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

5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 101-111: Public financial disclosure requirements
February 26, 2016

5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 101-111 establish the public financial disclosure requirements for senior employees of the executive branch, as well as particular employees of the legislative and judicial branches. The statute also provides the authority for a system of confidential financial disclosure for mid-level employees of the executive branch.
 

Purpose of Financial Disclosure

The purpose of public financial disclosure is to promote public confidence in the integrity of Government officials. The law has the dual purpose of:

  • avoiding conflicts of interest through reviewer analysis of disclosures, and
  • ensuring public confidence in Government through disclosure as an end in itself.
     

Report Contents

Executive branch employees who are subject to the public financial disclosure requirements report their information on the OGE Form 278, Public Financial Disclosure Report. Some of the financial interests that the statute requires filers to disclose are:

  • assets such as stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, and personal bank accounts;
  • liabilities such as mortgages on real estate that produces income;
  • positions such as director, trustee, officer, employee, or consultant; and
  • terms of agreements for future employment.
     

OGE's implementing regulation at 5 C.F.R. part 2634 describes in detail the information that must be reported on the OGE Form 278. While some disclosure elements may seem more relevant to avoiding conflicts of interest than others, OGE has no authority to alter the statutory requirements.