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United States Office of Government Ethics, Preventing Conflicts of Interest in the Executive Branch

OGE and IGs: Two Sides of the Same Coin
June 22, 2020

Congress established the Office of Government Ethics in 1978 to be the policy and prevention body for ethics in the executive branch. At the same time, they saw a need for specialized investigators to help detect and combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the executive branch. In order to meet this need, Congress established Offices of Inspectors General with the Inspector General Act of 1978. Today, there are 73 Inspectors General working across the executive branch to improve the efficiency and integrity of the government’s work.


OGE has always worked alongside the Inspectors General (IGs), with OGE striving to prevent ethics violations and Inspectors General conducting investigations when violations do occur. To strengthen this relationship, OGE provides technical assistance to IGs during their ethics-related investigations and conducts formalized ethics training through the IG Academy. OGE also serves as a statutory member of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) and on the CIGIE Integrity Committee. CIGIE works on integrity, economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual agencies and helps to ensure that members of the IG community are well-trained and supported. 


In concert, OGE and agency ethics officials and IGs work to ensure the effectiveness of the executive branch ethics program. OGE is grateful for the work of its colleagues in the IG community and remains ever-ready to support IGs in ensuring that ethics standards are upheld and the government’s work is conducted with integrity.