Doing Things Right: Ethical Considerations in Government Service - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Doing Things Right: Ethical Considerations in Government Service

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  1. Doing Things Right: Ethical Considerations in Government Service Hale Hawbecker, DOI Ethics Office Nancy Baumgartner, USGS Ethics Office DOI Annual Business Conference, May 2006

  2. Ethics training goals • Raise awareness of ethics issues • Explain criminal ethics statutes and standards of conduct regulations • Discuss subject areas of interest and concern to DOI managers • Questions are welcome!

  3. Management of ethics matters • Know about ethics laws, regulations and policies (Federal, DOI and your bureau) • Know when and how to contact an ethics counselor • Don’t accept “that’s how we’ve always done it….”

  4. 14 Principles of Ethical Conduct • “To ensure that every citizen can have complete confidence in the integrity of the Federal Government, each Federal employee shall respect and adhere to the fundamental principles of ethical service.” • Presidential Executive Order 12674 •

  5. 5 C.F.R. Part 2635 • Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch • Federal employees in all executive agencies and departments must adhere to these •

  6. Contact an ethics counselor • Before action requiring ethics advice is undertaken (if possible) • E-mail ensures that we know what is being asked (and you know what is being answered) • Ethics matters are very fact-specific • Use descriptive subject lines

  7. Shayla Simmons - • Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) • Hale Hawbecker - Alternate DAEO • Matt Costello - Ethics Program Specialist • Pam Miller - Financial Disclosure Specialist • (202) 208-7960,

  8. DOI Ethics Office webpage

  9. Bureau ethics counselors • BIA: • (405) 247-1518 • BLM: • (202) 208-4695

  10. Bureau ethics counselors • BOR: Sheila Venson ( • (303)445-2662 • MMS: • (703) 787-1401 • OIG: Jim O’Sullivan • James_O’ • (202) 208-4356

  11. Bureau ethics counselors • NPS: • (202) 354-1981 • FWS: • (703) 358-2230

  12. Bureau ethics counselors • OSM: Jim Bush • • (202) 208-2762 • USGS: Nancy Baumgartner • • (703) 648-7474

  13. FWS Ethics webpage

  14. USGS Ethics Office webpage

  15. Federal ethics statutes Conflicts of interest Impartiality concerns Gift acceptance Procurement Integrity Outside employment Seeking employment Post-Government employment Q & A Ethics discussion topics

  16. Federal criminal ethics statutes • 18 U.S. Code § 201 No bribery • 18 U.S. Code § § 203 and 205 No acting as agent for a third party to the Government • 18 U.S. Code § 207 Post-Government employment representation restrictions

  17. Federal criminal ethics statutes • 18 U.S. Code § 208 No financial conflicts of interest • May not participate personally and substantially in a matter which may affect your financial interest or the financial interests of those attributed to you: • spouse, minor child, business partner, organizations in which you are an officer or employee, future non-Federal employer (negotiating/seeking employment)

  18. Appearance of lack of impartiality • 5 C.F.R. 2635.502 • Basic Principle: Unless specifically authorized by an appropriate ethics official, an employee should not participate in a particular matter involving specific parties when: • The employee knows the matter is likely to have a direct and predictable effect • On the financial interests of a member of his/her household

  19. Appearance of lack of impartiality • Authorization may be granted by an appropriate ethics official upon written determination that, in light of all relevant circumstances, the Government’s interest in the employee’s participation in the matter outweighs the concern that a reasonable person may question the integrity of the agency.

  20. Federal criminal ethics statutes • 18 U.S. Code § 209 No supplementation of Federal salary (Is it really “outside employment?) • 18 U.S. Code § 219 No acting as agent for foreign principal • Penalties of up to 5 years in jail and $50,000 fine

  21. Gift acceptance What you can and can’t do…

  22. Gifts from outside sources • 5 C.F.R. 2635.203(b) • Not everything is a gift • Snacks (coffee, donuts, etc.) • Greeting cards, certificates, trophies • Prizes in contests open to the public • Commercial discounts • If employee pays fair market value • If Federal government pays

  23. What you can’t do • Federal employees may not • Solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, • A gift • From a “prohibited source” • Or offered due to their official position

  24. What is a “prohibited source?” • Any person, company, or organization that: • Does business (or is seeking to do business) with bureaus or DOI (contractors, consultants, concessionaires, etc.); • Is regulated by your DOI or bureaus; or • Can be affected by the performance or nonperformance of your official duties

  25. More “prohibited sources” • Any professional, technical, or trade association, the majority of whose members represent prohibited sources; or • An outside organization that seeks to influence the government.

  26. Separate components • 5 C.F.R. 3501.102 • The term "agency" is narrowly defined to mean the organization that employs the individual. An employee who works for a DOI bureau may accept a gift from a person or organization having business dealings with another bureau component.

  27. Separate components, cont’d • BUT, Department employees are prohibited from accepting gifts from any person or organization having business dealings with DOI or any DOI bureau, as well as: • Office of Indian Education Programs, • National Indian Gaming Commission and • Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians

  28. Gift exceptions • Gifts valued at $20 or less per source per occasion ($50/year) • Gifts based on personal relationships or outside business relationships • Free attendance at widely attended gatherings or where you are participating as a speaker (subject to advance written approval)

  29. Gift exceptions • Sharing of perishable items in office • Awards (with Ethics Counselor approval) • Some gifts shouldn’t be accepted, even if an exception applies • 5 C.F.R. 2635.204 • • Questions? Consult your Ethics Counselor

  30. What if I can’t refuse a gift? • DOI employees may accept gifts offered to them by representatives of Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Organizations, Insular and foreign governments when refusal to accept such gifts would be likely to cause offense or embarrassment or otherwise adversely affect relations with the United States. • Such gifts shall be deposited with their bureau's property officer

  31. Gifts to supervisors • OK, if voluntary • On occasions when gifts are traditionally given (holidays, birthdays, Bosses’ Day) - items other than cash, $10 limit (NO pooling) • Contributions for food to be shared in office • No coercion of donations

  32. Gifts to supervisors • Special, infrequent occasions or those that end supervisor/manager status (retirement, transfer, marriage, birth of child, etc.) • No $ limit, but must be appropriate to the occasion • Between employees • Must have a bona fide personal relationship

  33. Gift acceptance by DOI or bureaus • Avoid conflicts of interest • Donation Guidelines regulation • 374 DM 6, Dec 13, 2005 • The Department and each bureau should designate a senior person to be its donation vetting point of contact • Maintain the integrity and impartiality of DOI and bureau programs and operations

  34. Acceptance of travel expenses from non-Federal entities • 31 U.S.C. § 1353 permits agencies to accept travel expenses from non-Federal entities • With prior written approval via DI-2000 • Or within 7 days of travel, if exigent circumstances • Employee must be in official travel status

  35. Acceptance of travel expenses from non-Federal entities • For attendance at meetings, workshops, training, conferences or “similar events” • Not for field work (use agency gift regs) • Employees may never personally accept cash or checks for reimbursement • For international travel annotate authority on the DI-1175 (DI-2000 is still required)

  36. Outside Activities 5 C.F.R. 2635.801-809

  37. Limitations on Outside Activities • You generally may not receive pay for teaching, speaking and writing that relates to your official duties • There is an exception that permits you to teach certain courses at accredited educational institutions

  38. Limitations on Outside Activities • You may not use your official title or position (except as part of a biography or an article in a professional journal with appropriate disclaimer) • Outside employment with a prohibited source requires approval of your agency

  39. Limitations on Outside Activities • USGS requires approval of outside employment that is related to your USGS duties or the USGS mission • No holding state or local office (if partisan) • May not work for agency contractor or grantee

  40. “Outside work” • PRIOR approval of outside work by an ethics counselor means that an employee’s receipt of compensation does not violate 18 U.S. Code § 209 (the criminal ethics statute that prohibits supplementation of a Federal employee’s salary)

  41. Speaking as “outside work” • Why & how was the request received? • Is the subject matter part of the work of the employee during the previous year? • Is the employee being offered anything more than actual (and reasonable) personal travel expenses?

  42. Speaking as “outside work” • Does the employee’s PD include “outreach activities?” • Was the employee on leave or authorized absence during the preparation and delivery of the speech? • No honoraria if not “outside work”

  43. Writing a book as “outside work” • No royalties if the book deals in significant part with: • any matter to which the employee is presently assigned or has been assigned during the previous 1-year period, or • any ongoing or announced agency or bureau policy, program or operation

  44. Procurement Integrity 41 U.S.C. 423

  45. Procurement Integrity • Ban on disclosing information • Contractor bid/proposal info • Source selection info • Ban on obtaining procurement info • Companies can be banned from future procurements • Boeing and Lockheed Martin industrial espionage

  46. Procurement Integrity • Employment contact reporting rule • Involving contracts over $100K • Report and reject offer • Report and recuse (disqualify) • One-year ban on accepting compensation from contractor • Applies to contracts over $10 million

  47. Procurement - Sensitive Information • If it has not previously been made public, DO NOT DISCLOSE: • Proposal or bid information, including: • Cost or pricing data, including indirect costs and direct labor rates • Proprietary information about manufacturing process, operations, or techniques identified as such by any contractor • Information identified by any contractor as "contractor bid or proposal information”

  48. Procurement - Sensitive Information • If it has not previously been made public, DO NOT DISCLOSE: • Source selection information (which is information that is prepared for use by a Federal agency for the purpose of evaluating a bid or proposal)

  49. Source selection information • Bid prices • Proposed costs or prices • Source selection plans • Technical evaluation plans • Technical and cost or price evaluations of proposals • Competitive range determinations • Rankings of bids, proposals, or competitors • Reports and evaluations of source selection panels, boards, or advisory councils • Other "source selection information

  50. Post-Government employment Including seeking for employment…