RealNews

New Agency Sets Ethics Rules to Avoid Conflicts of Interest

The Department of Homeland Security said today that it was establishing ethics rules to ensure that lobbyists with personal connections to Secretary Tom Ridge and other senior officials would not receive special favors from the agency. Department officials said that the rules have been under discussion for months, that they would be similar to conflict-of-interest rules at other federal agencies and that the details would be supplied to Congress when the rules were completed. In testimony to Congress on Thursday, Mr. Ridge said he was aware that several of his former aides at the White House and on his staff when he was the governor of Pennsylvania had recently registered as domestic security lobbyists. “I might say that I have known those people for a long time,” he said, asked about an article in The New York Times that disclosed the lobbying activities of his former aides. “But they’ve also known me for a long time, and if they learned one thing in our relationship, it’s that the personal side won’t do them any good unless they’ve got the best product for this country,” he said. Full Story

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