OGE has moved to the cloud–at least its educational programs. The Institute for Ethics in Government MAX Community is a secure, interactive private website (“intranet”) that as of May, 2013 is:
[The] new home for all of OGE’s education offerings, making learning opportunities available to all Executive Branch ethics officials, regardless of geography, experience, or grade. This platform will provide high quality continuing education, both live and on-demand, to government ethics practitioners at all levels. It also will provide useful tools and products to support ethics officials in advising employees at their agencies. OGE has designed these educational products to support both large and small ethics programs in meeting the internal professional development needs of their staffs.
Developed and operated by OMB, the MAX intranet is a formidable technical platform, with high security and relatively user friendly, as these things go. Registration is required, and for the most part, membership is restricted to federal employees.
One of the biggest potential MAX benefits is facilitating not just one-way communications from OGE to its minions, but making it easy for user with something to say to contribute. An active, effective MAX website would be a giant benefit for ethics practitioners throughout the government, and we’ll discuss in future posts what needs to be done to make that happen. One observation in the meantime: No intranet can completely replace live meetings. OGE should try to find a way to add live meetings, including worldwide conferences, to its schedule.