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Would federal employees be more honest if they were reminded daily about the 22- year-old US Code of Ethics for Government Service? Congress thinks so. Beginning Oct. 1, a new law requires that the code be displayed in federal offices around the country.

Ivan Hill, director of the nonprofit Ethics Resource Center, says that posting the code "is probably the most important single thing we can do to clean up government.

"With the code posted on the wall, we know that this will serve to break down peer group pressure that makes people feel like suckers for being honest," he says.

The ethics center is donating 200,000 redy-to-hang copies of the code, plus 5 ,000 copies suitable for framing.

Hill thinks the first code will do the most good. It reads: "Any person in government service should put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above layalty to persons, party, or government department."m

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