The conduct of executive branch employees is governed by criminal and civil statutes (and by an administrative code of conduct and certain other legal authorities). The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) does not have authority to provide guidance concerning every statute that restricts employee conduct. This website is focused on statutes that are both central to the executive branch ethics program and that fall within OGE’s purview, but it may reference 18 U.S.C. § 201 or another statute that is relevant to a website topic, even though OGE lacks authority to interpret the provision.
Except as otherwise indicated, the hyperlinks to the text of each statute link to the Federal Digital System (FDsys). The Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives is responsible for updating and maintaining the United States Code.
Compilation of Federal Ethics Laws
This compilation of Federal ethics laws has been prepared by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) for the ethics community. This compilation includes all provisions signed into law through the end of the 114th Congress. Updated 5-15-2017.
5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 101-111: Public financial disclosure requirements
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.
5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 401-408: Office of Government Ethics
5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 408-408 establish the United States Office of Government Ethics and describe the duties and responsibilities of the Director of the agency.
5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 501-505: Outside earned income and activities
5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 501-505 set forth the limitations on outside income and activities of certain noncareer employees, referred to as “covered noncareer employees.”
18 U.S.C. § 201: Bribery of public officials and witnesses
18 U.S.C. § 201 prohibits public officials from accepting bribes or gratuities to influence their Government actions.
18 U.S.C. § 202: Definitions
18 U.S.C. § 202 provides the definitions of key terms used in 18 U.S.C. §§ 203, 205, 207, 208, and 209, the core criminal conflict of interest statutes.
18 U.S.C. § 203: Compensation to Members of Congress, officers, others in matters affecting the Government
18 U.S.C. § 203 prohibits compensation for representational activities involving certain matters in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.
18 U.S.C. § 205: Activities of officers and employees in claims against and other matters affecting the Government
18 U.S.C. § 205 generally prohibits an employee from certain involvement in a claim against the United States or representing another before the Government in matters in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.
18 U.S.C. § 207: Restrictions on former officers, employees, and elected officials of the executive and legislative branches
18 U.S.C. § 207 may limit the activities of individuals after they leave Government service (or after they leave certain high-level positions).
18 U.S.C. § 208: Acts affecting a personal financial interest
18 U.S.C. § 208 prohibits an executive branch employee from participating personally and substantially in a particular Government matter that will affect his own financial interests, as well as the financial interests of certain individuals with whom he has ties outside the Government.
18 U.S.C. § 209: Salary of Government officials and employees payable only by United States
18 U.S.C. § 209 prohibits employees from being paid by someone other than the United States for doing their official Government duties.
26 U.S.C. § 1043: Sale of property to comply with conflict-of-interest requirements
This statute provides for the deferral of capital gains on assets sold by an executive branch employee in order to comply with the conflict of interest laws.