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Ethics / Standards of Conduct

Sooner or later, most Coast Guard employees must deal with a situation where the ethically correct course of action is less than clear. These situations may involve day-to-day work assignments, the use of government funds, or personal matters.

The standards of conduct applicable to all Coast Guard personnel, civilian and military, are set forth in the Standards of Conduct Manual, COMDTINST M5370.8 (series). This publication is available electronically on Standard Workstation III.

Much of COMDTINST M5370.8 simply repeats the regulations applicable to all Executive Branch Employees issued by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). These regulations, and a large amount of supplemental information, can be viewed at the OGE web site.

The Air Force Office of the General Counsel web site is another good source of ethics information. When using the Air Force site, however, keep in mind that Air Force & DOD regulations are not always directly applicable to Coast Guard personnel. Contact your servicing legal office if you have any questions.

Other internal resources available to help resolve ethics questions:

  1. References such as the Personnel Manual (COMDTINST M1000.6 series), the Coast Guard Regulations (COMDTINST M5000.3 series), and the Financial Resources Management Manual (COMDTINST M7100.3A) give guidance on many common problem areas. Each of these publications is available electronically on Standard Workstation III.
  2. Advice and guidance from supervisors, command master chief, or other persons.
  3. Informal legal guidance is available from your servicing legal office. Legal Service Command (LSC-4) is the servicing legal office for MLCA or HQ units in LANTAREA.
  4. Formal ethics opinions are available from the LSC Assistant Ethics Official (the Commanding Officer, LSC) in response to specific written requests. Most of these opinions concern post-government employment issues.

Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (CFDR)

NOTE: DISCLOSURES MADE TO COAST GUARD ATTORNEYS, INCLUDING THE DEPUTY ETHICS OFFICIAL, ARE NOT PROTECTED BY AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE. COAST GUARD ETHICS OFFICIALS ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT ANY INFORMATION THEY RECEIVE RELATING TO A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL LAW.

 

Last Modified 12/21/2016