The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced today that the New York State Ethics Commission awarded the 7th annual Theodore Roosevelt Ethics Award to the MTA in recognition of its outstanding commitment to ethics in State government.
"The MTA's transportation network provides a critical public service to more than 8 million people each day, and we owe it to ourselves and our customers to maintain the highest ethical standards," MTA Executive Director and CEO, Elliot G. Sander. "I would like to thank the Ethics Commission for this award, which I am extremely proud to accept on behalf of the MTA. It is proof that at the MTA ethical guidelines are taken extremely seriously throughout the agency."
The MTA received a plaque inscribed with the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt, former Governor of New York: "We can afford to differ on the currency, the tariff, and foreign policy; but we cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure."
"This year, the Theodore Roosevelt Award is given not just for meeting the usual criteria - for the work of the ethics officer, for training, for compliance with financial disclosure, among other reasons," said John D. Feerick, Chair of the Ethics Commission. "This year the award also recognizes the turnaround that has occurred at the agency. There is now mandatory training for all managers and senior staff, and a growing staff of individuals who are involved in training and procurement and giving advice."
While in public office, Theodore Roosevelt earned a reputation for opposing government corruption. He supported civil service reform as a member of the New York State Assembly and he federal Civil Service Commission, as president of the New York City Police Board and as Governor. Speaking in 1903 as President of the United States, he said, "The exposure and punishment of public corruption is an honor to a nation, not a disgrace. The shame lies in toleration."
The MTA was selected for the award based on several criteria, including:
- The training program is a model for other agencies to emulate, with sessions aimed at Managers and senior staff
- Management of the agency effectively deals with the various aspects of the ethics law, including pro-actively consulting with the Commission on ethics issues;
- The agency fosters appropriate contacts with the Commission staff on matters ranging from financial disclosure to investigations;
- The agency takes appropriate measures to foster compliance with the timely filing of financial disclosure statements by its covered employees.