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U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey 2013 Annual Ethics Training Nancy Baumgartner Deputy Ethics Counselor November 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey 2013 Annual Ethics Training Nancy Baumgartner Deputy Ethics Counselor November 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey 2013 Annual Ethics Training Nancy Baumgartner Deputy Ethics Counselor November 2013

2 2 Federal regulations require that all financial disclosure report filers receive annual ethics training All SES, SL, and ST employees are public financial disclosure report filers (OGE Form 278). The criteria for whether an employee must file a confidential financial disclosure report (OGE Form 450) is at 5 C.F.R and on the Ethics Office webpage – Why is this training required?

3 3 What do you need to do to receive credit for taking this training? You must: 1) review these slides and the links within them AND 2) send an to certifying you have reviewed these slides and the links within If you have any questions or comments, please include them in your certification to

4 4 Topics required by regulation to be in annual ethics training Criminal conflict of interest ethics statutes, 18 U.S.C. §§ 201 through 209 –http://www.oge.gov/displaytemplates/statuteslanding.aspx?i d=166&langtype=1033http://www.oge.gov/displaytemplates/statuteslanding.aspx?i d=166&langtype=1033 Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. Part 2635 –http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text- idx?c=ecfr&SID= d94ffd60e785fa&rgn= div5&view=text&node=5: &idno=5http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text- idx?c=ecfr&SID= d94ffd60e785fa&rgn= div5&view=text&node=5: &idno=5 14 Principles of Ethical Conduct –http://www.oge.gov/Laws-and-Regulations/Executive- Orders/Exec-Order-HTML-Pages/Executive-Order (Oct--17,-1990)---Principles-of-Ethical-Conduct-for- Government-Officers-and-Employeeshttp://www.oge.gov/Laws-and-Regulations/Executive- Orders/Exec-Order-HTML-Pages/Executive-Order (Oct--17,-1990)---Principles-of-Ethical-Conduct-for- Government-Officers-and-Employees

5 5 Topics required by regulation to be in annual ethics training, cont’d Supplemental DOI ethics regulations, 5 C.F.R. Part 3501 –Restrictions on financial holdings of USGS employees –Requirement to obtain prior approval for outside work and activities –http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text- idx?rgn=div5&node=5: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text- idx?rgn=div5&node=5: Contact information for the Ethics Office –http://www.usgs.gov/quality_integrity/downloads/USGS%20 Ethics%20Office%20contact%20and%20specialization%20c hart%20(Nov%202010).dochttp://www.usgs.gov/quality_integrity/downloads/USGS%20 Ethics%20Office%20contact%20and%20specialization%20c hart%20(Nov%202010).doc

6 6 18 U.S.C. § Bribery of public officials and witnesses is prohibited 18 U.S.C. § Definitions 18 U.S.C. § Federal employees may not receive compensation for representing third parties to any Government agencies 18 U.S.C. § Federal employees may not represent third parties in claims against and in other matters affecting the Government 18 U.S.C. § Post-Government employment restrictions Summary of criminal ethics statutes

7 7 Summary of criminal ethics statutes, cont’d 18 U.S.C. § Government employees may not be officially involved in particular matters that will have a direct and predictable effect on their financial interests or in entities in which they have a financial interest 18 U.S.C. § Federal employees may not receive compensation from a non-Federal source for their official duties Link to statutes on the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) website –http://www.oge.gov/displaytemplates/statuteslanding.aspx? id=166&langtype=1033http://www.oge.gov/displaytemplates/statuteslanding.aspx? id=166&langtype=1033

8 Impartiality in performing official duties Seeking other employment Misuse of position Outside work and activities Fundraising Basic obligations of public service Gifts from outside sources Gifts between employees Conflicting financial interests 8 Ethics topics in the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch

9 Use of Gov’t property, time, and information Gambling, raffles, and betting pools Serving as an expert witness Procurement Integrity Act Seeking non-Federal employment Disclosure of financial interests 14 Principles of Ethical Conduct Government-wide ethics laws DOI-specific ethics rules Gifts Travel Outside work and activities Political activity Use of public office 9 Ethics topics in the Ethics Guide for DOI Employees

10 Ethics Guide for DOI Employees Can be downloaded at the Ethics Office section of the Office of Science Quality and Integrity (OSQI) website –http://www.usgs.gov/quality_integrit y/downloads/Ethics%20Guide%20fo r%20DOI%20Employees%20(2013).d ocxhttp://www.usgs.gov/quality_integrit y/downloads/Ethics%20Guide%20fo r%20DOI%20Employees%20(2013).d ocx To order copies for your office, contact Kathy Haumann, Ethics Program Assistant,

11 11 How and when should you contact the Ethics Office? Ask questions in advance of taking action Send an to Call or an ethics counselor –Nancy Baumgartner, Deputy Ethics Counselor, , –Ken Belongia, Assistant Ethics Counselor, , –Sharon Bonney, Ethics Program Specialist, , Please put the topic of your inquiry in the subject line See next slides for our areas of specialization

12 12 Nancy Baumgartner’s areas of specialization –Outside work and activities –Teaching, speaking, and writing –Scientific integrity –Training requests –Volunteers –Scientist Emeritus ethics rules

13 13 Ken Belongia’s areas of specialization –Authorizations of assignment to serve as an officers or board members of professional scientific organizations –Federal liaison agreements –Seeking employment and post-Government employment restrictions and guidance –Technology transfer authorities CRADAs, tech transfer agreements, facility use agreements –Financial disclosure reports (OGE Form 278 and OGE Form 450) –STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act –Financial Guide for USGS Employees –Endorsement issues –Royalties/Mineral Lease waiver requests

14 14 Sharon Bonney’s areas of specialization –Acceptance of travel expenses (for foreign and domestic travel) from non-Federal entities DI-2000 –Contributions to the USGS Form –Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) –Financial disclosure reports (OGE Form 450)

15 15 If you’ll be serving in your personal capacity, submit a USGS Form (Request for Ethics Approval to Engage in Outside Work or Activities) via Webforms. Note: you may not use your USGS or phone number on organization websites If you’ll be serving in your official USGS capacity, you must have a formal authorization of assignment from the USGS Director in place PRIOR to taking any actions in that capacity Start the process EARLY Information on the authorization of assignment process is at Considering serving as an officer or board member of a professional scientific organization?

16 16 Service with professional scientific organizations Retroactive authorizations of assignment are not permitted You must articulate why service in your official capacity will benefit the USGS (this will be included in an MOU with the organization) Service as a journal editor, committee chair, conference planner, or other participation with organizations in your official capacity requires a determination from your supervisor that such work is a good use of Government time and resources and is in the best interests of the USGS, but does not require an authorization of assignment (and the Ethics Office does not need to be involved) Service as an non-voting Federal liaison is also possible –Contact Ken Belongia to initiate the process of obtaining a formal liaison agreement

17 17 Can the USGS accept travel expenses from non-Federal sources? 31 U.S.C. § 1353 permits Federal agencies to accept travel expenses from non-Federal entities For attendance at meetings, workshops, training, conferences, or “similar events” Over $900K accepted by USGS in FY 13 Contact Sharon Bonney at or if you have questions

18 18 Acceptance of travel expenses from non- Federal sources Prior written approval via Form DI-2000 is required (or within 7 days of travel, if exigent circumstances) Employee must be in official travel status Employee may accept “in kind” travel expenses Voucher must reflect what has been received Employees may not personally accept cash or checks for reimbursement For international travel, annotate the legal authority of 31 U.S.C. § 1353 on your Form DI-1175

19 19 May USGS employees donate travel expenses or waive M&IE? On March 14, 2013, the Departmental Ethics Office informed the USGS Ethics Office that USGS employees may no longer voluntarily donate travel expenses to the USGS or voluntarily forfeit any of the M&IE to which they are entitled Travel expenses incurred while on official travel must be paid for by the Government

20 20 Acceptance of funding to conduct field work or research Collaborative agreements, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and Technical Assistance Agreements, may enable the USGS to receive funding to cover employees’ salaries and travel expenses –Contact your Administrative Officer for assistance in preparing these agreements –The Office of Policy and Analysis has developed a Technology Transfer Handbook transfer/handbk.htmlhttp://www.usgs.gov/tech- transfer/handbk.html

21 21 How can contributions to the USGS be accepted? Acceptance must not present a conflict of interest and the integrity and impartiality of DOI and USGS programs must be maintained SM Chapter restricts acceptance of contributions from an entity with contracts or agreements with USGS or a company listed in the Financial Guide for USGS Employees –http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/financial_guide.htmlhttp://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/financial_guide.html Contributions must be documented via USGS Form –Ethics Office concurrence with Regional Director or Associate Director acceptance is required for all contributions valued at over $50,000

22 22 Can you accept a gift from an outside source? Federal employees may not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, a gift from a “prohibited source” OR offered due to their official position A prohibited source is –a person, company, or organization that does business (or is seeking to do business) with the USGS; or –an entity the can be affected by the performance or nonperformance of official duties; or –any professional, technical, or trade association, the majority of whose members represent prohibited sources; or –outside organizations that seek to influence the Government

23 23 Gift exceptions Not everything an employee may be offered is considered to be a gift –Snacks (coffee, donuts, etc., not part of a meal) –Greeting cards, certificates, trophies –Prizes in contests open to the public (with no registration fee) –Commercial discounts –If employee pays fair market value –If Federal Government pays Some gifts shouldn’t be accepted, even if an exception applies Consider appearances

24 24 Gift exceptions, cont’d Gifts valued at $20 or less per source per occasion ($50/year) Gifts based on personal relationships –developed outside of and independent from work Sharing perishable items within office Awards for meritorious public service or achievement –with Ethics Office approval Exceptions are explained in detail at 5 C.F.R. §

25 25 Can you accept a gift from employee who reports to you? It depends on the reason for the gift and its value The rule (and exceptions to the rule) are explained in detail in the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. § § through 304 –http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text- idx?c=ecfr&SID= d94ffd60e785fa&rgn= div5&view=text&node=5: &idno=5#5: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text- idx?c=ecfr&SID= d94ffd60e785fa&rgn= div5&view=text&node=5: &idno=5#5:

26 26 When do you need Ethics Office approval to engage in outside work or activities? Ethics Office approval is required prior to engaging in outside work or activity (paid or unpaid) that is –related to a USGS employee's job duties or the USGS mission, –performed for a prohibited source as defined in 5 C.F.R , or –performed for an outside entity (e.g., a company, State/local government, individual, or organization) whose interests are related to the USGS

27 27 How do you request Ethics Office approval to engage in outside work or activities? Submit a USGS Form via Sharepoint Webforms Outside work and activities must not be in conflict with an employee's official duties and must not be or appear to be in conflict with the mission of the USGS Outside work or activities will not be approved if they might create confusion on the part of the public Employees will not be authorized to perform outside work that would tend to influence their impartial judgment on any matters coming before them in the course of their official duties

28 28 Selling and soliciting on Gov’t property is prohibited Selling or soliciting on DOI-owned or -leased property is prohibited, except in limited circumstances. This prohibition includes the sale of Girl Scout cookies, school fundraisers, etc. 43 C.F.R. § states: “Employees and other persons are prohibited from selling or soliciting for personal gain within any building or on any lands occupied or used by the Department. Exception is granted for Department-authorized operations, including, but not limited to, the Interior Department Recreation Association, the Indian Arts and Crafts store, and cafeteria, newsstand, snack bar, and vending machine operations which are authorized by the Department for the benefit of employees or the public.”

29 29 Can you hold or sign a natural gas lease? All USGS employees, their spouses, and minor children are restricted by DOI regulation, 5 C.F.R. § (b), from holding direct or indirect financial interests (such as leases) related to private mining activities (defined as exploration, development, or production of oil, gas, and other minerals) in the United States This is in addition to the regulation that prohibits USGS employees, their spouses, or minor children from holding financial interests in companies that have substantial coal, oil, and gas leases on Federal lands –Contact Ken Belongia for information on limited exceptions to these restrictions

30 30 Are you thinking of retiring or getting a new job? Avoid conflicts of interest Don’t take any official actions that could affect the financial interests of your prospective employer You are “seeking employment” if you don’t completely decline even an indirect comment about possible future employment SES, SL, and ST personnel must notify the Ethics Office within 3 business days of entering into negotiations or an agreement for post-Government employment –Required by the STOCK Act

31 31 Post-Government employment restrictions Information on seeking employment and post- Government employment restrictions is on the Ethics Office webpage –http://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/basic-8.htmlhttp://internal.usgs.gov/ops/hro/ethics/basic-8.html Contact Ken Belongia if you have questions or need additional information

32 The USGS Ethics Office (office box) FAX Nancy Baumgartner, Deputy Ethics Counselor , Ken Belongia, Assistant Ethics Counselor , Sharon Bonney, Ethics Program Specialist , Kathy Haumann, Ethics Program Assistant , 32

33 33 What do you need to do to receive credit for taking this training? You must: 1) review these slides and the links within them AND 2) send an to certifying you have reviewed these slides and the links within

34 34 Thank you for your time and attention If you have any questions or comments, please include them in your certification to These slides will be posted to the Office of Science Quality and Integrity website


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