May 12, 2015

Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Ex-Gov. McDonnell's Case

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's fate is in the hands of three federal appeals court judges. A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in McDonnell's public corruption case Tuesday. The court usually takes a few weeks to rule.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements. The former governor was sentenced to two years in prison, his wife to one year and one day.

Tuesday's arguments focused on two major issues - whether McDonnell was convicted based on an overly broad definition of what constitutes an "official act'' and whether jurors were properly questioned about whether they were influenced by news reports about the case.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Conflicts of Interest, Issues: Gifts, Legal Ethics | Permalink

US approved most Bill Clinton speech requests within days

The AP reports

U.S. State Department officials under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton moved quickly when aides to Bill Clinton asked them in March 2010 to approve plans for the former president to address clients of a British bank under investigation for violating international sanctions. Within four days, the department's ethics office signed off on the request — as it did for hundreds of others from the former president during his wife's four-year tenure leading the agency....

The State Department's scrutiny, which went beyond the standard ethics requirements for all federal officials, was a voluntary process agreed to by both Clintons to avoid "even the appearance of a conflict of interest," according to a January 2009 memo sent by David Kendall, Bill Clinton's personal lawyer, to Jim Thessin, who oversaw the vetting in the State Department. Clinton's office agreed to provide the names of organizations hosting the former president at least 14 days before the event, according to the memo. Lawyers at the agency would then aim to complete their review within five days. Only a handful of proposed arrangements appear to have been rejected. A consulting contract with Saban Capital Group Inc., a firm headed by major Clinton donor Haim Saban, was rejected because of what the State Department deemed as Saban's active involvement in foreign affairs, particularly the Middle East.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Conflicts of Interest | Permalink

May 08, 2015

OGE Issues Legal Advisory on Employee Benefit Plans through which Employees Hold Diversified Pooled Investment Funds and Employee Benefit Plans Established or Maintained Outside of the United States

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has issued a Legal Advisory on the meaning of language in the exemption for employee benefit plans at 5 C.F.R. § 2640.201(c)(1)(iii). Specifically, this Legal Advisory explains when the exemption is applicable to (1) employee benefit plans through which employees hold diversified pooled investment funds, and (2) employee benefit plans that are established or maintained outside of the United States.

For more information, please see Legal Advisory LA-15-06, dated May 5, 2015, here.

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Financial Disclosure | Permalink

May 01, 2015

OGE Issues Legal Advisory on the Treatment of Gift Cards under the $20 De Minimis Gift Exception

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has issued a Legal Advisory discussing the treatment of prepaid gift cards under the $20 de minimis gift exception found at 5 C.F.R. § 2635.204(a). The Legal Advisory describes common types of prepaid gift cards and explains which are considered to be cash equivalents, and are therefore categorically prohibited under the de minimis exception.

For more information, please see Legal Advisory LA-15-04, dated April 30, 2015,

http://www.oge.gov/OGE-Advisories/Legal-Advisories/Legal-Advisories/

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

April 30, 2015

Fiscal Law Opening: Air Force Office of the General Counsel

You can find more details here

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

April 28, 2015

Next IEC Meeting: May 7

Please join us for our May 7 IEC meeting featuring Mr. Edward Sullivan, a prosecutor for the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section.

Mr. Sullivan has prosecuted a variety of cases and will discuss what kinds of cases his section handles, and the elements they review.

The meeting will be held at the U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Floor 8 at 12:15.  See you there!

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

April 27, 2015

Ethics Advisor Opening at International Monetary Fund

For its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an international organization with a diverse staff from over 140 countries, is seeking an Ethics Advisor.

The Ethics Advisor contributes to the good governance of the Fund and assists the organization in maintaining high ethical standards of conduct and the reputation of the Fund and its employees for probity, integrity, and impartiality. The Ethics Advisor promotes awareness of ethics issues among, and provides training and education on ethics for, Fund employees and vendor personnel. The Ethics Advisor’s responsibilities shall include (a) the provision of advice to management and the Human Resources Department (HRD) regarding the promotion of ethical standards within the Fund; (b) the provision of information, education and training for Fund employees; and (c) the provision of advice and guidance to managers, staff members, contractual employees, and vendor personnel on questions pertaining to the rules on conduct. The Ethics Advisor also provides advice to the External Compliance Advisor and supports the implementation of the IMF’s financial disclosure program. The Ethics Advisor may also be called upon to provide advice on conflict of interest matters relating to the investments of the Fund. In exercising his or her duties, the Ethics Advisor will report directly to the Managing Director and will be independent of any official, department, office, or other organizational entity of the Fund.

Initially the appointment will be on a two-year contractual basis, with the possibility of an extension for an additional and final four years.

Qualifications: Candidates should have substantial prior experience as an ethics officer, inspector general, or a similar position dealing with the development of standards of conduct in an international organization, or in a national public or private sector organization, preferably with multinational orientation. Previous experience with advising on personal financial conflicts of interests and conflicts of interests and compliance in the context of investment management or financial institutions would be an advantage. Candidates should not have worked previously with the IMF. A legal background would be useful, but not required. An excellent command of English, the working language of the IMF, is required. Proficiency in languages other than English is desirable. The IMF is committed to achieving a diverse staff, including gender, nationality, culture and educational background.

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/58022338

https://imf.taleo.net/careersection/imf_external/moresearch.ftl?lang=en

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

April 15, 2015

OGE Issues Legal Advisory on the Standards of Conduct and Social Media

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has issued a Legal Advisory discussing how the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees apply to employees’ personal social media activities. The Legal Advisory focuses on common issues such as whether an employee can reference his or her title on a personal social media account, and what rules apply to personal fundraising over social media.

The Legal Advisory LA-15-03, dated April 9, 2015, may be found here.

 

 

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in OGE | Permalink

April 10, 2015

Reminder!!! April 20 IEC Meeting at USDA

On April 20, which is a Monday, Matt Zapotoski from the Washington Post will speak about former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's trial.

PLEASE NOTE!! The April 20 meeting will be held in the Jefferson Auditorium at USDA. Directions may be found here Download Directions to Jefferson Auditorium

The meeting will be at 12:15. Unfortunately no food or drink is allowed in the auditorium so plan accordingly.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

April 09, 2015

OGE Issues Guidance on "Free Attendance" at Speaking Engagements and WAGs

The guidance may be found here.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in OGE | Permalink