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The following training was created for the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) by Pamela Langer, Senior Counsel.

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Presentation on theme: "The following training was created for the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) by Pamela Langer, Senior Counsel."— Presentation transcript:

1 The following training was created for the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) by Pamela Langer, Senior Counsel. The only PAS appointee in HHS OIG is the IG. Therefore only SES and GS employees took this training. If you have PAS employees you will need to create slides discussing the rules that apply to them. You also need to consider your agency’s policies as they apply to the Hatch Act and incorporate those policies in your training. The training was created in Power Point and then put into html and placed on our internal training system so employees only took the section applicable to them. The Power Point can easily be divided if you are training only SES employees or other non-PAS employees.

2 The Hatch Act Participating in Partisan Politics

3 In the coming year partisan political campaigns will be in full swing. This module will help define what you, a federal employee, may or may not do when participating in partisan politics.

4 Senator Carl Hatch Photo from the US. Senate Historical Office. The Hatch Act, approved by Congress in 1939, limited the political activities of federal employees. In October 1993, the Hatch Act Reform Amendments lifted some of these restrictions, allowing most federal employees to participate in most partisan political activities while off duty.

5 Nonetheless, please be aware that you must scrupulously comply with the Hatch Act restrictions because the presumptive penalty for a knowing violation is removal and the minimum penalty is a 30-day suspension without pay.

6 What Is a Partisan Activity? An activity is "partisan" if it's related to an elected public office or an election in which: Any candidate running is a representative of a political party, and That political party had a candidate for President who made it on the ballot in at least one state and whose electors received at least one vote in the last presidential election. This photo and the following black and white photos in the Hatch Act Module are from the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection.

7 What Is a Non-partisan Activity? Any activity not specifically identified with a political party, such as a constitutional amendment, referendum, approval of a municipal ordinance, etc., would be considered non- partisan.

8 What Non-partisan Activities May You Participate In? You may: Run in a non-partisan election. Serve as an election judge or clerk, or a similar position, and perform nonpartisan duties as prescribed by state or local law. Participate in the nonpartisan activities of a civic, community, social, labor, or professional organization.

9 Hatch Act Restrictions The Hatch Act addresses three groups of federal employees with different rules for each. Other than the Inspector General (who is a Presidential Appointed Senate Confirmed (PAS) employee) there are two groups that OIG employees fall into. To learn how the Hatch Act affects you, click on the letter which best describes you position. (A) Career Senior Executive Service (SES)A (B) All othersB Note: To continue this module, you must click on one of the two options above.

10 You selected A: Career Senior Executive Service (SES). This section explains how the Hatch Act affects you as a member of this group. Note: The February 1994 amendments did not alter how the original Hatch Act governs your group.

11 As An SES Employee You May Do The Following : Register and vote as you choose. Make a financial contribution to a partisan political party or candidate. Sign nominating petitions. Assist in voter registration drives with organizations that are non-partisan, such as the League of Women Voters.

12 As An SES Employees You May Do The Following : Express opinions on candidates and issues. Join political clubs or parties. Attend, as a spectator, a partisan rally, convention or fundraiser on your own time.

13 You May NOT: Act as recorder, watcher, challenger, or similar partisan officer at polling places. Drive voters to the polls on behalf of a political party. Distribute campaign materials in partisan elections. Circulate nominating petitions either on or off government premises regarding a partisan matter.

14 You May NOT: Officially endorse or oppose a candidate for public office in a partisan election. Use official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the results of a partisan election. Solicit votes in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for public office in a partisan election.

15 You May NOT: Serve as an officer of a political party or political action committee. Take an active part in organizing or managing a partisan political campaign or event (or a rally or meeting). Make campaign speeches or engage in other campaign activities to elect partisan candidates.

16 You May NOT: Solicit or receive political contributions. Solicit for fundraisers, accept or receive money on behalf of a candidate, or have your name appear in any solicitation letters.

17 You May NOT: Place partisan bumper stickers on government vehicles. You may have 1 partisan bumper sticker on your personal vehicle parked in a government parking lot.

18 You May NOT: Bring the following types of items to the federal workplace: buttons, posters, coffee mugs, mouse pads, or similar items with the following messages: “Vote for _____” “I support _____” “Register for _____” (a particular political party).

19 You May NOT: Wear a uniform or official insignia identifying your office or position while participating in political activities. Wear a political badge or button on government premises.

20 You May NOT Use Government Time or Property To : Attend political events during duty hours. Use government facilities, equipment or supplies for political activities. Use a government office to hold any meetings with campaign staff. Solicit, accept, or receive uncompensated volunteer services from a subordinate. Solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business pending before you. Write or assist others in writing political speeches on official time.

21 NOTE: While on official travel, you may attend and participate in a political event provided you either: Accompany a PAS employee (appointed by the President, with advice and consent of the Senate), to provide agency required services such as security, administrative, or technical support, or, Go on your own time, such as evenings or weekends.

22 “GSA Chief Violated Hatch Act” In May 2007, the Office of Special Counsel found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan violated the Hatch Act when she allegedly asked GSA political appointees during a January briefing how they could “help our candidates” win the next election. The U.S. Special Counsel recommended that the President discipline General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan “to the fullest extent.”* * Because Ms. Doan is a presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate, it is up to the President to decide her fate. When this training went live, there still had not been a decision from the White House.

23 Ban on Internet Use for Partisan Politics Do not use the internet for partisan political activities! “Despite changes in technology, particularly the rise of the Internet, it remains the law that government resources must not be used for political activities.” Special Counsel Scott Bloch Sending partisan using government equipment, government time or government addresses, is considered to be electronic leafleting. The OSC, which enforces the Federal Hatch Act, recently meted out lengthy suspensions without pay to federal employees who used the internet for political activities. Note: This is a flat ban. There is no “limited personal use” exception.

24 Now that you have an overview, here are three scenarios to evaluate. Assume that you are the Ethics Advisor and an SES employee has come to you requesting advice about political involvement.

25 Scenario 1 A third-party candidate is hoping to run in the November election as a write-in candidate for President. A career SES employee wishes to circulate the candidate's nominating petition. If you were her Ethics Advisor, would you advise that: A. The career SES employee may circulate the petition at work. B. She may circulate the petition away from the office. C. She may not circulate the petition but may sign the petition.

26 The Correct Answer is C. She may sign the petition off government premises, but she may not circulate the petition either on or off government premises.

27 Scenario 2 A career SES employee in your office sent an on duty in a federal building to over 300 individuals with an attachment announcing a Halloween party for a U.S. Congressman seeking re-election. The described the Congressman in highly favorable terms and strongly encouraged recipients to attend the event. What is your assessment? Did the employee violate the Hatch Act? Please choose one of the following answers on the next slide:

28 Scenario 2 a.The employee sent his just to express his personal opinion on political matters, so he didn’t do anything wrong. b.The employee violated the Hatch Act because he used government time and property for partisan political activities. c.The employee violated the Hatch Act because by sending the message to over 300 individuals he engaged in electronic leafleting. d.Both b and c.

29 The Correct Answer is D. This scenario is based on an actual case. Rocky Morrill was found by OSC to have violated the Hatch Act by sending an while on duty and in a federal building, that was directed toward the success of a candidate for U.S. Representative. Sending a message to 300 individuals was not seen as a “substitute” for conversation with co-workers where you express your personal political opinion. The 60 day suspension was upheld by the MSPB.

30 Scenario 3 A career SES employee would like to wear a partisan candidate button on his suit jacket. He also asks if he may give out free bumper stickers after work in the government parking lot, when he is off duty. If you were his Ethics Advisor, how would you advise? A. He may wear his button at work but may not hand out free bumper stickers in the parking lot. B. He may wear his button at work and may also use his off- duty time to hand out the bumper stickers. C. He may not wear a partisan button at work nor distribute partisan political materials of any kind in the government parking lot.

31 The Correct Answer is C. He may not wear a button at work, nor pass out bumper stickers or campaign literature on government owned or leased premises. (He may, however, have one partisan bumper sticker on his personal car that he parks in the government parking lot.)

32 You Selected B. All Others.

33 You May Engage In The Following Activities: Register and vote as you choose. Assist in voter registration drives. Drive voters to the polls for a partisan political candidate or party. Express opinions about candidates and issues.

34 You May Engage In The Following Activities In Your Private Capacity: Attend and speak at political fundraisers. Publicly endorse candidates in your private capacity. Take an active part in managing a partisan political campaign or other partisan political activities off government premises. :

35 You May Engage In The Following Activities In Your Private Capacity: Contribute money to political organizations. Hold office in political clubs. Serve as a delegate, alternate, or proxy at a political convention. Set up accounting systems.

36 You May Not Solicit Or Receive Political Contributions. For example, a federal employee may not solicit for fundraisers, may not accept or receive money on behalf of a candidate, or have their name appear in any solicitation letters.

37 You are prohibited from bringing the following types of items to the federal workplace: Pictures, posters, coffee mugs, mouse pads, etc. with the following messages: “Vote for _____” “I support _____” “Register for _____” (a particular political party)

38 NOTE: While on official travel, you may attend a political event, only if you either: Accompany a PAS employee (appointed by the President with advice and consent of the Senate) to provide agency-required services such as security, administrative, or technical support, or Go on your own time, such as evenings or weekends.

39 You May NOT: Wear a uniform or official insignia identifying your office or position while participating in political activities. Wear a political badge or button on government premises.

40 You May Not: Use government facilities, equipment or supplies for political activities. Attend political events during duty hours. Use a government office to hold any meetings with campaign staff. Solicit, accept, or receive uncompensated volunteer services from a subordinate. Solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business pending before you. Write or assist others in writing political speeches on official time.

41 “GSA Chief Violated Hatch Act” In May 2007, the Office of Special Counsel found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan violated the Hatch Act when she allegedly asked GSA political appointees during a January briefing how they could “help our candidates” win the next election. The U.S. Special Counsel recommended that the President discipline General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan "to the fullest extent.“* * Because Ms. Doan is a presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate, it is up to the President to decide her fate. When this training went live, there still had not been a decision from the White House.

42 You May Not Place partisan bumper stickers on government vehicles. You may have 1 partisan bumper sticker on your personal vehicle parked in a government parking lot.

43 Ban on Internet Use for Partisan Politics Do not use the internet for partisan political activities! “Despite changes in technology, particularly the rise of the Internet, it remains the law that government resources must not be used for political activities.” Special Counsel Scott Bloch Sending partisan using government equipment, government time or government addresses, is considered to be electronic leafleting. The OSC, which enforces the Federal Hatch Act, recently meted out lengthy suspensions without pay to federal employees who used the internet for political activities. Note: This is a flat ban. There is no “limited personal use” exception.

44 Now that you have an overview, here are four scenarios to evaluate. Assume that you are the Ethics Advisor and a GS employee has come to you requesting advice about political involvement.

45 Scenario 1 A GS-13 career federal employee’s spouse is running for local office in a partisan election. She (the spouse) wants to hold a fundraiser. If you were his Ethics Advisor, would you advise that: A. As the spouse of the candidate, his name may be on the invitations, but his title may not be included. B. He may attend, but not use his name or title on the invitations. C. He may not participate in any way.

46 Answer B is Correct. The fundraiser may be held at his home and he may attend, but he should not do anything that would give the impression that he is hosting the fundraiser. His name and/or title may not be used on the invitations and he may not accept donations on his wife's behalf, but he may direct donors to other campaign workers.

47 Scenario 2 A GS-13 part-time OIG employee wants to work as an events organizer on the campaign staff for a Republican candidate. If you were her Ethics Advisor, would you advise that: A. She may be employed and paid by the campaign as an events organizer. B. She may be a voluntary events organizer. C. She may not organize events for the campaign. D. Both A and B.

48 D is Correct. She may be employed by the campaign for pay as an events organizer, but must engage in these campaign activities on her own time, away from government premises. She may also organize events as a volunteer for any campaign activity on her own time. She may not solicit contributions at any time.

49 Scenario 3 A GS-9 employee (career) is very involved in politics and wants to wear a variety of partisan candidate buttons on his suit jacket. He asks if he may give out free bumper stickers after work in the government parking lot, when he and any interested individuals are off duty. Select the correct answer from the choices on the next slide:

50 Scenario 3 If you were his Ethics Advisor, would you advise that: A. He may wear his buttons at work but may not hand out free bumper stickers in the parking lot. B. He may wear his buttons at work and may also use his off-duty time to hand out the bumper stickers. C. He may not wear partisan buttons at work nor distribute partisan political materials of any kind in the government parking lot.

51 The Correct Answer is C: He may not wear a button at work, nor pass out bumper stickers or campaign literature on government owned or leased premises. (He may, however, have one partisan bumper sticker on his personal car that he parks in the government parking lot.)

52 Scenario 4 Rocky, a GS employee, sent an while on duty in a federal building to over 300 individuals with an attachment announcing a Halloween party for a U.S. Congressman seeking re-election. The described the Congressman in highly favorable terms and strongly encouraged recipients to attend the event. How would you analyze this? Did Rocky violate the Hatch Act? Select the correct answer from the choices on the next slide:

53 Scenario 4 a.Rocky used his just to express his personal opinion on political matters, so he didn’t do anything wrong. b.Rocky violated the Hatch Act because he used government time and property for partisan political activities. c.Rocky violated the Hatch Act because by sending the message to over 300 individuals he engaged in electronic leafleting. d.Both b and c.

54 The Correct Answer is D. This scenario is based on an actual case. Rocky Morrill was found by OSC to have violated the Hatch Act by sending an while on duty and in a federal building that was directed toward the success of a candidate for U.S. Representative. Sending a message to 300 individuals was not seen as a “substitute” for conversation with co-workers where you express your personal political opinion. The 60 day suspension was upheld by the MSPB.

55 For more information on the Hatch Act see:


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