Glossary of Document Types: Legal Research

OGE is responsible for interpreting the Ethics in Government Act and the criminal conflict of interest laws, issuing ethics regulations, as well as providing legal and policy guidance on those authorities. In this search collection, you can search and filter for Statutes, Executive Orders, OGE Regulations, Agency Supplemental Regulations, Federal Register Issuances, OGE Advisories ( Legal, Program, and Education), and DOJ Office of Legal Counsel Opinions and Judicial Opinions.


Document Description Notes
Statutes Laws passed by Congress that govern the executive branch ethics program.

This collection includes the provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. app. § 101 et seq.), criminal conflict of interest laws (18 U.S.C. §§ 201 – 209), the statute authorizing the issuance of Certificates of Divestiture (26 U.S.C. § 1043), as well as OGE’s Compilation of Federal Ethics Laws, which is updated regularly.

Statutes are linked to the website for the U.S. House of Representatives. They are dated as of the most recent amendment.

Executive Orders Issuances from the President that have the force and effect of law in the executive branch. This collection includes orders authorizing the Standards of Conduct and other OGE implementing regulations, as well as past and current Ethics Pledges.
Federal Register Issuances Consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 553), the creation of and revisions to agency regulations, along with various other notices, must be published in the Federal Register. The notices provide background and explanation of the specific regulations at issue. The collection contains issuances from OGE as well as jointly issued issuances from OGE and other executive branch agencies. Further information can be found on the websites of the Office of the Federal Register and the Government Publishing Office.
OGE Regulations OGE’s rules implementing the authority of the agency, as created by statutes and executive orders. These regulations have the force of law and apply throughout the executive branch. All agency regulations are published online at ecfr.gov.
Agency Supplemental Regulations Individual executive branch agencies may supplement OGE’s regulations on financial disclosure (5 C.F.R. part 2634) and the standards of conduct (5 C.F.R. part 2635) with additional regulations that only apply to their own employees. These regulations are jointly issued in consultation with and the concurrence of OGE. All agency regulations are published online at ecfr.gov.
OGE Education Advisories OGE issues memoranda on training and education matters. N/A
OGE Legal Advisories OGE issues memoranda regarding the interpretation of government ethics laws and regulations, which are intended primarily to provide education and notice to executive branch ethics officials.

This collection also contains OGE Formal Advisory Opinions, as well as the predecessors to Legal Advisories: OGE Informal Advisory Opinions, OGE Informal Advisory Letters, and OGE DAEOgrams.

On occasion, OGE will add notes to past issuances when that guidance is updated or superseded by law, regulation, or subsequent OGE guidance.

OGE Program Management Advisories OGE issues memoranda regarding the requirements or procedures applicable to the executive branch ethics program and individual agency ethics programs. N/A
Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel Opinions Legal opinions by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) on questions of law when requested by the President or the heads of executive branch agencies or departments.

This collection contains relevant OLC opinions related to the criminal conflict of interest laws and the executive branch ethics program.

All OLC opinions are available on the website for the Department of Justice.

Judicial Opinions Federal court opinions issued as a result of litigation pertaining to the criminal conflict of interest laws and the executive branch ethics program. This collection consists of the most relevant cases that have impacted OGE’s authorities, but is not intended to be comprehensive.