June 12, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Darrin P. Sobin, Director Government Ethics
BEGA SUBMITS NEW COMPREHENSIVE CODE OF CONDUCT TO THE D.C. COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL
(Washington, DC) -- The Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA) today submitted to the Council for the District of Columbia a proposed Bill to adopt, as law, a new ethics code that will be applicable to all employees and elected officials of the District of Columbia. The Bill is entitled the “Comprehensive Code of Conduct of the District of Columbia Establishment and BEGA Amendment Act of 2015 (CCC).”
The measure is an attempt to codify the District’s ethics laws into one body of law. The CCC is a culmination of a year-long effort of BEGA personnel. Also, the bill incorporates feedback from the legislative and legal community. The Comprehensive Code of Conduct reflects input from dozens of interviews with city officials, two public forums at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, collaboration with ethics specialists in and outside of the District of Columbia and national best practices generally.
The new Code addresses such subjects as gifts to government officials by outside sources, regulation of Lobbyists, appropriate constituent services by elected officials and revolving door restrictions on post-government employment.
BEGA was directed to draft and submit this legislation by the Council in July 2014, and this Bill is the result. As part of the legislative package, BEGA has prepared a “side-by-side” explanation for each of the provisions in the Code explaining whether a provision deviates from existing law and if so how and why.
“This Bill is an important next step in the continuation of ethics reform in the District, which started with the creation of BEGA in 2012. We have done a tremendous amount of outreach both inside and outside of the government as we prepared this Bill. There should be no surprises for anyone and it is my fervent hope that the Council will move expeditiously to consider and pass this important legislation,” said Darrin P. Sobin, the Director of Government Ethics.
# # #