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A public trust

Knowing the rules of ethical conduct

Group of postal employees
USPS wants employees throughout the organization to understand federal ethics rules and how to follow them.

If you’re a Postal Service employee, you’re expected to comply with the federal government’s principles and standards of ethical conduct.

If this is news to you, don’t worry. USPS wants to help you understand the rules and how to follow them.

Throughout 2019, the organization will educate employees about the rules, which include the 14 general principles of ethical conduct, the standards of ethical conduct for employees of the executive branch, the supplemental standards of ethical conduct for Postal Service employees, and conflict of interest laws.

The campaign will include articles in Link and field newsletters, as well as messages on Postal Vision video monitors.

In January, these efforts will focus on the 14 general principles, including the first principle: “Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain.”

This means Postal Service employees must always act — and appear to act — with the nation’s interests before their own.

In addition to putting an honest effort in their work, employees must not seek personal advantage for themselves or others. They must honor their commitment to the public by using government resources — such as time, property and information — wisely and only to accomplish postal work.

“The first principle of ethical conduct is particularly important to the Postal Service because the American people are our customers,” said Acting Associate General Counsel and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Natalie Bonanno.

“If our customers don’t trust us, they will not continue to do business with us. Postal employees must protect our reputation by performing their duties ethically, and with dignity and integrity.”

You can read the 14 general principles of ethical conduct on the USPS Ethics Office Blue page.

If you have questions, send an email to the Ethics Office at

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