WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama scored well in the ethics department although watchdog groups said they'd like to see more done in ethics reform.
Among the pluses were Obama's executive order limiting lobbyists hired in his administration, pushing federal agencies to make more data public and releasing visitor logs for the executive offices, The Hill reported Monday.
"After the last eight years, it is refreshing to see a president, through his rhetoric and action, who understands the way that the system works is a problem. That just a great place to start with," Meredith McGehee, policy director for the Campaign Legal Center, told the Washington publication.
Watchdog groups that were at odds with George W. Bush's administration lauded many of Obama's moves, but said Obama must do more next year.
Among the reforms ethics advocates want is a push for public campaign financing and changes at the Federal Election Commission. They also said Obama should declassify more information and strengthen ethics enforcement within all agencies.
Obama also garnered high praise for naming people whose primary job is to improve ethics and transparency in government, The Hill said.
"What I find most encouraging is that there is a core group of people at the White House who genuinely care about these issues," said Steven Aftergood, Project on Government Secrecy director at the Federation of American Scientists. "And we are already starting to see some results from those conversations, such as the Open Government Directive, and other emerging policies."