BEGA to Hold Annual Public Symposium on Government Ethics and Transparency Best Practices

The District of Columbia Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (“BEGA”) announced today that it will hold its annual symposium on government ethics best practices on October 3, 2013, from 6 – 8 pm in the BEGA Hearing Room located at 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 540 South. This year’s theme: “So You Want to Have a Universal Code of Conduct?” and “Policies on Transparency in Government.” 

Members of the public, academia and government are invited to offer their views in writing or orally with regard to whether, and in what manner, the District’s ethics laws or rules should be revised to reflect best practices, and what efforts should be made toward improving government transparency.  A portion of the symposium will also be devoted to the question of whether, under a good government standard, District government lobbyists should be restricted or excluded from serving on District government Boards and Commissions (See Invitation for Public Comment[PDF] and Listing of Boards and Commissions[PDF]). As always, members of the public are encouraged to share their views on what BEGA did right in its first year of operations, what it did wrong, and what it can do better in the future.

The BEGA is tasked with preparing an annual detailed assessment of ethical guidelines and requirements for employees and public officials with recommendations to the Council concerning: 1) whether to adopt local laws that are similar in nature to federal ethics laws; 2) whether to adopt post-employment restrictions; 3) whether to adopt ethics laws pertaining to contracting and procurement; 4) whether to adopt nepotism and cronyism prohibitions; 5) whether to criminalize violations of ethics laws; 6) whether to expel a member of the Council for certain violations of the Code of Conduct; 7) whether to regulate campaign contributions from affiliated or subsidiary corporations; and 8) any other matter as determined by the BEGA.  Its Office of Open Government also ensures compliance with the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act.

For those who wish to appear and speak personally, please contact the BEGA at (202) 481-3411, or email us at, so that sufficient time may be set aside. Written testimony will also be accepted in lieu of a personal appearance. For more information, please visit our website at