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Ethical Decisions Presented By Michael Clark. Overview Air Force Core Values Ethics Definition Prescriptive Approaches Decision Making Government Auditing.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethical Decisions Presented By Michael Clark. Overview Air Force Core Values Ethics Definition Prescriptive Approaches Decision Making Government Auditing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethical Decisions Presented By Michael Clark

2 Overview Air Force Core Values Ethics Definition Prescriptive Approaches Decision Making Government Auditing Standards Code of Ethics General Ethics Principles Ethical Decision Making Process Examples of Poor Ethical Decisions

3 Air Force Core Values Integrity first Service before self Excellence in all we do!

4 Exploring Ethics What is the right thing to do?

5 Ethics in the public service Why are ethics important? Why should we act ethically? How important are ethics in the public service?

6 Exploring ethics What are my ethics? What are my ethics based on?

7 Ethics Definition Ethics o The inner-guiding moral principles, values, and beliefs that people use to analyze or interpret a situation and then decide what is the “right” or appropriate way to behave.

8 What is an Ethical Dilemma? A situation where values are in conflict o Two or more values you hold dear - or – o Personal value conflicts with organizational value Value Value

9 Prescriptive Approaches Focus on consequences (consequentialist theories) Focus on duties, obligations, principles (deontological theories) Focus on integrity (virtue ethics)

10 Focus on Consequences (Consequentialist Theories) Utilitarianism - best known consequentialist theory Identify alternative actions and consequences to stakeholders Best decision yields greatest net benefits to society Worst decision yields greatest net harms to society

11 Consequentialist Questions Can I indentify all the stakeholders? o Immediate, distant? What are the potential actions I could take? What are the harms and benefits for stakeholders given potential decisions/actions? What decision will produce the most benefit (and least harm) for the greatest number of people, and for society at large?

12 Focus on Duties, Obligations, Principles (Deontological Theories) Decisions based upon abstract universal principles: honesty, promise-keeping, fairness, rights, justice, respect Focus on doing what’s “right” (consistent with these principles) rather than doing what will maximize societal welfare (as in utilitarianism)

13 Focus on Integrity (Virtue Ethics) Focus on integrity of moral actor rather than the act o Considers character, motivations, intentions o Character defined by one’s community Need to identify relevant community Disclosure rule

14 Government Auditing Standards Provide Accountability – Ensure management and officials manage government resources and use their authority in accordance with the law – Ensure government programs are achieving objectives – Ensure government services are provided effectively and efficiently Competence, Integrity, Objectivity, and Independence Ethical Principals – Public Interest – Integrity – Objectivity – Proper use of Information – Professional Behavior

15 Code of Ethics Principles 1. Integrity The integrity of internal auditors establishes trust and thus provides the basis for reliance on their judgment. 2. Objectivity Internal auditors exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the activity or process being examined. Internal auditors make a balanced assessment of all the relevant circumstances and are not unduly influenced by their own interests or by others in forming judgments 3. Confidentiality Internal auditors respect the value and ownership of information they receive and do not disclose information without appropriate authority unless there is a legal or professional obligation to do so. 4. Competency Internal auditors apply the knowledge, skills, and experience needed in the performance of internal audit services.

16 General Ethics Principals 5 C.F.R. § ”The following general principles apply to every employee and may form the basis for the standards contained in this part. (1) Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain. (2) Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty. (3) Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

17 General Ethics Principals 5 C.F.R. § (4) An employee shall not, except as permitted by subpart B of this part, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties. (5) Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties. (6) Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government. (7) Employees shall not use public office for private gain.

18 General Ethics Principals (8) Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual. (9) Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities. (10) Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities. (11) Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.

19 General Ethics Principals 5 C.F.R. § (12) Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those such as Federal, State, or local taxes that are imposed by law. (13) Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap. (14) Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in this part. Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.”

20 Gifts Government employees may not accept or solicit gifts: Offered because of their official position, OR From a “prohibited source” (such as a government contractor). 5 C.F.R. § A gift to a government employee’s spouse, parent, child or sibling -- because of the person’s relationship to the government employee -- is considered to be a gift to the government employee.

21 Gifts  Questions to Consider:  Does an Exception Apply?  $20/$50  Based on Personal Relationship  Discount/Similar Benefits  Award/Honoary Degree  Based on Outside Employment/Business  Gift in Connection with Political Activities  Widely Attended Gatherings

22 Gifts $20/$50 Rule You may accept gifts up to $20 in value at one time (but never cash or investments). Gifts from one source (e.g., one company) cannot exceed $50 in value in a calendar year. You may not “buy down” to $20, i.e., pay $5 and then accept a gift worth $25. The $20 limit is per occasion and per source. For example, at a trade show you may accept gifts worth $20 or less from several different contractors on the same day.

23 Gifts between Employees Gifts to Superiors.  An employee may not: “(1) Directly or indirectly, give a gift to or make a donation toward a gift for an official superior; or (2) Solicit a contribution from another employee for a gift to either his own or the other employee’s official superior.” 5 C.F.R. § Gifts from Employees Receiving less Pay.  “[A]n employee may not, directly or indirectly, accept a gift from an employee receiving less pay than himself unless: (1) The two employees are not in a subordinate- official superior relationship; and (2) There is a personal relationship between the two employees that would justify the gift. “ 5 C.F.R. §

24 Conflict of Interest (18 U.S.C. § 208) You may not participate personally & substantially (e.g., make a decision, give advice, make a recommendation) in any government matter that would affect the financial interests of: You, your spouse, or your minor child, Your general partner An organization in which you are serving as an officer, director, trustee, general partner or employee, OR An organization with which you are negotiating for employment, or have an arrangement for future employment.

25 Conflict of Interest -- Stock  Federal employees, including reservists, may not work on any government matter (e.g., contract, source selection or claim) that affects the financial interests of a company, if they (or their spouse or minor child) own stock in the company.  Exception if value of stock owned by you, your spouse & minor children in all companies involved in the matter is $15,000 or less. 5 C.F.R. § (a).

26 Misuse of Position Use of Government property. An employee has a duty to protect and conserve Government property and shall not use such property, or allow its use, for other than authorized purposes. Use of an employee's own time. Unless authorized in accordance with law or regulations to use such time for other purposes, an employee shall use official time in an honest effort to perform official duties. Every employee not on leave has an obligation to expend an honest effort and a reasonable proportion of his time in the performance of official duties.

27 Misuse of Position Compensation for teaching, speaking or writing. Except as permitted by paragraph (a)(3) of this section, an employee, including a special Government employee, shall not receive compensation from any source other than the Government for teaching, speaking or writing that relates to the employee's official duties.

28 Misuse of Position Teaching, speaking or writing relates to the employee's official duties if: (A) The activity is undertaken as part of the employee's official duties; (B) The circumstances indicate that the invitation to engage in the activity was extended to the employee primarily because of his official position rather than his expertise on the particular subject matter; (C) The invitation to engage in the activity or the offer of compensation for the activity was extended to the employee, directly or indirectly, by a person who has interests that may be affected substantially by performance or nonperformance of the employee's official duties;

29 Misuse of Position (D) The information conveyed through the activity draws substantially on ideas or official data that are nonpublic information as defined in § (b); or (b) (E) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(E)(4) of this section, the subject of the activity deals in significant part with:

30 Off-Duty Employment DoD employees must get prior approval of off duty employment if they file a financial disclosure report and if they will work for a “prohibited source” (such as a DoD contractor). Off duty employment can be disapproved only if it is prohibited by statute or regulation, would detract from readiness, or would create a security risk.

31 STEPS OF THE ETHICAL DECISION MAKING PROCESS 1. Gather the facts 2. Define the ethical issues 3. Identify the affected parties (stakeholders) 4. Identify the consequences 5. Identify the obligations (principles, rights, justice) 6. Consider your character and integrity 7. Think creatively about potential actions 8. Check your gut 9. Decide on the proper ethical action and be prepared to deal with opposing arguments

32 Poor Ethical Decisions Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were convicted this year of taking bribes to promote a dietary supplement in a corruption case that derailed the career of the onetime rising Republican star. A federal jury in Richmond convicted Bob McDonnell of 11 of the 13 counts he faced; Maureen McDonnell was convicted of nine of the 13 counts she had faced. Both bowed their heads and wept as the court clerk read a chorus of "guilty" verdicts.

33 Va. Governor Bob McDonnell Conviction

34 Poor Ethical Decisions Former New Orleans mayor C. Ray Nagin — who became the face of a desperate, drowning city during Hurricane Katrina — was convicted Wednesday on charges of accepting bribes from city contractors while in office. Nagin, a Democrat, was found guilty by a federal jury on 20 of 21 criminal counts, including bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud. He was acquitted on one count of bribery. Prosecutors said that Nagin accepted illegal gifts from contractors, beginning before Katrina hit and continuing afterward. Among the gifts: money, free vacation travel and truckloads of granite for Stone Age LLC, a business Nagin and his sons owned.

35 New Orleans Mayor Nagin Conviction

36 Poor Ethical Decisions Two San Diego-area defense contractors and one of their companies have been convicted in a long-running scheme that authorities said exchanged bribes and gifts for millions of dollars in Navy contracts. Contractors showered Navy officials at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, CA, with cash, checks, gift cards, flat screen TVs, luxury massage chairs, bicycles, model airplanes, and other items, the FBI reported. The defendants also submitted fraudulent invoices to the Department of Defense that appeared to bill the department for goods and services within the scope of legitimate contracts.

37 Conclusion Air Force Core Values Ethics Definition Prescriptive Approaches Decision Making Government Auditing Standards Code of Ethics General Ethics Principles Ethical Decision Making Process Examples of Poor Ethical Decisions


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