August 15, 2016

Proposed GSA Change

The GSA posted a proposed notice on changing the requirement for 1353 approval for waiver of conference fee when speaking.  It is now in alignment with 5 C.F.R. Sect. 204(g)(1).  It will no longer be considered "in-kind", which means 1353 approval is unnecessary.  To see the notice, click here:

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Gifts, News | Permalink

August 08, 2016

National Park Service Director Apologizes for Unethical Behavior

It came a little late, but National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has apologized for unethical behavior that he was investigated for last year.

The behavior was connected to a book about national parks he wrote for a nonprofit organization that has a cooperating agreement with the agency. The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General (IG) said he had the book published without getting approval from the department’s ethics office.

To read the fully story, click here:

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Outside Activities, News | Permalink

Former FDA Employee Pleads Guilty to Gathering "Political Intelligence"

Former FDA employee, Gordon Johnston, pleads guilty to using his connections after retirement to gather confidential "political intelligence" for a hedge fund.  This implicates ethics rules because a former government employee induced a current government employee to disclose nonpublic information.

"Political intelligence" was the subject of one of the provisions of the STOCK Act.  Section 7 of the STOCK Act required the GAO to prepare a report addressing six questions about political intelligence activities.  That report is available at, but the opening summary suggests that GAO found Congress's questions virtually impossible to investigate.  That said, the STOCK Act's definition of "political intelligence" – information derived from direct communications with a government employee and provided, in exchange for compensation, to a client who intends to use the information for investment purposes – seems to be exactly what happened in the case discussed above.

To read the full story, click here:

Posted by IEC Team Leader in GAO, Issues: Post Employment, News | Permalink

August 04, 2016

FDA Hiring Ethics Specialists

Multiple Ethics Position Vacancies with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - ANNOUNCEMENT CLOSES AUGUST 13

The announcement opened on Tuesday, 02 August 2016, and closes on Tuesday,  August 13 2016.  The job announcement number is FDA-OO-16-MP-1764153PR.

Multiple vacancies for GS 11-12 Ethics Specialist Positions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at following location:  8455 Colesville Road Silver Spring, MD 20993; Salary Range:  $64,650.00 to $100,736.00 / Per Year; Series & Grade GS-0301-11/12 with promotion potential to GS-13.

As an Ethics Specialist, in FDA’s Division of Ethics and Integrity, you will perform the following duties:

  • Advising FDA employees on complex ethics laws and policies, including the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees in the Executive Branch, criminal conflict of interest laws, and the Hatch Act.
  • Reviewing financial disclosure reports that include sensitive and personal information about FDA employee's personal financial interests and non-Federal affiliations to ensure compliance with the conflict of interest law, the regulatory standards for appearance of conflict, and FDA specific policies prohibiting financial interests in significantly regulated industries. 
  •  Working collaboratively with Departmental legal counsel as well as other ethics officials and personnel throughout the agency.

To view the full job announcement and application procedures the link is as follows:

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

July 26, 2016

Next IEC Meeting - August 4th

Ever wonder what keeps ethics officers and Government contractors up at night?  Especially when the Government is their customer or partner?  At our August 4th meeting, two former Federal ethics officials, Steve Epstein (now at Boeing) and Frank Lamir (now at Lockheed Martin) will discuss challenges they face when working with the Government, and focus on challenges that can be resolved when ethics officials from the government and from the contractor community communicate and work together.  If you have problems when working with contractors, then don't miss this presentation.  We'll cover revolving door issues, gifts, conflicts of interest, political activities, proprietary information, and any other issues you raise.  Come and learn how "the other side" addresses "ethics and compliance."

As usual, we meet from 12:15 until 1:30 at the US Special Access Board, Suite 800, 1331 F Street, NW, Washington, DC.

See you there!


Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

July 21, 2016

USDA Hiring Ethics Branch Chief

VACANCY FOR GS-15 SUPERVISORY ETHICS PROGRAM MANAGER (BRANCH CHIEF) AT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE The USDA Office of Ethics is seeking a motivated and highly-qualified candidate excited to join our collegial team as full-time GS-15 Branch Chief in our Washington, DC office. The Branch Chief position requires subject matter expertise in ethics and will be responsible for supervising Office of Ethics staff in the Branch Office. The Branch Chief will report directly to the Deputy Director and Director of the Office of Ethics and will occupy a key position on the Office of Ethics' leadership team.

The Office of Ethics is responsible for providing ethics advice and services to all agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity employer.  Become a leader on our team where you can achieve your career goals and apply your skills and talents to our important mission. Individuals interested in applying should visit the vacancy posting at USAJobs:

Applications must be submitted no later than Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 11:59pm.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

July 18, 2016

Ethics Attorney Opening at the Federal Trade Commission

If you are an attorney interested in helping federal employees serve with integrity, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking for you! Year after year the FTC ranks in the top five places to work for mid-size federal agencies (see the rankings at We believe the agency’s strong ethical culture is a big reason our employees love working here. Don’t want to take our word for it? Hear from our employees yourself at our careers page:

Our Office of the General Counsel is seeking an attorney with federal ethics experience (or an express desire to practice law in this area). Candidates should be prepared to demonstrate excellent research, writing, and oral presentation skills. The FTC offers numerous benefits, including telework and other flexible work schedules. Details about this opening may be found at USAJobs:

Applications must be received no later than Sunday, August 28, 2016.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

July 15, 2016

OSC Discplines Three for Hatch Act Violations

OSC says three disciplined for Hatch Act violations --

The Office of Special Counsel said it recently obtained disciplinary actions against three federal employees for violations of the Hatch Act, which places certain restrictions on employees’ involvement in partisan political activity while on duty or in the federal workplace.

For the full article, click here.


Posted by IEC Team Leader in Hatch Act, News | Permalink

Freakonomics Features DoD's Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure

For those of you that might have missed it, NPR rebroadcasted its 2013 Freakonomics interview with Jeff Green and Steve Epstein about the DoD's Encyclopedia of Ethical failure.  The podcast can be heard at:

If you would like to take advantage of the Encyclopedia's examples for your ethics training, go to the DoD web site at:  ( PLEASE NOTE:  If you use Internet Explorer (IE) to view this site, you may find some pages open in html code only. Should you encounter this, please open "Tools" on the Menu bar, select "Compatibility View Settings" in the dropdown box - and add "" to your approved sites. This is a recent security add for IE.  The use of other Internet Browsers may eliminate the need to use the Compatibility View feature.)  

Click on "DoD" guidance, and under "compliance" you will find the Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure which is full of ethics training examples.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Legal Ethics, News, Web Resources | Permalink

US Senate Select Committee on Ethics is Hiring Staff Counsel

The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics seeks a non-partisan attorney for the position of staff counsel. The staff counsel’s responsibilities include providing advice and training to the Senate community regarding ethics rules and laws, reviewing a high volume of financial disclosure reports, and working on investigative matters. This is a non-partisan position which requires the ability to serve all members of the Senate community equally without regard to their political affiliation and to refrain from activity that could impair the Committee’s reputation for non-partisanship

Applicants must possess outstanding written and oral communication skills and analytical abilities as well as the sound judgment necessary to evaluate matters that arise before the Committee. Experience in one or more of the following areas is desirable: government ethics, ethics counseling, finance, accounting, securities law, investigations, and criminal law.

All applicants must have a JD, be licensed and in good active standing to practice law in a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia, and have a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience. The Committee is an equal employment opportunity employer.

To apply, send a resume, cover letter, and short writing sample (no longer than 15 pages) to

To see the posting on the Senate's website, click here.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink