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

All Advisories for 1994

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(Legal) DO-94-044: Holiday Gifts and Celebrationspdf
OGE reminds employees about the ethics rules regarding holiday gifts and celebrations.


(Legal) 94x19: Application of Standards of Ethical Conduct to a Sales Incentive Programpdf
The acceptance by an executive branch employee of a "favorable price" based upon a company's incentive program would violate the Standards of Ethical Conduct. Such a favorable price would fall within the definition of a "gift" under the Standards. An employee's eligibility is based upon the employee's official position and acceptance is prohibited.


(Legal) 94x18: Discussion of "Use of Nonpublic Information" and "Teaching, Speaking and Writing" Sections in the Standards of Ethical Conductpdf
OGE explains example 5 in the "Use of nonpublic information" section of the Standards of Ethical Conduct, at 5 C.F.R. § 2635.703. Additionally, OGE generally discusses the "teaching, speaking and writing" section of the Standards, at 5 C.F.R. § 2635.807.


(Legal) 94x17: Impact of 60-Day Threshold on Special Government Employees Filing SF 278s and SF 450spdf
SGEs who do not perform the duties of their position for more than 60 days in a calendar year do not file SF 278s. SGEs are not subject to a 60-day threshold service requirement for filing new entrant SF 450s. SGEs should file SF 450s at the time of their initial one-year appointment and upon any reappointment or redesignation.


(Legal) DO-94-034: Reports of Referral for Possible Prosecutionpdf
OGE reminds agencies to provide the Director of OGE with follow-up reports of any indictment, information, or declination of prosecution as well as any disciplinary or corrective action initiated, taken, or to be taken by the agency.


(Legal) 94x16: Defining "Employment" as used in 18 U.S.C. § 208pdf
OGE believes it to be expedient to advise employees that the Department of Justice has not issued a definitive ruling on whether the terms "employee" and "employment" as used in 18 U.S.C. § 208 include an independent contractor or consulting situation. Employees should be counseled to seek waivers with this fact in mind.


(Legal) 94x15: Application of 18 U.S.C. § 205 to Meetings Between Representatives of Employee Organizations and Agency Officialspdf
18 U.S.C. § 205 bars an employee from representing an employee organization before the Government unless it was part of the employee's official duties, or met one of the exceptions in the statute. There is no indication that there is a general exemption from the prohibition for employees when representing employee interest groups. [The guidance in this advisory has been superseded, in part, by 18 U.S.C. § 205(d)(1)(B) as part of the Federal Employee Representation Improvement Act of 1996. See OGE Informal Advisory Opinion 96x16 (1996) for further discussion.]


(Legal) DO-94-032: Notification Requirement for Referrals of Possible Violations of Federal Conflict of Interest Statutespdf
OGE reminds agencies of the requirement to notify it of referrals to the Attorney General of possible violations of federal conflict of interest statutes and recommends that they use the OGE Form 202 to do so.


(Legal) DO-94-031: Improving the Confidential Financial Disclosure Systempdf
OGE issues guidance about designating positions as those which must file a confidential financial disclosure report.


(Legal) 94x14: Speaking Engagement at Conference Sponsored by Non-Federal Entitypdf
OGE discusses whether a Government employee may participate in an official capacity in a conference sponsored by a private entity.


(Legal) 94x13: Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)(2)pdf
OGE advises an agency on the application of 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)(2) to a former employee who had official responsibilities relating to the agency's insurance program. OGE discusses whether the restriction would apply to an individual that was processing insurance registration forms.


(Legal) 94x10(2): Employee’s Obligation under 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502(a)pdf
Follow-up to 94x10(1): The section 2635.502(a) analysis is not required simply because a person with whom the employee has a covered relationship has a financial interest in a matter. Only when a household member has a financial interest in a matter is the employee required by section 2635.502(a) to undertake the reasonable person analysis.


(Legal) 94x12: Waiver of the Restrictions under 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)(1)pdf
The one-year restriction on certain senior personnel applicable under 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)(1) may be waived by the Director of OGE in certain circumstances pursuant to the authority of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)(2)(C). Neither the statute nor the implementing regulation provides any authority to grant a waiver to an individual personally.


(Legal) 94x11: Disclosing Outstanding Fees as a Liability on a Public Financial Disclosure Reportpdf
OGE found that fees for legal or other services, like any other liability, are required to be reported unless they fall within one of the exceptions specifically enumerated in 5 U.S.C. app. § 102(a)(4).


(Legal) DO-94-026: Reporting Period For Incumbent Public Financial Disclosure Reportspdf
OGE clarifies the reporting periods of public financial reports filed by incumbents.


(Legal) DO-94-018: Supreme Court Grants Petition for Certiorari in Case Challenging Honoraria Banpdf
The U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari filed by the Department of Justice asking the Court to review the decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in NTEU v. United States concerning the honoraria ban at 5 U.S.C. app. § 501(b).


(Legal) 94x10(1): Employee’s Obligation under 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502(a)pdf
Although an employee has a "covered relationship" with the employee's brother under 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502, the employee is not required to obtain authorization before participating in a hearing because the brother is not a party and does not represent a party.


(Legal) DO-94-013: Fundraising Activitiespdf
OGE recommends that agencies resolve questions about Federal employees' nonmonetary charity drives at the Federal workplace by referring to the provisions of 5 C.F.R. part 2635, particularly the provisions in subpart G, and the provisions of applicable GSA regulations.


(Legal) 94x9: Executive Branch Employee's Obligation to Satisfy Just Debtspdf
The Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch state that all executive branch employees are responsible for satisfying in good faith their just financial obligations, especially those that are imposed by law. Agencies do not have the authority to act as collection agents on behalf of an employee's creditors.


(Legal) 94x8: Application of 18 U.S.C. § 205 to Agency Employees Providing Representational Servicespdf
Determining whether a representational activity is permitted by 18 U.S.C. § 205 requires deciding whether the activity is in the proper discharge of an employee's official duties. It must be determined on a case by case basis if the employee's representation in the proceeding is inconsistent with the faithful performance of the employee's duties.


(Legal) DO-94-008: Extension of Grace Period for Certain Existing Agency Standards of Conductpdf
OGE publishes final rule on February 2, 1994, which grandfathers for up to an additional year certain agency standards of conduct regulations in effect prior to February 3, 1993.


(Legal) 94x5: Problems with an Agency Creating a List of Prohibited Sourcespdf
An agency's creating, publishing, and keeping current a list of Department prohibited sources under 5 C.F.R. § 2635.203(d)(5) would present a number of problems. An organization that is a prohibited source with respect to one of the separate components would not necessarily be a prohibited source with respect to another component.


(Legal) 94x6: Applicability of Standards of Ethical Conductpdf
OGE discusses whether a particular agency is considered an agency under the Standards of Ethical Conduct. The agency treated itself as an executive agency for purposes of application of the ethics laws and regulation. As a result, OGE concluded that the Standards apply to the agency's employees.


(Legal) 94x7: Application of 18 U.S.C. § 205 to a Proposed Representationpdf
A Government employee seeking to represent a private party in a Federal court action must take great care to ensure that he or she does not violate 18 U.S.C. § 205 even where the United States is not a named party. Other statutes must also be considered, particularly those that restrict a Government employee from engaging in outside employment.


(Legal) DO-94-006: Department of Justice Files Petition for Certiorari in Case Challenging Honoraria Banpdf
The Department of Justice determines that it will not seek to enforce the honoraria ban with respect to executive branch employees who receive honoraria between September 28, 1993, and the date on which the Supreme Court issues its decision in NTEU v. United States.


(Legal) DO-94-002: Guidance on Public Financial Disclosure (SF 278) Late Filing Fee Waiverspdf
OGE discusses the general categories under which it has granted waivers of the fee for filing the public financial disclosure form late.


(Legal) 94x4: Confidential Financial Disclosure Systempdf
OGE discusses the reasoning behind having a supervisor review confidential financial reports. OGE explains that by doing so, agency ethics staff can help employees avoid conflicts of interest. Additionally, confidential information disclosed is strictly protected by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.


(Legal) 94x2: When Free Attendance to a Reception is a Prohibited Giftpdf
OGE advises on whether an employee can accept a reception in their honor from their former non-governmental employer.  Under 5 C.F.R. § 2635.203, free attendance to a reception can be a prohibited gift if given because of the employee's official position. However, the "widely attended gathering" exception may apply, allowing the employee to attend. [The guidance in this advisory was modified in 2018 by OGE Legal Advisory LA-18-04.]


(Legal) 94x3: OGE Comments about Agency's Proposed Procedure for Handling Complaints against Administrative Law Judgespdf
OGE reviews and comments on proposed procedures for handling complaints that administrative law judges at an agency have engaged in misconduct during the hearings and appeals process. OGE comments on supplementing provisions of the Standards of Ethical Conduct and how different conflict of interest laws apply to special Government employees.


(Legal) 94x1: Determining whether a Government Employee can Participate as a Speaker at a Conferencepdf
OGE discusses the factors to be considered in order to determine whether a Government employee can participate as a speaker in a conference conducted by a non-Governmental entity. OGE also discusses the parameters outlined in 5 C.F.R. § 2635.807(b) for use of Government title in nonofficial speaking engagements.