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May 15, 2013LA-13-07
Designated Agency Ethics Officials
Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Director
SUMMARY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE 2013 APPROPRIATIONS ACT THAT AFFECT THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS PROGRAM
On March 26, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (“Continuing Resolution”). While primarily focused on making consolidated appropriations and further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, the law also includes provisions that affect the Executive Branch ethics program. A brief summary of two provisions relevant to the Executive Branch ethics program is provided for your information.
I. Agency Conference Notification and Reporting Requirements
The Continuing Resolution includes new notification and reporting requirements for agencies that hold a conference during fiscal year 2013. For a conference that costs more than $20,000, the law requires that, within 15 days of the date of the conference, the agency head notify the Inspector General, or senior ethics official for any agency without an Inspector General, of the date, location, and number of employees attending such conference. In addition, the agency head must submit an annual report to the Inspector General, or senior ethics official for any agency without an Inspector General, regarding the costs and contracting procedures related to each conference that costs more than $100,000. The annual report must include the following information:
The Continuing Resolution also provides that none of the funds made available in this or any other appropriations act may be used for travel and conference activities that are not in compliance with Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M–12–12, dated May 11, 2012. This memorandum, along with numerous Federal acquisition, fiscal, and ethics laws and regulations that apply to the issues raised by a conference in which the Federal government participates, is discussed in OGE’s recently revised version of “A Collection of Federal Resources Relating to Conferences.” In order to remain current between revisions, OGE will post new substantive resources as Addenda to the guide. The most recent additions, including the conference reporting provisions under the Continuing Resolution, can be found on the OGE website at: http://www.oge.gov/Program-Management/Program-Management-Resources/Ethics-Community/Ethics-Community/.
II. Pay-Level Thresholds of Ethics Provisions Remain at 2011 Levels through December 31, 2013
The Continuing Resolution includes a provision extending the civilian pay freeze for federal employees through December 31, 2013. As a result, the statutory pay-level thresholds for certain purposes under either the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) or 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) will remain at 2011 levels through December 31, 2013, as set forth below:
OGE brings the above information to your attention as part of our initiative to keep the ethics community apprised of relevant legislative activity. If you would like to discuss this Legal Advisory or other legislative matters, please contact OGE’s Program Counsel, Shelley Finlayson at (202) 482-9314.
 Pub. L. No. 113-6, 127 Stat. 198 (2013).
 See Pub. L. No. 113-6, 127 Stat. 198, 434 (2013).
 See Pub. L. No. 113-6, 127 Stat. 198, 414-415 (2013).