Financial Management: Financial Disclosure Legislation - GAO Report
|Date:||Sept. 9, 1977|
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Conflict of interests
During the past 3 years, GAO has issued 23 reports concerning federal agency financial disclosure systems. These reports have revealed serious weaknesses in these systems, due, in part, to a lack of enforcement authority and effective monitoring. As a result of these reviews, GAO recommended that the President establish an executive branch Office of Ethics with strong enforcement powers. Among its responsibilities, the Office of Ethics should: (1) issue uniform and clearly stated ethical standards of conduct and financial disclosure regulations; develop financial disclosure forms so that all relevant information is obtained concerning employee interests needed to enforce conflict-of-interest matters; (2) make periodic audits of the effectiveness of agency financial disclosure systems on a sample basis to see that they include appropriate procedures for collecting and reviewing statements and followup procedures to preclude conflicts of interest; (3) establish a formal advisory service to render opinions on matters of ethical conduct so that all agencies are advised of such opinions; (4) provide criteria for positions requiring disclosure statements; (5) administer the financial disclosure system for Presidential appointees under section 401 of Executive Order 11222; (6) report annually to the President and Congress on the effectiveness of the ethics program; and (7) investigate and resolve ethical conduct matters unresolved at the agency level.