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Ethicsburg Forum Meets in May

The Bureau of the Public Debt's Office of the Chief Counsel and the Information Technology Group hosted the Second Annual Ethicsburg User Forum in Washington, D.C., on May 5. Twenty-five persons representing 10 agencies/offices attended this year's user forum, which had the theme “Where leadership encourages interagency cooperation, and cooperation builds excellence.”

The forum centered around the website,, and featured presentations by noted experts in Federal ethics law.

What is

  • An Internet vision for interagency cooperation and ethics training that began at Public Debt.
  • A website built around a village concept to serve as an Internet training vehicle.
  • A program that provides individualized ethics training for agency employees.
  • An ethics training program that meets the Office of Government Ethics annual training requirements for Confidential Financial Disclosure Filers.

How is like a village?

Like a village, Ethicsburg has both private places and common areas:

  • The private areas of the community are agency-specific training modules, secure and available only to that agency.
  • The common areas are the ethics training modules that members of the community develop cooperatively and share.

The Office of the Chief Counsel and the Information Technology Group are working with other agencies to develop a community of interest based on this village concept. As a result, a model for interagency cooperation and training is emerging.

The backbone of Ethicsburg is technology, built and maintained by Information Technology Group professionals to deliver a low-cost solution to multiple agencies. Ethics officials rely on the information technology professionals to handle the website technology, while they concentrate on building and reviewing content.

The User Perspective

Ethicsburg provides individualized agency logos, which brand each training session for a particular agency by keying logos to user logins. It also allows users to see their agency's list of ethics officials who have selected the training modules based on each agency's individual needs.

When users complete the training, they can print a certificate that includes their name, the name of their Designated Agency Ethics Official, and their agency seal. An e-mail message is sent to the user's ethics officials to notify them of the completion of training. At the conclusion of the training, the users are asked to provide feedback through an online survey.

The Excellence Theme

Ethicsburg has a history of excellence. The Bureau of the Public Debt was awarded the Trail Blazer Award by the E-Gov Government Solutions Center for its interactive browser-based ethics training, describing it as “an exceptional real-world solution.” In 2002, the Industry Advisory Council, E-Gov, and the Federal CIO Council chose Ethicsburg as a finalist for the Excellence.Gov Award.

Drawing on the theme of the forum, excellence in a community is never an individual achievement or an end goal, but rather is a continuing process of community improvement over time. Public Debt's Office of Chief Counsel and the Information Technology Group look forward to working with partnering agencies to provide an outstanding training resource for years to come.

If you need more information on becoming an Ethicsburg partner, visit the website at for contact information.

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