'All of us face ethical choices every day'

US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in a Jan. 26 memorandum to all Department of the Interior employees, discusses their ethical responsibilities in the new administration.

"On his first full day in office, President [Barack H.] Obama issued an executive order raising the bar and establishing the highest ethical standards for Executive Branch personnel. As part of this commitment, all political appointees are required to sign and adhere to an ethics pledge: (1) to not accept gifts from a registered lobbyist or lobbying organization; (2) to comply with enhanced revolving door conflict of interest bans, both during and upon leaving government service; and (3) to make hiring or other employment decisions based on the candidate's qualifications, competence, and experience.

"While the executive order immediately binds only political appointees, the president also ordered the Office of Government Ethics to develop rules and regulations consistent with the ethics pledge for all Executive Branch employees, where applicable. I am confident that employees at the Department of the Interior aspire to the same level of personal and professional integrity in the pursuit of our remarkable and special missions. I expect all employees, both career and political, to adhere to all ethics laws, regulations, and guidelines applicable to employees of the Department of the Interior, including the 14 general principles of ethical conduct specifically applicable to Executive Branch employees.

"I also want each of you to become familiar with the ethics pledge for political appointees of the new administration and to honor its principles as we all strive to achieve the highest level of ethical conduct, consistent with the oath of office each of us takes, to 'well and faithfully discharge the duties' of our positions. The American people whom we all serve have a right to expect that all employees of the department place loyalty to the Constitution, public laws, and applicable ethical policies and principles above private gain. We fulfill this trust by adhering to our own standards of personal and professional integrity as well as specific ethical regulations, and by being fully accountable for our conduct.

"But mere compliance with minimum ethics requirements is not enough to fully meet our obligations to uphold the deep and abiding trust that the public places in all civil servants. It is essential that we fully honor President Obama's commitment to the highest standards of conduct and decision making. To that end, before any changes to government-wide rules are implemented, I have met with and directed the designated agency ethics official to review our departmental specific regulations and recommend areas where we can improve on our own ethical policies and guidance.

"All of us face ethical choices every day in the conduct of our business. I urge you to seek the assistance of your bureau or office ethics official who, along with the department ethics office, are ready to assist you in providing ethics guidance to help you avoid even the appearance of impropriety in carrying out your work. Only authorized ethics officials may interpret ethics rules and statutes, and only they can provide authoritative and protective advice for your questions.

"It is important that you seek ethics advice early, before taking action, and that you provide a complete and honest description of all of the relevant facts."

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

Related Articles

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

US needs more data before ending crude export ban, House panel told

12/11/2014 Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and...

BOEM raises offshore oil spill liability limit to $134 million

12/11/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from ...

Rosneft, Essar sign terms of oil supply agreement

12/11/2014 OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

North Dakota producers face new vapor pressure standards

12/10/2014 North Dakota has approved new rail transportation safety standards for crude oil that stipulate operating standards for oil-conditioning equipment ...

Chevron, ONGC among companies awarded 15 exploration permits by New Zealand

12/09/2014 New Zealand’s government has awarded six onshore permits across the Taranaki, West Coast, and East Coast basins, and nine offshore permits across t...

Small subset of wells accounts for most methane emissions, researchers say

12/09/2014 A small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for most methane emissions from US natural gas production, said a study from the University of ...

Methane controls just part of complete climate strategy, speakers say

12/08/2014 Reducing oil and gas operations’ methane emissions is an essential, but far from the only, part of a comprehensive climate strategy, speakers at a ...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected