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October 31, 2012

REMINDER!!! Next IEC Meeting: November 1, featuring OGE Acting Director and General Counsel, Mr. Don Fox

A reminder to please join us for a very special session with Mr. Don Fox, Acting Director and General Counsel for the Office of Government Ethics.

Mr. Fox will be giving his popular "ethics year in review" presentation which is not to be missed! The meeting will begin promptly at 12:15, 1331 F Street, NW, 8th Floor.  See you there!

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

October 26, 2012

HHS Employee Sentenced for Misusing Government Charge Card

A Health and Human Services Department employee was sentenced by a federal judge this week to six months in prison for using government charge cards to buy more than $114,000 worth of personal items, according to a Justice Department release.

Justice said Jihan S. Cover, a purchasing agent with the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute from 2006 through 2011, used her government charge card to make hundreds of personal purchases totaling $114,494. She spent $16,000 on Amazon and $29,000 in payments to a variety of payday loan vendors, Justice said. She also made $47,000 in payments to personal accounts created on PayPal, the department said.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Misuse of Govt. Resources | Permalink

October 25, 2012

Nonprecedential Decision From U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit Affirms Removal of Navy Employee for Misuse of Gov't Travel Card

The Court's decision may be found at the following link:

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/11-3229.pdf

Additional background of the case may also be found in the FedSmith article posted in April.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Issues: Misuse of Govt. Resources | Permalink

October 18, 2012

Next IEC Meeting: November 1, featuring OGE Acting Director and General Counsel, Mr. Don Fox

Please join us for a very special session with Mr. Don Fox, Acting Director and General Counsel for the Office of Government Ethics.  Mr. Fox will be giving his popular "ethics year in review" presentation which is not to be missed! 

The meeting will begin promptly at 12:15, 1331 F Street, NW.  See you there!

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink

October 16, 2012

Ethics Attorney Opening at Federal Trade Commission

The FTC is seeking to hire an attorney with federal ethics experience (or someone with a strong desire to learn federal ethics). There are opportunities to do other legal work as well.  Details may be found at USAJobs:

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/328649200

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

October 15, 2012

Ethics Attorney Vacancy at Department of the Navy

There is an anticipated vacancy for an attorney to serve as the Assistant General Counsel (Ethics) (AGC (Ethics)). The incumbent reports to the Principal Deputy General Counsel. The AGC (Ethics) is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Department of Navy (DON) ethics program.  More details may be found at the following link:

 http://ogc.navy.mil/jobs/70-12.pdf

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

October 12, 2012

Whistleblower Protections Expanded to Cover Intelligence Agencies

President Obama has extended whistleblower protections to cover employees working in the intelligence and national security fields.

According to presidential policy directive, PPD-19, signed Wednesday, employees who have access to confidential information can report waste, fraud and abuse without fear of retribution.  Specifically, the directive prohibits agencies considered part of the intelligence community from retaliating against employees who make such reports to the appropriate authorities or curtailing their access to classified information.

The directive gives agency heads 270 days to modify their personnel policies to create a process for employees to report violations. It also orders them to develop an appeals process for employees who feel they have had their security clearance privileges wrongly removed.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Whistleblowers | Permalink

October 10, 2012

President Signs New Government Charge Card Bill

Gov Exec reports that the President signed a bill into law Friday that creates stricter rules for federal employees using government charge cards.  Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced the 2012 Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act in February 2011, and it cleared Congress during the final minutes of lawmakers’ session in late September.  Grassley worked on the legislation with Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

In a statement, Grassley said the legislation was created to restore the public’s trust in government spending.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Fiscal Law | Permalink

October 09, 2012

Materials from Oct. 4 IEC Meeting

Thanks again to our speakers, Talisha Searcy and Athena Jones, who gave a wonderful presentation last week.  Attached are the handouts and powerpoint presentation:

Download Conflicts of interest in grants pptx TS

Download IEC handout COI grants

 

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

October 04, 2012

Attorney Opening at Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is looking for an attorney for its Office of General Counsel, to work on issues of personnel, labor, ethics, civil rights laws, regulations, and guidance applicable to federal agencies generally and to the Peace Corps in particular.

For more information, please see https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/328079900

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

Link to IG report updated: Investigators Question Spending, Gifts at VA Training Conferences in Orlando

The Washington Post reports:  Federal investigators estimated Monday that the Department of Veterans Affairs wastefully spent about $762,000 at two employee conferences last year in Orlando, Fla., and that senior leadership failed to provide proper oversight in planning and executing the events.

The inspector general for the VA said 11 of the department’s employees also accepted improper gifts from contractors seeking to do business with the government.

The full IG report may be found here:  

http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-12-02525-291R.pdf

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Inspectors General | Permalink

October 03, 2012

Vacancy at the National Endowment for the Arts

The Office of General Counsel, National Endowment for the Arts, administers the agency-wide ethics program among many other functions. The Office of General Counsel has announced a vacancy for an experienced attorney to work on ethics matters and serve as the Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official, in addition to other responsibilities. The vacancy announcement closes on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

 https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/327340000

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Help Wanted | Permalink

October 02, 2012

Agencies Can’t Bar Feds from Joining Suspect Foreign Firms

Nextgov.com reports:  No policies prohibit federal employees from working for Chinese companies following their federal service, a fact that has allowed telecom giant Huawei, accused by lawmakers of cyberespionage, to hire a number of well-connected former U.S. officials.

In July, Andy Purdy, a past head of the Homeland Security Department’s national cybersecurity division, became Huawei USA’s chief security officer. Purdy’s move took colleagues by surprise at his previous employer, federal contractor CSC, according to people familiar with the situation. During the past year, Huawei has hired Doyce Boesch, a former Senate aide, and William Black, former chief of staff to then-House Democratic Leader Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md. In addition, Huawei’s Global Chief Cybersecurity Officer John Suffolk is the former U.K. government chief information officer and chief information security officer.

Posted by IEC Team Leader | Permalink

October 01, 2012

President Signs Amendment to Extend STOCK Act Posting Deadline to December 8th

The Office of Government Ethics reports:  On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed into law S. 3625, which extends the date by which certain Executive Branch public financial disclosure forms must be made available on the internet to December 8, 2012.   Subsection 11(a)(1) of the STOCK Act (Public Law 112-105), originally required that by August 31, 2012, public financial disclosure forms filed pursuant to title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA) in calendar year 2012, and in subsequent years, be made available to the public on the official websites of the respective Executive Branch agencies not later than 30 days after such forms were filed. The STOCK Act was amended by S. 3510 (Public Law 112-173) to move this deadline to September 30, 2012, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland Southern Division subsequently enjoined posting under the STOCK Act until October 31, 2012.  Section 1 of S. 3625 extends the effective date of subsection 11(a)(1) of the STOCK Act to December 8, 2012, except for certain high-level filers occupying positions listed at Level I and II of the Executive Schedule.

S. 3625 also directs the National Academy of Public Administration to study the issues raised by website publication of financial disclosure forms and to issue a report with findings and recommendations. In addition, section 3 of S. 3625 clarifies that an employee subject to the periodic transaction reporting requirement under subsection 103(l) of EIGA must also report any purchase, sale, or exchange of securities by the employee’s spouse or dependent children.  The periodic transaction reporting requirements for an employee’s spouse and dependent children cover transactions occurring on or after January 1, 2013.

S. 3625 is available in portable document format (PDF) on OGE’s website at: http://www.oge.gov/About/Legislative-Affairs-and-Budget/Ethics-Legislation/

 

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

Next IEC Meeting: October 4: Conflicts of Interest in the Grant Process

Please join us this Thursday, October 4, to hear an important presentation on conflicts of interest in the grant process from attorneys in two Inspector General offices:  the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Speakers Talisha M. Searcy and Athena R. Jones will discuss conflicts of interests among Federal grantees that can compromise the integrity of a Federal Grant Program. 

HHS OIG will share examples from its evaluation of conflicts of interest in NIH research grants. HUD OIG will share examples from its evaluation of conflicts of interest in three separate HUD programs. This session will focus on how addressing conflicts of interest can bolster public confidence in the grant process.

Thursday's meeting will be held at the Special Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW, 8th Floor, at 12:15.  See you there!

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings | Permalink