Department of Defense Education Activity

Standards of Conduct : Important Advice

Important Advice

If you're not positive that what you're about to do is appropriate, ask your ethics official. Contact the DoDEA Office of General Counsel. One mission of that Office is to advise DoDEA personnel and assist them to accomplish their goals without violating the standards of conduct.

In fact, disciplinary action for violating the standards of conduct will not be taken against you if you act in good faith reliance upon the advice of your ethics official, if you have made full disclosure of the relevant circumstances.

The DoDEA Employees' Guide to the Standards of Conduct provides a general summary of the rules. It does not include every exception, every requirement, or all the factors that must be considered in making certain decisions. If you are unsure of your actions, call your ethics official before you act.

General Principals of Public Service


  • Place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain
  • Act impartially to all groups, persons, and organizations
  • Give an honest effort in the performance of your duties Protect and conserve Federal property
  • Disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities
  • Fulfill in good faith your obligations as a citizen, and pay your Federal, State, and local taxes
  • Comply with all laws providing equal opportunity to all persons, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap


  • Don't use nonpublic information to benefit yourself or anyone else
  • Don't solicit or accept gifts from persons or parties that do business with or seek official action from DoD (unless permitted by an exception)
  • Don't make unauthorized commitments or promises that bind the Government
  • Don't use Federal property for unauthorized purposes
  • Don't take jobs or hold financial interests that conflict with your Government responsibilities
  • Don't take actions that give the appearance that they are illegal or unethical

Remember: Violating ethics principles may result in disciplinary or corrective action, including criminal prosecution. Protect yourself from disciplinary action by seeking the advice of your agency ethics official.