Senate votes to limit STOCK Act’s web-based publication of employees’ financial information

On Thursday, April 11, the Senate voted to roll back the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act, limiting the web-based publication of government employees’ personal financial information. This action comes in response to a federal court ruling that such publication violated employees’ right to privacy and a critical report by the National Academy of Public Administration. “The court recognized that the federal employees have a legitimate right to privacy regarding their personal financial information and ruled that the federal government failed to identify a compelling government interest that would justify posting that personal information on the internet,” says Kathleen Clark, JD, government ethics expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.

Conflict of interest rules must extend to government contractors, says ethics expert

The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates recently adopted a resolution recommending that the federal government expand its protections against conflicts of interest among government contractors. The resolution was based in part on a report Kathleen Clark, JD, ethics expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, wrote for the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS).“In recent decades, the federal government has greatly expanded its use of contractors to perform services, and spends hundreds of billions on services every year,” Clark writes. “While an extensive array of ethics statutes and rules regulate government employees to ensure that they make decisions in the interest of the government rather than a private interest, only a few of these restrictions apply to contractor personnel.”

Government ethics expert comments on Holder contempt citation

p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Cambria;} .MsoChpDefault {font-family:Cambria;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in;margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} “The Republicans in the House of Representatives apparently believe that they can get some political traction in the ‘Fast and Furious’ controversy, and plan to increase the political pressure on the Obama administration to disclose additional information by holding Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt,” says Kathleen Clark, JD, government ethics expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “The criminal contempt is essentially symbolic,” Clark says. Clark notes that the federal prosecutor actually works for Holder, and almost certainly will not prosecute his boss.

Human guinea pigs link pay and risk levels

Human guinea pigs do their homework before volunteering for high-paying clinical trials. New research shows that people equate large payments for participation in medical research with increased levels of risk. And when they perceive studies to be risky, potential participants spend more time learning about the risks and nature of the study. Findings published this month in Social Science and Medicine, suggest there is a “mismatch” between current research guidelines for setting compensation levels and the assumptions participants make about the levels of pay and risk.

What happens in the boardroom doesn’t stay in the boardroom

Corporate governance has been in the forefront of public debate lately, thanks to such high-profile events as options backdating, the awarding of inflated CEO compensation packages and efforts to augment shareholder empowerment. These larger scandals have implications that reach beyond the boardroom into every aspect of an enterprise. Ultimately, the transgressions take their toll on all of society, according to Stuart Greenbaum, former dean of the business school at Washington University in St. Louis.

Health Care Policy Experts

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is a long-time leader in medical research and clinical practice. The school employs a number of experts in many areas of expertise, including health care policy issues. Under the direction of former dean William Peck, the university has established the Center for Health Policy to: Identify key […]

No consensus on when, how, by whom — even if — Alzheimer’s patients are told of their disease

Photo courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association, St. Louis ChapterA WUSTL psychologist says there is little consensus among doctors when it comes to disclosing a dementia diagnosis to patients and their caregivers.To tell or not to tell, that is the question. Should Alzheimer’s disease patients be told of the diagnosis? If so, when, how and by whom? Brian D. Carpenter, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, conducted a review of related study literature that shows there is little consensus among clinicians on the issue of disclosing a dementia diagnosis and great room for much more research. Carpenter’s review, done with research assistant Jennifer Dave, was published in the April 2004 issue of The Gerontologist. “If contemporary debate and practice are any indication, there is no consensus on these matters,” Carpenter says in the article “Disclosing a Dementia Diagnosis: A Review of Opinion and Practice, and a Proposed Research Agenda.”
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