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Outreach and Education

A core mission of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity is to train and educate more than 250,000 State employees, and thousands of lobbyists and their clients subject to our jurisdiction.

In 2008, the Commission continued its outreach services by staffing information tables at the concourse of the Empire State Plaza in Albany, where approximately 10,000 State employees work. This allows Commission staff to be available to members of the State workforce, lobbying community, and the hundreds of people who visit the facility each year.

Electronic Library of Materials & “Green” Training

In an effort to reduce waste, save energy and conserve resources, the Commission's Training and Educational Services Unit is now providing all its instructional materials in an environmentally friendly electronic format, rather than publishing them on paper. Whenever possible, training workshops will be “green” by only providing hard copy reference materials when absolutely necessary. An entire page on the Commission's website has been dedicated to providing an electronic library of training and reference materials.

Ethics in Government Training

The Commission conducted 83 face-to-face training sessions for 4,558 employees in 2008. Commission staff participated in 33 workshops that awarded continuing legal education (CLE) credit, and conducted 12 sessions that awarded credit.

The Commission has explored ways of expanding its ethics training through an interactive, accessible, educational platform. Commission staff worked with the Governor's Office of Employee Relations to provide an electronic “Ethics and NYS Employment” on-line program. A new “Ethics Overview” on-line training program is available in 2009.

Lobbying & Procurement Training

The Commission conducted 34 face-to-face training sessions representing 445 clients and lobbyists in 2008. In addition, the Commission used “electronic blasts” to distribute information more effectively to lobbyists, clients, public corporations, and not-for-profits. These “e-blasts” are essentially a monthly newsletter that includes a topic of relevant interest, report due dates, training available, and other news regarding the Commission. The e-blasts are e-mailed monthly to all who have requested them.

The Theodore Roosevelt Ethics Award

In 2001, the State Ethics Commission created the Theodore Roosevelt Ethics Award to recognize the significant work that agencies do to advance the goals of ethics in New York. The Commission on Public Integrity is continuing that practice, and made its first presentation of the award to the State Department of Transportation (DOT) at the annual Leadership and Accountability Conference held in Albany.

DOT was selected because the Department has two Ethics Officers and instituted a Regional Ethics Training Program. Working with Commission staff, DOT presented a formal ethics training program to every DOT region; several regions received multiple presentations. DOT also created specialized ethics training materials for all presentations. 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 its employees reminding and educating them on ethics issues. Finally, the DOT had a compliance rate of 96.7 percent for financial disclosure filing.

DOT received a plaque inscribed with the following quote from former Governor Roosevelt: “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.”

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