District Government Employee Ethics Manual


Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
June 17, 2022 When Superseded 18  


As stewards of the public trust, District government employees are held to a high ethical standard. This issuance serves as a reminder of employees'; pledge to adhere to the District's code of conduct, and provides general principles for employees to follow in addressing ethical issues that may arise during the course of their employment with the District of Columbia government.

This issuance serves as a reminder to employees of their duties as public servants and supersedes issuance I-18-2, District of Columbia Ethics Manual, effective February 7, 2012 and I-18-3, District of Columbia Ethics Manual (Revised), effective March 22, 2012.

Ethical Obligations of District Government Employees

Each District government employee has a responsibility to the District of Columbia and its residents to place loyalty to the laws and ethical principles above private gain. Thus, as part of the onboarding process, all District government employees are required to take the District Government Employee Ethics Pledge.

Furthermore, all District government employees shall follow the general principles provided below: 

  1. Government service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the laws and ethical principles above private gain.
  2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.
  3. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.
  4. An employee shall not, except as permitted by § 1803 of the District Personnel Manual, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee’s agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s’ duties.
  5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
  6. Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized comments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the government.
  7. Employees shall not use their public office or position for private gain.
  8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.
  9. Employees shall protect and conserve government property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.
  10. Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with their official government duties and responsibilities.
  11. Employees shall report credible violations of the District Code of Conduct and Chapter 18 of the District Personnel Manual to the appropriate authorities.
  12. Employees shall satisfy in good faith their lawful obligations, including all just financial obligations to federal, state, District and local governments.
  13. Employees shall adhere to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  14. Employees shall not take actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in Chapter 18 of the District Personnel Manual. Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.

District Government Ethics Manual

Employees are encouraged to review the District Government Ethics Manual prepared by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability via the link provided


  1. Chapter 18, Employee Conduct (6-B DCMR § 1800 et seq.) 

Issued by Interim Director E. Lindsey Maxwell II, Esq., D.C. Department of Human Resources on June 17, 2022, noon