For Ethics Officials

This section provides additional information and resources for agency ethics officials in the federal executive branch. We encourage feedback and invite you to send your comments, suggestions, corrections, or submissions to nominees@oge.gov.

Contents

A.  Ethics Agreement Guide

B.  Selected Regulations

C.  List of Other Resources

1.  Training Module
2.  Review of Reports
3.  Substantive Analysis of Nominee and New Entrant Reports
4.  Ethics Pledge (E.O. 13490)
5.  Ethics Agreements
6.  Waivers
7.  Certificates of Divestiture

D.  Index of Topics Covered by this Nominee and New Entrant 278 Guide 

A.  Ethics Agreement Guide

•  Ethics Agreement Guide: Ethics officials need to use the ethics agreement guide for all Presidential nominee ethics agreements.  (MS Word version)   (PDF version

•  Conflict of Interest Analysis: Coming soon -- This page will provide guidance on how to review entries for potential conflicts of interest or appearance concerns.

B.  Selected Regulations 

•  Executive Branch Financial Disclosure, Qualified Trusts, and Certificates of Divestiture: 5 C.F.R. part 2634

•  Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch: 5 C.F.R. part 2635

•  Limitations on Outside Earned Income, Employment, and Affiliations for Certain Noncareer Employees: 5 C.F.R. part 2636

•  Interpretation, Exemptions, and Waiver Guidance Concerning 18 U.S.C. § 208: 5 C.F.R. part 2640 

C.  List of Resources

1.  Training Module

•  How to File an SF 278 Report WBT (2010): An interactive web-based training tutorial designed for executive branch employees who need to file a public financial disclosure report (Standard Form 278, now the OGE Form 278).

2.  Review of Reports

•  Review and Clearance of Nominee Forms (DO-06-004): Discusses the review of financial disclosure reports of Presidential nominees requiring Senate confirmation.

•  Seeking Additional Information from Nominee Filers (DO-08-002): Discusses the need to seek additional information from a PAS nominee when a financial disclosure report is incomplete.

3.  Substantive Analysis of Nominee and New Entrant Reports

•  18 U.S.C. § 208 and Defined Benefit Pension Plans (DO-99-015): Updates and refines previous guidance on the circumstances in which an employee has a conflict of interest in matters affecting the sponsor of the employee's defined benefit plan.

•  Contingency Fees and 18 U.S.C. § 203 (DO-99-042): Discusses the implications of 18 U.S.C. § 203 for a prospective government employee, such as an attorney or other provider of representational services, who has an interest in a pending contingency fee case.

• 18 U.S.C. § 203 (DO-99-049): Explains that section 203 is applicable only in situations involving compensation in exchange for the provision of representational services to a third party, rendered either by the employee or an associate.

• Summary of Ethical Requirements Applicable to Special Government Employees (DO-00-003): Summarizes the ethical requirements applicable to special Government employees.

•  Diversified and Sector Mutual Funds (DO-00-030): Provides guidance concerning the distinction between diversified and sector mutual funds for purposes of certain regulatory exemptions, codified in 5 C.F.R. part 2640.

•  Recent OLC Opinion Concerning Status of Trustees of a Private Trust under 18 U.S.C. § 208 (DO-01-029): Provides a link to an opinion issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Department of Justice, concerning the application of 18 U.S.C. § 208 to individuals serving as trustees of a private trust.

•  Financial Disclosure Issues Concerning Trustees, Executors, and Administrators (DO-02-008): Provides guidance concerning the reporting of trusts and estates when an employee is serving as a trustee, executor or administrator.

•  OLC Opinion Concerning Commencement of Officer or Employee Status for Purposes of Conflict of Interest Requirements (DO-02-014): Provides a link to an opinion issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Department of Justice, concerning the question of when an individual becomes an officer or employee subject to the federal conflict of interest laws and regulations.

•  Revocable Living Trusts (DO-02-015): Explains OGE’s approach to revocable living trusts for purposes of both 18 U.S.C. § 208 and financial disclosure.

•  18 U.S.C. § 209 Guidance (DO-02-016): Summarizes 18 U.S.C. § 209, which prohibits the supplementation of a government employee’s salary by outside sources.

•  OLC Opinion on 18 U.S.C. § 208 (DO-06-002): Discusses an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Department of Justice, concerning whether a non-profit organization has a financial interest in a particular matter on which it spends funds to advocate its policy position, solely by virtue of such expenditures.

•  Scope of Public Financial Disclosure Reporting Exception for Compensation from an Individual with Whom the Filer is in a Privileged Relationship (DO-06-011): Clarifies the scope of the nondisclosure exception for compensation from a client with whom the filer is in a privileged relationship (i.e., confidential client).

•  Financial Disclosure Requirements for Pooled Investment Funds (DO-08-022): Explains what actions a nominee to a full-time PAS position must take with regard to pooled investment funds in order for the Director of OGE to certify the individual's financial disclosure report.

•  “Particular Matter Involving Specific Parties,” “Particular Matter,” and “Matter” (DO-06-029): Provides guidance on the meaning of these terms as used in the criminal conflict of interest statutes and regulations.

•  New OLC Opinion on SGE Day-Counting (DO-07-005): Refers to an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Department of Justice, on the counting of days of service for special Government employees (SGEs).

•  New OLC Opinion on the Emoluments Clause and Service on Advisory Boards (DO-07-024): Refers to an opinion by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Department of Justice, providing guidance on the applicability of the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution to service on advisory boards.

•  Book Deals Involving Government Employees (DO-08-006): Discusses the ethics rules that pertain to book deals involving government employees. The rules for regular and special Government employees (SGEs) are covered in one document, and the rules for noncareer employees and Presidential appointees are addressed in a second document. 

•  Discretionary Trusts (DO-08-024): Explains OGE’s approach to certain interests in discretionary trusts for purposes of both 18 U.S.C. § 208 and financial disclosure.

4.  Ethics Pledge (E.O. 13490)

•  Executive Order; Ethics Pledge (DO-09-003): Provides an overview of Executive Order 13490, “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel.” 

•  Signing the Pledge (DO-09-005): Describes when appointees must sign the Ethics Pledge, pursuant to Executive Order 13490.

•  Lobbyist Gift Ban Guidance (DO-09-007): Provides guidance on the “lobbyist gift ban” in paragraph 1 of the Ethics Pledge in Executive Order 13490.

• Authorizations Pursuant to Section 3 of Executive Order 13490, “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel” (DO-09-008): Provides guidance to Designated Agency Ethics Officials on the exercise of waiver authority under Section 3 of Executive Order 13490.

•  Who Must Sign the Ethics Pledge (DO-09-010): Identifies the categories of officials who must sign the Ethics Pledge required by Executive Order 13490 and those who are not required to sign.

•  Ethics Pledge: Revolving Door Ban--All Appointees Entering Government (DO-09-011): Provides guidance on implementing paragraph 2 of the Ethics Pledge, “Revolving Door Ban--All Appointees Entering Government.”

•  Holdover Appointees and the Ethics Pledge (DO-09-014): Advises Designated Agency Ethics Officials and agency heads of the requirement for holdover appointees to sign the Ethics Pledge.

•  Ethics Pledge Issues: Speeches and Pledge Paragraph 2; Intergovernmental Personnel Act Detailees (DO-09-020): Provides guidance as to how to apply paragraph 2 of the Ethics Pledge in Executive Order 13490 to an appointee who gives an official speech at an event sponsored by a former employer or client. Also addresses the question of whether the Pledge applies to detailees under the IPA.

5.  Ethics Agreements

•  Nominee Ethics Agreements (DO-01-013): Addresses the purpose and importance of ethics agreements for nominees to Presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed (PAS) positions. Also provides guidance concerning the contents of such agreements. 

•  Procedures and Required Evidence of Compliance for Ethics Agreements Made by PAS Nominees (DO-09-015): Discusses which commitments in an ethics agreement require evidence of compliance and what documentation OGE will accept as demonstrating compliance.

•  Ethics Agreement Guide for PAS Nominees: Ethics officials need to use the ethics agreement guide for all Presidential nominee ethics agreements.  (MS Word version)   (PDF version

6.  Waivers

•  Waivers under 18 U.S.C. § 208 (DO-07-006): Provides guidance on issues that Designated Agency Ethics Officials should consider when deciding whether to grant a waiver under 18 U.S.C. §§ 208(b)(1) or (b)(3).

•  Guidance on Waivers under 18 U.S.C. § 208(b), Authorizations under C.F.R. § 2635.502(d), and Waivers of Requirements under Agency Supplemental Regulations (DO-10-005): Discusses requirements for waivers and authorizations.

7.  Certificates of Divestiture

•  Nominee Public Financial Disclosure Reports and Certificates of Divestiture (DO-98-019): Discusses timelines for submitting and processing PAS nominee financial disclosure reports and conditions for issuing Certificates of Divestiture.

•  Procedures for Requesting a Certificate of Divestiture (DO-06-030): Outlines the information that an agency must include in a request for a Certificate of Divestiture.

•  Suggested Format for Requesting a Certificate of Divestiture (DO-07-035): Provides a suggested format for agencies to use when requesting Certificates of Divestiture for their employees.

D. Index of Topics Covered by the Nominee and New Entrant 278 Guide

•  Agreements or Arrangements: General guidance on how to report
•  American Depositary Receipt (ADR): How to report; Definition
•  Annuity (Fixed): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Annuity (Variable): How to report; Definition
•  Assets and Income: General guidance on how to report
•  Assets and Liabilities Directly Related to a Trade or Business: Discussion of rule
•  Award or Prize: How to report; FAQs
•  Bank Account (cash): How to report; Definition
•  Boat Loan: Definition
•  Bond (Corporate): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Bond (Municipal): How to report; Definition; FAQs 
•  Bonus: How to report; FAQs
•  Brokerage Account: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Capital Call: Definition
•  Cash Balance Pension Plan: How to report; Definition; FAQs (same as defined benefit plan)
•  Collectible Item: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  College Savings Plan: How to report; Definition 
•  Common Trust Fund of a Bank: How to report; Definition
•  Consulting Fee: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Contingency Fee: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Co-Signed Loan: Definition
•  Cover Page: General guidance on reporting requirements
•  Credit Card Debt: Definition
•  Deferred Compensation: How to report; FAQs
•  Defined Benefit Pension Plan: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Defined Contribution Plan: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Director Fee: How to report; FAQs
•  Employee Stock Purchase Plan: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Equity Index-Linked Note: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Excepted Investment Fund (EIF): Definition
•  Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Exercised Line of Credit: Definition
•  Farm (or farmland): How to report; FAQs
•  Foreign Exchange Position (forex): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Future Employment Arrangement: How to report; FAQs
•  Futures Contract (future): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Gambling Winnings: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Government Agency Security: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Government Benefits: How to report
•  Honorarium: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Individual Retirement Account (IRA, SEP IRA, or Keogh plan): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Intellectual Property (books, patents, etc.): How to report; Definition 
•  Investment Fund: General guidance on how to report; Additional requirements related to employment; FAQs
•  Law Firm: How to report partnerships; How to report sole proprietorships; FAQs
•  Leave of Absence: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Liabilities: General guidance on how to report; FAQs 
•  Life Insurance (split-dollar): How to report; Definition
•  Life Insurance (term): Not reportable; Definition
•  Life Insurance (variable): How to reportDefinition
•  Life Insurance (whole or universal): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Loan Made to Another Party: How to report; FAQs
•  Managed Account: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Margin Account: Definition
•  Money Market Fund: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Money Purchase Pension Plan: How to report; Definition; FAQs (same as for defined contribution plan)
•  Mortgage Debt: Definition
•  Mutual Fund: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Oil, Gas, or Other Mineral Rights Lease: How to report; FAQs
•  Phantom Stock: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Positions Held Outside U.S. Government: General guidance on how to report; FAQs
•  Precious Metal: How to report; FAQs
•  Prepaid Tuition Plan: How to report; Definition
•  Private Foundation: How to report; FAQs
•  Qualified Tuition Program (529 plans): How to report; Definition
•  Real Estate: How to reportFAQs
•  Real Estate Holding Company: How to report; Definition; FAQs 
•  Reporting Periods Summary 
•  Reporting Period for Assets and Income (Schedule A) 
•  Reporting Period for Liabilities (Schedule C, Part I)
•  Reporting Period for Positions (Schedule D, Part I)
•  Reporting Period for Sources of Compensation (Schedule D, Part II)
•  Restricted Stock: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Restricted Stock Unit: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Salary: How to report; FAQs
•  Self-Funded Defined Benefit Plan: How to report; Definition
•  Severance Payment: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Short Sale: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Sources of Compensation: General guidance on how to report; FAQs
•  Stable Value Fund: How to report; Definition
•  Stock: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Stock Appreciation Right: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Stock Option (Incentive Plan): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Stock Option (Traded Put or Call): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Student Loan: Definition
•  Sweep Account: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Tax Lien: How to report/FAQs
•  Third-Party Escrow Agreement: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  TIAA-CREF: General guidance on how to report; Definition; Specific guidance on reporting CREF Accounts and TIAA Real Estate; Specific guidance on reporting TIAA Traditional
•  Treasury Security: How to report; FAQs
•  Trust or Trustee Fee: How to report; FAQs
•  Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) Account or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) Account: How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Unit Investment Trust (UIT): How to report; Definition; FAQs
•  Will or Estate: How to report; FAQs 

 

This guide is not intended to provide investment advice, and you should not rely on statements in this guide when making investment decisions.