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Embarrassed by a recent prostitution scandal involving its staff in South America, the U.S. Secret Service issued new rules of conduct to agents and employees on Friday.

The Secret Service will now assign chaperones on some trips to enforce the new rules, which make it clear that excessive drinking, entertaining foreigners in hotel rooms and cavorting in disreputable establishments are no longer tolerated.

The stricter measures apply even when traveling personnel are off duty.

The agency-wide changes were intended to staunch the embarrassing disclosures since April 13, when a prostitution scandal erupted in Cartagena involving 12 Secret Service agents, officers and supervisors and 12 more enlisted military personnel. The staff were in Colombia ahead of President Obama's visit to the Summit of the Americas.

The embattled Secret Service director, Mark Sullivan, urged agents and other employees to "consider your conduct through the lens of the past several weeks."

Sullivan added: "The absence of a specific, published standard of conduct covering an act or behavior does not mean that the act is condoned, is permissible or will not call for - and result in - corrective or disciplinary action."

Ethics classes will be conducted for agency employees next week.