The Legal Advisories page contains the DAEOgrams on substantive ethics issues published by OGE from 1992 to 2010, the Advisory Opinions published by OGE from 1979 to 2010, and the Legal Advisories, which OGE began publishing in 2011. On occasion, OGE will add notes to past guidance documents when that guidance is updated or superseded by law, regulation, or subsequent OGE guidance.
90x27: Applicability of the Honoraria Ban to Payment for Encyclopedia Articles
The honoraria ban prevents government employees from receiving fees for any nonfiction article they may want to publish and likely applies to the encyclopedia articles and contributions. [Note: The honoraria ban was subsequently held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. National Treasury Employees Union
, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).]
90x28: Applicability of the Honoraria Ban to Payment for Works of Science Fiction
The honoraria ban does not include works of fiction, poetry, lyrics or scripts and would not prohibit a government employee from publishing science fiction stories. [Note: The honoraria ban was subsequently held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. National Treasury Employees Union
, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).]
90x26: Applicability of the Honoraria Ban to Payment for Tour Guide Services
The honoraria ban does not apply to part-time work as a licensed tour guide. [Note: The honoraria ban was subsequently held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. National Treasury Employees Union
, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).]
90x25: Applicability of the Honoraria Ban to Compensation for Writing Works of Fiction
The honoraria ban likely does not apply to works of fiction, the publication of a book, or consulting fees for providing expert advice and opinions. [Note: The honoraria ban was subsequently held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. National Treasury Employees Union
, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).]
90x24: Effect of Title VI of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989
This memorandum provides initial guidance regarding the application of Title VI of the Ethics Reform Act, specifically provisions that prohibit the receipt of honoraria and limit the outside earned income and employment of certain high-level noncareer employees. [Note: The honoraria ban was subsequently held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. National Treasury Employees Union
, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).]
90x23: Speech-Writing and the Honoraria Ban
The honoraria ban does not prohibit a part-time government employee from receiving income for writing speeches for others. [Note: The honoraria ban was subsequently held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. National Treasury Employees Union
, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).]
90x22: Application of Restrictions on Outside Earning and Employment Activities
The restrictions in Title VI of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 on outside earning and employment activities apply to an agency board member, despite specific statutory job requirements, because the member is a non-career officer of the government, is compensated at a rate in excess of the GS-16 rate, and is not a special Government employee.
90x21: Service Outside the Government in a Private or Official Capacity
The facts presented to OGE indicate that an agency board member’s participation in the Citizen Ambassador Program is so closely connected with his agency responsibilities that it can be considered official rather than private participation; however, the agency must determine that the board member's participation in an official capacity is appropriate. If participation is official, the agency would be obligated to pay all expenses in connection with such official travel, unless reimbursement were determined to be permissible under relevant gift-acceptance statutes.
90x20: Applicability of the Outside Earned Income Limitation
The outside earned income limitation does not exempt donations to charity in amounts exceeding the limitation; it cannot be avoided by accepting compensation in a forms other than cash; it includes dividend received from a corporation to operate a business; and it encompasses deferred payments for services that were performed in the calendar year.
90x19: Former Agency Official Participation in a Press Release
18 U.S.C. § 207 does not bar a former government official who was responsible for developing standards for a specific product from appearing in a press release as the official would not be endorsing a particular brand of the specific product, would not be compensated for his appearance, and has no financial interest in the specific products.
90x18: Effect of Amendments to Section 27 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act
In response to 1989 amendments to section 27 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, OGE prepared this memorandum to assist agencies in obtaining procurement official certifications and to satisfy the minimum requirement of Subsection 27(l) for a procurement ethics program that furnishes a written explanation of pertinent provisions of the law.
90x17: Ethics Reform Act of 1989 Amendments to 18 U.S.C. § 207
This memorandum summarizes the effect of Public Law 101-194 and 101-280 amendments made to 18 U.S.C. § 207 post-government service employment restrictions. Further guidance was provided in revised 5 C.F.R. part 2637 regulations. [5 C.F.R. part 2637 is applicable to employees who terminated service prior to January 1, 1991. 5 C.F.R. part 2641 provides guidance to employees terminating service on or after January 1, 1991.]
90x16: Agreements Allowing the Use of Agency Employee Photographs and Signatures
It would be inappropriate for current government employees to reach an agreement allowing the use of their photographs and/or signatures on trading cards that a private company proposes to sell on a non-profit basis to emphasize the importance of an agency mission and the benefits associated with the agency’s programs. (cites former 5 C.F.R. part 735)
90x15: Conflicts of Interest and Personal Representations to a Licensing Commission
The conflict of interest statutes and regulatory standards of conduct do not prohibit a federal employee who filed for a license on her own behalf prior to becoming a Federal employee from appearing before or making personal representations to the licensing commission as long as she adheres to her recusal and does not focus on her Federal position during the license application process.
90x14: Eligibility of Interests held by Employee as Co-Trustee of Trust for Certificate of Divestiture
Not all transactions and occurrences which result in the realization of ordinary or capital gains income by parties effectuating ethics agreements fall within the statutory scheme of section 1043. OGE has a policy against issuing a Certificate of Divestiture in a case where the effect would be to grant an unfair and unintended benefit.
90x13: Eligibility of Interests in Employee Stock Ownership Plan for Certificate of Divestiture
In the absence of a demonstration that the employee’s interest in the corporation shares is not eligible for rollover treatment, a certificate will not be issued with respect to his interest in the plan. The demonstration must satisfy OGE that the plan administrator could not make a qualifying distribution where 402(f) would apply.
90x12: Application of 18 U.S.C. § 207(a) and (b)(i)
OGE analyzes whether a certain project can be viewed as particular matter with specific parties under 18 U.S.C. § 207. OGE found that the numerous specific steps taken in preparation for a solicitation were sufficient to characterize the contract as a particular matter prior to the former employee’s departure.
90x11: Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207 to a Former Senior Executive Service Employee
OGE discusses the applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 207’s post-employment restrictions to a former Senior Executive Service employee. The restrictions of 207(c), when applied to those positions designated as Senior Employee positions, attach to the person actually serving in a designated position.
90x10: Employment Restrictions that Apply to an Individual Retired from the Uniformed Services
OGE responds to concerns regarding the legality of an individual retired from the armed services serving in various capacities with a corporation. The primary restrictions applicable to former Government employees are found at 18 U.S.C. § 207. Other statutes that may apply include 10 U.S.C. § 2379b, 18 U.S.C. § 281 and 18 U.S.C. § 203.
90x9: Discussion of 18 U.S.C. § 207
The criminal conflict of interest statute that applies to a former Federal Government employee is 18 U.S.C. § 207. There are four proscriptions in 207, of which two, those in subsections (a) and (b)(i), could affect a non-Senior Employee’s potential employment opportunities. [cites former 5 C.F.R. part 737]
90x8: Acceptance by Retired Federal Employee of Gifts from a Foreign Government
Current civilian employees of the Federal Government are subject to restrictions relating to their acceptance of gifts and employment from foreign governments. Retired civilian employees, however, are not subject to these restrictions.
90x7: Bilateral Trade Agreements as Particular Matters
OGE discusses the application of 18 U.S.C. § 207 to a former government employee. Particularly, OGE discusses 18 U.S.C. § 207 as applied to bilateral trade agreements as particular matters involving specific parties and renegotiation of bilateral trade agreements as the same particular matter. [cites former 5 C.F.R. part 737]
90x6: Response to Concerns about the Ethics Reform Act of 1989
OGE responds to concerns that the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 would impede the volunteerism of Federal employees. The conflicts of interest statutes that raise concerns (18 U.S.C. §§ 205 and 208) are not new to the Ethics Reform Act.
90x5: Conflicts of Interest for Law Students in a Criminal Justice Clinic and Employed by the Federal Government
Conflicts of interest can arise when a law student is in a criminal justice clinic and employed by the Federal Government. A student’s appointment with the Federal Government (whether they are a special Government employee and how long they have worked for the agency) will determine the application of the criminal conflict of interest statute.
90x4: Availability of Executive Branch Employees to Serve as Expert Witnesses
An executive branch employee may serve as an expert witness. The Courts have recognized that agencies have a right to establish “housekeeping” rules governing the use of agency information and personnel in litigation. The Standards of Conduct apply to an employee providing expert testimony in their personal capacity. [cites former 5 CFR 735]
90x3: Conflict of Interest Restrictions on Former Government Attorney
Both 18 U.S.C. § 207 as well as 18 U.S.C. § 203 have provisions that prevent a former Federal employee from representing a party before the individual’s former agency or in court against specific charges filed with that agency. [cites former 5 C.F.R. part 737]
90x2: Inclusion of Tax Lien in Financial Disclosure Report
A tax lien is not a mortgage and therefore would not fall under the exception in section 102(a)(4) of the Ethics in Government Act. As a result, a tax liability would need to be reported in a financial disclosure report.
90x1: Ethical Concerns with Federal Employees Serving as Symposium Speakers
A Federal employee is free to participate in nonprofit organization programs as an uncompensated speaker, instructor or panelist in his personal capacity, whether or not the organization is charging a fee for attendance. Employees may not use or permit the use of their official title, position, or authority to further interests.