United States Department of Defense Standards of Conduct Office

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Each chapter addresses a separate ethics topic and provides an introduction with explanation of the applicable references to rules and regulations and ethical principles in each area. The chapters are organized by major sub-areas and generally run within those areas from most general to more specific. Some subject matter may overlap with other chapters.

Each title heading in the table below links to the relevant chapter in the current Deskbook. Also listed are links to the related presentation from the latest Ethics Counselor Course and (if available) web resources for the topic.


Ethics Counselor Fundamentals (Rev. 06/2014)

Introduces ethics principles, the Joint Ethics Regulation, key definitions, and the role of the ethics counselor.

Presentation (Rev. 06/2014)
Joint Ethics Regulation

Running an Effective Ethics Program (Rev.11/2013)

Provides practical advice on becoming an effective ethics counselor, including best practices, research references, operating procedures, recordkeeping, and outreach ideas.

Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)

Ethics Program Reviews

Describes what to expect when the auditor comes calling and how to prepare with regular program reviews.

Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)
DoD Program Review and Audit Guide
OGE Tips on Preparing for an Ethics Program Review
OGE Guidelines for Conducting Reviews of Ethics Programs at Executive Branch Agencies
OGE Checklist of Ethics Materials
OGE Program Review Lifecycle
OGE Ethics Program Inspection Results Form
OGE Agency Program Review Evaluation Form (Modified)



Financial Disclosure (Rev. 08/2014)

Fundamentals details an effective program for handling both public and confidential financial disclosure reports (OGE 278 and OGE 450), including who files, when, and on which form. The applied financial disclosure chapter focuses on reviewing reports and identifying potentially conflicting interests.

Presentation (Rev. 10/2014)
Database Tracking System
OGE Forms 278, 450 and Instructions for use at DoD
IPA Filers (OGE Memo 2x11)

Advanced Financial Disclosure (Rev. 10/2014)

The Standard of Review should meet the requirements of an OGE audit. Specifically, review of reports should be two-fold. The initial review must address procedural questions. A second review is the more substantive review meant to identify potential conflicts of interest. Best practice: Ensure reviews meet OGE standards.

Presentation (Rev. 10/2013)

Financial Disclosure Management (FDM) (Rev. 03/2014)

Introduces how DoD ethics officials use the Army's secure, online Financial Disclosure Management (FDM) system to electronically manage and review the OGE 278, Public Financial Disclosure Report, and the OGE 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, process.

Presentation (Rev. 03/2014)

Conflicts of Interest (Rev. 03/2014)

Outlines the statutory and regulatory prohibitions on conflicting financial interests. It includes imputed interests, disqualification and waiver, impartiality, and outside employment issues.

Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)
DoD Special Government Employee Review Guide (Rev. 01/2014)

Fundraising (Rev. 11/2013)

Provides guidance on official support to fundraising activities directed to Government personnel, including the Combined Federal Campaign and organizations of personnel, such as the relief societies. It also addresses support for NFE events directed to the public, such as requests for endorsement, speakers, and musical support.

Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)
DoD Military Ball Guidance
DoD Memo on Invitations to DoD Officials

Gifts (Rev. 05/2014)

Provides an overview of personal gifts to individuals from outside sources, including items exempted from the definition of "gift" and exceptions to the general prohibition on gift acceptance, such as widely attended gatherings (WAGs) and awards. Also covered are gifts to the agency, gifts of travel, gifts from foreign Governments, gifts between employees, gifts to injured or wounded service members, and travel-related gifts.

Presentation (Rev. 06/2014)
Holiday Guidance for Department of Defense Personnel (11/2014)
DoD Guidance: Gifts to Service Members
DoD Guidance: Gifts Intended Solely for Presentation
DoD Guidance: Accepting Gifts of Travel
1353 Semi-Annual Report of Travel Payments Form
DoD Travel Alternatives When Visiting Contractor Facilities
Best Practices: Consistent Legal Guidance with Regard to Gift Acceptance (04/2014)

Outside Activities (Rev. 11/2013)

Discusses ethics issues arising from second jobs, volunteer work, jury duty, and other actions outside the work place that affect Government interests.

Handout (SASC Guidance Regarding Military Officers in Grades O-9 & O-10)
Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)
Teaching, Speaking, Writing Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)
DoD Guidance: Serving as Advisor to Defense Contractors

Post-Government Employment and Procurement Integrity (Rev. 09/2014)

Outlines key provisions of seeking and negotiating employment, disqualification requirements, lifetime bars for particular matters, senior official representation back to component rules, Emoluments Clause, and more.

Presentation (Rev. 03/2014)
DoD Seeking Employment Restrictions (Rev. 01/2014)
DoD Procurement Integrity Act Restrictions (Rev. 01/2014)
DoD Employment Restrictions - Non-Senior (Rev. 01/2014)
DoD Employment Restrictions - Senior (Rev. 01/2014)
DoD Guidance: Application of Procurement Integrity Act and Regulations
DoD Guidance: Applying Compensation Ban to Program Managers
SOCO White Paper: Application of Emoluments Clause to DoD Civilian Employees and Military Personnel (Rev. 03/2013)
Emoluments Presentation (Rev. 03/2014)
Annual Post-Employment Certification Form (Rev. 01/2014)

Relations With Non-Federal Entities (Rev. 11/2013)

Provides a comprehensive analysis of participation personally or officially in an NFE. Discusses liaisons, authorized support, DoD and co-managed (sponsored) conferences, and co-located events.

Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)

Use of Government Resources (Rev. 11/2013)

Details prohibited misuse of resources, including official time, personnel, non-public information, communications systems and other equipment.



Contractors in the Work Place

Outlines ethical concerns in dealing with Government contractors. Includes gifts, social events, timekeeping, transportation, endorsement concerns, and more.

DoD Guidance: Ethics Issues in Government-Contractor Teambuilding
DoD Holiday Guidance
DoD Travel Alternatives When Visiting Contractor Facilities

DoD Inspector General Issues

An overview of the interaction between Inspectors General and Officials Ethic.

Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)

Public Affairs and the Ethics Counselor

A quick note on applying ethics principles in the public affairs world.


Reserve Components (Rev. 11/2013)

Demystifies Reserve and National Guard concerns, including status, conflict of interest prevention, financial disclosure reports, post-Government employment rules and political activity limitations.


Deployment Ethics

Contingency operations involve multiple levels of contractor support, from life support and sustainment to participation in combat operations. Most of the legal issues presented during deployment relate to procurement, fiscal, operational, and international law. There are no exceptions to the ethics and standards of conduct statutes and regulations applicable to the contractor relationship during contingency operations. Ethics Counselors should understand the laws and regulations applicable during contingency operations. This section is intended to be a checklist for deployment related ethics issues.

Handout - Deployment Indictment

NAFIs, MWR and the JER

Discusses the world of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation, including community services, family readiness groups, and more. The money is nonappropriated, the gift rules are different, and the potential ethics concerns are widespread.


Fiscal Law Overview (Rev. 11/2013)

Reviews the fiscal aspects of ethics, including expenditures of appropriated funds, by purpose, type, and time, use of ORF, EEE, and troublesome funding areas like "light refreshments," ceremonies, commander’s coins and mementos.


Conference Planning / Support Issues

A look at conferences from both sides. First, a "how to" for organizations running a conference, including negotiating the recent changes in funding restrictions. Second, an outline of the decision matrix for speaking at, or logistically supporting, a non-Federal entity’s conference.


Travel and Transportation (Rev. 11/2013)

Focuses on ethical concerns in Government and Government-funded air and motor vehicle travel, including spousal travel, premium class travel, transporting contractors, home-to-work and rental car restrictions.

Presentation (Rev. 11/2013)
Premium Class Travel
DoD Travel Alternatives When Visiting Contractor Facilities
Army Travel Issues

Book Deals

Explains when employees may receive compensation for writing a book.

Political Activities (Rev. 06/2014)

Discusses limits on civilian and uniformed service participation in partisan political fundraising, events, campaigns and seeking elective office.

Presentation - Political Activity and the Hatch Act (10/2014)
Presentation - Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces (Rev. 11/2013)
Partisan Political Activity Rules for Less Restricted DoD Civilians
Partisan Political Activity Rules for Further Restricted DoD Civilians
Social Media and the Hatch Act