Department of Transportation Wins Annual Ethics Award
CONTACT: Commission on Public Integrity
Walter C. Ayres
Department of Transportation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2008
ALBANY - The New York State Commission on Public Integrity today presented the 8th annual Theodore Roosevelt Ethics Award to the State Department of Transportation in recognition of its outstanding commitment to ethics in State government. The presentation took place at the Leadership and Accountability Conference held at the Empire State Plaza, attended by more than 1,100 State employees.
Herbert Teitelbaum, Executive Director of the Commission, said, “The Department did a remarkable job last year in many areas, but most of all in training. Last year, our Director of Training and DOT Ethics Officers traveled across the State to present a formal ethics training program to every DOT region. Several regions received multiple presentations. DOT reached out to over 1,000 employees with specialized ethics training materials.”
Mr. Teitelbaum added, “The agency routinely calls the Commission on Public Integrity for guidance and advice on ethics matters. In addition, DOT publishes numerous memos throughout the year to their employees reminding and educating them on ethics issues.”
“Delivering good government, along with a safe, reliable, modern transportation system, is a responsibility that the men and women of DOT take very seriously,” said Astrid C. Glynn, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. “The training we provide is aimed at reinforcing the importance of the public's trust and making sure that we conduct the State's business in a fair and ethical manner. On behalf of this department, I am very pleased to accept this Ethics Award.”
The Department received a plaque inscribed with the following quote from the former Governor of New York: “We can afford to differ on the currency, the tariff, and foreign policy; but we cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure.”
While in public office, Theodore Roosevelt earned a reputation for opposing government corruption. He supported civil service reform as a member of the New York State Assembly and the federal Civil Service Commission, as president of the New York City Police Board and as Governor. Speaking in 1903 as President of the United States, he said, “The exposure and punishment of public corruption is an honor to a nation, not a disgrace. The shame lies in toleration.”
The Department was selected for the award based on several criteria, including:
- the training program is a model for other agencies to emulate, with sessions aimed at all managers and senior staff;
- management of the agency effectively deals with the various aspects of the ethics law, including pro-actively consulting with the Commission on ethics issues;
- the agency takes appropriate measures to foster compliance with the timely filing of financial disclosure statements by its covered employees.
Previous recipients include the State Department of Insurance, the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, the Office of General Services, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Department of Taxation and Finance, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.