The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently published a Code of Integrity, which sets the ethical standards and obligations of every employee in VA’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
Centered upon VA’s I CARE values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence, the VHA Code of Integrity, which was published April 22, makes VA among the first handful of federal departments or agencies to implement such an action.
“The response by VHA staff in reaffirming our shared values and strengthening our culture is outstanding,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We’re proud to help set a standard for other federal departments and agencies to follow.”
A “go to” resource for finding high-level guidance and contact information, the Code covers a wide range of ethical conduct and concerns, from protecting confidential Veteran information to ensuring the accuracy of reported statistics to making the workplace environment safer. Further, the Code emphasizes VHA’s common culture of integrity and its responsibility to operate with the highest principles and ethical business standards in striving to care for patients, as well as treating fellow colleagues with dignity, respect, integrity, honesty, compassion, teamwork and excellence.
As government employees, all VHA employees adhere to a federal employee code of conduct. The VHA Code of Integrity takes this commitment further by underscoring the unique role VHA staff plays in Veterans’ care.
“Creating a culture that’s conducive to the highest ethical standards is critical not only to assuring high quality health care, but also to assuring public trust in VA,” Wilkie said.
Additionally, the Code aligns with the agency’s priority to ensure the efficient use of government resources and address underlying management issues previously identified by the Government Accountability Office.
To learn more about the Code of Integrity, visit the Office of Organizational Excellence website.