An analysis of ethics laws, compliance with ethical standards, and ethical core competency within the Department of the Army
Bagwell, Thomas, Jr.
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This project examines the Department of the Army (DA) ethics laws, compliance with ethical standards, and ethics training core competency requirement to address Acquisition Research Program Topic #T15-013: Ethics--Can it be taught? What changes are needed in civilian and military leadership training to address recent ethical violations and to ensure that future leaders are well grounded in their ethical responsibilities and standards of conduct? This research explores the disparities between the DA ethics training objectives versus the subjectivity involved in applying ethical principles to decision-making. We analyze the DA ethics training courses, policies, and procedures. The project explores the distinctions between ethics, values, integrity, standards of conduct, and morality as they relate to clearly defined ethics rules and scenarios where ethical laws or policies may be ambiguous or absent. The research methodology includes a comparative analysis of the Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and DA ethics training objectives. We also provide an analysis of adjudicated cases involving ethical failures to address changes needed in DA training to ensure that future leaders understand their ethical responsibilities and standards of conduct.
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