Glossary of Document Types: Agency Ethics Documents

This table below provides additional information about each ethics document, including related guidance and legal authorities.


Document Type Sub Document Type Description of the Document Related Guidance Related Legal Authorities
Annual Agency Ethics Program Questionnaire Annual Questionnaire

Each of the nearly 140 executive branch agencies are required to submit an annual report to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) by responding to dozens of questions about the following aspects of an agency ethics programs: (1) Ethics Program Resources and Administration, (2) Ethics Education and Training, (3) Advice, Counseling, and Remedies, (4) Financial Disclosure Program Management and Electronic Filing Systems, (5) Public and Confidential Financial Disclosure, (6) Enforcement, (7) Ethics Pledge (contained in Executive Order 13770) (PDF), and (8) Special Government Employees.

PA-19-11 (PDF) 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(e)(1)

5 C.F.R. § 2638.207(a)
Program Review Reports Plenary

Each executive branch agency is required to carry out an effective ethics program that meets requirements established by statutes and regulations. Generally, OGE reviews each agency’s program at least once every five years to determine whether it’s in compliance with these requirements. Reviews focus on the core program elements; program administration, financial disclosure, training, and enforcement. OGE conducts plenary reviews at Cabinet agencies and inspections at most other agencies. Plenary review reports addresses both processes and outcomes. When OGE identifies a deficiency in an agency’s ethics program, i.e., the agency is not meeting a requirement, a “recommendation” is issued in OGE’s report. Agencies are obligated to take action to resolve the deficiency. These are reports on plenary reviews.

What Ethics Officials Should Know About Ethics Program Reviews (PDF) 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(b)(3)

5 C.F.R. § 2638.108(a)(9)(14)
Program Review Reports Inspection

Each executive branch agency is required to carry out an effective ethics program that meets requirements established by statutes and regulations. Generally, OGE reviews each agency’s program at least once every five years to determine whether it’s in compliance with these requirements. Reviews focus on the core program elements; program administration, financial disclosure, training, and enforcement. OGE conducts plenary reviews at Cabinet agencies and inspections at most other agencies. Inspection reports are streamlined and primarily only addresses outcomes, even though an agency’s processes are also examined. When OGE identifies a deficiency in an agency’s ethics program, i.e., the agency is not meeting a requirement, a “recommendation” is issued in OGE’s report. Agencies are obligated to take action to resolve the deficiency. These are reports on inspections.

What Ethics Officials Should Know About Ethics Program Reviews (PDF) 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(b)(3)

5 C.F.R. § 2638.108(a)(9)(14)
Program Review Reports Special Issue

OGE conducts Special Issue reviews to examine issues of general interest to the executive branch ethics program. Special Issue reviews focus on implementation of new or existing requirements, emerging issues, or other matters that have an impact on the ethics program.

What Ethics Officials Should Know About Ethics Program Reviews (PDF) 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(b)(3)

5 C.F.R. § 2638.108(a)(9)(14)
Program Review Reports Follow-Up

When an ethics program review identifies a deficiency in an agency’s ethics program, OGE issues a recommendation, which the agency is required to act on. OGE then conducts a follow up review to determine if agency actions were sufficient to resolve the deficiency. Follow-up reviews are generally scheduled six months after the initial review, but may be scheduled earlier or later, based on the nature of the deficiency and how long it should take to resolve. OGE will conduct successive follow-up reviews until the agency resolves the deficiency. Agencies also have the option to submit documentation when they believe they have resolved a deficiency.

What Ethics Officials Should Know About Ethics Program Reviews (PDF) 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(b)(3)

5 C.F.R. § 2638.108(a)(9)(14)
Oversight Correspondence Program Compliance

OGE may send correspondence to an agency when it identifies significant unresolved deficiencies in agency ethics programs.

N/A 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(b)(3)

Oversight Correspondence Individual Compliance

OGE may send correspondence to a senior leader in the executive branch to express concerns regarding actions that may negatively affect the public trust.

N/A 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(b)(3)

Oversight Correspondence Inspectors General

OGE may send correspondence to an Inspectors General office regarding a significant unresolved deficiencies in an agency’s ethics program or a potential violation of law committed by an individual.

N/A 5 U.S.C. app. § 402(b)(3)

1353 Travel Reports N/A

Describes payments, including the sponsor, for travel accepted by a federal employee from a Non-Federal Source.

Due to OGE semiannually: November 30th and May 31st.

Agency travel reports are not included in the search collection but can be found on the travel reports page.

31 U.S.C. § 1353