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New Employees


USDA’s Office of Ethics is here to assist you with understanding the rules that govern your conduct as a government employee, including the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees in the Executive Branch, USDA’s Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct, and the Federal criminal conflict of interest laws.

All new USDA employees are required to complete Initial Ethics Training within 3 months of appointment. You will find the course on your “Dashboard” in AgLearn ( via the “My Mandatory Training” link.

The basic principle of government ethics is reasonably straightforward – public office is a public trust, and you may not use your government office for private gain. However, the rules that implement this principle sometimes appear complicated. Below you will find basic information about the ethics rules applicable to USDA employees. Additional information on the rules can be found on the Office of Ethics website. Of course, the Office of Ethics is available to assist with any questions you may have. Please contact us at 202-720-2251, or email us using the appropriate address displayed on the chart.

Useful Ethics Materials for New Employees

14 General Principles of Ethical Conduct (PDF, 28.3 KB)
Summary of the Standards of Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (PDF, 19.0 MB)
USDA Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct (PDF, 267 KB)

Contact the USDA Office of Ethics

USDA Office of Ethics Main Phone Number: 202-720-2251
Email Contact List for USDA Office of Ethics
Contact List for USDA Office of Ethics Advisors

Additional Reference Materials for New Employees

Training Modules and Videos
Frequently Asked Questions