Issues to Consider:

  • Conflicts of Interest. Federal employees should be aware that it is important to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest in our daily dealings with our partners. The goal is to separate partnership efforts enough from other business processes that a conflict of interest is avoided. It should never appear that the partnership relationship gives either party inappropriate benefit. Conflict of interest guidelines are applied through regulatory restrictions and criminal statutes. These guidelines protect employees from the appearance of a conflict of interest or impropriety.

  • Thorough Understanding of Ethics Laws/Regulations. Employees engaged in partnership activities must have a thorough understanding of the ethics laws and regulations in order to identify potential issues of concern in the development and implementation of the partnership.

  • Gray Areas. There may be "gray areas" in any ethics inquiry -- the statutes and regulations do not always create bright-line tests. By being familiar with these restrictions, employees and partners will be better able to ask the hard questions that must be asked, anticipate potential problems, and take steps to avoid ethics violations or the appearance of a violation.

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