Ethics Program Reviews
Federal statutes and regulations require the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other Government agencies to institute an ethics program to inspire employees to fulfill the highest ideals of public service and to prevent and detect any ethics violations. To assess the effectiveness and integrity of such programs, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) conducts regular reviews of each agency’s ethics program. These reviews are a vital means to measure both agency compliance with Federal ethics requirements and the effectiveness of the agency’s program in preventing the occurrence of ethics violations.
To date, the OGE has conducted four reviews of the NRC’s ethics program. In accordance with Section 402 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, these reviews focused on the NRC’s financial disclosure systems, ethics education and training, and advice and counseling services.
Through these reviews, the OGE has consistently found that the NRC meets — and even exceeds —all required elements for an effective ethics program. OGE’s program reviews have noted that our ethics program complies with applicable ethics laws and regulations and “has several characteristics of a model program.” Our reviews of financial disclosure reports are “timely and thorough,” our ethics advice and counseling services “reflect careful analysis,” and our annual ethics training is “especially strong” in ensuring that NRC employees are aware of the requirements for ethical conduct. In addition, we have a “well-developed” process for enforcing laws regarding conflict of interest, as well as regulations for standards of conduct.
The most recent OGE reviews of the NRC’s ethics program were conducted in 1993 and 2003. In 2010, an onsite assessment of the NRC’s program led the OGE to conclude that a program review was not necessary, and we subsequently received the OGE’s Ethics Program Award in June 2010. For details, see the Related Information on this page.