Government People Behaving Badly

Sacred Honor Lost

The Department of Defense has issued their “Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure,” in other words, epic Loss of Sacred Honor.

It’s not just about DOD employees but covers cases from many different agencies — employees and contractors.

The topics cover:

  • Abuse of Position
  • Bribery (18 U.S.C. § 201-Type Violations)
  • Compensation for Representational Services from Non-Federal Sources (18 U.S.C. § 203-Type Violations)
  • Conflicts of Interest (18 U.S.C. § 208-Type Violations)
  • Credit Card Abuse
  • Endorsements
  • Financial Disclosure Violations
  • Fraud (Violations Not Covered Elsewhere)
  • Gambling and Other Contest Violations
  • Gift Violations
  • Involvement in Claims Against the Government or in Matters Affecting the Government (18 U.S.C. § 205-Type Violations)
  • Misuse of Government Resources and Personnel
  • Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Issues
  • Political Activity Violations
  • Post-Employment Violations (18 U.S.C. § 207-Type Violations)
  • Salary for Government Work from Non-Government Source (18 U.S.C. § 209-Type Violations)
  • Time and Attendance Violations
  • Travel Violations

DOD wants you to use examples from this document in your briefings and training programs:

“Our goal is to provide DoD personnel with real examples of Federal employees who have intentionally or unwittingly violated the standards of conduct.

Some cases are humorous, some sad, and all are real.

Some will anger you as a Federal employee and some will anger you as an American taxpayer.

Please pay particular attention to the multiple jail and probation sentences, fines, employment terminations and other sanctions that were taken as a result of these ethical failures.

Violations of many ethical standards involve criminal statutes. Protect yourself and your employees by learning what you need to know and accessing your Agency ethics counselor if you become unsure of the proper course of conduct.

Be sure to access them before you take action regarding the issue in question.

Many of the cases displayed in this collection could have been avoided completely if the offender had taken this simple precaution.

The cases have been arranged according to offense for ease of access.

Feel free to reproduce and use them as you like in your ethics training program.

For example – you may be conducting a training session regarding political activities.

Feel free to copy and paste a case or two into your slideshow or handout – or use them as examples or discussion problems.”


Here is the document: DOD Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure (.pdf)




Threats are Out There