An effectiveness analysis of the U.S. Federal Government executive branch ethics policy and program
Stewart, Chanet N.
Engelbeck, R. Marshall
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A Principle-Agent relationship exists between employees of the U.S. Federal Government Executive Branch and the American public, where the employees represent the agent and the American public is the principle. As public servants, whether elected or non-elected, Executive Branch employees are expected to make decisions and spend taxpayer dollars in ways that promote the overall interests of the American public. Public servants regularly encounter situations that would encourage them to place their personal benefit above public benefit. The Executive Branch seeks to minimize these potential conflicts and align the agent's interests with those of the American public through a very detailed and comprehensive ethics program. This thesis sought to assess the effectiveness of the program. Historical development of the program, as well as its current components was explained. A random sample of Executive Branch employees were surveyed to assess their understanding of and compliance with the ethics program. Based on the responses provided in the survey, the researcher concluded, the Executive Branch ethics program is fairly successful in aligning its employees' interests with those of the American public. However, there are areas within the program that could be improved upon, and recommendations specific to these areas are provided at the conclusion of the thesis.
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