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Ethics Advice for Representatives Serving on the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee

The Government is very grateful for your dedicated service. You have been selected to serve as a "representative" so that you can share the viewpoints and perspectives of the community or sector you are representing on the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC). Your commitment in upholding the integrity of Government service before and even after your MCSAC service ends is important and will help maintain public confidence in the Government's decision making, and in the quality of MCSAC's work. You should always alert your Designated Federal Officer (DFO) if you ever have any questions about your service on MCSAC and you should always feel free to call your ethics advisor if you have any questions about ethics in general, or anything contained in this advice.

As a practical matter, we do not expect representatives to deal with particular matters requiring their disqualification from matters before MCSAC. However, even if there is no financial conflict of interest, your outside relationships (such as your spouse, close family member, or a business partner) may at times raise questions in the public's mind about how fair you can be while working on a particular MCSAC matter. In general, you should be alert for situations when you are asked to work on a MCSAC matter and one of the following persons or entities will be specifically affected by MCSAC's activities -

  • a member of your household;
  • a former employer;
  • a client of yours or your spouse;
  • a person or organization with which you have some kind of business or contract relationship; or
  • your spouse's employer.

Because you are part of the Government's team, you are never alone in dealing with these kinds of appearance concerns. If you are not sure whether a potential situation could raise an appearance problem, you should stop your work on that MCSAC matter and contact your agency's ethics official or DFO to discuss your concerns. These officials can help you address possible appearance problems.

As a committee member and part of the Government's team, you are expected to know and follow these basic "Standards of Conduct" while in Government service.

  • Don't accept improper gifts (from those seeking actions from MCSAC).
  • Don't use public office for private gain.
  • Don't misuse internal non-public Government information.
  • Use Government property and time properly.
  • Don't accept compensation for teaching, speaking, and writing related to your Government duties.
  • Don't engage in partisan political activities while performing your Government duties or while in a Federal building.

You can contact the FMCSA Ethics Program at


Last updated: Monday, September 30, 2019