HR: Employee Handbook: Standards of Conduct

As a Smithsonian employee, you are expected to adhere to the Smithsonian Standards of Conduct and related appendices, Fourteen Principles of Ethical Conduct for Smithsonian Employees, and Federal Laws Relating to Employee Conduct.

The Smithsonian Standards of Conduct address the following:


  • using Smithsonian employment, or one's office, for private gain
  • outside work and dual compensation
  • outside employment that is related to Smithsonian employment
  • writing or speaking about the Smithsonian
  • contracts with employees and relatives of employees
  • giving preferential treatment to any person
  • losing complete independence or impartiality of action
  • affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of the Institution
  • gifts, entertainment, and favors from outside sources

Certain employees, because of their authority to commit funds or influence decisions involving funds, are required to file an annual Confidential Statement of Employment and Financial Interests (Form SI-1085). If you are required to file this form, you will be notified directly by Smithsonian Institution.

You should refer questions about the Standards of Conduct to your supervisor, to the Director of Human Resources, or to one of the designated ethics counselors in the Office of General Counsel (numbers available in the Smithsonian telephone directory).

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