Roll Call: Ex-Ethics Chief Outlines Tips to Fix Conflicts of Interest


Former Office of Government Ethics chief Walter Shaub, a high-profile critic of the Trump administration’s lax approach to conflicts of interest, offered 13 recommendations Thursday he said would shore up federal ethics.   

He wants to make it harder for presidents to fire and replace directors of OGE. He recommends giving the federal agency the authority to initiate contact with Congress. And he is urging lawmakers to amend ethics laws to give the ethics office, which currently plays an advisory role, more power to collect documents and records and to make public on its website the ethics actions it takes.


Shaub left his post at the ethics agency this summer and has aired his concerns publicly since joining the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group. The Trump administration has put the nation in an “ethics crisis,” Shaub said in July and noted he was developing his proposals to fix it. 

“For the system to work properly, OGE must also have access to specific ethics records and plans, it must have its authority more clearly defined, and transparency must be strengthened to prevent misuse of government office,” Shaub added.

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