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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989

Memorandum on Ethics in Government

1989-08-15

Memorandum to All Inspectors General of the Departments and Agencies

Subject: Ethics in Government

As a follow up to our meeting in late January, I wanted to reiterate my interest in and commitment to the highest ethical standards in government as well as my reliance on your vigilance to help me honor that commitment.

As you know, since we met, I submitted to the Congress in April legislation that would significantly revise federal ethics law to create a system that is reasonable and fair and yet upholds the highest standards of ethical conduct. I have now signed a message to the Congress transmitting another piece of legislation, one that would ban the receipt of honoraria by Members of Congress.

Even with adoption of these measures, I realize how much our system of ethical standards will still depend on the work of individuals, including particularly the specialists like you who devote their careers to the maintenance of high standards. We make every effort to select individuals of the highest integrity to work at each agency and to train everyone to understand what is required of them to uphold the public's trust. Nevertheless, your careful monitoring of agency activities and your diligence in investigating possible improprieties is essential both in ensuring that employees adhere to scrupulous standards and in ascertaining the facts and seeing that justice is done when employees fall short of proper conduct.

I know I can count on you all, and I thank you.

George Bush

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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