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February 10, 2009DO-09-005
Designated Agency Ethics Officials
Robert I. CusickDirector
Signing the Ethics Pledge
The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has received several questions about when appointees must sign the Ethics Pledge required under Executive Order 13490. In consultation with the White House Counsel's office, OGE has determined that Pledge forms must be signed:
In light of the serious nature of the commitments embodied in the Pledge, OGE wants to emphasize that special Government employees (SGEs) are not considered to be full-time, non-career appointees subject to the Pledge requirement. This follows the interpretation of similar language in section 2(a) of Executive Order 12834 and section 102 of Executive Order 12731. See OGE Advisory Memorandum 00 x 1. Note that individuals serving in an agency as temporary advisors or counselors, pending Senate confirmation to a PAS position, are considered SGEs unless and until they are confirmed. See OGE Advisory Memorandum 01 x 2. Such individuals, therefore, must sign the Pledge after their confirmation, but before their appointment to a PAS position.