Illinois Governor’s office begins Internet ethics training for employees

Thousands of state employees are now heading to the Internet to ensure they know what’s ethical behavior and what isn’t in Illinois state government.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s office on Friday started a Web-based ethics training program for 58,000 employees in his office and those in agencies under his control. The training is part of the new ethics law designed to combat corruption in state government.

The 60-minute program, developed by a California-based company, puts employees through various scenarios to test their responses to situations that may pop up in the workplace. It covers provisions such as the Gift Ban Act, political activities and official misconduct.

Employees then must correctly answer at least eight of 10 questions on a post-training exam or take both the training and quiz over again.

"To truly change the culture in state government, we need to ensure that everyone involved — from the elected officials down to the mailroom clerks — understands what the rules are and how they apply to our work as employees of the public," Blagojevich said in a statement.

Employees in the offices of Blagojevich, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and Blagojevich’s Executive Inspector General Zaldwaynaka "Z." Scott will test the program until Jan. 9. Other employees will be trained between Jan. 22 and the end of May, the governor’s office said.

The law requires all state employees, including elected officials, to undergo annual ethics training. Employees not under the governor’s control will develop and go through their own programs, Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said.
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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