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August 31, 2012

REMINDER: Next IEC Meeting September 6

We welcome Ms. Erica Dornburg, Senior Attorney at DOD's Standards of Conduct Office, as our speaker at the next IEC meeting on September 6, 12:15.  Erica will discuss Best Practices for an internal program, including an assessment and program review for field activities.  

Note:  If you are not on the roster as a regular IEC meeting attendee, please pre-register with Ms. Danielle Barrett, USDA, at Danielle.Barrett@dm.usda.gov

The meeting will be held at the usual spot- 1331 F Street NW.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

U.S. Army Master Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Defrauding U.S. Government

In a press release posted Wednesday, DOJ announced that a U.S. Army Master Sergeant pleaded guilty to accepting thousands of dollars in gratuities from contractors during his deployment to Iraq as a field ordering officer at a forward operating base in Iraq. 

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

August 27, 2012

Hatch Act and the Upcoming Conventions

Government Exec reports on the need for federal employees to brush up on the Hatch Act restrictions if they are thinking of participating in the upcoming Republican or Democratic conventions.

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

August 24, 2012

Ethics-Related News for the Week

Several interesting ethics-related articles ran this week:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/23/politics/gsa-hawaii-teleworking/index.html

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_289563/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=eYsq2caq

http://govpro.com/news/Edelman-trust-20120823/#ixzz24NdSYwCx

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in News | Permalink

August 22, 2012

Poker Found a Game of Skill Not Covered by U.S. Gambling Act

Poker is a game of skill that is not covered under the federal Illegal Gambling Business Act, Eastern District Judge Jack Weinstein ruled yesterday.

In a 120-page opinion, Weinstein reversed the jury conviction of Lawrence Dicristina and found that, as a matter of law, Congress did not clearly intend to criminalize poker when it passed the act. Part of the judge's reasoning was that poker games, in this case Texas Hold'em, are not purely games of chance.

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

August 20, 2012

Ethics Attorney Opening at DHS Citizenship and Immigration Services

The announcement can be found at the following link:

http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/PrintPreview/323815300

Announcement closes August 31, 2012.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

August 17, 2012

President Signs Amendment to Extend STOCK Act August 31st Posting Deadline to September 30th

The Office of Government Ethics announced today that the President signed the amendment to extend the STOCK Act posting requirement to September 30. 

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

August 16, 2012

Four-Star General Faces Demotion Over Misspending Allegations

The first four-star general to command U.S. military operations in Africa is facing the possibility of being demoted after an investigation by the Pentagon inspector general found that Gen. William "Kip" Ward spent thousands of dollars on inappropriate travel expenses, according to several administration officials directly familiar with the case. Ward had been known to be under investigation but this is the first indication of the results of the probe.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was presented with the findings this week and is expected to make a decision on the case within days, the officials said Wednesday. The inspector general found that Ward had engaged in several "inappropriate" activities, including submitting expense reports with extravagant and unacceptable charges, inappropriate use of military staff, and misuse of government funds, according to one administration official. The official described the amount involved as "not an insignificant sum of money."

Under military rules and laws, a secretary of defense makes personnel decisions about three- and four- star officers.

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

August 14, 2012

VA Investigated for Conference Spending Practices

The Washington Post reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs spent $5 million—and set aside $4 million more — last year for two training conferences whose organizers are under investigation for breaking ethics rules by improperly accepting gifts.

The agency’s inspector general is investigating whether event planners and other organizers of the conference for human resources employees improperly accepted alcohol, concert tickets and spa treatments. Investigators also are looking into tens of thousands of dollars spent on promotional items for conference attendees.

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

August 13, 2012

Former ICE Employee Sentenced for Submitting False Vouchers

A former employee of the Homeland Security Department who participated in a fraud scheme that cost the government more than $500,000 was sentenced to two years of probation.

William J. Korn, a former intelligence research specialist at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in Tucson, Ariz., misused money he received in 2008 and 2009 while on detail in Washington. Federal employees on temporary duty status receive a per diem allowance for lodging, meals and other expenses while they are away from their permanent post. Korn, along with three other ICE employees and a contractor, were involved in the scheme that cost ICE more than $500,000 all told, according to a statement from DHS.

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

August 07, 2012

Next IEC Meeting September 6, 12:15

We welcome Ms. Erica Dornburg, Senior Attorney at DOD's Standards of Conduct Office, as our speaker at the next IEC meeting.  Erica will discuss Best Practices for an internal program, including an assessment and program review for field activities.  More details to follow.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

August 06, 2012

GSA’s Ethics Program Approved Just Days After Scandal-Plagued Conference

The Washington Post reports that, just days after news broke of GSA's scandal-laced conference in Las Vegas, the Office of Government Ethics issued a positive review of the ethics program there, based largely on GSA's financial disclosure procedures and ethics training programs.  The article also notes that an OGE employee had noted in early 2010 that GSA had issues with controlling conflicts of interest, recommending frequent reviews of its ethics program.

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

August 03, 2012

Deadline to Post Reports Per STOCK Act Extended and Other Related News

The Washington Post reports that the ACLU has sued to stop the online financial disclosure requirement for federal workers.  In addition, Congress extended the posting requirement deadline to September 30.

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

August 02, 2012

Congress Votes to Streamline Senate Confirmation Process

The House Tuesday passed a bipartisan measure to streamline the executive branch appointments process by removing a substantial number of positions from the list of those that require confirmation by the Senate. The bill, S. 679, eliminates the need for the Senate to vote on about 170 executive branch nominations and 3,000 military officer corps appointments.  It is the result of a 2011 agreement between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

August 01, 2012

Next IEC Meeting August 2, 12:15

Reminder that the next IEC meeting will be Thursday, August 2 at 12:15.  Col Tom Serrano will give his excellent presentation on Reserve Personnel Ethics Issues.  The slide presentation can be found at this link Download RC_Personnel_Issues July 2012 (2)

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink