Ethics Office Website Experiences Outages Due to ‘Extraordinary Volume’

The Office of Government Ethics experienced a high volume of traffic late last week which temporarily crippled its website. The surge may have been caused by allegations that Kellyanne Conway violated federal ethics regulations.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) website experienced outages late last week due to “an extraordinary volume of contacts.”

OGE sent out a series of tweets alerting the public to the potential disruptions they might encounter in contacting the agency and said the high volume was due to “contacts from citizens about recent events.” Users were reportedly encountering error messages on Thursday and Friday when attempting to reach the site.

While OGE wasn’t specific as to what the “recent events” were, it’s quite likely that the high volume of traffic was from people interested in the incident involving Kellyanne Conway and the accusations she faced about violating federal ethics laws when she discussed Ivanka Trump’s products during a television interview.

OGE sent five tweets about the high volume of contacts it received and its role in ethics investigations:

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked OGE’s director to review the incident involving Conway and report back on any disciplinary actions the agency felt might be necessary.

OGE clarified in its tweets that the agency does not conduct investigations or prosecute ethics violations and only provides guidance to an agency when it learns about a possible ethics violation.

The White House said that Conway had been “counseled,” and Conway also said in a tweet that she had the  support of President Trump.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.