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United States Office of Government Ethics, Preventing Conflicts of Interest in the Executive Branch

All Advisories for 1981

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(Legal) 81x35: Negotiations with a Former Agency Employer and 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207(c) prohibits a former senior employee from representing his new employer in negotiations with his former agency concerning the corporation’s use of subcontractors.  This opinion also discusses the policy statement in 5 C.F.R. § 737.1 implementing 18 U.S.C. § 207(b)(ii) regarding supervisory participation in a government funded project.


(Legal) 81x34: Representations by General Partners of a Government Employee and 18 U.S.C. § 207(g)pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207(g) prohibits a government commissioner's general partners from representing clients before the commissioner’s agency at any level.  Recusal by the commissioner in any matter in which one of the partners represented a client would not have the effect of removing the matter from the under the commissioner’s "official responsibility."


(Legal) 81x33: Testimony before an Agency and 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207 would not prohibit a former senior agency employee from appearing as a state expert witness in a hearing before a second agency if the subject matter of his testimony were limited to the validity of the investigations and methodologies used by the other consultant that the state had retained to produce data to be used at the hearing.


(Legal) 81x32: Temporary Private Employment and 18 U.S.C. § 209pdf
A government employee who takes leave without pay to accept a temporary, non-conflicting position with a corporation would not violate 18 U.S.C. § 209 by accepting a salary and certain employee benefits from the corporation during that time.


(Legal) 81x31: Receipt of a Bequest and 18 U.S.C. § 209(a)pdf
The receipt of a bequest by the present employees of an agency would not violate 18 U.S.C. § 209(a) when the bequest was made without intent to influence and the employees provided services to the deceased without any expectation of reward.  This determination is premised on the specific facts of the transfer of an item of value to an employee.


(Legal) 81x30: Legislative Employees and 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207 did not apply to a former legislative employee who had, by virtue of his legislative position, served as an ex-officio member of a commission within the executive branch where the former employee was still responsible in a direct manner to Congress for the performance of his duties.


(Legal) 81x29: Particular Matter Involving Specific Parties and 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
A former government employee would not violate 18 U.S.C. § 207 by completing revisions of a technical manual for his present employer that the former employee had written and had begun to revise for his former agency before leaving the government because the revision was not a “particular matter involving specific parties.”


(Legal) 81x28: Former Government Employee Representations Based on Personal Knowledge and 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
A former senior employee would not violate 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) by contacting his former agency within the prohibited one-year period to recommend the appointment of an individual to a position in that agency if the recommendation were based on his personal knowledge of the individual under section 207(i).


(Legal) 81x27: 18 U.S.C. § 208 and Government Contractspdf
An agency wishing to contract with a credit union, whose membership and management is composed of current and retired agency employees, must ensure that employees taking action on the contract were not credit union members or officers and did not hold a financial interest in it.


(Legal) 81x25: 18 U.S.C. § 207 and Determining a Former Employee’s Agency by Chain of Commandpdf
The chain of command was dispositive in determining a former senior employee’s “agency” for purposes of applying 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) and the former employee was prohibited from representing anyone before any portion of that agency for one year following his termination of government service.


(Legal) 81x26: 18 U.S.C. § 207(a), Rulemaking, and Representations to the Governmentpdf
18 U.S.C. § 207(a) did not prohibit a former Government attorney from preparing a client memo analyzing rules which he had been personally and substantially involved in creating as a Federal employee.  Section 207 applies to representations before and communications to the U.S., and rulemaking is not a "particular matter involving a specific party."


(Legal) 81x16(2): 18 U.S.C. § 209 and Severance Pay Planpdf
Follow-up to 81x16(1): PAS nominee provided information that satisfied OGE that payments under he was scheduled to receive under the severance plan from his company were for his past services.


(Legal) 81x24: Special Government Employees and 18 U.S.C. §§ 202, 203, and 205pdf
A member of a federal board was determined to be a special government employee under 18 U.S.C. § 202 and was subject to the conflict of interest laws when representing his private business to the government.  However, the restrictions of 18 U.S.C. §§ 203 and 205 had a limited application to the special government employee.


(Legal) 81x23: Same Particular Matter Involving a Specific Party and 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207(a) prohibits a former commissioner from representing a client before his former commission in the same particular matter involving a specific party where an individual who was denied relief during the former commissioner’s tenure wished to reapply to the commission for the same type of relief.


(Legal) 81x22: Public Financial Disclosure Reports and Level of Position in the Governmentpdf
Whether 5 U.S.C. app. § 201(f)(3)requires an individual to file a public financial disclosure report is determined by the level of position that the individuals holds and not the amount of money paid to the individual. If a department had unclassified special government employees, it must look to the amount paid. [cites former 5 U.S.C. app. 4]


(Legal) 81x21: Preparing Income Tax Returns for Others and 18 U.S.C. § 203pdf
18 U.S.C. § 203 did not prohibit government employees from preparing income tax returns for others, but employees may not provide services beyond the preparation for compensation.  Further, section 203 does not bar an agency from adopting stricter standards if it concludes that an outside activity would be adverse to its interests.


(Legal) 81x20: Matters of a Personal and Individual Nature and 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)pdf
A former senior employee would not violate 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) if his name was placed on an active list of arbitrators maintained by the agency under the subsection (i) exemption for matters “of a personal and individual nature” where the agency maintained the list and had no control over who was selected from the list by parties to an arbitration.


(Legal) 81x19: Conflict of Interest Issues Related to Investment in Limited Partnershippdf
Under 18 U.S.C. § 208(a) requires a Government employee to refrain from participating in any matter that might come before his agency in which the limited partnership in which he is a partner is directly involved. [also discusses a prior version of 18 U.S.C. § 207]


(Legal) 81x18: Accepting Benefits from a Former Private Employer when Leaving to Work for the Federal Governmentpdf
OGE advised a company that it might afford one of its employees, who was leaving the company to accept an appointment in the Federal Government, the opportunity to use its home buying service. The service did not fall within the exemptions of 18 U.S.C. § 209(b) but OGE found that the offer was made as a recognition of past services.


(Legal) 81x17: Payment to an Employee on Leave Serving as a Consultant to the Federal Governmentpdf
Pursuant to the terms of 18 U.S.C. § 209(b), a corporation may continue to pay certain specific employee benefits to one of its employees who is on a 90 day leave of absence from the corporation serving as a consultant to the Federal Government.


(Legal) 81x16(1): 18 U.S.C. § 209 and Severance Pay Planpdf
Severance payments under company plan to employees going into public service must be compensation for past service to the company and not consideration for future activities.


(Legal) 81x15: Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207 Restrictionspdf
A former government attorney representing domestic gas companies in negotiations with a foreign state-owned oil company would not be restricted by 18 U.S.C. § 207. Also, 18 U.S.C. § 207(b) would not prohibit his representing the companies to the Federal Government because it would be based on a new particular matter with different specific parties.


(Legal) 81x14: Scope of Coverage of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)pdf
The denial of the limitation of scope of coverage of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) to those persons who had supervisory authority over separate statutory agencies designated under section 207(e) is intended by the statute, even if the separate statutory agency functions totally independent of the parent agency.


(Legal) 81x13: Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207 to Former Employees Appearing Before a Foreign Tribunalpdf
Former employees who had, while employed by the Government, participated personally and substantially in actual or potential claims against Iran involving specific parties would not be prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 207 from representing these claimants in an appearance before the Iranian Claims Tribunal.


(Legal) 81x12: Applicability of the Personnel Administration Exceptionpdf
OGE advised that an employee of the Internal Revenue Service would be prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 205 from representing another employee of the IRS in a tax audit. Such representation would not fall within the exceptions for a "disciplinary ... or other personnel administration proceeding."


(Legal) 81x5(2): 18 U.S.C. § 207's Prohibition on Communicationpdf
Follow up to an Advisory where OGE stated that a former senior employee is not prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 207(a) or (b) from appearing before Congress on any matter as Congress clearly is not included in the list of entities cited in those subsections to which communications are prohibited.


(Legal) 81x11: Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) to Employees with Supervisory Authoritypdf
OGE advised a department that its former general counsel, a senior employee, had supervisory authority over separate agencies within that department and was therefore not eligible for any limitation of the scope of coverage of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) afforded by 18 U.S.C. § 207(e).


(Legal) 81x10: Regulations on Outside Employmentpdf
OGE explains the restrictions that would apply to a full time executive branch employee who wishes to engage in the private practice of law while remaining a Government employee.


(Legal) 81x9: Agency Seeking Assistance from Former Employeepdf
An agency may always seek the assistance of a former employee without his being in jeopardy of violating post-employment provisions of section 207(c) because the former employee would be representing the Government. The restrictions do no prohibit a former employee from representing anyone before a private contractor, only before his former agency.


(Legal) 81x8: Determining Who is Considered a Special Government Employeepdf
OGE advises on the type of appointment or authority normally associated with the status of special Government employee including signing a customary oath of office or getting sworn in; receiving  compensation or expenses from the Federal Government; acting as a spokesperson for any Government agency; or having Government office space.


(Legal) 81x7: Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) to a Senior Employeepdf
The key determination pursuant to section 207(e) of whether section 207(c) is applicable to bar post-employment activity of a former Senior Employee of the parent agency is whether his or her responsibilities included supervision of the subordinate agency.


(Legal) 81x6: Application of Outside Earned Income Limitation in the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA)pdf
The legislative history of the outside earned income limitation of Section 210 of the Ethics in Government Act would indicate that this restriction was meant to apply to those key Presidentially-appointed policymakers whose positions appear in the Presidential personnel Appointment File maintained in the Executive office of the President.


(Legal) 81x5(1): 18 U.S.C. § 207's Prohibition on Communicationpdf
OGE stated that a former senior employee is not prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 207(a) or (b) from appearing before Congress on any matter as Congress clearly is not included in the list of entities cited in those subsections to which communications are prohibited.


(Legal) 81x4: Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
OGE advised a Congressman that the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 207 would apply to a former senior executive branch employee now on his staff who represented the Congressman's constituents (at the Congressman's request) before his former agency. These representations would not be made on behalf of the constituents and on specific matters. [The guidance in this advisory was superseded by 5 C.F.R. § 2641.301(a)(2) & ex.2.]


(Legal) 81x3: Who is Required to File Public Financial Disclosure Reportspdf
OGE advised that it is the level of the position held by the individual and not the level of pay the individual receives which controls whether the individual must file a public financial disclosure report required by Title II of the Ethics in Government Act.


(Legal) 81x2: Serving as an Expert Witnesspdf
A disciplinary panel of a self-regulatory organization (SRO) was not an “agency or Department” of the agency in which a former employee served; the employee may act as an expert witness at a disciplinary hearing of the SRO.


(Legal) 81x1: Meaning of “Particular Matter” under 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)pdf
Legislation constitutes a particular matter for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c).  [Cites former 5 C.F.R. part 737]