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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 19, 2014

Title 5Chapter XVISubchapter BPart 2635 → Subpart F


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 2635—STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH


Subpart F—Seeking Other Employment


Contents
§2635.601   Overview.
§2635.602   Applicability and related considerations.
§2635.603   Definitions.
§2635.604   Disqualification while seeking employment.
§2635.605   Waiver or authorization permitting participation while seeking employment.
§2635.606   Disqualification based on an arrangement concerning prospective employment or otherwise after negotiations.

§2635.601   Overview.

This subpart contains a disqualification requirement that applies to employees when seeking employment with persons whose financial interests would be directly and predictably affected by particular matters in which the employees participate personally and substantially. Specifically, it addresses the requirement of 18 U.S.C. 208(a) that an employee disqualify himself from participation in any particular matter that will have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of a person “with whom he is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment.” See §2635.402 and §2640.103 of this chapter. Beyond this statutory requirement, it also addresses the issues of lack of impartiality that require disqualification from particular matters affecting the financial interests of a prospective employer when an employee's actions in seeking employment fall short of actual employment negotiations.

[57 FR 35042, Aug. 7, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 13064, Mar. 17, 1999]

§2635.602   Applicability and related considerations.

To ensure that he does not violate 18 U.S.C. 208(a) or the principles of ethical conduct contained in §2635.101(b), an employee who is seeking employment or who has an arrangement concerning prospective employment shall comply with the applicable disqualification requirements of §§2635.604 and 2635.606 if particular matters in which the employee will be participating personally and substantially would directly and predictably affect the financial interests of a prospective employer or of a person with whom he has an arrangement concerning prospective employment. Compliance with this subpart also will ensure that the employee does not violate subpart D or E of this part.

Note: An employee who is seeking employment with a person whose financial interests are not affected directly and predictably by particular matters in which he participates personally and substantially has no obligation under this subpart. An employee may, however, be subject to other statutes which impose requirements on employment contacts or discussions, such as 41 U.S.C. 423(c), applicable to agency officials involved in certain procurement matters.

(a) Related employment restrictions—(1) Outside employment while a Federal employee. An employee who is contemplating outside employment to be undertaken concurrently with his Federal employment must abide by any limitations applicable to his outside activities under subparts G and H of this part. He must also comply with any disqualification requirement that may be applicable under subpart D or E of this part as a result of his outside employment activities.

(2) Post-employment restrictions. An employee who is contemplating employment to be undertaken following the termination of his Federal employment should consult an agency ethics official to obtain advice regarding any post-employment restrictions that may be applicable. Regulations implementing the Governmentwide post-employment statute, 18 U.S.C. 207, are contained in parts 2637 and 2641 of this chapter. Employees are cautioned that they may be subject to additional statutory prohibitions on post-employment acceptance of compensation from contractors, such as 41 U.S.C. 423(d).

(b) Interview trips and entertainment. Where a prospective employer who is a prohibited source as defined in §2635.203(d) offers to reimburse an employee's travel expenses, or provide other reasonable amenities incident to employment discussions, the employee may accept such amenities in accordance with §2635.204(e)(3).

[57 FR 35042, Aug. 7, 1992, as amended at 62 FR 48748, Sept. 17, 1997; 64 FR 13064, Mar. 17, 1999]

§2635.603   Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart:

(a) Employment means any form of non-Federal employment or business relationship involving the provision of personal services by the employee, whether to be undertaken at the same time as or subsequent to Federal employment. It includes but is not limited to personal services as an officer, director, employee, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, general partner or trustee.

Example 1: An employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs who has announced her intention to retire is approached by tribal representatives concerning a possible consulting contract with the tribe. The independent contractual relationship the tribe wishes to negotiate is employment for purposes of this subpart.
Example 2: An employee of the Department of Health and Human Services is invited to a meeting with officials of a nonprofit corporation to discuss the possibility of his serving as a member of the corporation's board of directors. Service, with or without compensation, as a member of the board of directors constitutes employment for purposes of this subpart.

(b) An employee is seeking employment once he has begun seeking employment within the meaning of paragraph (b)(1) of this section and until he is no longer seeking employment within the meaning of paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(1) An employee has begun seeking employment if he has directly or indirectly:

(i) Engaged in negotiations for employment with any person. For these purposes, as for 18 U.S.C. 208(a), the term negotiations means discussion or communication with another person, or such person's agent or intermediary, mutually conducted with a view toward reaching an agreement regarding possible employment with that person. The term is not limited to discussions of specific terms and conditions of employment in a specific position;

(ii) Made an unsolicited communication to any person, or such person's agent or intermediary, regarding possible employment with that person. However, the employee has not begun seeking employment if that communication was:

(A) For the sole purpose of requesting a job application; or

(B) For the purpose of submitting a resume or other employment proposal to a person affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties only as part of an industry or other discrete class. The employee will be considered to have begun seeking employment upon receipt of any response indicating an interest in employment discussions; or

(iii) Made a response other than rejection to an unsolicited communication from any person, or such person's agent or intermediary, regarding possible employment with that person.

(2) An employee is no longer seeking employment when:

(i) The employee or the prospective employer rejects the possibility of employment and all discussions of possible employment have terminated; or

(ii) Two months have transpired after the employee's dispatch of an unsolicited resume or employment proposal, provided the employee has received no indication of interest in employment discussions from the prospective employer.

(3) For purposes of this definition, a response that defers discussions until the foreseeable future does not constitute rejection of an unsolicited employment overture, proposal, or resume nor rejection of a prospective employment possibility.

Example 1: An employee of the Health Care Financing Administration is complimented on her work by an official of a State Health Department who asks her to call if she is ever interested in leaving Federal service. The employee explains to the State official that she is very happy with her job at HCFA and is not interested in another job. She thanks him for his compliment regarding her work and adds that she'll remember his interest if she ever decides to leave the Government. The employee has rejected the unsolicited employment overture and has not begun seeking employment.
Example 2: The employee in the preceding example responds by stating that she cannot discuss future employment while she is working on a project affecting the State's health care funding but would like to discuss employment with the State when the project is completed. Because the employee has merely deferred employment discussions until the foreseeable future, she has begun seeking employment with the State Health Department.
Example 3: An employee of the Defense Contract Audit Agency is auditing the overhead accounts of an Army contractor. While at the contractor's headquarters, the head of the contractor's accounting division tells the employee that his division is thinking about hiring another accountant and asks whether the employee might be interested in leaving DCAA. The DCAA employee says he is interested in knowing what kind of work would be involved. They discuss the duties of the position the accounting division would like to fill and the DCAA employee's qualifications for the position. They do not discuss salary. The head of the division explains that he has not yet received authorization to fill the particular position and will get back to the employee when he obtains the necessary approval for additional staffing. The employee and the contractor's official have engaged in negotiations regarding possible employment. The employee has begun seeking employment with the Army contractor.
Example 4: An employee of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration helping to draft safety standards applicable to the textile industry has mailed his resume to 25 textile manufacturers. He has not begun seeking employment with any of the twenty-five. If he receives a response from one of the resume recipients indicating an interest in employment discussions, the employee will have begun seeking employment with the respondent at that time.
Example 5: A special Government employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is serving on an advisory committee formed for the purpose of reviewing rules applicable to all member banks. She mails an unsolicited letter to a member bank offering her services as a contract consultant. She has not begun seeking employment with the bank until she receives some response indicating an interest in discussing her employment proposal. A letter merely acknowledging receipt of the proposal is not an indication of interest in employment discussions.
Example 6: A geologist employed by the U.S. Geological Survey has been working as a member of a team preparing the Government's case in an action brought by the Government against six oil companies. The geologist sends her resume to an oil company that is a named defendant in the action. The geologist has begun seeking employment with that oil company and will be seeking employment for two months from the date the resume was mailed. However, if she withdraws her application or is notified within the two-month period that her resume has been rejected, she will no longer be seeking employment with the oil company as of the date she makes such withdrawal or receives such notification.

(c) Prospective employer means any person with whom the employee is seeking employment. Where contacts that constitute seeking employment are made by or with an agent or other intermediary, the term prospective employer includes:

(1) A person who uses that agent or other intermediary for the purpose of seeking to establish an employment relationship with the employee if the agent identifies the prospective employer to the employee; and

(2) A person contacted by the employee's agent or other intermediary for the purpose of seeking to establish an employment relationship if the agent identifies the prospective employer to the employee.

Example 1: An employee of the Federal Aviation Administration has overall responsibility for airport safety inspections in a three-state area. She has retained an employment search firm to help her find another job. The search firm has just reported to the FAA employee that it has given her resume to and had promising discussions with two airport authorities within her jurisdiction. Even though the employee has not personally had employment discussions with either, each airport authority is her prospective employer. She began seeking employment with each upon learning its identity and that it has been given her resume.

(d) Direct and predictable effect, particular matter, and personal and substantial have the respective meanings set forth in §2635.402(b)(1), (3), and (4).

[57 FR 35042, Aug. 7, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 13064, Mar. 17, 1999]

§2635.604   Disqualification while seeking employment.

(a) Obligation to disqualify. Unless the employee's participation is authorized in accordance with §2635.605, the employee shall not participate personally and substantially in a particular matter that, to his knowledge, has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of a prospective employer with whom he is seeking employment within the meaning of §2635.603(b). Disqualification is accomplished by not participating in the particular matter.

(b) Notification. An employee who becomes aware of the need to disqualify himself from participation in a particular matter to which he has been assigned should notify the person responsible for his assignment. An employee who is responsible for his own assignment should take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that he does not participate in the matter from which he is disqualified. Appropriate oral or written notification of the employee's disqualification may be made to coworkers by the employee or a supervisor to ensure that the employee is not involved in a matter from which he is disqualified.

(c) Documentation. An employee need not file a written disqualification statement unless he is required by part 2634 of this chapter to file written evidence of compliance with an ethics agreement with the Office of Government Ethics or is specifically asked by an agency ethics official or the person responsible for his assignment to file a written disqualification statement. However, an employee may elect to create a record of his actions by providing written notice to a supervisor or other appropriate official.

Example 1: An employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs is participating in the audit of a contract for laboratory support services. Before sending his resume to a lab which is a subcontractor under the VA contract, the employee should disqualify himself from participation in the audit. Since he cannot withdraw from participation in the contract audit without the approval of his supervisor, he should disclose his intentions to his supervisor in order that appropriate adjustments in his work assignments can be made.
Example 2: An employee of the Food and Drug Administration is contacted in writing by a pharmaceutical company concerning possible employment with the company. The employee is involved in testing a drug for which the company is seeking FDA approval. Before making a response that is not a rejection, the employee should disqualify himself from further participation in the testing. Where he has authority to ask his colleague to assume his testing responsibilities, he may accomplish his disqualification by transferring the work to that coworker. However, to ensure that his colleague and others with whom he had been working on the recommendations do not seek his advice regarding testing or otherwise involve him in the matter, it may be necessary for him to advise those individuals of his disqualification.
Example 3: The General Counsel of a regulatory agency wishes to engage in discussions regarding possible employment as corporate counsel of a regulated entity. Matters directly affecting the financial interests of the regulated entity are pending within the Office of General Counsel, but the General Counsel will not be called upon to act in any such matter because signature authority for that particular class of matters has been delegated to an Assistant General Counsel. Because the General Counsel is responsible for assigning work within the Office of General Counsel, he can in fact accomplish his disqualification by simply avoiding any involvement in matters affecting the regulated entity. However, because it is likely to be assumed by others that the General Counsel is involved in all matters within the cognizance of the Office of General Counsel, he would be wise to file a written disqualification statement with the Commissioners of the regulatory agency and provide his subordinates with written notification of his disqualification, or he may be specifically asked by an agency ethics official or the Commissioners to file a written disqualification statement.
Example 4: A scientist is employed by the National Science Foundation as a special Government employee to serve on a panel that reviews grant applications to fund research relating to deterioration of the ozone layer. She is discussing possible employment as a member of the faculty of a university that several years earlier received an NSF grant to study the effect of fluorocarbons, but has no grant application pending. As long as the university does not submit a new application for the panel's review, the employee would not have to take any action to effect disqualification.

(d) Agency determination of substantial conflict. Where the agency determines that the employee's action in seeking employment with a particular person will require his disqualification from matters so central or critical to the performance of his official duties that the employee's ability to perform the duties of his position would be materially impaired, the agency may allow the employee to take annual leave or leave without pay while seeking employment, or may take other appropriate administrative action.

[57 FR 35042, Aug. 7, 1992, as amended at 64 FR 13064, Mar. 17, 1999]

§2635.605   Waiver or authorization permitting participation while seeking employment.

(a) Waiver. Where, as defined in §2635.603(b)(1)(i), an employee is engaged in discussions that constitute employment negotiations for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 208(a), the employee may participate personally and substantially in a particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of a prospective employer only after receiving a written waiver issued under the authority of 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1) or (b)(3). These waivers are described in §2635.402(d). See also subpart C of part 2640 of this chapter. For certain employees, a regulatory exemption under the authority of 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(2) may also apply (see subpart B of part 2640 of this chapter).

Example 1: An employee of the Department of Agriculture has had two telephone conversations with an orange grower regarding possible employment. They have discussed the employee's qualifications for a particular position with the grower, but have not yet discussed salary or other specific terms of employment. The employee is negotiating for employment within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 208(a) and §2635.603(b)(1)(i). In the absence of a written waiver issued under 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1), she may not take official action on a complaint filed by a competitor alleging that the grower has shipped oranges in violation of applicable quotas.

(b) Authorization by agency designee. Where an employee is seeking employment within the meaning of §2635.603(b)(1) (ii) or (iii), a reasonable person would be likely to question his impartiality if he were to participate personally and substantially in a particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of any such prospective employer. The employee may participate in such matters only where the agency designee has authorized his participation in accordance with the standards set forth in §2635.502(d).

Example 1: Within the past month, an employee of the Education Department mailed her resume to a university. She is thus seeking employment with the university within the meaning of §2635.603(b)(1)(ii) even though she has received no reply. In the absence of specific authorization by the agency designee in accordance with §2635.502(d), she may not participate in an assignment to review a grant application submitted by the university.

[57 FR 35042, Aug. 7, 1992, as amended at 62 FR 48748, Sept. 17, 1997; 64 FR 13064, Mar. 17, 1999]

§2635.606   Disqualification based on an arrangement concerning prospective employment or otherwise after negotiations.

(a) Employment or arrangement concerning employment. An employee shall be disqualified from participating personally and substantially in a particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of the person by whom he is employed or with whom he has an arrangement concerning future employment, unless authorized to participate in the matter by a written waiver issued under the authority of 18 U.S.C. 208 (b)(1) or (b)(3), or by a regulatory exemption under the authority of 18 U.S.C. 208 (b)(2). These waivers and exemptions are described in §2635.402(d). See also subparts B and C of part 2640 of this chapter.

Example 1: A military officer has accepted a job with a defense contractor to begin in six months, after his retirement from military service. During the period that he remains with the Government, the officer may not participate in the administration of a contract with that particular defense contractor unless he has received a written waiver under the authority of 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1).
Example 2: An accountant has just been offered a job with the Comptroller of the Currency which involves a two-year limited appointment. Her private employer, a large corporation, believes the job will enhance her skills and has agreed to give her a two-year unpaid leave of absence at the end of which she has agreed to return to work for the corporation. During the two-year period she is to be a COC employee, the accountant will have an arrangement concerning future employment with the corporation that will require her disqualification from participation in any particular matter that will have a direct and predictable effect on the corporation's financial interests.

(b) Offer rejected or not made. The agency designee for the purpose of §2635.502(c) may, in an appropriate case, determine that an employee not covered by the preceding paragraph who has sought but is no longer seeking employment nevertheless shall be subject to a period of disqualification upon the conclusion of employment negotiations. Any such determination shall be based on a consideration of all the relevant factors, including those listed in §2635.502(d), and a determination that the concern that a reasonable person may question the integrity of the agency's decisionmaking process outweighs the Government's interest in the employee's participation in the particular matter.

Example 1: An employee of the Securities and Exchange Commission was relieved of responsibility for an investigation of a broker-dealer while seeking employment with the law firm representing the broker-dealer in that matter. The firm did not offer her the partnership position she sought. Even though she is no longer seeking employment with the firm, she may continue to be disqualified from participating in the investigation based on a determination by the agency designee that the concern that a reasonable person might question whether, in view of the history of the employment negotiations, she could act impartially in the matter outweighs the Government's interest in her participation.

[57 FR 35042, Aug. 7, 1992, as amended at 62 FR 48748, Sept. 17, 1997; 64 FR 13064, Mar. 17, 1999]



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