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

All Advisories for 1986

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(Legal) 86x19: “Mere Membership” in an Organization and 18 U.S.C. § 208(a)pdf
Mere membership in an organization does not, without other personal financial ties, require that an employee recuse himself from actions affected the organization pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208(a).


(Legal) 86x18: The Council of the District of Columbia and 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207 applies to the employees and members of the Council of the District of Columbia, even though the Council provides a legislative function.


(Legal) 86x17: Requests for an Official’s Signaturepdf
To evaluate requests for an official’s signature, agencies should consider the nature of the item on which the signature is to be affixed, the purpose for which the signature is sought, and the official’s position to ensure that the request does not create an appearance of using public office for private gain. [cites former 5 C.F.R. § 735.201a(a)]


(Legal) 86x16: Wedding Gifts and Waiver of the Public Financial Reporting Requirementspdf
An employee may request a waiver of the public reporting requirements of for wedding gifts he and his future spouse received by following the procedures in 5 C.F.R. § 734.303(g)(2). Such gifts are not automatically exempt from reporting requirements. [cites former 5 U.S.C. app. § 202]


(Legal) 86x15: Meaning of “Personally and Substantially” under 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207 did not prohibit a former government employee from representing a company in seeking a contract that was related to his former duties where he was not personally and substantially involved in the matter on which his services were being requested.


(Legal) 86x14: Potential Restrictions on Newsletters Providing Agency Information Readily Available to the Publicpdf
OGE reviews the provisions that should be analyzed when determining whether an agency employee may continue to publish a newsletter providing agency information readily available to the public. [cites former 5 C.F.R. Part 735]


(Legal) 86x13: Representations to a Former Agency and Matters Involving Specific Partiespdf
18 U.S.C. § 207(a) does not prohibit a former government employee from making representations to his former agency in response to an RFP that he had reviewed as an agency employee but which was issued after he left government employment.


(Legal) 86x12: Blind Trusts and Diversified Mutual Fundspdf
The Ethics in Government Act does not prohibit a trustee of a qualified blind trust from investing in a diversified mutual fund that might have incidental interests in certain organizations the direct of holding of which might be otherwise prohibited. [cites former 5 U.S.C. app. 4 § 202]


(Legal) 86x11: Co-Authorship and Royalties from Books on Subjects Involving a Government Employee’s Official Dutiespdf
OGE reviews the provisions that should be analyzed when determining whether an agency employee might co-author and accept royalties from two books on subjects involving his official duties. [cites former 5 C.F.R. part 735]


(Legal) 86x9: Limitations on Employee’s Operation of Outside Business Activitypdf
Several statutes and regulations impose restrictions on the business activities and compensation of employee who was President and CEO of a corporation.


(Legal) 86x10: Acceptance of Official Travel Expenses Associated with On-Site Inspections and Public Meetingspdf
An agency can allow the acceptance of official travel expenses associated with on-site inspections and public meetings, even when the entity defraying the expenses has interests that could be affected by the agency’s activities; however, an agency should consider imposing some limitations.


(Legal) 86x8: Honorarium and Outside Compensation for Government Workpdf
An agency’s supply service personnel should not accept compensation for their participation in a corporation’s market research survey, as such compensation violates 18 U.S.C. § 209 and 5 C.F.R. §§ 735.201a(a), 735.203, and 735.206 restrictions.   [cites former 5 C.F.R. Part 735]


(Legal) 86x7: Discounts Offered to All Federal Government Employeespdf
An agency’s employees may accept discounts that a corporation was offering to all federal government employees for both official and leisure travel.


(Legal) 86x6: Gifts From a Government Employee’s Subordinatepdf
An employee could purchase discount airline tickets from the wife of the government employee’s subordinate without violating the gift restrictions of 5 U.S.C. § 7351 and 5 C.F.R. § 735.202(d); however, the employee’s agency could determine that such an action still created the appearance of impropriety.  [cites former 5 C.F.R. Part 735]


(Legal) 86x5: Outside Business Partnershipspdf
18 U.S.C. § 207(g) bars a government employee’s business partner from engaging in representational activities related to matters in which the employee participates or is under his official responsibility. 18 U.S.C. §§ 203 and 205 could also impact the employee’s partnership activities and his agency may apply further restrictions.


(Legal) 86x4: Outside Earned Income, Book Contracts, and Part-Time Teaching Positionspdf
The outside earned income limitation does not affect an employee’s book contract and part-time teaching position where the employee did not serve in a position to which the limitation applied. However, such activity may be restricted by other standards of conducts and regulations. [cites former 5 U.S.C. app. 4 § 210 and 5 C.F.R. Part 735]


(Legal) 86x3: Investment Clubs and 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(2) Waiverspdf
Investment clubs are not appropriate subjects for 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(2) waivers because the circumstances surrounding the management and portfolio policies of investment clubs vary widely. However, an agency may announce in its regulations that waivers will be granted for investment clubs on a case-by-case basis under certain conditions.


(Legal) 86x2: Official Responsibilities and Self-Disqualificationpdf
A government employee’s self-disqualification with respect to a matter for which the employee had official responsibility would not remove the matter from the scope of the authority of the office for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 207(b)(1). [also cites former 5 C.F.R. Part 737]


(Legal) 86x1: Intra-Governmental Matters and 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
18 U.S.C. § 207 does not apply to a former agency employee who left the agency to join the Tennessee Valley Authority, a government agency for purposes of applying the criminal conflict of interest statute. The statutory conflict of interest restriction did not apply because the matters were intra-governmental.