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United States Office of Government Ethics, Preventing Conflicts of Interest in the Executive Branch


The conduct of executive branch employees is governed by criminal and civil statutes (and by an administrative code of conduct and certain other legal authorities).  The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) does not have authority to provide guidance concerning every statute that restricts employee conduct.  This website is focused on statutes that are both central to the executive branch ethics program and that fall within OGE’s purview, but it may reference 18 U.S.C. § 201 or another statute that is relevant to a website topic, even though OGE lacks authority to interpret the provision.

Except as otherwise indicated, the hyperlinks to the text of each statute link to the Federal Digital System (FDsys).  The Office of the Law Revision Counsel  of the U.S. House of Representatives is responsible for updating and maintaining the United States Code.

Criminal Statutes
The bribery and illegal gratuities statute (18 U.S.C. § 201) and the “criminal conflict of interest statutes” (18 U.S.C. §§ 202-209) are codified in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 11.  These statutes were enacted in 1962 by Public Law 87-849 as part of a major revision of the then-existing conflict of interest laws.  Each has been amended since its original enactment.
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Civil Statutes
The civil statutes are codified in 5 U.S.C. app. 4.  These statutes were enacted by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-521), or by a subsequent amendment to that Act.  Each has been amended since its original enactment.
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Other Statutes
Selected other statutes are listed in OGE’s 
Compilation of Federal Ethics Laws or in subpart I of 5 C.F.R. part 2635, or are referenced elsewhere on this website where relevant.
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All Statutes
List of all statutes