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

5 C.F.R. Part 2641: Post-Employment Conflict of Interest Restrictions

Text of Regulation
 

18 U.S.C. § 207 sets out seven substantive prohibitions restricting the activities of individuals who leave Government service or who leave certain high-level positions in the executive branch. Section 207 was substantially revised in 1989, and several subsequent amendments have been enacted since that time. Prior to the 1989 amendments, OGE published interpretive guidance in 5 C.F.R. part 2637. Subsequent to the 1989 amendments, OGE published a short interim rule in 1991, at 5 C.F.R. part 2641, for the limited purpose of implementing OGE's authority to exempt positions and designate components for purposes of the amended one-year cooling-off restriction of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c). In 2008, OGE published a final rule which substantially expanded Part 2641. The 2008 rulemaking revised the existing guidance concerning exemptions and component designations and added guidance concerning all of the current substantive prohibitions and exceptions in section 207. Review the rulemaking history of 5 C.F.R. part 2641.

Note: The final rule that promulgated the expanded Part 2641 also removed 5 C.F.R. part 2637 from the Code of Federal Regulations. OGE has advised agency ethics officials to retain the last published edition of Part 2637 (in the C.F.R. revised as of January 1, 2008), in order to provide advice to former employees who terminated service while the prior version of section 207 was effective (July 1, 1979 through December 31, 1990).
 

Brief Summary of 5 C.F.R. Part 2641
 

Subpart A  General Provisions

Subpart A establishes the framework for the rest of the regulation. It includes definitions, addresses enforcement and penalties, and explains that the agency in which an individual formerly served has the primary responsibility to provide advice concerning post-Government activities.

 

Subpart B  Prohibitions

Subpart B contains separate provisions explaining each of the seven restrictions in the current version of 18 U.S.C. § 207:

  • Section 2641.201 sets out the statutory elements of the lifetime ban on representation in connection with a particular matter involving specific parties in which a former employee participated personally and substantially, 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). This section provides guidance with respect to a number of elements, such as "intent to influence," that are common to several of the restrictions, and subsequent sections within Subpart B contain cross-references to the discussion of these common elements in section 2641.201.
  • Section 2641.202 sets out the statutory elements of the two-year ban on representation in connection with a particular matter involving specific parties which was pending under a former employee's official responsibility, 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)(2).
  • Section 2641.203 sets out the one-year prohibition on representing, aiding, or advising on the basis of covered information in connection with trade agreement or treaty negotiations in which a former employee participated personally and substantially, 18 U.S.C. § 207(b). (Several of the subsections have been reserved for future guidance with respect to certain statutory elements.)
  • Section 2641.204 sets out the statutory elements of the one-year cooling-off restriction applicable to former senior employees, 18 U.S.C. § 207(c). (The definition of "senior employee" is found in the "definitions" section in Subpart A. This term is defined, in part, by reference to a salary threshold.)
  • Section 2641.205 sets out the statutory elements of the two-year cooling-off restriction applicable to former very senior employees, 18 U.S.C. § 207(d). (The definition of "very senior employee" is found in the definitions section in Subpart A.)
  • Section 2641.206 sets out the one-year restrictions, applicable to former senior and very senior employees, on representing, aiding, or advising certain foreign entities, 18 U.S.C. § 207(f). (Several of the subsections have been reserved for future guidance with respect to certain statutory elements.)
  • Section 2641.207 sets out the one-year restriction on representing, aiding, counseling, or assisting in representing in connection with a contract with the former agency of an assignee under the Information Technology Exchange Program, 18 U.S.C. § 207(l). (Several of the subsections have been reserved for future guidance with respect to certain statutory elements.)
     

Subpart C  Exceptions, Waivers and Separate Components

Subpart C sets out the elements of the various exception provisions in 18 U.S.C. § 207. The subpart includes a reference chart listing all of the exceptions and specifies the restrictions to which each exception applies.

Section 2641.302 implements 18 U.S.C. § 207(h), which authorizes OGE to designate separate departmental or agency components for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c).
 

Appendix A – Positions Waived from 18 U.S.C. §​ 207(c) and (f)

Appendix A lists the positions exempted by OGE from the prohibitions in 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) and (f).

 

Appendix B – Agency Components for Purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c)

Appendix B lists the departmental components designated by OGE for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c).