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No misuse

Employees must honor public’s trust

Ethics rules
Under federal ethics rules, USPS employees aren’t permitted to misuse their titles, time or postal property.

The Postal Service is reminding employees that they aren’t permitted to misuse their position.

This means employees cannot:

  • Misuse their title or authority to further any private interest of their own
  • Misuse government information that isn’t readily available to the public for any unauthorized purposes
  • Misuse government property — such as computers, laptops, printers and email addresses — for any unauthorized purposes
  • Misuse official time — including a subordinate’s time — to perform any unauthorized tasks

“The public’s interests are served when Postal Service employees are fair and impartial while performing official tasks,” said Natalie Bonanno, the organization’s acting chief ethics officer. “The public may lose confidence in the integrity of the Postal Service if it perceives that an employee is using his or her public position to serve a private interest.”

Management Instruction EL-660-2009-10 allows limited personal use of postal property and postal time. However, such limited use may not reduce productivity during work hours, interfere with the Postal Service’s operations, or violate the Standards of Ethical Conduct, which are available on the Ethics Blue page.

Throughout 2019, the Postal Service is educating employees about the federal government’s principles and standards of ethical conduct. In addition to misuse of position, this campaign has addressed avoiding conflicts of interest.

For further guidance, send an email to the USPS Ethics Office at

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