Federal Watchdog Announces Project Tracking Federal Ethics Waivers

Federal Watchdog Announces Project Tracking Federal Ethics Waivers

  • June 1, 2021

Protect the Public’s Trust Is Also Tracking Down Potential Additional Waivers Not Yet Released

Today, Federal watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust unveiled its Ethics Waiver Tracker. As featured on Just the News a.m. with Sophie Mann this morning, Protect the Public’s Trust has compiled publicly available ethics waivers, including limited waivers and impartiality determinations granted by ethics officials to high-level Executive Branch leadership. 

The watchdog also filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with sixteen Federal agencies to discover what additional waivers have been granted to officials in those agencies but not been made public. Specifically, the organization will be tracking waivers and impartiality determinations related to the Biden Administration’s Ethics Pledge, detailed in Executive Order 13989, and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. § 2635, subpart E, titled “Impartiality in Performing Official Duty.”

“It’s important the American public is aware of the waivers granted to high-level federal officials and their justifications,” declared Protect the Public’s Trust Director Michael Chamberlain. “Are waivers being issued because ethics restriction would impede the government’s ability to pursue the public’s interests? Or are they being issued because ethics restrictions would impede the Administration in power’s ability to pursue its policy agenda? One reason public trust in government is at an all-time low is the perception that government is an insider’s game that works to the benefit of large, well-connected organizations rather than the American public.”