A major ethics scandal may soon unfold in the public sector unless government agencies, particularly local and state governments, institute a strong ethics program, according to a report the from the Arlington, Va.-based Ethics Resource Center.
“The next Enron could occur within government,” ERC President Patricia Harned said in a statement on the release of ERC’s National Government Ethics Survey.
Almost a quarter of the public sector employees responding to the survey said there is a “strong pressure to compromise standards” in their work environments, Harned said. About 63% of the local government employees in the survey said they had observed at least one type of misconduct in the previous year. While federal employees reported less inclination toward misconduct on their jobs, 86% of state and local government employees reported a lack of a strong ethics program in their workplace, while only 7% of state employees and 9% of local government employees said they see a truly ethical culture on the job.