March 2017 BEGA newsletter

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GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

BOARD OF ETHICS AND GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY

Office of Government Ethics

Darrin P. Sobin, Director

Asia Stewart-MitchellAttorney Advisor

Volume 3 

Issue 10

March 2017

              Ethically Speaking       

                  The BEGA/OGE Newsletter            

Message from the Director ― 

    Is your agency viewed as one of the highly ethical agencies of the District Government?  It all begins with Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) compliance and an agency’s reporting obligations.  Yes, it’s that time of year again – FDS Season.  In order for BEGA to successfully oversee the FDS process, we rely on agencies to meet the three reporting deadlines 1) March 1 – submission of a list of Public FDS filers to BEGA; 2) May 1 – submission of a list of Confidential FDS filers to BEGA; 3) June 1 – submission of a report to BEGA identifying non-compliant employees and any conflicts of interest (confidential filers file their FDS forms with the agency on May 15th).  This year BEGA will be issuing a Certificate of Excellence to all agencies that timely comply with these reporting requirements and the agency will be recognized on the BEGA website.  Don’t miss out!  This is a great way to demonstrate to the public how seriously your agency views ethics in government.  

Regards, 
 

- Darrin P. Sobin, Director of Government Ethics

       BEGA Happenings ―

  • 2017 Oversight Hearings
    • BEGA recently testified before the D.C. Council’s Committee on Judiciary & Public Safety.  Watch the video video here [1:40:20].
  • 2017 Financial Disclosure Statements
    • Financial Disclosure Statement season is upon us! You can find frequently asked questions about the form here, our training materials here, and step by step instructions here.

Ethics In the News 

 

BEGA Happenings ―

  • March 9, 2017 - BEGA Monthly Board Meeting - 441 4th St. NW, Suite 540 South
  • March 14, 2017 – Ethics Training - 441 4th St. NW, Suite 540 South
  • May 15, 2017 – Financial Disclosure Statements due

Good to Know – Failure to File Financial Disclosure Statements

The filing of financial disclosure statements is mandated in the “Ethics Act”. The Director of BEGA has the discretion to bring an enforcement action against any non-compliant designated filers. A D.C. government employee who has been designated by his/her agency as either a public financial disclosure statement filer or a confidential financial disclosure statement filer can be fined up to $5,000 (among other penalties) as a result of a finding that he/she failed to file a financial disclosure statement or filed a false and/or incomplete financial disclosure statement, pursuant to sections 221(a)(1)-(2) of the “Ethics Act”. In addition to penalties resulting from an enforcement action the Director is authorized to assess ministerial fines for non-compliance without bringing an enforcement action, pursuant to section 221(a)(3) of the “Ethics Act”.  

If you have any questions, we can be reached at 202-481-3411, or through our website at www.bega-dc.gov