Travel Compliance: Ethics Training for Industry and Government, Department of Human Resources Activity
Speaker: Thomas Serrano
“Ethics at heart are moralistic principles—the concepts of right and wrong—applied to a profession,” explained Thomas Serrano, Legal Counsel to the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) and Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA). His comment was made as part of his presentation, Ethics Training for Industry and Government, Department of Human Resources Activity, the first in a series of four Travel Academy sessions that are part of the 2022 GovTravels [LITE] virtual event.
The presentation provided the government perspective on ethics, what government employees must consider in their interactions with industry and ethics principles. In addition, Serrano addressed specific topics related to ethics and provided examples of ethical violations.
Serrano summarized and paraphrased the 14 principles of ethics in public service into a Do and Don’t list for the audience:
- DO place loyalty to the Constitution the laws and ethical principles above private gain
- DO act impartially to all groups, persons, and organizations
- DO give an honest effort in the performance of your duties
- DO protect and conserve Federal property
- DO disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities
- DO fulfill in good faith your obligations as a citizen and pay your Federal, State, and local taxes
- DO comply with all laws providing equal opportunity to all persons, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap
- DON’T use public office for private gain
- DON’T use nonpublic information to benefit yourself or anyone else
- DON’T solicit or accept gifts from persons or parties that do business with or seek official action from DOD (unless permitted by an exception)
- DON’T make unauthorized commitments or promises that bind the government
- DON’T use Federal property other than authorized activities
- DON’T take jobs or hold financial interests that conflict with your government responsibilities
- DON’T take actions that give the appearance that they are illegal or unethical
The Department of Defense (DOD) is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards for all of its employees. To do that, DOD has support systems in place to help government employees determine what is ethically appropriate or legally required of its workforce. Adhering to the rules outlined by Serrano can help to avoid the ethical landmines of government-industry relationships and ensure you are ready to do what is right when ethical dilemmas arise.