USE OF GOVERNMENT POSITION
"Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people." -- Henry Clay
What rules of conduct apply to the use of my Government position or title?
A basic principle of Government ethics is that you may not use
your public office for private gain. This rule has many
different applications, several of which are explained below.
Basically, the rule requires you to act fairly and objectively
in official Government matters.
One way in which you are prohibited from using your Government
position or title is to coerce or induce benefits for you, your
relatives, your friends, or others with whom you are associated.
You also may not permit the use of your Government position or
title to imply that the Government endorses your personal
activities or any product or service. For example, it would be
improper for you to be identified with your official title in a
television commercial for a particular product.
May I use my Government title in a letter of recommendation?
You may use your Government title when signing a letter of
employment recommendation only if you are recommending a person
for Federal employment or if you know the person through Federal
What about the use of Government property and staff for personal business?
As a Government employee, you should know that Government
property can be used only for authorized purposes. Generally,
you may not use Government resources for personal business.
Likewise, you may not direct your subordinate to use official
time for other than official duties. For example, it would be
improper for you to ask your assistant to run a personal errand
for you during the workday.
What about the use of official information?
You may not engage in a financial transaction using nonpublic
information. You also are not permitted to use, or allow the use
of, nonpublic information to further your own private interests
or the private interests of another person.
Guidance From The Office of Government Ethics: