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2010 USGS Annual Ethics Training

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  1. 2010 USGS Annual Ethics Training November 23, 2010 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey

  2. 2010 annual training requirement • Annual ethics training is required for all financial disclosure report filers • USGS ethics training is NOT provided via DOI Learn • Sent via e-mail to all employees requiring training • We track completion in our Ethics Office database • Will be posted to the Ethics Office webpage (and this presentation may be forwarded) • All USGS employees are encouraged to review annual ethics training (but completion is not tracked by the Ethics Office)

  3. 2010 annual ethics training • Consists of: • These 42 presentation slides and • The USGS Ethics Office contact and specialization information chart • Due date is Dec 31, 2010

  4. 2010 USGS ethics training • To receive credit for completing required training (if you are a financial disclosure report filer), you must review these slides and the USGS Ethics Office contact and specialization chart • Then - send an e-mail to EthicsOffice@usgs.gov certifying you have reviewed these slides and the USGS Ethics Office contact and specialization chart • If you have any questions, include them in your certification e-mail OR you may contact an ethics counselor directly (see next slide for contact info)

  5. The USGS Ethics Office Nancy Baumgartner, Deputy Ethics Counselor 703-648-7474, nbaumgartner@usgs.gov Ken Belongia, Assistant Ethics Counselor 703-648-7422, kbelongia@usgs.gov Sharon Bonney, Ethics Program Specialist 703-648-7439, sbonney@usgs.gov Kathy Haumann, Ethics Program Assistant 703-648-7459, khaumann@usgs.gov EthicsOffice@usgs.gov (office e-mailbox) FAX # 703-648-4132

  6. Training overview • In accordance with Office of Government Ethics (OGE) regulations, the following information must be included in all annual ethics training (and is summarized in slides 11 through 27) • Criminal ethics statutes http://www.usoge.gov/laws_regs/statutes.aspx • Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. 2635 http://www.usoge.gov/laws_regs/regulations/5cfr2635.aspx • Principles of Ethical Conduct (Executive Order) http://www.usoge.gov/laws_regs/exec_orders/eo12731.aspx • Supplemental DOI ethics regulations http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_08/5cfr3501_08.html • How to contact an ethics counselor

  7. Training overview, continued • Why and how to seek ethics advice • Restrictions on seeking employment • Misuse of official position • Acceptance of travel expenses from non-Federal entities • Donations to the USGS • Collaborative Agreements • CRADAs and Technical Assistance Agreements • Gifts from outside sources • Selling or soliciting on Government Property

  8. Why seek ethics advice? Consistent and fair application of ethics rules will enhance the ethical culture at USGS Actions taken after providing relevant facts and receiving advice from one of the three ethics counselors at USGS are deemed proper

  9. How to seek ethics advice Refer to the Ethics Guide for DOI employees http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/guide/index.html Check the Ethics Office website http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/index.html Send an e-mail to (or call) one of the three USGS ethics counselors See Ethics Office contact and specialization chart Send an e-mail to EthicsOffice@usgs.gov

  10. Secretary Salazar’s memo on Ethical Responsibilities (Jan 26, 2009) “I expect all employees–both career and political–to adhere to all ethics laws, regulations, and guidelines applicable to employees of the Department of the Interior, including the 14 general principles of ethical conduct specifically applicable to Executive Branch employees.”

  11. Criminal ethics statutes

  12. 18 U.S.C. § 201 • Bribery of public officials and witnesses • Example of violation: • Contracting Officer responsible for evaluating proposals receives monetary compensation (or an all-expense paid vacation) for providing preferential treatment

  13. 18 U.S.C. § 203 • Compensation to Members of Congress, officers, and others in matters affecting the Government • Example of violation: • Government employee with a part-time business preparing tax returns receives income derived from his/her company’s representation of a client before the IRS

  14. 18 U.S.C. § 205 • Activities of officers and employees in claims against and other matters affecting the Government • Example of violation: • Government employee represents his/her neighborhood homeowners association in attempting to persuade the Department of Transportation to not build a highway

  15. 18 U.S.C. § 207 • Post-Government restrictions on former officers, employees, and elected officials of the executive and legislative branches • Example of violation: • Government employee responsible for purchasing laboratory equipment retires and subsequently contacts his/her former agency with the intent to influence a contract dispute regarding the laboratory equipment

  16. 18 U.S.C. § 208 • Acts affecting a personal financial interest • No conflicts of interest permitted • Example of violation: • USGS employee serves as an officer of a professional scientific organization in his/her official capacity without obtaining a conflict of interest waiver from the Director • Financial interests of an organization are imputed to officers and board members • Retroactive waivers are not permitted

  17. 18 U.S.C. § 208, continued • Second example of violation: • USGS employee working on developing a cooperative agreement with a University is offered a post-Government position with the University and continues to provide advice and recommendations concerning the agreement • Government employees may not be officially involved in particular matters that will have a direct and predictable effect on entities with whom they have a financial interest

  18. 18 U.S.C. § 209 • Salary of Government officials and employees payable only by United States • No non-Federal compensation for doing your job • Example of violation: • Government employee accepts a check for giving a presentation on official time • Note: a check made out to the USGS may be accepted via Form 9-3089 as a donation if it is not solicited

  19. Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch • Numerous subject areas - - an excellent resource • Gifts from Outside Sources • Gifts Between Employees • Impartiality in Performing Official Duties • Seeking Other Employment • Misuse of Position • Outside Activities • 5 C.F.R. 2635 http://www.usoge.gov/laws_regs/regulations/5cfr2635.aspx

  20. Principles of Ethical Conduct • Executive Order • http://www.usoge.gov/laws_regs/exec_orders/eo12731.aspx 1. Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain. 2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty. 3. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

  21. Principles of Ethical Conduct (continued) 4. An employee shall not, except pursuant to such reasonable exceptions as are provided by regulation, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties. 5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

  22. Principles of Ethical Conduct (continued) 6. Employees shall make no unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government. 7. Employees shall not use public office for private gain. 8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual. 9. Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

  23. Principles of Ethical Conduct (continued) 10. Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities. 11. Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities. 12. Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those -- such as Federal, State, or local taxes -- that are imposed by law.

  24. Principles of Ethical Conduct (continued) 13. Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap. 14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards promulgated pursuant to this order.

  25. Supplemental DOI ethics regulations • Outside work or activity related to USGS duties or mission requires Ethics Office approval • Use Form 9-1510 (Jan 2008) • Outside consulting not permitted • USGS employees may not perform "surveys or examinations" for private parties or corporations (paid or unpaid) • Such work could have a negative impact on the integrity and neutrality of USGS science

  26. Supplemental DOI ethics regulations, continued • USGS employees are prohibited from having a direct interest in the mineral wealth of the Federal lands, either directly through a leasehold, or indirectly through ownership of financial interest (securities, stocks, limited partnerships, etc.) with companies that have substantial Federal oil/gas/mining leases. • Financial Guide for USGS employees • Lists financial interests that are prohibited or that may only held in limited amounts • http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/financial_guide.html

  27. Supplemental DOI ethics regulations, continued • Prohibited interests in mining in the United States • No direct or indirect financial interests permitted • Except if: • the interest doesn’t exceed $10K (or $20K aggregate of similar interests) • the interest doesn’t create an appearance of misuse of position/loss of impartiality • the interest doesn’t negatively impact confidence in the impartiality and objectivity with which Department and USGS programs are administered • Publicly traded mutual fund • Mineral royalties of less than $600 per year are permitted

  28. Ethics resources and information USGS Ethics Office webpage http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/index.html Ethics Guide for DOI Employees http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/guide/ethicsguide.pdf Departmental Ethics Office webpage http://www.doi.gov/ethics Office of Government Ethics (OGE) webpage http://www.usoge.gov Financial Guide for USGS Employees http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/financial_guide.html

  29. Ethics Guide for DOI Employees http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/guide/ethicsguide.pdf www.doi.gov/ethics

  30. Ethics Guide for DOI Employees • November 2008 version does not supersede the October 2007 version • Glossy, tabbed, pocket-sized copies of the Ethics Guide are available upon request • Send e-mail with mailing address to Kathy Haumann, khaumann@usgs.gov • Or stop by the Ethics Office, Room 2B121, National Center

  31. Restrictions on seeking employment • You may not take any official actions that could affect the financial interest of an entity with whom you are seeking employment • Doing so violates the criminal conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. 208 • You must recuse (i.e., disqualify yourself) from taking any actions, even providing “advice” • If possible, your recusal should be in writing to your supervisor and shared with colleagues • Recusal memo template • http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/basic-8.html

  32. Misuse of official position Public office may not be used for private gain -- of self, spouse, minor children, relatives, friends, business associates or persons with whom a Federal employee is affiliated in a non-Governmental capacity INCLUDING non-profit organizations of which the employee is a member 5 C.F.R. 2635.702 and Principle of Ethical Conduct # 7 (see slide # 22)

  33. Acceptance of travel expenses from non-Federal entities • 31 U.S.C. § 1353 permits Federal agencies to accept travel expenses from non-Federal entities • For attendance at meetings, workshops, training, conferences or “similar events” • Contact Sharon Bonney at 703-648-7439 or sbonney@usgs.gov if you have travel questions

  34. Acceptance of travel expenses from non-Federal entities, continued 1) Prior written approval via Form DI-2000 is required (or within 7 days of travel, if exigent circumstances) 2) Employee must be in official travel status 3) Employee may accept “in kind” travel expenses 4) Voucher must reflect what has been received 5) Employees may never personally accept cash or checks for reimbursement 6) For international travel annotate authority on the Form DI-1175 (Form DI-2000 is still required)

  35. Donation acceptance by USGS Must maintain the integrity and impartiality of DOI and bureau programs and operations and avoid conflicts of interest Donation Guidelines regulation, 374 DM 6 SM chapter pending USGS Form 9-3089 Send to EthicsOffice@usgs.gov or fax to 703-648-4132 to obtain technical concurrence from Ethics Office Required for all donations valued over $50,000 Associate Director approval required for donations valued over $50,000

  36. Donations to conduct field work or engage in joint research • Collaborative agreements, 43 U.S.C. 36c, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and Technical Assistance Agreements, 15 U.S.C. 3710(a) can be drafted to include USGS receipt of funding to cover employees’ salaries and travel expenses • Contact your Administrative Officer for assistance in preparing these agreements • Consultation with the Office of Policy Analysis, AEI (Sharon Borland or Neil Mark) may be necessary

  37. Gifts from outside sources The rule: Federal employees may not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, a gift from a “prohibited source” or offered due to their official position

  38. What is a “prohibited source?” • A person, company, or organization that: • Does business (or is seeking to do business) with USGS; is regulated by USGS; or can be affected by the performance or nonperformance of official duties • Any professional, technical, or trade association, the majority of whose members represent prohibited sources; or • Outside organizations that seek to influence the government

  39. Gifts from outside sources Not everything is a gift Snacks (coffee, donuts, etc., not part of a meal) Greeting cards, certificates, trophies Prizes in contests open to the public (with no registration fee) Commercial discounts If employee pays fair market value If Federal government pays Some gifts shouldn’t be accepted, even if an exception applies Consider appearances

  40. Gift exceptions Gifts valued at $20 or less per source per occasion ($50/year) Gifts based on personal relationships developed outside of and independent from work Free attendance at conferences where you are participating as a speaker Sharing perishable items within office Awards for meritorious public service with Ethics Office approval Exceptions are explained at 5 C.F.R. 2635.204

  41. Selling and soliciting on Gov’t property • Government resources may only be used for authorized purposes. DOI policy regarding employees' limited personal use of a government e-mail system prohibits any commercial gain activity, which is defined as any activity involving or relating to buying, selling, advertising, leasing, or exchanging products or services for any person or entity's personal profit or gain. • Selling and soliciting is prohibited in any DOI building by 43 C.F.R. 20.504 (unless authority has been granted by the Interior Department Recreation Association or is at the Indian Arts and Crafts store, or for cafeteria, newsstand, snack bar and vending machine operations which are authorized by the Department for the benefit of employees or the public).

  42. To obtain ethics training credit • All financial disclosure report filers (SF 278 and OGE Form 450) must send a certification e-mail to EthicsOffice@usgs.gov • Your e-mail must certify that you have reviewed these slides as well as the USGS Ethics Office contact and specialization information chart • Due date is December 31, 2010 • Feedback (positive or negative) is welcomed • Thank you very much for your time and attention