The Legal Advisories page contains the DAEOgrams on substantive ethics issues published by OGE from 1992 to 2010, the Advisory Opinions published by OGE from 1979 to 2010, and the Legal Advisories, which OGE began publishing in 2011.
OGE provides guidance on whether receipt of cash awards by Government employees under an awards program administered by a non-federal entity is permissible under the gift rules.
OGE addressed whether and under what circumstances the head of an agency component may accept an award from a source doing business anywhere in the agency. OGE also discussed lecture awards and when an outside consulting arrangement is consistent with ethical requirements in 5 C.F.R. § 2635.702.
The attachment, DO-04-011A, is the statement of the Acting Director before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. It contains a discussion of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) awards rule, 5 C.F.R. § 2635.204(d), as well as a discussion of various rules governing outside consulting activities.
The OGE stated that since the honoraria ban was statutorily created by Congress, and did not include certain exceptions for teaching, speaking and writing outside of a federal employees official capacity (though many criticized this lack of exception), the employee was required to return an honoraria he received.
The incidental presentation of two non-monetary honorary awards by a university to Federal employees was unlikely to violate the gift regulations that were found in the new proposed Standards of Ethical Conduct at 5 C.F.R. part 2635. [cited former 5 C.F.R. part 735]
The award of a prize for winning a competition does not fall within the meaning of a payment for an appearance, speech or article. (Note: the honoraria ban was subsequently held to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.)
OGE advised that a corporation's contribution to a university which the agency's employee had previously served as president to establish a President's Discretionary Fund in the employee's honor would not, in an of itself, be prohibited. OGE concluded the agency's gift rule as well as 18 USC 209 would not apply. [cites former 5 CFR 735.202]
The organization could host a separate banquet honoring the recipients of the awards because as 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) organization, it could under 5 U.S.C. § 4111, offer such an honor to each employee. Each employee's agency wound need to determine under 5 C.F.R. Part 410.705 if its employees could attend.
An employee of an agency would be prohibited by the agency's standards of conduct relating to the acceptance of gifts from receiving a cash public service award from an organization which was directly affected by action taken by the agency. [cites former 5 C.F.R. § 735.202]
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