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    To build and maintain trust in government, all elected, appointed, and hired government employees must have rules for ethical conduct.

    Foundational principles of ethical conduct include:

    * No using office for private gain; this includes self-dealing and using non-public information to further any private interests for self, family, friends, associates, or anyone else
    * Disclose and avoid conflict of interest
    * No gifts from the public
    * No violating rights or laws or regulations
    * Avoid even the perception of unethical conduct

    For the purposes of this discussion, a “gift” is any item or service or information provided that is not available to the public under the same terms.

    The United States Department of Justice has 14 General Principles of Ethical Conduct that are similar to these foundational principles. However, we need to go further. Accepting gifts should not be allowed at all, not just from someone who might have business with the agency. The reason is that a gift might happen first and then the person might have business with the agency later, and the gift already happened. This might be difficult to predict for the government employee but the outside influence has an information advantage in that they can predict their plans might bring them to interact with a certain government agency and they might start preparing for that by finding opportunities to socialize with its employees and prepare them for influence. It’s better to not accept any gifts from the public at any time. Government agencies can host their own employee recognition programs and social gatherings.

    The legislature must ensure the constitution requires all elected and appointed officials in all branches of government, and all government employees including soldiers, to follow ethical standards set by the legislature. The legislature can enact laws to set and amend those standards.

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