Ethics Research Center’s Report Calling for Government Agency Compliance Programs

“Its time for the cobbler’s children to have their own shoes too.”

Rayman Solomon, Dean of the Rutgers-Camden Law School, welcomed the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) report issued on May 1, 2012, which made recommendations to the United States Sentencing Commission, the private sector and the federal government regarding improved implementation of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (FSGO). 

Of particular interest to The Rutgers Center is the recommendation that agencies of  the federal government “develop and implement their own compliance and ethics programs, applying the FSGOs standards.  The President should use available authorities to direct all executive branch agencies to do so as well.”   (The Federal Sentencing Guidelines For Organizations At Twenty Years)   This position is underscored by the observation, grounded in the FSGO commentary, that the FSGO compliance and ethics standards apply to all organizations, including governments.  In noting the potential benefits of requiring federal agencies to adopt strong compliance and ethics programs, the ERC recommendation cited the work of The Rutgers Center  for additional “background and guidance on government agency compliance and ethics programs.”

Dean Solomon commended the ERC recognition of the need for FSGO-style compliance and ethics programs for government entities, which is the key mission of  The Rutgers Center for Government Compliance and Ethics (The Center) established in 2010  at the Law School.  Dean Solomon is the sponsor and faculty advisor of The Center.

Emil Moschella, Executive Director of The Rutgers Center, noted that: “Recent high profile government scandals within the U.S. Secret Service and the General Services Administration underscore the critical need for a new approach to these problems that eat away at the trust that the American people have in the organizations that govern them.  A proactive compliance and ethics program within government agencies and entities is that new approach.    As the Administration, and the oversight committees of the House and Senate look about for solutions to these problems, a very obvious step in the right direction is to step up to the plate and enforce the same standards on itself as the government expects to see in private side organizations.”  

Noting that The Rutgers Center is specifically set up to assist federal, state and local governments in the implementation of such programs, Dean Solomon said:   “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of The Rutgers Center and that inclusion in the ERC report validates the significant work of The Rutgers Center and the necessity for such programs in government.”    

About the Rutgers Center for Government Compliance and Ethics:

The Center was launched in July 2010 to advance the application of effective ethics and compliance program principles as an element of public governance at the federal, state, and local levels in the United States and worldwide through a variety of activities including research, education, networking, and thought leadership.  In large measure, the work of The Center has been to advocate for implementation of compliance and ethics program methodology in government organizations modeled on the FSGO and widely adopted by the private sector in order to prevent and detect illegal and unethical conduct.  

For a full discussion on the work of The Rutgers Center see The White Paper.