December 10, 2013
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Hill Staffers Receive Holiday Poem as a Reminder of the Gift Rules
Check out the poem at the following link
December 09, 2013
Notice of Modification of Routine Uses (a.) and (l.) in OGE/GOVT–1 System of Records
The following notice in today's Federal Register:
The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) proposes to modify existing routine uses (a.) and (l.) to OGE/GOVT–1, Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Reports and Other Name-Retrieved Ethics Program Records (OGE/GOVT–1 System of Records). This action is necessary to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act to publish in the Federal Register notice of the existence and character of records maintained by the agency (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)).
December 04, 2013
SEC Delays Revolving Door Restriction
Months ago, over concern about regulators who leave government and then work their former colleagues on behalf of industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it was tightening restrictions on the revolving door. Specifically, the SEC decided to close a loophole in the ethics rules that allowed some “senior” SEC personnel to lobby the agency immediately after leaving instead of staying on the sidelines for a year or more, as employees at other federal agencies must do.
However, a notice published in the November 25 edition of the Federal Register said that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) was withdrawing the new rule at “the request of the SEC” so that the agency could have more time to “effectively educate affected employees before the exemption revocation takes effect.”
The rule, which was published as “final” on October 3, had been scheduled to take effect on January 2.
December 02, 2013
January IEC Meeting: WMACCA Government Contractors Forum
January 9, 2014: Please join us at a joint meeting of the Interagency Ethics Council and the Government Contractor’s Forum of WMACCA for an afternoon of benchmarking and networking.
The event is titled: WMACCA Government Contractors Forum and the Interagency Ethics Council: “I’ve looked at ethics from both sides now.”
We will be comparing best practices (and maybe some that aren’t so good) regarding post-government employment restrictions, addressing difficult gift questions, achieving compliance by your employees, implementing an effective gift policy, and other wild ideas as they develop.
Come and share your challenges, achievements, and bold ideas with senior ethics and compliance officials from government and industry. (Bring your own lunch if you want one. This is a brownbag event. WMACCA will provide coffee, sodas, and light refreshments).
We seek IEC member registration in advance at: http://www.cvent.com/d/44qlzz/1Q to ensure a name badge will be ready for members when they arrive.
Networking reception: 11:30-12:00
Program: 12:00 – 2:00 (In person only. No on-line presentation).
WMACCA will apply for 2.0 hours of Virginia MCLE credit.
November 19, 2013
Next IEC Meeting: December 5
Please join us for the next IEC meeting on December 5- Mr. Lenny Loewentritt, Deputy General Counsel, GSA, will give his annual update on the latest travel issues facing the Government. Please join us at 12:15 at the usual meeting place:
1331 F Street, NW, Floor 8.
Vacancies at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics
The U.S. Office of Government Ethics, OGE, has posted vacancy announcements for Attorney Advisor positions within the General Counsel and Legal Policy Division. OGE is the agency that provides overall direction, oversight, and accountability for Executive Branch policies designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest. OGE is also charged with promoting high ethical standards for Executive Branch employees. Individuals interested in applying should visit the following links:
Applications must be sent no later than Thursday, December 5, 2013.
House Ethics Committee ends Peter Roskam, Bill Owens reviews
The House Ethics Committee will end its reviews into whether Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) violated congressional rules during privately funded trips to Taiwan. However, the secretive panel found that Owens’ December 2011 trip to Taiwan was an improper gift because a New York lobbying firm was closely involved in putting the excursion together. But because Owens has already repaid the $22,000-plus cost of the trip, he will not be sanctioned by the Ethics Committee.
The Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent ethics watchdog, had called for broader probes into both Roskam and Owens. The Ethics Committee did not agree to those requests. The Ethics Committee looked into whether Roskam, a top member of the House GOP leadership, accepted an impermissible gift when he and Elizabeth Roskam traveled to Taiwan in October 2011. The Ethics Committee approved the Roskams’ trip beforehand, but OCE believed the Taiwanese government and not the Chinese Culture University — the official sponsor — “was conducting and organizing his trip.”
Under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, foreign governments are allowed to pay for such trips. However, a lawmaker cannot accept travel expenses for a spouse or family member. The Roskams’ daughter was also staying in Taiwan at that time, and OCE noted that the Roskams sought to include her as part of their itinerary for the $24,000-plus trip.
November 14, 2013
Two Secret Service Agents Removed from President's Protection Detail
Govexec.com reports: Two Secret Service agents responsible for overseeing the security detail for President Obama were quietly removed from their roles earlier this year after multiple allegations of misconduct. The agents prompted an internal investigation, according to the Washington Post's scoop on yet another story of (alleged) bad behavior at the agency. The Post's report, citing four anonymous sources, comes as the Homeland Security Department prepares to release the results of an investigation into the Secret Service's culture, prompted by the incident in Colombia.
November 08, 2013
Job Openings at DOE OGC
The job posting may be found here
Federal workers in D.C. get OK to run for office
Politico reports: Federal workers who live in Washington, D.C. will soon be able to run in contested, partisan elections without running afoul of the Hatch Act, a federal law which limits politicking by employees of the U.S. government.
Under a Office of Personnel Management rule change set to take effect next month, federal employees will be permitted to run as independents in such elections. In most of the country, federal workers are barred from running in partisan races, but a slew of communities with large populations of federal employees have exemptions based on the notion that excluding a large cohort of the community from elective offices would unfairly disrupt local governance.
The vast majority of Washington, D.C. suburbs have had waivers for decades, but the district itself was left out due to a historical legal quirk. The new regulation allowing federal employees to be independent candidates in D.C. and permitting them to work on and run such campaigns is set to be published Friday in the Federal Register and to go into effect 30 days later. Federal employees will also be able to solicit volunteers to work for partisan local campaigns, but cannot ask subordinate employees to volunteer.
See the OPM regulation here Download OPM Reg Hatch Act