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Government. Employees are expected to maintain high standards of ethical, moral, and other conduct and to avoid any actions which could reflect adversely on the Department or the Government service or which would jeopardize the employee's effectiveness in dealings with his peers, supervisors, and the public.
(b) Actions to be avoided. An employee shall avoid any action, whether or not specifically prohibited by this subpart, which might result in, or create the appearance of:
(1) Using public office for private gain;
(2) Giving preferential treatment to any person;
(3) Impeding Government efficiency or economy;
(4) Losing complete independence or impartiality;
(5) Making a Government decision outside official channels; or
(6) Affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of the Government.
(41 FR 56101, Dec. 23, 1976, as amended at 44 FR 4322, Jan. 19, 1979)
may be accepted if no Government payment or reimbursement is made. However, an employee may not be reimbursed or payments made for him for excessive personal living expenses, gifts or entertainment or if such reimbursement is prohibited by law relating to the specific situation in which it is offered. An employee who is officially directed to participate in a convention, seminar, or similar meeting of an association on an active duty basis and is authorized to receive per diem and other travel expenses from the Government, shall not accept travel, subsistence, or payment of other expenses from the association or outside organization (46 CG 689).
(c) Exclusions. (1) The prohibitions of paragraph (a) of this section do not apply in the context of obvious family or personal relationships, such as those between the parents, children, or spouse of the employee and the employee, when the circumstances make it clear that it is those relationships rather than the business of the persons concerned which are the motivating factors;
(2) An employee may accept food and refreshments of nominal value on infrequent occasions in the ordinary course of a luncheon or dinner meeting or other meeting or on an inspection tour where an employee may properly be in attendance;
(3) An employee may accept loans from banks or other financial institutions on customary terms to finance proper and usual activities, such as home mortgage loans;
(4) An employee may accept unsolicited advertising or promotional material, such as pens, pencils, note pads, calendars, and other items of nominal value.
(e) Soliciting contributions. An employee shall not solicit a contribution from another employee for a gift to an official superior, make a donation as a gift to an official superior, or accept a gift from an employee receiving less pay than himself (5 U.S.C. 7351). However, this paragraph does not prohibit a voluntary gift of nominal value or donation in a nominal amount made on a special occasion such as a marriage, illness, or retirement.
8 20.735-32 Gifts, entertainment, and
favors. (a) Soliciting or accepting gifts. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, an employee shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan, or any other thing of monetary value, from a person who:
(1) Has, or is seeking to obtain, contractual or other business or financial relations with this Department;
(2) Conducts operations or activities that are regulated by this Department; or,
(3) Has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or non-performance of the employee's official duty.
(b) Voluntary donations. Except as specifically authorized by law, employees are not authorized to accept on behalf of the United States voluntary donations from private sources for travel expenses in the form of cash, or of services in kind, such as hotel accommodations. Bona fide reimbursement for actual expenses for travel and such other necessary subsistence
(f) Gifts from foreign government. (c) Preparing persons for examinaAn employee shall not accept a gift, tions. An employee shall not teach, present, decoration, or other thing lecture, or write to prepare a person or from a foreign government unless au- class of persons for an examination thorized by Congress as provided by given by the Civil Service Commission the Constitution and in 5 U.S.C. 7342.
or the Board of Examiners for the It is Congressional policy that employ
Foreign Service. ees and their families shall not accept
(d) Officers and officials. The Secreor retain gifts except under the follow
tary, the Under Secretary, Assistant ing circumstances:
Secretaries, heads of bureaus and (1) When the gift is of minimal value
other Department officers, and key and the gift is tendered as a souvenir
full-time officials who report directly or mark of courtesy; (2) When refusal of a gift of more
to the Secretary as his principal assis
tants, shall not receive compensation than minimal value would be likely to cause offense or embarrassment or
or anything of monetary value for any otherwise adversely affect the foreign
consultation, lecture, discussion, writrelations of the United States it may
ing or appearance the subject of be accepted. However:
which: (i) If gifts of more than minimal
(1) Is devoted substantially to the revalue are accepted they shall not be sponsibilities, programs, or operations retained. They must be deposited with
of this Department; or the Chief of Protocol, Department of (2) Draws substantially on official State, unless he has authorized the data or ideas which are not part of the Agency to retain the gift for official body of public information. use (22 CFR 3.5).
(ii) If a gift of more than minimal $ 20.735-34 Government property. value is tendered in the form of travel
(a) General responsibility. Employor accommodation expenses, the offer
ees shall be held accountable for Govshould be referred to the Department
ernment property and moneys entrustof State for handling in accordance
ed to their individual use or in connecwith the authorities of that Depart
tion with their official duties. It is ment. (iii) “Minimal value” is defined as a
their responsibility to protect and conretail value that would not exceed $50
serve Government property and to use
it economically and for official purin the United States.
poses only. (41 FR 56101, Dec. 23, 1976, as amended at (b) Misuse of Government vehicles. 44 FR 4322, Jan. 19, 1979)
Employees shall not use or authorize
the use of a Government-owned or $ 20.735-33 Teaching, lecturing and writing.
leased motor vehicle for other than of.
ficial purposes. (Interior Property (a) General Policy. Employees are
Management Regulations 114-38.50.) encouraged to engage in teaching, lec
(c) Misuse of Government aircraft. turing, or writing that is not prohibit
Employees shall not use or authorize ed by law, the Executive Order, Civil
the use of a Government-owned or Service regulations or the regulations
leased aircraft for other than official of this part. (b) Using information obtained be
purposes. (Interior Property Manage
ment Regulation 114-38.5312). cause of employment. An employee shall not teach, lecture, or write using
$ 20.735-36 Indebtedness. information obtained because of his or her Government employment, except
(a) Employee responsibility. An emwhen that information has been or on
ployee: request will be made available to the (1) Should pay each just financial general public, or when the Secretary obligation (one either acknowledged of the Interior or his designee gives by the employee or reduced to judgwritten authorization that use of non- ment by a court); public information is in the public in- (2) Must refund salary overpayterest.
ments, travel expense advances, and
pay income taxes when due so as not to embarrass the Department;
(3) Must pay a final determination of indebtedness for state or local taxes so as to prevent embarrassment to the Department.
(b) Department responsibility. The Department will not act as a collection agency for private debts owed by its employees, except as required by law, nor does the Department, or any bureau or office, determine the validity or amounts of disputed debts.
(c) Access to employees. Whether by telephone or otherwise, creditors or collectors shall not have access to employees on premises occupied by the Department during working hours. If, nevertheless, the employee is approached during working hours, he shall inform the creditor or collector that he is not allowed to transact private business during official hours and that any discussions must be held after hours and away from Department premises.
(d) Disciplinary action. An employee may be subject to removal if his failure to meet just financial obligations becomes chronic or causes an embarrassment to or places undue burden on the Department. A decision to remove an employee for these reasons must be taken with full consideration for any extenuating circumstances over which the employee has no control, such as sickness, accident, or death in the family.
ize the employee to proceed to negotiate.
(b) Selling or soliciting. 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 without proper permission.
(c) Gambling activity. An employee shall not participate while on duty for the Government in any gambling activity, including the operation of a gambling device, conducting a lottery or pool, participating in a game for money or property, or selling or purchasing a numbers slip or ticket. However, this paragraph does not preclude activities:
(1) Necessitated by the employee's law enforcement duties; or
(2) Carried out by employees to solicit their own members for support of employee organizations or welfare funds under policies and procedures approved by the Department.
(d) Money lending activities. The practice of money lending between or among employees is to be discouraged. Organized financial lending activities by employees, except when officially sponsored by the Department, are prohibited. Properly constituted employee credit unions that provide various financial services to employee members are sanctioned.
(e) Endorsements. Employees are prohibited from endorsing in an official capacity the proprietary products or processes of manufacturers or the services of commercial firms for advertising, publicity, or sales purposes. Use of materials, products, or services by the Department does not constitute official endorsement.
(f) Habitual use of intoxicants. An employee who habitually uses intoxicants to excess is subject to removal (5 U.S.C. 7352). Disciplinary action will be considered if an employee rejects or ignores treatment or other appropriate assistance.
(g) Community and professional activities. Employees are encouraged to participate in the activities of professional societies and civic organizations whose purpose and objectives are not inconsistent with those of the bureau in which they are employed or of the Department. However, such participa
$ 20.735-37 Specific types of conduct.
(a) Negotiations for employment. It is the policy of the Department that employees shall not negotiate for future non-Federal employment with persons or organizations having business with the Department which the employee is called upon to officially render advice on or make judgments about. In the event that an employee desires to negotiate for such employment, he or she shall request permission from his or her supervisor. The supervisor will consult with the appropriate ethics counselor. If the supervisor and the ethics counselor determine that the proposed negotiations will not adversely affect the Government's interests, the supervisor may author
tion must not affect adversely an employee's performance at his regularly assigned duties.
(h) Budget estimates and legislation. Since the enactment of the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, it has been Executive policy to consider budget estimates transmitted to the Congress with the approval of the President to be binding upon the executive departments and agencies. Employees are expected to conform to this policy by refraining from efforts to promote an increase in the Department budget as approved by the President. Employees are also required to refrain from promoting or opposing legislation relating to programs of the Department without the official sanction of the proper Department authority. It should be clearly understood, however, that nothing in this policy is to be considered as restraining or interfering with the obligation of employees to respond freely and candidly to any congressional inquiries made of them in regard to appropriations or related matters.
(i) Political activity. Subchapter III of Chapter 73 of Title 5, United States Code (formerly referred to as the Hatch Act) states generally that employees may not use their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or affecting its results, and they may not take an active part in political management or in political campaigns. An employee is subject to dismissal for violation. (5 CFR Part 733 and Chapter 733, Federal Personnel Manual.) Information regarding the prohibition against employees engaging in political activity, including certain exceptions, is contained in Pamphlet 20 “Political Activity of Federal Officers and Employees”, issued by the Civil Service Commission.
(j) Political affiliation. Under the Civil Service regulations, no person in the Executive Branch with authority to take or recommend a personnel action relative to a person in, or an eligible candidate or applicant for, a position in the competitive service, may make inquiry concerning his political affiliation. All disclosures concerning political affiliation shall be ignored. Except as may be authorized or re
quired by law, discrimination may not be exercised, threatened, or promised by any
person in the Executive Branch against or in favor of an employee in, or an eligible candidate or applicant for, a position in the competitive service because of his political affiliation (5 CFR, Part 733, and Chapter 733, Federal Personnel Manual).
(k) Equal employment opportunity policies. It is the policy of the Federal Government that there shall be no discrimination based on such factors as race, creed or religion, color, national origin, political affiliation, physical handicap, sex, age, union membership or non-membership, and similar matters not related to merit and fitness.
(1) Nepotism. Employment by reason of blood or marriage relationships rather than merit is prohibited. No employee shall supervise a member of his family except in emergency situations such as forest fires, floods, earthquakes, or at isolated field stations or where there is a shortage of quarters. Exceptions in other situations may be made with the approval of the head of the bureau office. (Regarding summer employees, refer to current Department directives.)
(m) Employee organizations. An employee may not knowingly be member of an organization of Government employees that advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government in the United States (5 U.S.C. 7311). Employees are also prohibited from striking against the Federal Government. Further information regarding employee affiliation with employee organizations is found in the Departmental Manual, Part 370, Chapter 711, Labor Management Relations.
(n) Patents. Patent regulations issued by the Secretary, 43 CFR 6, define the rights and obligations of employees with respect to any inventions made or developed while they are employed in the Department. Under the regulations each employee shall submit a report on any invention made or developed to the Solicitor, through supervisory channels. This includes inventions developed on Government time and those developed on the employee's time and with his materials.
ed to perform enforcement, police or similar duties requiring the use of firearms, are prohibited from carrying or having in their possession firearms on property under the control of the Secretary of the Interior. Notwithstanding this paragraph, employees may carry firearms on Interior lands under the same conditions and in accordance with procedures and authorization established for members of the general public.
Subpart D-Special Government Em
ployees Responsibilities, Ethical and Other Conduct
§ 20.735-41 Statutes relating to conflict of
interest. The Department of Justice in a memorandum of January 28, 1963, (28 FR 985; 18 U.S.C. 201 note), summarized the major provisions of the conflict of interest laws insofar as special Government employees are concerned as follows:
(0) Practitioners. The Department has adopted regulations and restrictions applicable to individuals who practice before the Department. These are included in 43 CFR 1. Former officers or employees, including special Government employees, cannot practice at any time with regard to matters in which they participated personally and substantially as a Government employee through decision, approval, disapproval, or recommendation. Also, if a period of one year has not passed since the termination of their employment with the Government, they cannot practice with regard to any matter that was under their official responsibility.
(p) Notary. An employee is prohibited from charging fees for performance of any notarial act for any employee of the Federal Government in his official capacity or for any person during the hours of such notary's service to the Government (E.O. 977, Nov. 24, 1908).
(q) Franking Privilege and Official Stationery. An employee is prohibited from using Government franked envelopes, with or without applied postage, or official letterhead stationery for personal business (18 U.S.C. 1719).
(r) Fraud or False Statements in a Government matter. Employees are responsible for certification on Government documents issued by them. Special attention is required in the Certification of Time and Attendance Reports, Applications for Employment, Requests for Travel Reimbursement, and Purchase Orders and Receiving forms (18 U.S.C. 1001).
(s) Embezzlement of Government property. Employees shall not convert, even temporarily on loan, for personal
any Government property equipment; nor use Government purchase authority, even though reimbursement is made, for personal acquisitions (18 U.S.C. 641, 643, and 654).
(t) Use of Official Title. Employees are prohibited from using their official titles in conducting private business or participation in private
public groups activities. Use is strictly limited to those occasions and circumstances where representation is official.
(u) Carrying of Weapons. Employees, except those specifically designat
1. (a) He may not, except in the discharge of his official duties, represent anyone else before a court or Government agency in a matter in which the United States is a party or has an interest and in which he has at any time participated personally and substantially for the Government (18 U.S.C. 203 and 205).
(b) He may not, except in the discharge of his official duties, represent anyone else in a matter pending before the agency he serves unless he has served there no more than 60 days during the past 365 (18 U.S.C. 203 and 205). He is bound by this restraint despite the fact that the matter is not one in which he has ever participated personally and substantially.
The restrictions described in subparagraphs (a) and (b) apply to both paid and unpaid representation of another. These restrictions in combination are, of course, less extensive than the one described in the corresponding paragraph 1 in the list set forth above with regard to regular employees.
2. He may not participate in his governmental capacity in any matter in which he, his spouse, minor child, outside business associate or person with whom he is negotiating for employment has a financial interest (18 U.S.C. 208).
3. He may not, after his Government employment has ended, represent anyone other than the United States in connection with a matter in which the United States is a party or has an interest and in which he