AUGUST 2006 Ethics VTC
WELCOME VTC Tips: Mute your microphones unless you intend for all VTC participants to hear your remarks. While your microphone is turned on, please minimize noise. Paper shuffling noise carries through unmuted microphones. August 2006
Topics • Website • FDM Update • Post-Government Employment • Training • OGE Conference • WAGs • AUSA • CASAs • FRGS • Political Activities
FDM Update Topics • Thank you • Numerology • Supervisor Review • SLC Success – notice; no reports to review • OGE 450 Update • Revised 450 Report Changes
FDM Numerologyas of 31 July • Registered 278 Filers: over 800 • Reports Filed: 630 • Reports in Draft: over 30 • Extension to file – other than combat zone, expired • Monitor your Filer’s progress • Why still in draft?
SLC Login in ViewReview Filer Filters • Use Filters to change role, reporting, and review status • SLC/EC and Assistant use Filters to track and monitor reports
Filters • Use Filters to change role, reporting, and review status • SLC/EC and Assistant use Filters to track and monitor reports
Supervisor Review • Reviewers are checking the reported financial interests for completeness and to identify those financial interests that may conflict with the Filer’s official duties and that the report is administratively accurate and complete. • Before signing off on the report the Reviewer must take appropriate steps to resolve any apparent conflicts of interest. • Reviewer tools: • Flags; Comments • How to Review an SF 278 in FDM – Wizard Step-by-Step or Report View • Reviewer Checklist • Office of Government Ethics’ Public Financial Disclosure: A Reviewer’s Reference, available in FDM’s Help area (How To Guides). This 367-page reference manual for SF 278 Reviewers contains an introduction to the public financial disclosure system, the procedures and mechanics of review and conflict resolution, summaries of applicable ethics laws and regulations, sample SF 278 entries, model letters and documents related to the review process, and case studies.
Filters Supervisor – Start View Use “ALL” to see all instead of by a category. • Supervisor starts on Review Filers, Reports List with the filter view shown above. • Select View (far right column) to start review of desired report.
Notify Feature Supervisor & SLC should use Notify to alert other reviewers that report is ready for their action.
SLC – Review Filer’s Report After eSigning, SLC must click the Submit to ADAEO button before exiting FDM or navigate elsewhere using the navigation Tabs.
SLC Success No Reports
FDM Ahead • FDM Update 6 to SLCs (21 July) • Continuing to work with DoD, AF, Navy, NG POCs to make available DoD-wide in 2007; determine DoD Executive Agent • Working with OGE to improve FDM; make available to Executive Branch • Registering SLCs – email email@example.com • Feedback • Comments • Suggestions for FDM to help you • Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
New OGE 450 Rules • New rules in 5 CFR § 2634, §§ 2634.901-908 • Impact on FDM: • Waiting on OGE’s release of final, revised OGE Form 450 format to assess if FDM will be ready with revised report format in time for 2007 filing deadline • Planning for it at least for those pilot 450 filers who have used FDM (data mapping)
Confidential Financial Disclosure Report • Reporting period was 1 Oct to 30 Sep, due 30 Nov (JER). • In the future use calendar year reporting period, with due date of 15 Feb. • Transition: • No annual OGE 450s due in 06. • First annual report under revised format due 15 Feb 07, with a 15-month reporting period (1 Oct 05 through 31 Dec 06). • 2006 new entrant filers continue using current OGE 450 until 1 Jan 07. • Expect JER revision – date TBD
Revised Report Content • New 5 CFR § 2634.907, Report Contents, includes useful examples • Text online at http://www.usoge.gov/pages/laws_regs_fedreg_stats/lrfs_files/fedreg/71fedreg/71fr28229.txt • Eliminates reporting of : • diversified mutual funds • the type of income (e.g., capital gains, dividends) earned on reportable assets • student loans, credit card debts, and loans from financial institutions based on terms generally available to the public • dates on which agreements/arrangements were entered
Revised Report Content • Adds 5 CFR § 2634.907(h)(2)– • Report assets and income of spouse/dependent child of the filer unless: • The filer certifies that the item represents the spouse's or dependent child's sole financial interest, and that the filer has no specific knowledge regarding that item; • The item is not in any way, past or present, derived from the income, assets or activities of the filer; and • The filer neither derives, nor expects to derive, any financial or economic benefit from the item. • OGE Note: One who prepares a joint tax return with his spouse will normally derive a financial or economic benefit from assets held by the spouse, and will also be charged with knowledge of such items; therefore, he could not avail himself of this exception. Likewise, a trust for the education of one's minor child normally will convey a financial benefit to the parent. If so, the assets of the trust would be reportable on a financial disclosure report.
Post-Government Employment • PGE format finalized • Make sure you tailor to your needs • PGE Questionnaire finalized • Briefing • Attachments
Training • Training Topics and Formats • Email: Ms. Cindy Kelson at email@example.com • Send in materials for posting • Training Numbers • Better progress than last year
OGE Conference 2007 The 2007 National Office of Government Ethics Conference will be held March 13-16, 2007 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. Within the Army, ethics counselors nominated to attend this conference must be processed through command channels with a recommendation from Chief, DA Standards of Conduct Office, General Counsel, U.S. Army Materiel Command, or General Counsel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Personnel are not to contact the Office of Government Ethics.
WAGS • Check listings at: http://www.hqda.army.mil/ogc/eandf-ethics_links.htm • Will list whether conference, social event, or both are approved as WAGs.
OSD –PAO Notice “The Department of Defense Office of Public Affairs has determined that DoD personnel may merely attend this event in their personal capacity. The DoD Public Affairs Office has also determined that, for purposes of accepting a gift of reduced or free attendance, the event is a widely attended gathering pursuant to 5 CFR 2635.204(g). This determination is not a DoD endorsement of the event nor approval for widespread attendance. If individual DoD Component commands or organizations determine that attendance by particular personnel is in DoD interest, those personnel may accept the gift. As other exceptions under 5 CFR 2635.204 may allow the acceptance of gifts, DoD personnel are urged to consult their Ethics Counselor."
AUSA • What is AUSA? • NFE (PO) • Mission • “represent every American soldier” (voice) • Foster public support • Educational and informational programs and events • What events? • Annual Meeting and Exposition • Winter, Logistics, Medical symposia
AUSA • The Problem – First Class Support! • Army develops, plans, coordinates; provides speakers, panelists, displays, soldier staff, etc. • Use of Army personnel, equipment, other resources for unauthorized purposes • Endorsement • Preferential treatment • Authority? 10 U.S.C. § 2558 authorizes limited support for annual conference only
AUSA • The Solution – A legislative proposal (FY08) • All events • Every kind of service • Endorsement permitted • Preferential treatment expected • Funding • Within existing funds up to $1M/year • Reimbursable over $1M • Absent legislation, support only within limits of 10 U.S.C. § 2558, Fiscal Law, and JER
CASAs • What are CASAs? • Represent Army in communities • Provide feedback to Army leaders • Part-time, unpaid • The Problem • SGEs (18 U.S.C. § 202(a)) • JER • Financial disclosure • Acceptance of gifts • Fundraising
CASAs • The Solution – A legislative proposal (FY08) • Amend 10 U.S.C. § 1588 • Authority to accept voluntary services • CASAs will be category 9 • If personnel meet statutory definition of SGE, they are SGEs, unless and until covered by voluntary services statute
FAMILY READINESS GROUPS
FRG Informal Funds • References • DoD 5500.7-R (Joint Ethics Regulation) • AR 215-1 (Morale, Welfare, And Recreation Activities And Nonappropriated Fund Intstrumentalities) • AR 600-20 (Command Policy) • AR 608-1 (Army Community Service Center) (New release!!)
FRG Informal Funds • Informal Funds • Private funds generated by FRG members used to benefit the FRG • Authorized by the Commander IAW AR 600-20 • Examples—parties, social outings, volunteer recognition, unofficial information
FRG Informal Funds • Fiscal Issues • Do not use for purchases for which APFs are appropriate • Do not augment unit cup-and-flower fund • Do not commingle with APFs, NAFs, MWR, or personal funds
FRG Informal Funds • Management Issues • Fund custodian and alternate appointed by commander (cannot be Cdr, deployable Soldier, or FRG leader) • Establish non-interest bearing account in FRG name • Commander not a signatory on the account • Accounting reports required by Appendix J • SOP maintained to establish purpose for infromal funds
FRG Informal Funds • Fundraising Issues • Only authorized fundraising IAW JER, paragraph 3-210a(6) • No external fundraising • Annual gross receipt cap of $5000 per calendar year • Fundraising event must be consistent with informal fund purpose
FRG Informal Funds • Fundraising Issues (cont.) • Units commanders may accept gifts of $1000 or less for informal fund • POs with similar family readiness goals and objectives not limited in fundraising scope, but . . . • Conflicts of interest must be avoided • PO should not be treated like FRG • Must not be command-established or directed
Political Activities • References • Military members—DoDD 1344.10 (Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces on Active Duty) • Civilian employees—DepSecDef Memo, Subject: Civilian Employees’ Participation in Political Activities (updated for 2006) • AR 600-20 (Command Policy) • AR 670-1 • NGB All-States Memo 05-002 (soon to be reissued) • 18 U.S.C. § 1913, Anti-Lobbying Act