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

All Advisories for 1989

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(Legal) 89x20: Senior Employees and Post-Government Employment Restrictionspdf
A former government employee who served in an Executive Level position within an agency is considered to be a “Senior Employee” for purposes of the post-government employment restriction of 18 U.S.C. § 207 and is subject to four distinct restrictions. [Note: This advisory was criticized in EEOC v. Exxon Corp., 202 F.3d 755 (5th Cir. 2000).]


(Legal) 89x19: Government Employee Status of NDER Members and Conflicts of Interestpdf
Conflict of interest statutes and regulations apply to former government officials accepting membership and training in the National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER) if the participant is viewed as serving in a government employee status; however, the activities of NDER members vary and cannot be categorically excluded from such status.


(Legal) 89x18: Employees Serving as Officers of an Organization and Imputed Acceptance of a Gift from a Prohibited Sourcepdf
An agency employee is considered to have indirectly accepted such a gift if a private organization for which he serves as an officer receives cash from an agency prohibited source, unless the officer does not participate in the decision to accept the grant. [cites former 5 C.F.R. 735.202]


(Legal) 89x17: Ethics Provisions Prohibiting Presidential Appointee from Writing Book in Personal Capacitypdf
Several ethics provisions prohibit a presidential appointee from writing and publishing a book, even where the appointee intends to dedicate all royalties to charity, where it appears that the book will be devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs, or operation of the agency.


(Legal) 89x16: Meaning of "noncareer position" as used in Section 102 of E.O. 12674pdf
The term “noncareer” in Section 102 of Executive Order 12674 was not intended to draw a distinction between Presidential appointees based on the President’s authority to effect their removal.


(Legal) 89x15: 18 U.S.C. § 208 Waiverspdf
An agency may grant a 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1) waiver to an employee who participates in matters affecting state and municipal financial interests and whose wife owns general state and city bonds and to an employee who participates in matters affecting the oil industry and is an income beneficiary of a diversified trust with interest in oil entities.


(Legal) 89x14: Former Agency Employee Participation in a Committee Organized by the Agencypdf
A former senior employee's representations in a committee on behalf of a private industry member is prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) because the committee is a forum organized by his former agency and for its benefit and an agency official is required to be present at meetings. Certain § 207 exceptions may apply in this situation.


(Legal) 89x13: Personal and Substantial Participation under 18 U.S.C. § 207pdf
OGE agrees with an ALJ's provisional decision that a former employee's representation to the agency of a party regarding an employment discrimination complaint for non-selection was not a particular matter in which the former employee had previously participated personally and substantially under 18 U.S.C. 207.


(Legal) 89x12: Contractors and the Standards of Ethical Conductpdf
The standards of conduct do not apply to a doctor whose status is that of a contractor, rather than an employee, of an agency.  Thus, the doctor may appear as an expert witness in case regarding a claim against the U.S. based on allegations of malpractice by employee physicians at an agency hospital.


(Legal) 89x11: Appointment of Designated and Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Officialspdf
The head of each agency must appoint a designated agency ethics official as well as an alternate designated agency ethics official regardless of whether any agency employees are required to file public disclosure reports. [cites former 5 CFR § 738.202]


(Legal) 89x10: Agency Employee Membership in an Outside Organizationpdf
Mere membership in an outside organization dealing directly with the agency an employee manages does not create an 18 U.S.C. § 208 conflict of interest.  However, the appearance of conflict may occur under the regulatory standards of conduct and the agency must determine whether recusal from specific matters or membership withdrawal is necessary.


(Legal) 89x9: Agency Employee Membership in a Society that Derives Revenue from Prohibited Sourcespdf
The Standards of Conduct prohibit federal employees who are members of a society that derives a portion of its revenues from corporations and other entities from soliciting or accepting, even indirectly, anything of monetary value from entities that are a prohibited source seeking to sell its product to the members employing agency.


(Legal) 89x8: Employee Benefits and Incentives for Temporary Government Servicepdf
18 U.S.C. § 209(a) prohibits an agreement between a company and employee that provides standard benefits to the employee during a two-year leave of absence to serve with an agency and offers an $80,000 incentive to return to the company following her temporary assignment with the agency.


(Legal) 89x7: Limitations on Employee’s Operation of Outside Business Activitypdf
Receipt of company dividends instead of a salary constitutes receiving compensation for services rendered by the employee’s company to the Government. [Note: The 18 U.S.C. § 203 analysis in this opinion was modified by OGE Informal Advisory Memorandum 99 x 25.]


(Legal) 89x6: Use of an Agency Official’s Name in Connection with Fundraising Effortspdf
The standards of conduct make it improper for a university to use the name of a prominent agency official in connection with fundraising efforts to endow a chair where an employee must avoid any action that might result in or create the appearance of using public office for private gain.


(Legal) 89x5: Responsibility of Agencies to Provide Post-Government Employment Advicepdf
18 U.S.C. § 207 assigns agencies the primary responsibility to provide post-employment advice to former employees and it applies where a former employee advised the U.S. in foreign negotiations to reduce government subsidies to an industry and later represents an industry association as an advisor to a U.S. team negotiating this issue.


(Legal) 89x4: Waiver of Post-Government Employment Prohibitions for Scientific Collaboration Serving the National Interestpdf
An agency may waive 18 U.S.C. § 207(a) and (b)(i) post-government employment restrictions to allow an employee to participate in cooperative research and development agreements between the agency and a private sector employer where the employee is a world-renowned scientist and his continued collaboration would serve the national interest.


(Legal) 89x3: Representations to the Government on Behalf of U.S. Agencypdf
18 U.S.C. § 207 does not prohibit former agency employees working for a licensee’s contractors from executing affidavits about the truth of statements made to the agency by a licensee manager where the affidavits were not representations or communications on behalf of the contractors, but instead on behalf of the licensee, an agency of the U.S.


(Legal) 89x2: Corporate-Sponsored Fundraising Events for Charitable Organizationspdf
Employee participation in corporate-sponsored fund-raising events for charity is prohibited where the agency does not have a legitimate interest in permitting attendance other than supporting a good cause, the event is sponsored by a prohibited source, and such attendance may create the appearance of giving preferential treatment to anyone.


(Legal) 89x1: Post-Government Employment Restrictions on Administrative Law Judgespdf
For all matters assigned to an administrative law judge or to a panel of which he was a member, the judge is barred 18 U.S.C. § 207(a) you would be subject to the lifetime section 207(a) ban, as your participation would be both personal and substantial.