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May 29, 2014
Reminder: Next IEC Meeting June 5: Partnership-Lite: Part Two of a Three Session Series on the Executive-wide Push to "Partner"
Does your agency have explicit statutory authority to partner with non-federal entities? Does your agency have explicit authority to accept gifts in support of its mission?
No?! But perhaps lately you’ve heard the following phrases and wondered whether you, as an ethics official, need to care: "aligned funding," " leveraging federal dollars," "community engagement," "stakeholder buy-in," or "public-private cross-collaboration." You are not alone! In this fiscal climate, federal agencies are getting more creative. We recognize that policy decisions on partnership efforts are most appropriate for management, but the line between policy and legal authorities can be a fine one. Although the ethics community typically focuses on legal advice geared towards individual federal employees, what about the grayer areas of organizational conflicts of interest and endorsement or appearance of favoritism concerns at the agency level? When do agency efforts to be transparent and cooperative with partners become problematic for folks in OGC?
Come to IEC on June 5th and hear Susan Winchell, DAEO for the Department of Education, and Cheryl Embree, Deputy Ethics Official for the Federal Trade Commission (formerly with HUD), share their perspectives on various recent "partnerships" and when ethics lawyers needs to get involved. This IEC presentation will be loosely based on a similar talk given at the White House in summer 2013 called, “Best Practices and Considerations for Public-Private Partnerships,” which was organized by the National Security Staff for government partnership practitioners across the Executive branch.
Meeting time and location: U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW, Floor 8, 12:15.