The District’s Code of Conduct and BEGA
District government employees (other than court employees) are required to comply with the District’s Code of Conduct. The Code of conduct consists of various laws and regulations that limit many aspects of employee behavior including, but not limited to:
- Engaging in outside employment.
- Giving and receiving gifts.
- Using government resources for non-government purposes.
- Showing favoritism while performing your job.
- Leaving your government job and taking a new job that is related to your government job.
- Having a conflict of interest related to your job.
- Engaging in partisan political activity while employed by the District.
Note: All OAG employees and OAG volunteers must receive approval from the Attorney General before working at any outside employment. Contact the OAG Ethics Advisor for further details
BEGA and Violations
The DC Code of Conduct is enforced by the District’s Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA). For a copy of the manual and additional information about BEGA, see their website at http://bega.dc.gov.
Violations of the Code of Conduct are subject to penalties ranging from an informal admonition, to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation (or three times the amount of any money improperly paid), or referral for criminal prosecution.
In addition, BEGA advises District employees on the Code of Conduct and its enforcement. If an employee submits a formal request , that advice provides a “safe harbor”. This means that no enforcement action will be taken by BEGA against an employee if the employee fully and accurately disclosed all relevant circumstances and information in seeking the advisory opinion, and the employee complies with the terms of the advisory opinion.
Note: Ethics counselors at OAG cannot provide this special type of advice; BEGA is the only entity that can provide safe harbor advice.