26 Jul 2022


FBI Ethics & Integrity Program Policy Directive Policy Guide

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The ethics and integrity program policy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a policy set by the institution to outline its commitment to complying with the issues of ethics and integrity for all its employees. The policy guide, therefore, seeks to establish and describe the programs of integrity and ethics as well as the implementation of the ethical conduct standards for its employees (The FBI, 2015). The guide offers legal guidance, procedures for ADCs, CDCs, as well as other staff members of the bureau concerning the standards of ethics that the federal statutes have established together with the office of Government Ethics regulations. Others related elements include the core values of the FBI, the DOI requirement, the code of conduct, as well as other policies of the FBI that have a relationship with such standards (The FBI, 2015). It is reported that special needs and missions of the Department of Justice as well as the FBI resulted in the establishment of the FBI and Department-specific policies and regulations. For this reason, the ethics and integrity program of the FBI was designed to ensure the creation of an environment in which all its employees have the capacity to recognize and resolve ethical issues. 

The FBI ethics and integrity policy can be termed as a regulatory policy. According to Dunn (2015), a regulatory policy’s goal is to ensure the maintenance of order and prohibition of activities and behaviors that could endanger the society. When used in public administration, regulatory policies usually restrict people, groups of persons, or institutions from participating in those activities that may affect the social and political order negatively (Dunn, 2015). Regulatory policies are not only used for such purposes but also exist in laws that have been designed to protect the environment and the workplace, which is why they suit in the category of the policy adopted by the FBI. Specifically, the policy of the FBI seeks to establish procedures that employees will follow in dealing with issues of ethics and integrity that are of public interest. The regulations seek to avoid trouble for its employees by guiding them to avoid conflicting with regulations and requirements of the Department of Justice concerning integrity and ethics compliance by all institutions. For these reasons, the FBI policy targets to create such compliance and awareness among its employees through the provision of authoritative, consistent, and correct determinations where need be, effective levels of advice and training, and ensuring all breaches to ethics as well as related requisitions are addressed appropriately and promptly (The FBI, 2015). 

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Several theoretical models have been integrated in the development of the policy. For instance, the  knowledge-driven approach, which considers that logic is a critical part of decision making processes, has been incorporated into the policy (Dubois, Hájek and Prade, 2000). Specifically, the policy targets to ensure that FBI employees comply with the requirements of the Department of Justice in terms of ethical and integrity issues by ensuring that its employees are well-trained, receive appropriate advice among others. From this perspective, the policy will want to help the employees to make decisions under the consideration of the requirements of the Department of Justice. It means that part of the training that the targeted audience will undergo will involve familiarizing with the requirements set by the Department and how the FBI wants the issues approached. 

The model could also be analyzed using the interactive model of communication, which involves a message originating from one source, interpreted by the receiver and feedback given concerning the message of the communication (Dechant, 2013). Put simply as done, the policy involves the FBI communicating to the employees on the standards of integrity and ethics set by the Department of Justice. The policy indicates different approaches that the institution will use in such communication such as advising and training. In addition, the employees will be free to give their feedback, which might be in form of questions to the management of the FBI or general comments concerning the effectiveness of the policy programs (The FBI, 2015). This communication will be a form of feedback, which will complete the cycle of interactive communication that entails the encoder of a message, the decoder, and the message. 

The political model, which is popular in economics and other fields, could also be used in the interpretation of the FBI model. According to this model, the government has a role to play in the process of decision making, which is to attempt to maximize social welfare (Sufean and Soaib, 2007). The government acts as an exogenous agent that strives to correct failures within systems through the provision of institutional, regulatory, and legal frameworks. In doing this, the government makes clear the political rules required in making decisions and related aspects. It is clear that the Office of Government Ethics and the Department of Justice are the engineers of this requirement by Federal institutions to comply with ethical and integrity regulations. Therefore, the framework adopted by the FBI as a Federal institution is drawn from the directives of the government, which target to improve the levels of handling of ethical problems and raise the levels of integrity for all federal workers. The punitive measures set by the FBI through its policy guide originate and comply with the requirements of the Federal government, which means that the policy will improve the social welfare of US citizens. 

The enlightenment model borrows its explanation of the FBI policy from the age of industrial revolution. According to this model, the inquisitive nature of humans resulted in the numerous scientific inventions that sparked the industrial revolution (Davies, 2016). In the same perspective, the policy involves people pondering about what could be the best for the public. For instance, the Office of Government Ethics envisions that it is the duty of public officials to maximize social welfare of the citizens through complying with the set ethical and integrity standards. For this reason, it is understood that the Office and related agents have embarked on a campaign that seeks to enlighten the public about the responsibility of public workers. In this case, it can be interpreted that FBI employees will have to struggle to exhibit high levels of ethics and integrity to avoid public criticism. Overall, a clear understanding of the levels of scrutiny from the public will make FBI employees and other Federal workers improve on their levels of service delivery as purposed by the FBI policy. 

The model of New Public Management, which has been adopted by most of the developed nations since the start of the 80s also fits the scope and purpose of the FBI policy. According to this model, there is a need to modernize the public sector, and reforms to this sector are critical in such modernization (Hood, 2005). The world is synonymous with issues of integrity and ethics, and the US is one of the leading nations in the advocacy of such issues. For instance, the Federal government wants to be a symbol of integrity and respect for ethical frameworks in the US and abroad, which is why it strives to create working environments that promote both elements. According to this model and the scope of the FBI policy, therefore, the FBI needs to be a modern institution, which is symbolized by high compliance to ethical standards of public service delivery and a great sense of integrity among professionals. It is also considered that governments have a great role to play in the modernization of the public sector, which is why the framework used by the FBI policy manual borrows credence from the directives of the Office of Government Ethics. 

In conclusion, the FBI Ethics and Integrity Program Policy Directive Policy seeks to outline the commitment of the Federal agency to the requirements of the Office of Government Ethics on integrity and ethics. The policy hopes to attain such standards through the provision of authoritative, consistent, and correct determinations where need be, effective levels of advice and training, and ensuring all breaches to ethics as well as related requisitions are addressed appropriately and promptly. This approach can be analyzed using five models, knowledge-driven, the interactive model, political model, the enlightenment model, and the New Management Model. All the five models outline the role of the Federal government in setting the appropriate standards for ethics and integrity among public service workers. For instance, the government issues the frameworks for the determination of the standards of ethics and integrity, the punitive measures, and the participation of the employees. As the paper has described, the FBI policy on integrity and ethics is in line with modern public administration policies that fight to improve the efficiency of public service delivery as much as possible. 


Davies, M. L. (Ed.). (2016).  Thinking about the Enlightenment: Modernity and Its Ramifications . Routledge. 

Dechant, E. (2013).  Understanding and teaching reading: An interactive model . Routledge. 

Dubois, D., Hájek, P., & Prade, H. (2000). Knowledge-driven versus data-driven logics.  Journal of logic, Language and information 9 (1), 65-89. 

Dunn, W. N. (2015).  Public policy analysis . Routledge. 

Hood, C. (2005). The “New Public Management” in the 1980s: variations on a theme.  Accounting, organizations and society 20 (2-3), 93-109. 

Sufean, H., & Soaib, A. (January 01, 2007). The political model of university governance: Its mechanism and applicability. 

The FBI (2015). FBI Ethics and Integrity Program Policy Directive Policy Guide. Retrieved July 20, 2017 from https://vault.fbi.gov/fbi-ethics-and-integrity-program-policy-guide/FBI%20Ethics%20and%20Integrity%20Program%20Policy%20Directive%20and%20Policy%20Guide%200754DPG%20Part%2001%20of%2001 

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