April 04, 2012
President signs STOCK Act
"On April 4, 2012, the President signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act) (S. 2038). The Act establishes new requirements for Executive Branch ethics programs, ethics officials, and the thousands of employees who currently file financial disclosure reports pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act. OGE fully supports the Act’s focus on improving transparency and promoting public confidence in government and is carefully analyzing the provisions of the new law. In consultation with DAEOs and other senior agency ethics officials, OGE will issue a series of Legal, Program, and Education Advisories to implement the Act’s provisions.
Questions from agency ethics officials should be directed to the OGE Team that supports your agency. Media and related inquiries should be directed to Vincent Salamone at (202) 482-9292."
See STOCK Act: Download STOCK Act
August 27, 2011
FAA Restricts "Revolving Door" For Inspectors
Under a new FAA rule published on Monday, certain aviation safety inspectors who work for the agency must wait two years before they can be offered a job from air carriers and other certificate holders. "The flying public can rest assured that our aviation safety inspectors will remain focused on protecting the flying public without any conflicts of interest," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The new rule aims to address concerns raised by Congress and the DOT Inspector General in 2008 about the FAA's oversight of Southwest Airlines. An analysis by the inspector general's office found that FAA staffers overseeing Southwest had developed an "overly close relationship" with the airline, the FAA said.
August 11, 2011
Letters of Recommendation Tip
The ever-generous Mark Stone shared a short explanation of writing letters of recommendation, based on 5 CFR 2635.702(b), worthy of publication in an organization's newsletter:
We routinely answer questions concerning the legality of government employees writing letters of recommendation. Government ethics rules do not prohibit government employees from writing letters of recommendation. However, there are conditions that must be met if a government employee would like to use official stationery and his or her official title in the signature block of a letter of recommendation. In order for a government employee to write a letter of recommendation and to use his or her official title and official stationery, all of the following three conditions must be met. First, the letter has been requested by the individual, OR by a company or organization that is considering the individual for some type of position or benefit. Second, the government employee has personal knowledge of the ability or character of the individual. Third, the government employee has dealt with the individual in the course of Federal employment, OR the government employee is recommending the individual for Federal employment. If you have any questions on this subject, please contact Mr. Smith at 555-1234.
Contact Mr. Stone to be added to his e-mail mailing list (address modified to reduce spam):
Mark --DOT-- Stone --AT-- wpafb -- DOT af --DOT-- mil
December 01, 2010
Navy Program Manager pleads guilty to 208 violation
A Navy Program Manager plead guilty to a conflict of interest violation for negotiating for employment with a DoD contractor while participating personally and substantially in Navy matters in which the contractor had a financial interest.
See DOJ press release.
June 23, 2010
Revolving Door Concern at HHSThe Washington Times has an article about the private sector transition of a senior Health and Human Services official who led the development and acquisition of vaccines and other products against pandemic flu, smallpox and anthrax. Thanks to an alert IEC member for the tip.
June 17, 2010
Revolving Door Concern at SECThe Wall Street Journal notes that a Senate panel has requested an IG review of "revolving door" issues at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
May 04, 2010
Revolving Door PerspectivesThanks to Paul Bergstrand for drawing our attention to a Harvard Crimson column and related letter that bring different perspectives to the revolving door issue.
October 30, 2009
Questions About NRC CommissionerNuclear regulator broke rules, says inspector general - washingtonpost.com:
A former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission violated government ethics rules by directly contacting potential employers with business before the NRC before the end of his term in mid-2007, according to a report by the commission's inspector general.
January 22, 2009
Executive Order: Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel
The lobbying rules announced yesterday aim to end what has become a way of life in Washington, where those serving in an administration collect chits that are quickly cashed in once they depart government. Under the new rules, presidential appointees who leave office will not be allowed to lobby any federal agency as long as Obama remains in office.
"It's not about advantaging yourself. It's not about advancing your friends or your corporate clients. It's not about advancing an ideological agenda or the special interests of any organization," Obama told Cabinet members and senior staff at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. "Public service is, simply and absolutely, about advancing the interests of Americans."
January 10, 2009
Revised Slides for January Presentation
Here is a link to the revised version of the slides for the recent presentation by Peggy Love and Steve Csontos on the topic "Seeking Employment and Post Employment Obligations for Government Attorneys Entering the Private Sector":
December 29, 2008
Topic for Jan. 8 Meeting: Govt. Lawyer Transition to Private Sector
Peggy Love and Steve Csontos will speak on the topic "Seeking Employment and Post Employment Obligations for Government Attorneys Entering the Private Sector" at the Jan. 8 IEC meeting. Their MS PowerPoint slide show is available for pre-meeting downloads. If you want to save paper, remember that you can format the slide show to print three or six slides per page.
August 28, 2008
OGE: Document Ethics Advice, Work With IGs
OGE responds to a GAO report entitled Post-Government Employment Restrictions and Foreign Agent Registration: Additional Action Needed to Enhance Implementation of Requirements 12-16 (July 2008), by providing the following guidance:
OGE strongly encourages agency ethics officials to document ethics advice provided to current and former employees. Additionally, ethics officials should establish close working relationships with their respective Inspector General offices. This includes providing Inspector General personnel with information when needed about the ethics advice given to specific individuals. This also may include providing training and other assistance to help Inspector General personnel understand better the criminal conflict of interest laws, standards of conduct, and pertinent supplemental agency regulations.
May 17, 2007
FBA Program on Revolving Door
The DC Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will sponsor a June 13 program entitled "Navigating the Revolving Door: A CLE Presentation on the Ethical Issues Facing Lawyers Transitioning Between Private and Government Employment."
The speakers will be Gene Shipp, bar counsel for the District of Columbia and Michael Stern, former senior counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives.
CLE: 2.0 Ethics hours for Virginia and Pennsylvania pending.
Time: 6–8 p.m.
Location: Georgetown Law Center, 600 New Jersey, NW, Washington, DC
Registration: $45 FBA members; $55 nonmembers.
Register online. Please mail your check to the D.C. Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, P.O. Box 75861, Washington, DC 20013-5861.
February 03, 2007
Higher Pay: Solution to Revolving Door?
Responding to an Inspector General report questioning high salaries for Smithsonian Institution executives, a Smithsonian spokesperson provided the Washington Post with a suggestion that will find favor with many federal employees:
The report also raised questions about the revolving door of some federal employees who left the Smithsonian and returned as private employees with hefty pay raises. Burke defended the practice by saying it was the only way to keep those people from leaving for more lucrative jobs: "Offering a higher-paying trust position to these retiring federal employees was necessary to prevent them from offering their experience and talent to a private or nonprofit sector employer capable of paying far more than the federal pay system would allow."
January 31, 2007
Revolving Door Spins Both Ways
A post on the POGO Blog makes the point that the revolving door issue is bipartisan.
January 29, 2007
Consultants Not Bound by Restrictions
A study by the Center for Public Integrity found a new twist on the "revolving door" issue:
[I]ncreasingly campaign consultants are turning to lobbying once elections are over. And unlike federal legislators and their staff members, who are required to wait a year before lobbying former colleagues, consultants are not bound by rules slowing down the so-called "revolving door" between doing campaign work and lobbying.
September 17, 2004
Former Boeing Manager Expected to Plead Guilty to Conspiracy
This morning's Wall Street Journal article reports that a former midlevel Boeing Co. manager, Kenneth Branch, agreed in principle to plead guilty to conspiring to obtain Lockheed Martin's proprietary documents.