Thousands Of Senior Federal Officials Exposed For Doing This


According to the Office of Personnel Management, 1,869,986 employees work to conduct the business of the government. The US Department of Labor (DOL) says the federal government is the country’s largest employer. As such, the agency says it “must model effective employment policies and practices.” That may clash with a recent investigative report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Numerous executive branch officials were found to have reported owning or trading equities, according to the thorough inquiry. While making investments for the future may appear benign and wise, the newspaper discovered that the decisions made by the divisions or departments they worked in had an impact on the investments they bought, raising the question of whether the trades were dubious in nature.


Are senior government officials making money from their jobs?

According to the Wall Street Journal, over 2,600 bureaucrats from numerous federal agencies reported their stock holdings. At the same time they were buying or selling the assets, the same companies lobbied the agencies for policies favorable to their organizations. Potential conflicts of interest involved one in five senior employees across 50 agencies.

The media outlet examined more than 31,000 financial declaration documents that were provided by over 12,000 top government employees and other authorities between 2016 and 2021. The Wall Street Journal claimed that it was the executive branch’s most thorough study of financial records.

So, is there an interest conflict?

Don Fox, an ethics lawyer, and former government ethics official, said senior administrators have incredible power and influence over Americans’ lives. He stated the investigation revealed some senior bureaucrats violated the spirit of the law, suggesting they harmed the “public’s confidence in the integrity of the government.”

What Does the Law Say?

Federal law does not allow its employees to work on matters that could impact their personal finances, including any appearance of a conflict of interest. The 1978 Ethics in Government Act mandates senior officials must file annual financial disclosures.

Federal regulations say investments under $15,000 are not a conflict of interest. Likewise, neither are mutual funds held under $50,000 if they focus on specific industries. The law allows for investing unlimited in diversified funds.

Even so, the disclosures are only made available upon request and haven’t done much to ensure accountability up until now. People who broke the conflict of interest regulations and were reported to law enforcement received little to no penalty, according to records examined by the WSJ.

The investigation found ethics officials often don’t see conflicts of interest as a priority or a part of their responsibilities. Part of the reason is they don’t know what employees are working on, which dictates whether or not there is a violation. Even when they refer a case to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the WSJ found prosecutors declined to prosecute most cases.

So, are civil servants working for America or working to make money from their employment?