GALVESTON, Texas (Dec. 1, 2016) -- Pursuing a career in law seemed like a natural course for Clark Bartee, the son of a college pre-law advisor and university professor, but it took a chance encounter for him to realize this was a path he was destined to pursue.

"When I finished law school, I was uncertain about pursuing law as a career when I came across a job posting in 1994 for the technical/legal library at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District," said Bartee. "Once on board, I was guided by some excellent leaders, mentors and role models in the Corps who encouraged me to join the Office of Counsel."

As an assistant district counsel for the district, Bartee now works across a broad range of practice areas including civil works, real estate, contracting, environmental law, fiscal law, employment law, information and privacy law, procurement fraud and ethics. His current specific appointments include those of ethics counselor and procurement fraud advisor, where he has been working to reinvigorate the district's procurement fraud program -- a program that focuses on procurement integrity and fraud prevention and deterrence.

"We wanted to reintroduce fraud prevention education to increase awareness," said Bartee. "This training will hopefully help all of us as employees to identify fraud risks and manage them appropriately."

With the increase in business along the Texas coast and a greater pressure to deliver and perform on schedule, Bartee acknowledges that this pressure can create an environment for cutting corners and skipping essential steps needed to conduct federal business correctly.

"Our ethics and internal control programs are key to encouraging and ensuring that those unacceptable risks are recognized, reported and managed appropriately," said Bartee.

In addition to the ethics training, he is focused on streamlining the district's Freedom of Information Act program (often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government) to provide easier access to district information.
Bartee explained that he has been transitioning the program into an electronic system to reduce paperwork, increase efficiency and speed response times for the release of information to the public.

Throughout his career, Bartee says that the one thing has remained unchanged with his work is the talented, diverse, professional, and great people with whom he has the opportunity to associate.

"Not many positions afford the opportunity to work with engineers, auditors, contracting officers and specialists, real estate specialists, regulators, archaeologists, biologists and other specialists as are in the Corps of Engineers," Bartee said. "Gaining the trust of these teammates in the provision of legal services is the ultimate reward of the job."

Bartee earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University, a Juris Doctor from Washington University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2008, he received the Department of Justice Law Enforcement Commendation Award. In his free time he enjoys spending his time with his wife and daughter, as well as hiking, biking, surfing and reading.