is not limited to, research and observations performed in conservation laboratories and in curatorial departments.
2. Reuse of existing texts. Brief statements on object labels, descriptive texts, and entries in periodical publications or texts on the museum’s website frequently depend on work written by museum curators and outside scholars, present and past. Whenever possible, the author of significant discoveries or ideas should be credited. It is understood, however, that the format of this material often precludes full documentation. Therefore, all staff members are urged to be especially vigilant to avoid plagiarism. At the same time, it is also acknowledged that much writing performed at museums is descriptive, not original, and that scholarly acknowledgments are therefore less applicable to this material. When there is doubt, staff should consult the author of the text in question before reuse or adaptation. Department heads should be consulted if questions of originality or sources of origin persist.
3. Free exchange of information. The free exchange of information is essential to progress in scholarship. All museum departments and all staff members are encouraged to share their departmental files as freely as feasible with qualified staff members and outside researchers. At the same time, it is imperative that all those who consult documentation, whether curatorial files or conservation reports, respect the authorship of that material and acknowledge their sources. To avoid the risk of error or misinterpretation, curators are advised to consult with conservators and scientists before interpreting their reports, and conservators and scientists are advised to consult with curators before drawing on curatorial files as a source.
In some instances, it may be appropriate for a curator to postpone sharing research in progress. This decision should always be made in consultation with a supervisor, and, in the interest of intellectual advancement, priority should always be given to dissemination of information.
4 Visual documentation. The free exchange of photographs and digital images to qualified researchers is essential to scholarship. The AAMC recommends that museums, in developing procedures for distributing visual documentation, ensure that internal and external scholarly communities are properly served. The exchange of visual documentation “for study purposes” is distinct from the commercial licensing of images for reproduction.
The Curator’s Role and Relationship to Particular Constituencies
This section posits seven core areas that, together, embrace the curator’s roles and relationships within the museum.
A. The work of art
The curator has a fundamental role in ensuring that works of art are properly conserved, stored, and exhibited. This includes working with relevant museum staff to prepare detailed notes about the appropriate presentation of all works of art, especially installation art and work in new media.(4)
B. The public
Curators play a critical role in engaging the public with art through the installation and interpretation of the permanent collection, special exhibitions, and publications, and often have direct contact with the public through tours, lectures, and other programming. In addition, curators provide information and expertise on the collections and exhibitions to educators. Educators, in turn, provide curators with pedagogical strategies to fulfill public interests and needs.
C. The director and other museum administrators
The curator’s relationship with the museum’s director and senior management is critical in determining curatorial effectiveness within the museum. It is also important that curators provide their director and staff with all necessary information, in a timely and appropriate manner, about issues, projects, and events that have direct bearing on the director’s role.
D. Development staff
In the context of capital endowment and other campaigns, curators may be expected to work closely with a development department and participate in fundraising activities. Curators in charge of special exhibitions will likely be expected to make presentations to prospective corporate or individual sponsors; as project directors, the curators work closely with the museum’s grant writers to compose grant applications. Curators are often called upon to participate in donor cultivation events as well, ranging from gallery or special exhibition tours, to brief presentations, to organizing or participating in museum-sponsored trips.
E. Trustees and patrons
Curators may have a privileged relationship to trustees or patrons because of their shared interests in art. The museum’s director generally guides the nature and extent of curators’ interaction with the institution’s trustees or patrons. The scope of curatorial contact with trustees can vary considerably from museum to museum, but curators often engage trustees through their recommendations for acquiring and deaccessioning of works of art. Curators may be called upon to participate in shaping an accessions policy as well as generating guidelines for deaccessioning works in the collection, for example. In some museums, committees of the board of trustees routinely call upon curators for their advice and opinions.
F. Other museum relationships
In the broadest sense, curators represent the collection—their most important responsibility—and they are the leading advocates for the permanent collection in the context of their museum’s mission. Curators have a responsibility to mentor the staff in the appreciation of works of art, their care, the importance of providing public access, and the museum’s overall mission. As supervisors of junior staff, interns, and curatorial fellows, for example, curators play a pivotal role in providing leadership and professional encouragement, but this spirit of collaboration must extend to the museum staff as a whole.(5)
G. Professional and academic contacts
Curators are often active members of professional societies such as AAMC, CAA, or more specialized learned societies, sometimes serving as board or committee members in those organizations. They may also participate in community arts organizations—sometimes as representatives of their institutions. Curators serve on advisory committees of foundations or as panelists for government agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities for the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program. The curator’s relationship to staff at other museums and art institutions is important to shaping projects, facilitating loans, and sharing professional concerns. Curators at larger institutions fulfill an important function by providing consultation to smaller museums.
Curators are also engaged with educational institutions, particularly at the college or university level; within their museums they are usually the primary point of contact for colleagues from the academic world. In academe, curators’ roles range from presenting a single lecture to serving as adjunct or full professor. Curators are often the primary point of contact for facilitating museum programs, colloquia or seminars. Curators also facilitate or initiate individual research projects on the part of both faculty and students, or may initiate individual internships in their departments for undergraduate or graduate students. (6) Curators have an important role in providing access to the museum collection, particularly to objects not on public view. Within the museum, it is often the curator who initiates contacts between the academic community and museum staff members directly involved in making the collections available for viewing and research.
Potential Conflicts of Interest
Most museums have guidelines on how staff members should interact with the various constituencies of the museum, including staff members, trustees, art dealers, collectors, journalists, and volunteers.
While museums have divergent positions about possible conflicts of interest in the areas of personal collecting, dealing, gifts, and outside consulting or employment, a general consensus maintains that when curators are presented with activities or relationships that might involve a conflict of interest (actual, potential, or perceived), or with behavior that might cause embarrassment to the museum, their professional responsibilities must take precedence over personal concerns and gain.
A. Relations with dealers, auction houses, private collectors, and living artists
1. Expert Advice. There is a distinction between offering expert advice and authentication. Some museums permit curators to give professional advice to collectors, auction houses and dealers, whether verbally or in writing. (7)
2. Authentication. Some museums encourage curators to assist collectors and other museum professionals in identifying, authenticating, and assessing the aesthetic quality and condition of works of art, as long as they provide information without monetary or other personal remuneration.(8)
3 Appraisals. Museums deal with appraisals in a range of ways. Some require that all opinions be impartial without discussion or citation of monetary value. Other museums bar curators from providing appraisals or financial assessments of works of art except for in-house purposes. (9)
• Artwork and In-kind. Some museums require the written permission of the director with regard to any gift of art to curators. Others stipulate that curators may accept only gifts of nominal value. When a gift offered to a curator is judged to complement the museum’s collections, the museum’s needs must be considered before the gift is accepted.10 It is generally agreed that gifts that could subsequently be interpreted as an inducement to trade for other services should not be accepted.11 Certain museums prohibit curators from accepting any gifts (art or cash) except as a donation to the museum.12 Others stipulate that gifts may be accepted under certain circumstances. This may apply, for instance, when a curator has a close personal and professional relationship with an artist or collector. In such cases the curator must seek prior permission before accepting the gift. (13)
Because of the variety of institutional policies regarding in-kind donations, curators should be aware that accepting compensation of any kind from a dealer or auction house could be perceived as a conflict of interest. (14) Some museums do not allow curators to accept or receive any gift in-kind for personal benefit if the offer or receipt is designed to cause the recipient to grant a privilege, concession, or benefit in connection with museum’s operations. (15) Some museums require written permission from the director to accept both monetary and in-kind gifts.16 Other museums allow curators to accept gifts as long as the monetary value does not exceed $100 per calendar year.(17)
Sometimes dealers, collectors, artists, vendors, or auction houses will offer meals, accommodations, or travel services to a curator on official business. While such activities may be directly related to the conduct of museum business, curators should exercise discretion in accepting invitations to dinners, lunches, or other forms of entertainment offered by individual or organizations doing or wishing to do business with the museum and consider the potential for a perceived conflict of interest.18 In some cases, lodging, meals, and even travel may be considered part of donor cultivation.19 Some museums require written permission from the director to accept monetary and in-kind gifts. (20)
A museum curator may have the opportunity to work closely with living artists, by planning exhibitions, developing publications or other museum-related activities. While an artist may wish to acknowledge a museum employee’s efforts through a gift of art to the employee, these gifts present another area of potential conflict. In such situations, employees must promptly disclose the offer of such gifts to their supervisors.
5. Confidentiality. Using or disclosing information not publicly available (technical, financial, or contractual) for private benefit may present a conflict of interest. (21) Unless disclosure is approved by the director, the following information should not be disclosed:
- security arrangements;
- pending acquisitions;
- prices paid for acquisitions;
- appraised values of objects on loan to museum;
- names of anonymous donors or lenders;
- terms of gift agreements;
- contracts with donors or other employees
B. Personal collecting
1. Acquisitions. Many museums allow curators to collect art for their personal enjoyment, which promotes connoisseurship and enhances professional knowledge. (22) However, the acquisition, maintenance, and management of a personal collection by a curator can create a perceived conflict of interest. Extreme discretion is required whenever a curator collects objects similar to those collected by the museum. Curators need to ensure that no conflict or perceived conflict of interest arises between themselves and the museum and that they are not in a position of competing with their employer for any acquisition.
Examples of potential conflicts or perceived conflicts of interest include the following:
- taking advantage of one’s museum affiliation to promote personal collecting or personal gain;
- competing with the museum in an area of collecting;
- conserving, researching, and storing one’s personal collection (during business hours) without written permission of director or his designee.
Some museums do not allow curators (or their family members) knowingly to purchase any object deaccessioned by the museum. (23) In the interests of transparency and to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, curators who actively collect works of art or cultural artifacts may choose to provide their museum with an inventory of their collections at the time of employment. (24) This inventory can then be updated periodically to avoid any perception of conflict of interest. (25) Many museums do not prohibit curatorial collecting if the works are inherited or have been acquired prior to employment. (26)
2. Conservation/storage. Some museums allow curators to bring works of art to the museum for private conservation as long as the work does not encroach upon or otherwise restrict the museum’s storage or workspace. (27) Other museums discourage curators from bringing in works from their personal collection to be stored or conserved at the museum, or require advance approval from the director before undertaking such an action. (28)
3. Loans to museum. In some museums, any loan to the museum by a curator must be credited anonymously in exhibitions and publications. Other museums prefer the transparency of having the curator’s name appear in the credit line. (29)
4. Sales to museum. Some museums allow curators to sell works from their personal collection as long as the curator gives the museum the first opportunity to purchase the object at fair market price within a reasonable time.30 For some museums, it is sufficient that curators advise them when an object in the curator’s collection is being offered for public sale. (31)
Other museums discourage altogether the sale of works to the museum, by requiring that works of art be presented for sale to the museum at a price substantially below fair market value. (32) Some museums request that curators sell through public auction rather than through a dealer. (33)
5. Dealing. Most museums recognize a distinction between dealing (buying and selling for personal profit) and the occasional sales intended to upgrade a personal collection. It is strongly recommended that curators not act as dealers, be employed by dealers, or retain an interest in a dealership. (34) In general, in all cases where a potential conflict of interest concerning art dealing, auctions, and collecting might arise, it is recommended that curators keep a record of transactions in their professional file.
C. External professional commitments, employment, and public statements
Curators engaged in outside activities similar to those that they perform at their own museum are perceived to be representatives of their museum, even though the outside work may be entirely independent of that museum. For that reason, curators may want to obtain written approval from their director or department head before accepting outside employment, exhibition projects, or consultancies, or before making public statements.35 Outside employment should not be accepted if it creates a conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest with the museum’s policy on outside employment. (36) If the museum does not have such a policy, curators should encourage administrators to put one in place. (37)
1. Outside employment. Outside employment is defined as work, including selfemployment and paid consulting, that is similar or related to work a curator does for his or her museum employer and for which remuneration or nonmonetary compensation (or both) is received. (38) Many museums encourage curators to engage in activities related to their profession such as consulting, serving on committees or juries for art exhibitions or competitions, lecturing, teaching, research, and writing books or articles, as these contribute to the museum’s reputation as well as to the individual’s professional development. (39)
Most museums have rules regarding employment outside the workplace. Most museums require advance approval from a curator’s supervisor before one may engage in any activity related to his or her work at the museum. (40) In principle, all scholarly work is to be encouraged, though not at the expense of a curator’s ongoing responsibilities at the museum where he or she is employed. (41)
2. Public statements. A museum’s department of marketing and communications usually has the sole authority to speak publicly for the museum. In most museums, curators are asked to refer queries from the press, television, or radio representatives to the marketing and communications department.
3 Lobbying. Curators may periodically be called upon by the museum to make contact with members of city, county, state, or federal legislative bodies and other government officials to set forth and advocate for the museum’s positions on issues. Curators acting in this capacity are expected to abide by all applicable laws at all times. Individuals who attempt to influence any legislative, executive, or other governmental action, official, or employee on behalf of the museum may be required to register as lobbyists and file certain reports concerning their activities. To ensure full compliance with these laws and policies, it is expected that no curator will engage in lobbying without authorization from the museum director.
In all activities and statements, curators need to disclose whether they are acting or speaking for their museum, their professional affiliated associations, or solely for themselves. They should not represent, or appear to represent, their museums or their associations without a mandate to do so.
Some museums devise guidelines to help curators better evaluate a situation and decide on a correct course of action. The following guidelines (42) are useful in arriving at a satisfactory answer or decision:
- Is the action consistent with museum practices?
- Could the action give the appearance of impropriety?
- Will the action bring discredit to the museum, its officers, its trustees, or its employees in the event of public disclosure?
- Is the action defensible to the curator’s supervisor, the museum’s officers, trustees, or employees, or the general public?
- Does the action meet the curator’s personal code of behavior?
AAM Professional Code of Ethics [for Curators] (from Museum News, February 1993, 40)
AAMD Association of Art Museum Directors “A Code of Ethics for Art Museum Directors” (revised 2001)
Hood Hood Museum of Art Code of Ethics (undated).
LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Ethics Policy (undated; after 1993)
MMA The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Ethics Code (Draft November 8, 2006)
MFAB Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Staff Guidelines for Professional Practice (Revised by the Board of Trustees, October 24, 2002)
MoMA Code of Conduct for The Museum of Modern Art (undated)
NGA Expert Opinion for the General Public with Respect to Works of Art (National Gallery of Art Circular No. 35)
NGC National Gallery of Canada: Code of Ethics for Employees (draft June 27, 1994)
1 For the purposes of consistency, the term “museum” is used throughout this document to refer both to museums and to other arts institutions that employ art curators.
2 For convenience, the term “director” is used herein to designate the appropriate museum authority (e.g., department head, chief curator, deputy director).
3 Adapted from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Curatorial Forum Statement on intellectual property.
4 Presenting Works by Living Artists and Works in New Media A) Living Artists: curators who work directly with living artists during exhibition planning and development must prepare detailed notes about the appropriate presentation of all works of art. B) New Media: Additionally, curators who work with new forms of media must note the appropriate procedures for presenting works of art. For example, film curators are increasingly faced with the philosophical conundrum of whether to transfer works originally made on celluloid to digital-based mediums for exhibitions in galleries and theaters, and also whether to permit excerpts of moving-image works to be projected as representative of complete works of art.
5 Regarding the important relationship between curators and educators, see The Curator’s Role and Relationship to Particular Constituencies section B, page 12.
6 NGA. In some museums, internships and intern programs are administered by the education division, but with the input of curators in the selection of interns on a competitive basis and their supervision.
7 In offering expert advice, most museums require curators to provide multiple references for reputable suppliers or sources, where possible, to avoid the appearance of an official endorsement or favoritism (LACMA, MFAB). Some museums require curators to obtain prior approval from their director before consulting or advising, whether orally or in writing. Some museums allow curators to be compensated for offering expert advice if it is authorized by the director as “scholarly activity,” that is, outside museum working hours and the scope of one’s regular employment.
8 NGC. Some museums allow curators to provide this kind of information freely on an oral basis, but when making a formal, written statement, the opinion must be accompanied by the museum’s disclaimer form or approved by the director (LACMA). Museums only rarely allow curators to authenticate works for compensation. Curators should consult museum policy in all cases; where guidelines for consulting activities or for authentication are absent, curators should encourage their formulation to avoid any perception of conflict of interest (MMA).
9 LACMA, MMA.
14 MMA, MoMA. Hood explicitly prohibits curators from accepting such gifts. Some museums prohibit curators from accepting sales commissions or other considerations, including personal gifts relating to the purchase, display, or sale of art by the museum for which they work (NGC). Others allow curators to accept stipends with the director’s prior approval (MMA).
16 Adapted from Hood (which states that curators must not do so).
17 Federal and state laws explicitly prohibit giving a gratuity to a government employee in connection with a business transaction.
18 MoMA. Curators who maintain a working relationship with dealers or auction houses should discuss the allowability of accepting gifts (including offers of outside employment or other advantageous arrangements, loans, or other favors) with the director. Regardless of value, gifts should not be accepted if they seem to imply a quid pro quo (Hood).
19 Accepting advance payment or reimbursement for per diem expenses, however, raises different issues, which should be discussed with the director.
20 Adapted from Hood (which states that curators must not do so).
21 LACMA, MFAB.
22 Some museums allow curators to collect in any area outside their area of expertise (Hood). Others have no such restrictions, but require that curators inform the director of their intention to purchase a work of art and provide the director with documentation regarding the purchase.
23 MoMA. Some museums allow curators to purchase deaccessioned objects as long as these objects are outside of the curator’s area of expertise (Hood). Still other museums allow purchase of deaccessioned objects after one year of the object’s deaccession (LACMA).
26 NGC. 27 MMA.
31 NGA. Curators are strongly discouraged from selling objects in their collection to a third party at a lower price than agreed upon when presenting it to their museum (MMA).
34 AAM, MFAB, Hood. Curators should recognize the risk of perceived conflicts of interest when negotiating personally with a dealer with whom they conduct business on behalf of the museum (AAM). Some museums require that curators obtain prior permission for any remuneration for services that they provide. Other museums do not allow curators to write about objects offered for sale (NGA).
35 This is especially true when curators are engaged in projects or situations that put at risk the professional integrity of the curator or the reputation of the museum (NGC, MoMA).
38 Hood, MoMA.
39 MMA, NGA. Some museums encourage teaching at an institution of higher learning as long as the commitment does not extend beyond one course per semester, subject to the museum director’s approval. Some museums, however, require that teaching be done outside working hours and not on museum premises (unless prior approval by the director is obtained). Some museum guidelines state that curators may lecture during working hours as long as they take paid leave for those hours, but do not restrict lecturing or teaching outside of working hours. (MoMA).
40 Hood. If curators undertake outside employment for compensation while traveling at the museum’s expense, permission should be obtained, preferably in writing, to avoid the perception of conflicts of interest.
41 Potential conflicts of interest include providing materials, equipment, services, or making loans of works of art on one museum’s behalf while employed by another museum, including independent exhibition-generating organizations (LACMA, MFAB).
Published in 2007 by the Association of Art Museum Curators, 174 East 80th Street, New York, New York 10021 Designed by Russell Hassell Copyright 2007 by the Association of Art Museum Curators. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
Ethical Guidelines for Good Research Practice
Social anthropologists carry out their professional research in many places around the world; some where they are 'at home' and others where they are in some way 'foreign'. Anthropological scholarship occurs within a variety of economic, cultural, legal and political settings. As professionals and as citizens, they need to consider the effects of their involvement with, and consequences of their work for the following: the individuals and groups among whom they do their fieldwork (their research participants or 'subjects'); their colleagues and the discipline; collaborating researchers; sponsors, funders, employers and gatekeepers; their own and host governments; and other interest groups and the wider society in the countries in which they work.
Anthropologists, like other social researchers, are faced increasingly with competing duties, obligations and conflicts of interest, with the need to make implicit or explicit choices between their own values and between the interests of different individuals and groups. Ethical and legal dilemmas occur at all stages of research: in the selection of topic, area or population, choice of sponsor and source of funding, in negotiating access, making 'research bargains' and during the research itself while conducting fieldwork, including the interpretation and analysis of results, the publication of findings and the disposal of data. Anthropologists have a responsibility to anticipate problems and insofar as is possible to resolve them without harming either the research participants or the scholarly community. They should do their utmost to ensure that they leave a research field in a state which permits future access by other researchers. As members of a discipline committed to the pursuit of knowledge and the public disclosure of findings, they should strive to maintain integrity in the conduct of anthropological research. This ethics code applies to anthropological work whether studying 'up' and/or 'down', with persons and/or animals, within and outside the UK as well as in cyberspace.
The ethnographic method – the process through which theory is developed on the basis of empirical data collected – is the dominant mode through which anthropology is practised. Ethnographic methods cover a range of research practices and methods often including long/short-term/multi-sited/repeated fieldwork/visits. These ethical guidelines address the stages of preparation, the process of fieldwork and the writing procedure. Within fieldwork, participant observation has been considered by anthropologists as one of the core methods. This is a holistic method of research which is usually carried out over a period of time and can be conducted with a wide variety of communities and groups. The contexts for research can include economic, political, legal, medical settings and concerns as well as religious, gender, and kinship dimensions, among many others. The range of participants is also, as a result, varied. Participant observation is inductive and has the potential for uncovering unexpected links between different domains of social life. Accordingly, a degree of flexibility in research design that allows modification of topic focus - following the initial formulation of a research question - is required. Participant observation includes engagement with and observation of various forms of participatory activities specific to the group being studied, usually in both public and private settings. Fieldwork is also carried out by means of casual conversations (with a wide range of participants, some of whom are wellknown and seen regularly, others during fleeting encounters), interviews (usually open-ended, qualitative and in-depth), surveys, audio and video recording, sometimes supplemented by subsequent co-viewing with participants. The methods can vary from the informal and unstructured (such as participant observation, conversations) through to structured methods (such as interviews, surveys, audio-visual recordings).
Participant observation involves certain key ethical principles:
- Participants should be made aware of the presence and purpose of the researcher whenever reasonably practicable. Researchers should inform participants of their research in the most appropriate way depending on the context of the research.
- Fieldnotes (and other forms of personal data) are predominantly private barring legal exceptions. This is the most important way in which confidentiality and the anonymity of subjects is ensured. Anthropologists have a duty to protect all original records of their research from unauthorised access. They also have a duty to ensure that nothing that they publish or otherwise make public, through textual or audio-visual media, would permit identification of individuals that would put their welfare or security at risk.
- Given the methods used during fieldwork, and depending on the nature of the project, the researcher may be able to provide only rough approximations in advance (for example, to various institutional Ethics committees including those to do with the university, National Health Service etc.) of some of the likely participants an anthropologist will observe or converse with during fieldwork and some of the likely scenarios in which consent will be sought. As a result, it may be difficult and/or artificial to prepare distinct data collection instruments for approval in advance. Given the open-ended and often long-term nature of fieldwork, ethical decision-making has to be undertaken repeatedly throughout the research and in response to specific circumstances.
- Many of those participating in public events observed by the anthropologist will not be known to him or her. This is particularly the case for strangers visiting the community (a term that could also include employees of government agencies, multinational corporations, schools, hospitals among others) being studied; or in research on mobile groups (which could involve pastoral and nomadic groups, refugees or expatriate and corporate elites) who move around for various reasons (such as subsistence, ritual celebrations, pilgrimage, corporate meetings, wartime displacements) to other places; or in studies of large institutions. In such situations, the anthropologists should take all practicable steps to be introduced by local participants and identify him/herself as a researcher. Not everyone observed or photographed, especially in large crowds, will be known. Large-scale events (such as religious festivals, political rallies or mass protests) are clearly legitimate and necessary foci of anthropological study, but should be subject to various ethical considerations. Hence due sensitivity to those involved in large-scale events and necessary observation of ethical standards with regard to the sensibilities and security of the participants needs to be kept in mind depending on the nature of the event.
- Many of the communities studied by anthropologists are highly suspicious of formal bureaucratic procedures and often of their state or local forms of the state. Under these circumstances, requests for signatures on printed forms are liable to arouse suspicion and therefore standard procedures for obtaining written consent can be problematic. It is possible and appropriate, however, to obtain informed verbal consent. In working with informants with limited literacy or with learning difficulties that might render informed consent as commonly understood problematic, it may be appropriate to give people the chance to discuss their consent to an interview with friends, family or other trusted acquaintances. Repeated checking with informants during the research process, can ensure that the continuity of consent is maintained.
- In some cases, consent will initially need to be sought from individual gatekeepers such as community leaders and officials: chiefs, local councillors, headmen, hospital consultants, trade union leaders, etc or from collective decision-making bodies such as community or neighbourhood assemblies. In addition to needing to negotiate access to the field through such "gatekeepers", it will often be desirable to supplement the informed consent of collective bodies with that of individuals, particularly where substantial sectors of the local society are excluded from collective decision-making but are also subjects of the research. By the same token, in all settings further consent may need to be negotiated as the research advances and new fields of inquiry open up.
- Photography (both stills and film) is a very important tool of anthropological inquiry. Filming should always be overt. Moreover, in the case of large public events it is likely that not everyone photographed/filmed will have the chance to give verbal consent. In such cases the researchers should do all that is possible in his/her powers to not compromise people's identities or security in public presentations of the material.
In light of these considerations, the weight of responsibility for adherence to good ethical conduct is on the anthropological researcher. Ethics Committees need to recognise the diversity of methods of ethnographic research. For anthropology, once the research is completed the ethics of representations are a major issue. The principles outlined below are intended to guide anthropologists not only in the way they conduct fieldwork but in the way they represent and publish their results to wider audiences.
To these ends the Association has adopted the following set of ethical guidelines to which individual members, other anthropologists should subscribe. They follow the educational model for professional codes, aiming to alert researchers to issues that raise ethical concerns or to potential problems and conflicts of interests that might arise in the research process. They are intended to provide a practical framework for anthropologists to make informed decisions about their own behaviour and involvement, and to help them communicate their professional positions more clearly to the other parties involved in or affected by their research activities. Anthropologists requiring permission from local bureaucracies for the purpose of their research (particularly on sensitive topics like research on children) might, however, need to adhere to the ethics procedure of the institution from which permission is being sought. The ASA does not adjudicate claims regarding unethical behaviour. Rather than intervening, the ASA can act as a forum for discussion among parties to a disagreement over ethics. Anthropological researchers should expect to encounter ethical dilemmas at every stage of their work, and should make good-faith efforts to identify potential ethical claims and conflicts in advance when preparing proposals and as projects proceed. Persons using the ASA guidelines to help them make ethical choices or for teaching are encouraged to seek out illustrative examples and appropriate case studies to enrich their knowledge base.
I. Relations with and responsibilities towards research participants
The close and often lengthy association of anthropologists with the communities/cultures/societies among whom they carry out research entails personal and moral relationships, trust and reciprocity between the researcher and research participants; it also entails recognition of power differentials between them.
1) Protecting research participants and honouring trust: Anthropologists should endeavour to protect the physical, social and psychological well-being of those with whom they conduct their study and to respect their rights, interests, sensitivities and privacy, other than in the most exceptional of circumstances. It would also be important to keep in mind the ethical responsibilities to non-human research subjects.
a) The ASA maintains that their paramount obligation is to their research participants and that when there is conflict, the interests and rights of those studied should come first. This means that anthropologists must reflect particularly deeply on the likely impacts on the communities/cultures/societies they are studying; of any research, consultancy or other services that they might offer or be asked to provide to national/supra-national or foreign states or to non-state entities (such as transnational corporations, law enforcement agencies, NGOs or charities) that intervene or are seeking to intervene in the lives of those communities/cultures/societies. Work for state or non-state organisations that is covert, and therefore breaches relations of trust and openness, is especially problematic. Overt work that is only possible because the participants are subject to coercion is also likely to breach basic ethical standards.
b) Under some research conditions, particularly those involving contracted research, it may not be possible to fully guarantee research participants' interests. In such cases anthropologists would be well-advised to consider in advance whether they should pursue such research.
2) Anticipating harms: Anthropologists should be sensitive to the possible consequences of their work and should endeavour to guard against predictably harmful effects. Consent from subjects does not absolve anthropologists from their obligation to protect research participants as far as possible against any potential harmful effects of research:
a) The researcher should try to minimise disturbances both to subjects themselves and to the subjects' relationships with their environment. Even though research participants may be immediately protected by the device of anonymity, the researcher should try to anticipate the long-term effects on individuals or groups as a result of the research;
b) Anthropologists may sometimes be better placed than (at the least, some of) their informants to anticipate the possible repercussions of their research both for the immediate participants and for other members of the research population or the wider society. In certain political contexts, some groups, for example, religious or ethnic minorities, may be particularly vulnerable and it may be necessary to withhold data from publication or even to refrain from studying them at all.
3) Avoiding undue intrusion: Anthropologists should be aware of the intrusive potential of some of their enquiries and methods:
a) Like other social researchers, they have no special entitlement to study all phenomena; and the advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of information are not in themselves sufficient justifications for overriding the values and ignoring the interests of those studied;
b) They should be aware that for research participants becoming the subject of anthropological description and interpretations can be a welcome experience, but it can also be a disturbing one. In many of the social scientific enquiries that have caused controversy, problems have not arisen because participants have suffered directly or indirectly any actual harm. Rather, concerns have resulted from participants' feelings of having suffered an intrusion into private and personal domains, or of having been wronged (for example, by acquiring self-knowledge which they did not seek or want). Where feasible, participants should also be made aware that they can withdraw from the research at any time.
4) Negotiating informed consent: Inquiries involving human subjects should be based on the freely given informed consent of subjects. The principle of informed consent expresses the belief in the need for truthful and respectful exchanges between social researchers and the people with whom they study.
a) Negotiating consent entails communicating information likely to be material to a person's willingness to participate, such as: the purpose(s) of the study and the anticipated consequences of the research; the identity of funders and sponsors; the anticipated uses of the data; possible benefits of the study and harm or discomfort that might affect participants; issues relating to data storage and security; and including limits to the degree of anonymity and confidentiality which may be afforded to informants and subjects. These can be communicated verbally, particularly to those participants with whom the anthropologist has close and continuing relations.
b) Conditions which constitute an absence of consent: consent made after the research is completed and publicly made available is not meaningful consent at all. Where subjects are legally compelled (e.g., by their employer or government) to participate in a piece of research, consent cannot be said to have been meaningfully given by subjects, and anthropologists are advised not to pursue that piece of work. However, as has been noted above, in the case of exceptional circumstances such as large public events - especially where photographs are taken - consent sometimes might be sought after the event as it is often not possible to seek advance consent. Although it will not always be possible to obtain formal consent, reasonably practicable steps to do so should be taken.
c) Consent in ethnographic research is a process, not a one-off event, due to its long-term and open-ended qualities. Consent may require renegotiation over time; it is an issue to which the anthropologist should return periodically. Depending on the research project, researchers may only be able to provide a rough approximation of some of the likely scenarios in which consent might be sought. Thus continuous reflection on ethical issues and conduct is necessary.
d) When audio-visual media is to be used, be it merely for data-gathering or for broader representational purposes such as producing ethnographic films or photographic essays, the principal research subjects should be made aware of the technical capacities of these media and should be free to reject their use. These conditions should generally apply in public spaces as well as in private spaces where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. And anthropologists must take steps at the beginning of fieldwork to sensitise themselves to local norms that may embody different ideas about the private and public from those of the anthropologist's' own society.
e) Anthropologists engaged in cyber ethnography or other forms of research that involve the use of electronic texts, images and/or audio-recordings already in the public domain and/or available through fora such as blogs, chatrooms, social media sites etc., should remain sensitive to the possible implications of re-using those electronic texts, images and sounds, not only in terms of ethical responsibilities to the subjects but also in relation to the Intellectual Property Rights held either by the subjects themselves or by those who created the images or recordings in the first place. It is important to note that the very notion of public domain (given the issue of membership for some sites and corporate ownership in social networking sites) is an evolving, shifting phenomenon and hence so is cyber ethnography and its ethical implications.
f) When information is being collected from proxies, care should be taken not to infringe the 'private space' of the subject or the relationship between subject and proxy; and if there are indications that the person concerned would object to certain information being disclosed, such information should not be sought by proxy.
g) The long period over which anthropologists make use of their data and the possibility that unforeseen uses or theoretical interests may arise in the future may need to be conveyed to participants, as should any likelihood that the data may be shared (in some form) with other colleagues or be made available to sponsors, funders or other interested parties, or deposited in archives.
5) Rights to confidentiality and anonymity: informants and other research participants should have the right to remain anonymous and to have their rights to privacy and confidentiality respected. However, privacy and confidentiality present anthropologists with particularly difficult problems given the cultural and legal variations between societies and the various ways in which the real interests or research role of the ethnographer may not fully be realised by some or all of participants or may even become invisible over time.
a) Care should be taken not to infringe uninvited upon the 'private space' (as locally defined) of an individual or group;
b) As far as is possible researchers should anticipate potential threats to confidentiality and anonymity. They should consider whether it is necessary even as a matter of propriety to record certain information at all; take appropriate measures relating to the storage and security of records during and after fieldwork; and use where appropriate such means as the removal of identifiers, the use of pseudonyms and other technical solutions to the problems of privacy in field records and in oral and written forms of data dissemination (whether or not this is enjoined by law or administrative regulation);
c) Researchers should endeavour to anticipate problems likely to compromise anonymity; but they should make clear to participants that it may not be possible in field notes and other records or publications totally to conceal identities, and that the anonymity afforded or promised to individuals, families or other groups may also be unintentionally compromised. A particular configuration of attributes can frequently identify an individual beyond reasonable doubt; and it is particularly difficult to disguise, say, office-holders, organizations, public agencies, ethnic groups, religious denominations or other collectivities without so distorting the data as to compromise scholarly accuracy and integrity;
d) If guarantees of privacy and confidentiality are made, they should be honoured unless there are clear and overriding ethical reasons not to do so. Confidential information should be treated as such by the anthropologist even when it enjoys no legal protection or privilege, and other people who have access to the data should likewise be made aware of their obligations; but conversely participants should be made aware that it is rarely, if at all, legally possible to ensure total confidentiality or to completely protect the privacy of records. Fieldnotes and other data should not be archived in raw form if this infringes either the promise of confidentiality and anonymity made to participants, or the stated reasons for the research on which informed consent was agreed. Extended embargo periods may provide a way of securing the material for future researchers, including those from source communities, while honouring present commitments. In the longer term, it might be proper to make available fieldnotes and other research material for use by other researchers e.g. by including them in relevant archives. Anthropologists should make this clear when securing informed consent. Anthropologists should be cognisant that they might not be able to protect their fieldnotes to the fullest extent and hence care must be taken as to how data is recorded.
e) Anthropologists should similarly respect the measures taken by other researchers to maintain the anonymity of their research field and participants.
6) Fair return for assistance: There should be no economic exploitation of individual informants, translators, groups, animals and research participants or cultural or biological materials; fair return should be made for their help and services.
7) Participants' intellectual property rights: It should be recognised that research participants have contractual and/or legal interests and rights in data, recordings and publications, although rights will vary according to agreements and legal jurisdiction.
a) It is the obligation of the interviewer to inform the interviewee of their rights under any copyright or data protection laws of the country where research takes place, and the interviewer should indicate beforehand any uses to which the anthropological use of interview methods is likely to be put (e.g., research, educational use, publication, broadcasting etc).
b) Under the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988), researchers making audio or video recordings should obtain 'copyright clearance' from interviewees if recordings are to be publicly broadcast or deposited in public archives. Any restrictions on use (e.g. time period) or other conditions (e.g. preservation of anonymity) which the interviewee requires should be recorded in writing or can also be done audio-visually as a record of oral consent. This is best done at the time of the interview (the anthropological use of this method), using a standard form. Retrospective clearance is often time-consuming or impossible where the interviewee is deceased or has moved away.
c) Interviewers should clarify before interviewing the extent to which subjects are allowed to see transcripts of interviews, and field notes and to alter the content, withdraw statements, provide additional information or to add glosses on interpretations.
d) Clarification should also be given to subjects regarding the degree to which they will be consulted prior to publication.
8) Participants' involvement in research: As far as is possible anthropologists should try and involve the people from the communities/cultures/societies being studied in the planning and execution of research projects. They should recognise that their obligations to the participants or the host community may not end (indeed should not end, many would argue) with the completion of their fieldwork or research project.
II. Relations with and responsibilities towards sponsors, funders and employers
Anthropologists should attempt to ensure that sponsors, funders and employers appreciate the obligations that they have not only to them, but also to research participants and to professional colleagues.
1) Clarifying roles, rights and obligations: Anthropologists should clarify in advance the respective roles, rights and obligations of sponsor, funder, employer and researcher:
a) They should be careful not to promise or imply acceptance of conditions which would be contrary to professional ethics or competing commitments. Where conflicts seem likely, they should refer sponsors or other interested parties to the relevant portions of the professional guidelines;
b) Anthropologists who work in non-academic settings should be particularly aware of likely constraints on research and publication and of the potentiality for conflict between the aims of the employer, funder or sponsor and the interests of the communities/cultures/societies studied;
c) Where some or all of the research participants are also acting as sponsors and/or funders of the research the potential for conflict between their different roles and interests should be made clear to them.
2) Obligations to sponsors, funders and employers: Anthropologists should recognise their general and specific obligations to sponsors, funders and employers whether these are contractually defined or are only the subject of informal, and often unwritten, agreements. In particular:
a) They should be honest about their qualifications and expertise, about the limitations, advantages and disadvantages of their methods and data, and they should acknowledge the necessity for discretion with confidential information provided by sponsors and employers;
b) They should not conceal personal or other factors which might affect the satisfactory conduct or completion of the proposed research project or contract.
3) Negotiating 'research space': Anthropologists should be careful to clarify, preferably in advance of signing contracts or starting their research, matters relating to their professional domain and to their control over the research project and its products:
a) They are entitled to full disclosure of the sources of funds, personnel and aims of the institution for the purpose(s) of the research project and the disposition of research results;
b) They are entitled to expect from a sponsor, funder or employer a respect for their professional expertise and for the integrity of the data, whether or not these obligations are incorporated in formal contracts. Even when contractual obligations may necessitate the guarding of privileged information, the methods and procedures that have been utilised to produce the published data should not be kept confidential;
c) They should pay particular attention to matters such as: their ability to protect the rights and interests of research participants; their ability to make all ethical decisions in their research; and their own and other parties' rights in data collected, in publications, copyright and royalties.
4) Relations with gatekeepers: Where access to subjects is controlled by a national or local 'gatekeeper', researchers should not devolve their responsibilities onto the gatekeeper. Whilst respecting gatekeepers' legitimate interests, researchers should adhere to the principle of obtaining informed consent directly from subjects once access has been gained. They should be wary of inadvertently disturbing the relationship between subjects and gatekeepers since that will continue long after the researcher has left the field.
III. Relations with, and responsibilities towards, colleagues and the discipline
Anthropologists derive their status and certain privileges of access to research participants and to data not only by virtue of their personal standing but also by virtue of their professional citizenship. In acknowledging membership of a wider anthropological community anthropologists owe various obligations to that community and can expect consideration from it.
1) Individual responsibility: Anthropologists bear responsibility for the good reputation of the discipline and its practitioners. In considering the methods, procedures, content and reporting of their enquiries, their behaviour in the field and relations with research participants and field assistant, they should therefore try to ensure that their activities will not jeopardize future research. Thus, anthropological researchers are subject to the general moral rules of scientific and scholarly conduct: they should not deceive or knowingly misrepresent (e.g. fabricate evidence, falsify, or plagiarise), or attempt to prevent reporting of misconduct, or obstruct the scientific/scholarly research of others.
2) Conflicts of interest and consideration for colleagues: It should be recognised that there may be conflicts of interest (professional and political) between anthropologists, particularly between visiting and local researchers, and especially when cross-national research is involved:
a) Consideration for and consultation with anthropologists who have already worked or are currently working in the proposed research setting is advisable and is also a professional courtesy. In particular, the vulnerability of long-term research projects to academic intrusion should be recognised;
b) In cross-national research, consideration should be given to the interests of local scholars and researchers, to the problems that may result from matters such as the disparities in resources available to visiting researchers, and to problems of equity in collaboration. As far as is possible and practicable, visiting anthropologists should try and involve local anthropologists and scholars in their research activities but should be alert to the potential for harm that such collaboration might entail in some contexts.
3) Sharing research materials: Anthropologists should give consideration to ways in which research data and findings can be shared with colleagues and with research participants. However in certain instances this can prove to be difficult where political leaders, invading armies, military, multi-national corporations and the state are being criticised on various matters of injustice.
a) Research findings, publications and, where feasible, data should be made available in the country where the research took place. If necessary, it should be translated into the national or local language. Researchers should be alert, though, to the harm to research participants, collaborators and local colleagues that might arise from total or even partial disclosure of raw or processed data or from revelations of their involvement in the research project. Anthropologists should weigh up the intended and potential uses of their work and the impact of its distribution in determining whether limited availability of results is warranted and ethical in any given instance.
b) Where the sharing with colleagues of raw, or even processed data or their (voluntary or obligatory) deposition in data archives or libraries is envisaged, care should be taken not to breach privacy and guarantees of confidentiality and anonymity, and appropriate safeguards should be devised.
4) Collaborative and team research: In some cases anthropologists will need to collaborate with researchers in other disciplines, as well as with research and field assistants, clerical staff, students etc. In such cases they should make clear their own ethical and professional obligations and similarly take account of the ethical principles of their collaborators. Care ASA Ethical Guidelines 2011 www.theasa.org 9 should be taken to clarify roles, rights and obligations of team members in relation to matters such as the division of labour, responsibilities, access to and rights in data and fieldnotes, publication, co-authorship, professional liability, etc.
5) Responsibilities towards research students and field assistants: Academic supervisors and project directors should ensure that students and assistants are aware of the ethical guidelines and should discuss with them potential (as well as actual) problems which may arise during the stages/periods of fieldwork or writing-up. Teachers/mentors should publicly acknowledge student/trainee assistance in research and preparation of their work; give appropriate credit for co-authorship to students/trainees; encourage publication of worthy student/trainee papers; and compensate students/trainees justly for their participation in all professional activities. It should also be a duty to acknowledge the support and intellectual input of colleagues in the field.
IV. Relations with own and host governments
Anthropologists should be honest and candid in their relations with their own and host governments.
1) Conditions of access: Researchers should seek assurance that they will not be required to compromise their professional and scholarly responsibilities as a condition of being granted research access.
2) Cross-national research: Research conducted outside one's own country raises special ethical and political issues relating to personal and national disparities in wealth, power, the legal status of the researcher, political interest and his or her national political systems:
a) Anthropologists should bear in mind the differences between the civil and legal, and often the financial position of national and foreign researchers and scholars;
b) They should be aware that irresponsible actions by a researcher or research team may jeopardise access to a research setting or even to a whole country for other researchers, both anthropologist and non-anthropologist. Being cognisant of the consequence of one's research activities is particularly relevant when anthropologists consulting for governments, multi-national corporations, invading armies and the military do not prioritise the rights and interests of the local population and in cases where the ostensible aims of the intervention might reasonably be questioned by critical and reflective social scientists.
3) Open research: Anthropologists owe a responsibility to their colleagues around the world and to the discipline as a whole not to use their anthropological role as a cover for clandestine research or activities.
4) Legal and administrative constraints: Anthropologists should note that there may be a number of national laws or administrative regulations which may affect the conduct of their research, matters pertaining to data dissemination and storage, publication and rights of research subjects, sponsors and employers, etc They should also remember that, save in a very few exceptional circumstances, social research data are not privileged under law and may be subject to legal subpoena. Such laws vary by jurisdiction. Some which may have consequences for research and publication in the U.K. are, for example, the Data Protection Act, law of confidence, Race Relations Act, defamation laws, copyright law, law of contract, and the Official Secrets Act.
V. Responsibilities to the wider society
Anthropologists also have responsibilities towards other members of the public and wider society. They depend upon the confidence of the public and they should in their work attempt to promote and preserve such confidence without exaggerating the accuracy or explanatory power of their findings.
1) Widening the scope of social research: Anthropologists should use the possibilities open to them to extend the scope of social inquiry and to communicate their findings for the benefit of the widest possible community. Anthropologists are most likely to avoid restrictions being placed on their work when they are able to stipulate in advance the issues over which they should maintain control; the greatest problems seem to emerge when such issues remain unresolved until the data are collected or the findings emerge.
2) Considering conflicting interests: Social inquiry is predicated on the belief that greater access to well-founded information will serve rather than threaten the interests of society/ies:
a) Nonetheless, in planning all phases of an inquiry, from design to presentation of findings, anthropologists should also consider the likely consequences for the wider society, groups within it, and possible future research, as well as for members of the research population not directly involved in the study as well as the immediate research participants;
b) That information can be misconstrued or misused is not in itself a convincing argument against its collection and dissemination. All information is subject to misuse and no information is devoid of possible harm to one interest or another. Individuals may be harmed by their participation in social inquiries, or group interests may be harmed by certain findings. Researchers are usually not in a position to prevent action based on their findings; but they should, attempt to pre-empt likely misinterpretations and to counteract them when they occur.
3) Maintaining professional and scholarly integrity: Research can never be entirely objective - the selection of topics may reflect a bias in favour of certain cultural or personal values, the employment base of the researcher, the source of funding and any of these other factors may impose certain priorities, obligations and prohibitions. But anthropologists should strive for impartiality and fair representation and be open about known barriers to its achievement:
a) Anthropologists should not engage or collude in selecting methods designed to produce misleading results or in misrepresenting findings, either by commission or omission;
b) When it is likely that research findings will bear upon public policy and opinion anthropologists should be careful to state any significant limitations on their findings and interpretations.
The reputation of anthropological research will inevitably depend less on what professional bodies assert about their ethical norms than on the conduct of individual researchers. We recognise that ethical views and conclusions may legitimately differ, even when there is agreement about the facts of the case. The researcher thereby needs to reflect on their own position in the research and their research practices at all stages. These guidelines are aimed at helping anthropologists to reach an equitable and satisfactory resolution of their (potential) dilemmas. This statement of ideals does not impose a rigid set of rules backed by institutional sanctions, given the variations in both individuals' moral precepts and the conditions under which they work. Guidelines cannot resolve difficulties in a vacuum nor allocate greater priority to one of the principles than another. Instead, they are aimed at educating anthropologists, sensitizing them to the potential sources of ethical conflict and dilemmas that may arise in research, scholarship and professional practice, and at being informative and descriptive rather than authoritarian or prescriptive. They aim to ensure that where a departure from the principles is contemplated or where the privileging of one group or interested party or parties is deemed situationally or legally necessary, the researcher's decisions should be based on foresight and informed deliberation.
Just as the current document has been immeasurably enriched by comments and contributions from ASA members, we very much hope that ASA membership will continue to call attention to issues and resources relating to the ethical guidelines of anthropology for the purpose of debate and deliberation.
The amendments to the ASA Ethics Guidelines were drafted by the ASA Executive Committee Members during the period July 2010 – November 2011. The Committee members were James Fairhead, Raminder Kaur, Nayanika Mookherjee, James Staples, Catherine Degnen and Garry Marvin. The ASA Ethics Guidelines were last updated in 1999 and on receiving considerable feedback from the ASA members the need was felt to update and amend the Guidelines in the light of the changing disciplinary nature of anthropology. The first version of this draft amended Guidelines were sent to all ASA Members in February 2011. A large number of ASA members responded with comments and thanks to all for contributing to this process. At the ASA AGM held on 4th March 2011 it was decided that the recent amendments would be incorporated into the Ethics Guidelines and this second version of the draft guidelines will be finalised in due course in June 2011. Thereafter that version of the document was sent out to all ASA members for a final consultation process and all subsequent responses were received by end of July 2011 for them to be incorporated into the document. This version of the ASA Ethics Guidelines was proposed at an extraordinary AGM at the ASA 2011 conference in Lampeter, Wales on 15th September 2011. On 12th October 2011, the Executive committee approved this version of the Ethics Guidelines. The Committee considered all comments from the membership in formulating the final draft in October 2011. The Committee also gratefully acknowledges the use of some language from the codes of ethics of the American Anthropological Association. We hope to publish this version of the Ethics Guidelines on the ASA web site (http://www.theasa.org). Members are urged to bring to the attention of the ASA ethics officer (ethics(at)asa.org) any amendments that they would like to make to the ethics guidelines and suggested amendments can be added annually to the Guidelines as Addenda, on approval at the ASA AGM.