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Ethics in Government Act of 1978

Why the Act was Enacted

The 1970s was a decade of tumultuous social upheaval and political chicanery. Watergate precipitated the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The newspapers reported a litany of overseas bribery incidents. In response to what was perceived as prevalent, insidious corruption at the very highest level of government, Congress responded with a number of ethics-based legislative measures. Among the many acts and amendments were provisions for Independent Counsel (28 U.S.C. 591, et seq.) and the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. 4 § 101, et seq.), hereinafter referred to as the Act.

The essential purpose of the Act was to require disclosure of the finances and financial interests of highlevel federal employees, provide report formats and procedures, and give notice ...

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