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Title 17Chapter IPart 140 → Subpart C


Title 17: Commodity and Securities Exchanges
PART 140—ORGANIZATION, FUNCTIONS, AND PROCEDURES OF THE COMMISSION


Subpart C—Regulation Concerning Conduct of Members and Employees and Former Members and Employees of the Commission


Contents
§140.735-1   Authority and purpose.
§140.735-2   Prohibited transactions.
§140.735-2a   Prohibited interests.
§140.735-3   Non-governmental employment and other outside activity.
§140.735-4   Receipt and disposition of foreign gifts and decorations.
§140.735-5   Disclosure of information.
§140.735-6   Practice by former members and employees of the Commission.
§140.735-7   Statutory violations applicable to conduct of Commission members and employees.
§140.735-8   Interpretative and advisory service.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 4a(f) and (j), 12a(5), and 13, as amended by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, Appendix E of Pub. L. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763 (2000).

Source: 41 FR 27511, July 2, 1976, unless otherwise noted.

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§140.735-1   Authority and purpose.

This subpart sets forth specific standards of conduct required of Commission members, employees of the Commission, and special government employees as well as regulations concerning former Commissioners, employees, and special government employees of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These rules are separate from and in addition to the Office of Government Ethics' conduct rules, Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR part 2635. In addition, this subpart contains references to various statutes governing employee conduct in order to aid Commission members, employees of the Commission and others in their understanding of statutory restrictions and requirements.1 Absent compelling countervailing reasons, all Commission members and employees are subject to all the terms of this section.

1These references, however, do not purport to cover all restrictions and requirements, and paraphrased restatements of statutory provisions are not intended to be, and should not be construed as, verbatim quotations of the law. Statutory text should be consulted in any situation in which it might apply.

[67 FR 5939, Feb. 8, 2002]

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§140.735-2   Prohibited transactions.

(a) Application. This section applies to all transactions effected by or on behalf of a Commission member or employee of the Commission, including transactions for the account of other persons effected by the member or employee, directly or indirectly under a power of attorney or otherwise. A member or employee shall be deemed to have a sufficient interest in the transactions of his or her spouse, minor child, or other relative who is a resident of the immediate household of the member or employee so that such transactions must be reported and are subject to all the terms of this section.

(b) Prohibitions. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no member or employee of the Commission shall:

(1) Participate, directly or indirectly, in any transaction:

(i) In swaps;

(ii) In commodity futures;

(iii) In retail forex transactions, as that term is defined in §5.1(m) of this chapter;

(iv) Involving any commodity that is of the character of or which is commonly known to the trade as an option, privilege, indemnity, bid, offer, put, call, advance guaranty, or decline guaranty; or

(v) For the delivery of any commodity under a standardized contract commonly known to the trade as a margin account, margin contract, leverage account, or leverage contract, or under any contract, account, arrangement, scheme, or device that the Commission determines serves the same function or functions as such a standardized contract, or is marketed or managed in substantially the same manner as such a standardized contract;

(2) Effect any purchase or sale of a commodity option, futures contract, or swap involving a security or group of securities;

(3) Sell a security which he or she does not own or consummate a sale by the delivery of a security borrowed by or for his or her account;

(4) Participate, directly or indirectly, in any investment transaction in an actual commodity if:

(i) Nonpublic information is used in the investment transaction;

(ii) It is prohibited by rule or regulation of the Commission; or

(iii) It is effected by means of any instrument regulated by the Commission and is not otherwise permitted by an exception under this section;

(5) Purchase or sell any securities of a company which, to his or her knowledge, is involved in any:

(i) Pending investigation by the Commission;

(ii) Proceeding before the Commission or to which the Commission is a party;

(iii) Other matter under consideration by the Commission that could have a direct and predictable effect upon the company; or

(6) Recommend or suggest to another person any transaction in which the member or employee is not permitted to participate in any circumstance where the member or employee could reasonably expect to benefit or where the member or employee has or may have control or substantial influence over such person.

(c) Exception for farming, ranching, and natural resource operations. The prohibitions in paragraphs (b)(1)(i), (ii), and (iv) of this section shall not apply to a transaction in connection with any farming, ranching, oil and gas, mineral rights, or other natural resource operation in which the member or employee has a financial interest, if he or she is not involved in the decision to engage in, and does not have prior knowledge of, the actual futures, commodity option, or swap transaction and has previously notified the General Counsel2 in writing of the nature of the operation, the extent of the member's or employee's interest, the types of transactions in which the operation may engage, and the identity of the person or persons who will make trading decisions for the operation;3 or

2As used in this subpart, “General Counsel” refers to the General Counsel in his or her capacity as counselor for the Commission and designated agency ethics official for the Commission, and includes his or her designee and the alternate designated agency ethics official appointed by the agency head pursuant to 5 CFR 2638.202.

3Although not required, if they choose to do so, members or employees may use powers of attorney or other arrangements in order to meet the notice requirements of, and to assure that they have no control or knowledge of, futures, commodity option, or swap transactions permitted under paragraph (c) of this section. A member or employee considering such arrangements should consult with the Office of General Counsel in advance for approval. Should a member or employee gain knowledge of an actual futures, commodity option, or swap transaction entered into by an operation described in paragraph (c) of this section that has already taken place and the market position represented by that transaction remains open, he or she should promptly report that fact and all other details to the General Counsel and seek advice as to what action, including recusal from any particular matter that will have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interest in question, may be appropriate.

(d) Other exceptions. The prohibitions in paragraphs (b)(1), (2) and (3) of this section shall not apply to:

(1) A transaction entered into by any publicly-available pooled investment vehicle (such as a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund) other than one operated by a person who is a commodity pool operator with respect to such entity if the direct or indirect ownership interest of the member or employee neither exercises control nor has the ability to exercise control over the transactions entered into by such vehicle;4

4Section 9(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act makes it a felony for any member or employee, or agent thereof, to participate, directly or indirectly in, inter alia, any transaction in commodity futures, option, leverage transaction, or other arrangement that the Commission determines serves the same function, unless authorized to do so by Commission rule or regulation. 17 CFR 4.5 excludes certain otherwise regulated persons from the definition of “commodity pool operator” with respect to operation of specific investment entities enumerated in the regulation.

(2) The acceptance or exercise of any stock option or similar right granted by an employer as part of a compensation package to a spouse or minor child or other related member of the immediate household of a member or employee, or to the exercise of any stock option or similar right granted to the member or employee by a previous employer prior to commencement of the member's or employee's tenure with the Commission as part of such member's or employee's compensation package from such previous employer;

(3) A transaction by any trust or estate of which the member or employee or the spouse, minor child, or other related member of the immediate household of the member or employee is solely a beneficiary, has no power to control, and does not in fact control or advise with respect to the investments of the trust or estate;

(4) The exercise of any privilege to convert or exchange securities, of rights accruing unconditionally by virtue of ownership of other securities (as distinguished from a contingent right to acquire securities not subscribed for by others), or of rights in order to round out fractional shares in securities;

(5) The acceptance of stock dividends on securities already owned, the reinvestment of cash dividends on a security already owned, or the participation in a periodic investment plan when the original purchase was otherwise consistent with this rule; or

(6) Investment in any fund established pursuant to the Federal Employees Retirement System.

(e) No prohibition on stocks or funds. Nothing in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section shall prohibit a member or employee from purchasing, selling, or retaining any share that represents ownership of a publicly-owned corporation or interest in a publicly-available pooled investment vehicle containing any such shares (such as a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund) other than one operated by a person who is a commodity pool operator with respect to such pooled investment vehicle, regardless of whether any security futures product may at any time be or have been based upon shares of such corporation or pooled investment vehicle, and regardless of whether such pooled investment vehicle may, by design or effect, track or follow any group of securities that also underlies a futures contract.

(f) Exception applicable to legally separated employees. This section shall not apply to transactions of a legally separated spouse of a member or employee, including transactions for the benefit of a minor child, if the member or employee has no power to control, and does not, in fact, advise or control with respect to such transactions. If the member or employee has actual or constructive knowledge of such transactions of a legally separated spouse or for the benefit of a minor child, the disqualification provisions of §140.735-2a(d)(2)(i)-(iii) and 18 U.S.C. 208 are applicable.

[67 FR 5939, Feb. 8, 2002, as amended at 77 FR 66347, Nov. 2, 2012]

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§140.735-2a   Prohibited interests.

(a) Application. This section applies to all financial interests of a Commission member or employee of the Commission, including financial interests held by the member or employee for the account of other persons. A member or employee shall be deemed to have a sufficient interest in the financial interests of his or her spouse, minor child, or other relative who is a resident of the immediate household of the member or employee, so that such financial interests must be reported and are subject to all the terms of this section.

(b) Prohibitions. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no member or employee of the Commission shall:

(1) Have a financial interest, through ownership of securities or otherwise, in any person5 registered with the Commission (including futures commission merchants, associated persons and agents of futures commission merchants, floor brokers, commodity trading advisors and commodity pool operators, and any other persons required to be registered in a fashion similar to any of the above under the Commodity Exchange Act or pursuant to any rule or regulation promulgated by the Commission), or any contract market, swap execution facility, swap data repository, board of trade, or other trading facility, or any derivatives clearing organization subject to regulation or oversight by the Commission;6

5As defined in section 1a(38) of the Commodity Exchange Act and 17 CFR 1.3(u) thereunder, a “person” includes an individual, association, partnership, corporation and a trust.

6Attention is directed to 18 U.S.C. 208.

7[Reserved]

(c) Exceptions. The prohibitions in paragraph (b) of this section shall not apply to:

(1) A financial interest in any publicly-available pooled investment vehicle (such as a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund) other than one operated by a person who is a commodity pool operator with respect to such entity if such vehicle does not have invested, or indicate in its prospectus the intent to invest, ten percent or more of its assets in securities of persons described in paragraph (b) of this section and the member or employee neither exercises control nor has the ability to exercise control over the financial interests held in such vehicle;

(2) A financial interest in any corporate parent or affiliate of a person described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section if the operations of such person provide less than ten percent of the gross revenues of the corporate parent or affiliate;8

8It is the member's or employee's responsibility to monitor his or her financial interests and those of a spouse or minor child or other related member of his or her immediate household, to promptly report relevant changes to the General Counsel in writing, and to seek the advice of the General Counsel as to what action may be appropriate. In this regard, attention is directed to 18 U.S.C. 208, which bars an employee from participating in any particular matter that will have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interest in question.

(3) A financial interest in any trust or estate of which the member or employee is solely a beneficiary, has no power to control, and does not in fact control or advise with respect to the investments of the trust or estate; except that such interest is subject to the provisions of paragraphs (d) and (f) of this section.

(d) Retention or passive acquisition of prohibited financial interests. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a member or employee, or a spouse or minor child or other related member of the immediate household of the member or employee, from:

(1) Retaining a financial interest that was permitted to be retained by the member or employee prior to the adoption of this regulation, was obtained prior to the commencement of employment with the Commission, or was acquired by a spouse prior to marriage to the member or employee; or

(2) Acquiring, retaining, or controlling an otherwise prohibited financial interest, including but not limited to any security or option on a security (but not a security futures product), where the financial interest was acquired by inheritance, gift, stock split, involuntary stock dividend, merger, acquisition, or other change in corporate ownership, exercise of preemptive right, or otherwise without specific intent to acquire the financial interest, or by a spouse or minor child or other related member of the immediate household of the member or employee as part of an employment compensation package; provided, however, that retention of any interest allowed by paragraph (c)(3) or (d) of this section is permitted only where the employee:

(i) Makes full disclosure of any such interest on his or her annual financial disclosure (Standard Form 278 or Standard Form 450);

(ii) Makes full written disclosure to the General Counsel within 30 days of commencing employment or, for incumbents, within twenty days of his or her receipt of actual or constructive notice that the interest has been acquired;9 and

9Changes in holdings, other than by purchase, which do not affect disqualification, such as those resulting from the automatic reinvestment of dividends, stock splits, stock dividends or reclassifications, may be reported on the annual statement, SF 278 or SF 450, rather than when notification of the transaction is received. Acquisition by, for example, gifts, inheritance, or spinoffs, which may result in additional disqualifications pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section and 18 U.S.C. 208 shall be reported to the General Counsel within 20 days of the receipt of actual or constructive notice thereof.

(iii) Will be disqualified in accordance with 5 CFR part 2635, subpart D, and 18 U.S.C. 208 from participating in any particular matter that will have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interest in question. Any Commission member or employee affected by this section may, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1) and 5 CFR 2640.301-303, request a waiver of the disqualification requirement.

Note: With respect to any financial interest retained under paragraph (c)(3) or (d) of this section, Commission members and employees are reminded of their obligations under 18 U.S.C. 208 and 5 CFR part 2635, subpart D, to disqualify themselves from participating in any particular matter in which they, their spouses or minor children have a financial interest.

(e) Exception applicable to legally separated employees. This section shall not apply to the financial interests of a legally separated spouse of a Commission member or employee, including transactions for the benefit of a minor child, if the member or employee has no power to control and does not, in fact, advise or control with respect to such transactions. If the member or employee has actual or constructive knowledge of such financial interests held by a legally separated spouse or for the benefit of a minor child, the disqualification provisions of paragraphs (d)(2)(i)-(iii) of this section and 18 U.S.C. 208 are applicable.

(f) Divestiture. Based upon a determination of substantial conflict under 5 CFR 2635.403(b) and 18 U.S.C. 208, the Commission, or its designee, may require in writing that a member or employee, or the spouse or minor child or other related member of the immediate household of a member or employee, divest a financial interest that he or she is otherwise authorized to retain under this section.10

10Any evidence of a violation of 18 U.S.C. 208 must be reported by the General Counsel to the Commission, which may refer the matter to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney in whose venue the violations lie. See 28 U.S.C. 535.

[67 FR 5940, Feb. 8, 2002, as amended at 67 FR 62353, Oct. 7, 2002; 77 FR 66348, Nov. 2, 2012]

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§140.735-3   Non-governmental employment and other outside activity.

A Commission member or employee shall not accept employment or compensation from any person, exchange, swap execution facility, swap data repository or derivatives clearing organization subject to regulation by the Commission. For purposes of this section, a person subject to regulation by the Commission includes but is not limited to a contract market, swap execution facility, swap data repository or derivatives clearing organization or member thereof, a registered futures commission merchant, any person associated with a futures commission merchant or with any agent of a futures commission merchant, floor broker, commodity trading advisor, commodity pool operator or any person required to be registered in a fashion similar to any of the above or file reports under the Act or pursuant to any rule or regulation promulgated by the Commission.11

11Attention is directed to section 2(a)(8) of the Commodity Exchange Act, which provides, among other things, that no Commission member or employee shall accept employment or compensation from any person, exchange or derivatives clearing organization (“clearinghouse”) subject to regulation by the Commission, or participate, directly or indirectly, in any contract market operations or transactions of a character subject to regulation by the Commission.

[ 77 FR 66348, Nov. 2, 2012]

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§140.735-4   Receipt and disposition of foreign gifts and decorations.

(a) For purposes of this section only:

(1) Commission member or employee means any Commission member or any person employed by or who occupies an office or a position in the Commission; an expert or consultant under contract with the Commission, or in the case of an organization performing services under such contract, any individual involved in the performance of such service; and the spouse, unless the individual and his or her spouse are separated, and any dependent, as defined by section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, of any such person.

(2) Foreign government means:

(A) Any unit of foreign governmental authority, including any foreign national, state, local, and municipal government;

(B) Any international or multinational organization whose membership is composed of any unit of foreign government described in paragraph (a)(2)(A) of this section; and

(C) Any agent or representative of any such unit or such organization, while acting as such.

(3) Gift means a tangible or intangible present (other than a decoration) tendered by, or received from, a foreign government, except grants and other forms of assistance to which section 108A of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 applies.

(4) Decoration means an order, device, medal, badge, insignia, emblem, or award tendered by, or received from, a foreign government.

(5) Minimal value means a retail value in the United States at the time of acceptance of $140 or less, except as redefined to reflect changes in the consumer price index at three year intervals by the Administrator of General Services pursuant to authority granted in 5 U.S.C. 7342(a)(5)(A).

(b) Commission members and employees shall not:

(1) Request or otherwise encourage the tender of a gift or decoration;

(2) Accept a gift of currency, except that which has an historical or numismatic value;

(3) Accept gifts of travel or gifts of expenses for travel, such as transportation, food and lodging, from foreign governments, other than those authorized in paragraph (c)(5) of this section; or

(4) Accept any gift or decoration, except as authorized by this section.

(c) Gifts which may be accepted:

(1) Commission members and employees may accept and retain gifts of minimal value tendered or received as a souvenir or mark of courtesy from a foreign government without further approval. If the value of a gift is uncertain, the recipient shall be responsible for establishing that it is of minimal value, as defined in this section. Documentary evidence may be required in support of the valuation.

(2) Commission members and employees may accept, on behalf of the United States, gifts of more than minimal value tendered or received from a foreign government when it appears that to refuse the gift would likely cause offense or embarrassment or otherwise adversely affect the foreign relations of the United States. When a tangible gift of more than minimal value is accepted on behalf of the United States, it becomes the property of the United States.

(3) Commission members and employees may accept a gift of more than minimal value where such gift is in the nature of an educational scholarship or medical treatment.

(4) Within 60 days after accepting a tangible gift of more than minimal value, other than a gift described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, a Commission member or employee shall file a statement with the Executive Director of the Commission which shall include the following information:

(A) The name and position of the Commission member or employee;

(B) A brief description of the gift and the circumstances justify acceptance;

(C) The identity, if known, of the foreign government and the name and position of the individual who presented the gift;

(D) The date of acceptance of the gift;

(E) The estimated value in the United States of the gift at the time of acceptance; and

(F) The disposition or current location of the gift.

(5) Commission members and employees are authorized to accept from a foreign government gifts of travel or gifts of expenses for travel taking place entirely outside the United States, such as transportation, food and lodging, of more than minimal value if the acceptance is approved by the Executive Director, upon a finding that it is consistent with the interests of the Commission. Either prior to or within 30 days after accepting each gift of travel or gift of travel expenses pursuant to this paragraph, the Commission member or employee concerned shall file a statement with the Executive Director containing the following information:

(A) The name and position of the Commission member or employee;

(B) A brief description of the gift and the circumstances justifying acceptance;

(C) The identity, if known, of the foreign government and the name and position of the individual who presented the gift; and

(D) The date of acceptance.

(6) Not later than January 31 of each year the Executive Director shall compile a listing of all statements filed during the preceding year by Commission members and employees pursuant to paragraphs (c)(4) and (c)(5) of this section and shall transmit the listing to the Secretary of State.

(d) Commission members or employees may accept, retain and wear decorations tendered by a foreign government in recognition of active field service in time of combat operations or awarded for other outstanding or unusually meritorious performance, subject to the approval of the Executive Director. Without this approval, the decoration is deemed to have been accepted on behalf of the United States, shall become the property of the United States, and shall be deposited by the employee, within 60 days of acceptance, with the Executive Director for official use or forwarding to the Administrator of General Services for disposal in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section. Under normal circumstances, it can be expected that a Commission member or employee will be notified of the intent of a foreign government to award him or her or a spouse or dependent a decoration for outstanding or unusually meritorious service sufficiently in advance so that the approval required can be sought prior to its acceptance. A request for the approval of the Executive Director shall be submitted in writing, stating the nature of the decoration and the reason why it is being awarded. Whenever possible, the request should also be accompanied by a statement from the foreign government, preferably in the form of the citation, which shows the basis for the tender of the award, whether it is in recognition of active field service in time of combat operations or for other outstanding or unusually meritorious performance.

(e) Within 60 days after acceptance of a tangible gift of more than minimal value or a decoration for which the Executive Director has not given approval, a Commission member or employee shall:

(1) Deposit the gift or decoration for disposal with the Executive Director; or

(2) Subject to the approval of the Commission, upon the recommendation of the Executive Director, deposit the gift or decoration with the Commission for official use.

A gift or decoration may be retained for official use if the Commission determines that it can be properly displayed in an area accessible to employees and members of the public. Within 30 days after termination of the official use of a gift, the Executive Director shall forward the gift to the Administrator of General Services in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.

(f) Whenever possible, gifts and decorations that have been deposited with the Executive Director for disposal shall be returned to the donor. The Executive Director, in coordination with the Office of the General Counsel, shall examine the circumstances surrounding the donation, assessing whether any adverse effect on the foreign relations of the United States might result from the return of the gift or decoration to the donor. The appropriate Department of State officials shall be consulted if a question of adverse effect on United States foreign relations arises.

(g) Gifts and decorations that have not been returned to the donor, retained for official use, or for which official use has terminated, shall be forwarded by the Executive Director to the Administrator of General Services for transfer, donation, or other disposal in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, and 5 U.S.C. 7342.

(h) In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 7342(h), the U.S. Attorney General may bring a civil action in any United States district court against any Commission member or employee who knowingly solicits or accepts a gift from a foreign government not consented to by the Congress of the United States in 5 U.S.C. 7342, or who fails to deposit or report such gift as required by 5 U.S.C. 7342. The court may assess a penalty against such Commission member or employee in any amount not exceeding the retail value of the gift improperly solicited or received plus $5,000.

(i) A violation of the requirements set forth in this section by a Commission employee may be cause for appropriate disciplinary action which may be in addition to any penalty prescribed by law.

(j)(1) The burden of proving minimal value shall be on the recipient. In the event of a dispute over the value of a gift, the Executive Director shall arrange for an outside appraiser to determine whether the gift is of more or less than minimal value.

(2) When requested by the Administrator of Government Services, the Executive Director shall arrange for an appraisal of a gift or decoration.

(k) No appropriated funds of the Commission may be used to buy any tangible gift of more than minimal value for any foreign individual, unless the gift has been approved by Congress.

[47 FR 24115, June 3, 1982. Redesignated at 58 FR 52658, Oct. 12, 1993; 63 FR 32733, June 16, 1998]

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§140.735-5   Disclosure of information.

A Commission employee or former employee shall not divulge, or cause or allow to be divulged, confidential or non-public commercial, economic or official information to any unauthorized person, or release such information in advance of authorization for its release.9 Except as directed by the Commission or its General Counsel as provided in these regulations, no Commission employee or former employee is authorized to accept service of any subpoena for documentary information contained in or relating to the files of the Commission. Any employee or former employee who is served with a subpoena requiring testimony regarding non-public information or documents shall, unless the Commission authorizes the disclosure of such information, respectfully decline to disclose the information or produce the documents called for, basing his refusal on these regulations.10 Any employee or former employee who is served with a subpoena calling for information regarding the Commission's business shall promptly advise the General Counsel of the service of such subpoena, the nature of the information or documents sought, and any circumstances which may bear upon the desirability of making such information or document available in the public interest.11 In any proceeding in which the Commission is not a party, no employee of the Commission shall testify concerning matters related to the business of the Commission unless authorized to do so by the Commission.

9Attention is directed to section 9(d) of the Commodity Exchange Act, which provides that it shall be a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $500,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution—(1) for any Commissioner of the Commission or any employee or agent thereof who, by virtue of his employment or position, acquires information which may affect or tend to affect the price of any commodity future or commodity and which information has not been promptly made public, to impart such information with intent to assist another person, directly or indirectly, to participate in any transaction in commodity futures, any transaction in an actual commodity, or in any transaction of the character of or which is commonly known to the trade as an option, privilege, indemnity, bid, offer, put, call, advance guaranty or decline guaranty, or in any transaction for the delivery of any commodity under a standardized contract commonly known to the trade as a margin account, margin contract, leverage account or leverage contract, or under any contract or other arrangement that the Commission determines to serve the same function or is marketed in the same manner as such standardized contract, and (2) for any person to acquire such information from any Commissioner of the Commission or any employee or agent thereof and to use such information in any of the foregoing transactions.

10No employee shall disclose such information unless directed to do so by the Commission.

11The prohibitions regarding confidential or nonpublic information stated above are intended to cover the matters addressed in sections 4(c), 8, and 9(d) of the Commodity Exchange Act as well as nonpublic information under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, the rules of the Commission thereunder, 17 CFR part 145, the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the rules of the Commission thereunder, 17 CFR part 146, and cases where, apart from specific prohibitions in any statute or rule, the disclosure or use of such information would be unethical.

[58 FR 52658, Oct. 12, 1993]

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§140.735-6   Practice by former members and employees of the Commission.

(a) Personal and substantial participation or nonpublic knowledge of a particular matter. No person who has been a member or employee of the Commission shall ever knowingly make, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before the Commission in connection with any particular matter involving a specific party or parties12 in which such person, or one participating with him or her in the particular matter, participated personally and substantially, or gained nonpublic knowledge of facts thereof, while with the Commission.13

12The phrase “particular matter involving a specific party or parties” does not apply to general rulemaking, general policy and standards formulation or other similar matters. See §2637.201(c)(1) of the regulations of the Office of Government Ethics, 5 CFR 2637.201(c)(1); cf., memorandum of the Attorney General dealing with the conflict-of-interest provisions prior to amendment by the Ethics in Government Act (reproduced following 18 U.S.C. 201).

13Attention is directed to 18 U.S.C. 207(a)(1), as amended, which generally prohibits former Federal officers and employees permanently from knowingly making, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before any Federal (or District of Columbia) department, agency or court, or court martial, or any officer or employee thereof, in connection with any particular matter involving a specific party or parties in which the United States (or the District of Columbia) is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and in which the former officer or employee participated personally and substantially while with the government.

(b) Particular matter under an individual's official responsibility. No person who has been a member or employee of the Commission shall, within two years after that employment has ceased, knowingly make, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before the Commission in connection with a particular matter involving a specific party or parties which was actually pending under his official responsibility as a member or employee of the Commission at any time within one year prior to the termination of government service.14

14Attention is directed to 18 U.S.C. 207(a)(2), as amended. Section 207(a)(2) generally prohibits former Federal officers and employees, within two years after their Federal employment has ceased, from knowingly making, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before any Federal (or District of Columbia) department, agency or court, or court martial, or any officer or employee thereof, in connection with any particular matter involving a specific party or parties in which the United States (or the District of Columbia) is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and which was actually pending under the official responsibility of the former officer or employee within one year prior to the termination of government service.

As used in paragraph (b) of this section, the term “official responsibility” has the meaning assigned to it in 18 U.S.C. 202(b), namely, the “direct administrative or operating authority, whether intermediate or final, and either exercisable alone or with others, and either personally or through subordinates, to approve, disapprove, or otherwise direct Government action.”

(c) Restrictions on former members and senior employees. A former member or employee of the Commission who occupied a “senior” position specified in 18 U.S.C. 207(c)(2), as amended, shall not within one year after such “senior” employment has ceased, knowingly make, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before the Commission on behalf of any other person in connection with any matter in which such person seeks official action by the Commission.15

15Attention is directed to 18 U.S.C. 207(c), as amended, which places restrictions on the representational activities of certain senior officers and employees after their departure from a senior position. Section 207(c) generally makes it unlawful for one year after service in a “senior” position terminates for a former “senior” Federal employee to knowingly make, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before an employee of a department or agency in which he served in any capacity during the one year period prior to termination from “senior” service, if that communication or appearance is on behalf of any other person (except the United States), in connection with any matter concerning which he seeks official action by that employee.

Note that the one year period is measured from the date when the employee ceases to be a senior employee, not from the termination of Government service, unless the two occur simultaneously. This provision prohibits communications to or appearances before the Government and does not prohibit “behind-the-scenes” assistance. The restriction does not require that the former employee have ever been in any way involved in the matter that is the subject of the communication or appearance. The restriction applies with respect to any matter, whether or not involving a specific party.

(d) Exceptions. The prohibitions contained in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section do not apply to communications solely for the purpose of furnishing scientific or technological information if approved by the Commission or generally to giving testimony under oath or making a statement which is subject to penalty or perjury. Further, the prohibition contained in paragraph (c) of this section does not apply to an uncompensated statement in a particular area within the special knowledge of the former Commission member or employee.16

16Attention is directed to 18 U.S.C. 207(j), as amended (listing other exceptions). Self-representation is not prohibited under section 207.

(e) Reporting requirement. Any former member or employee of the Commission who, within two years after ceasing to be such, is employed or retained as the representative of any person (except the United States) in connection with a matter in which it is contemplated that he will appear before or communicate with the Commission shall, within ten days of such retainer or employment, or of the time when appearance before or communication with the Commission is first contemplated, file with the General Counsel of the Commission a statement as to the nature thereof together with any desired explanation as to why it is deemed consistent with this section. Employment of a recurrent character may be covered by a single comprehensive statement. Each such statement should include an appropriate caption indicating that it is filed pursuant to this section. The reporting requirement of this paragraph does not apply to communications incidental to court appearances in litigation involving the Commission.

(f) Definitions. As used in this section, the phrase “appearance before the Commission” means any formal or informal appearance on behalf of any person (except the United States) before the Commission, or any member or employee thereof with an intent to influence. As used in this section, the phrase “communication with the Commission” means any oral or written communication made to the Commission, or any member or employee thereof, on behalf of any person (except the United States) with an intent to influence.

(g) Advisory ruling. Persons in doubt as to the applicability of this section may apply for an advisory ruling by addressing a letter requesting such a ruling to the General Counsel.

(h) Procedures for administrative enforcement of statutory restrictions on post-government employment conflicts of interest17—(1) Scope. The provisions of this paragraph prescribe procedures for administrative enforcement of the restrictions which 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b), and (c), as amended, place on appearances before or communications with Federal (and District of Columbia) departments, agencies and courts, and other enumerated entities, as well as the officers and employees thereof, by former Commission members and employees.

17This section does not apply to employees who leave service after December 31, 1990.

(2) Investigations. The General Counsel of the Commission, or his or her designee, shall conduct such investigations as he or she deems appropriate to determine whether any former Commission member or employee have violated 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c), as amended. The General Counsel shall report the results of his or her investigations to the Commission and shall recommend to the Commission such action as he or she deems appropriate.

(3) Hearings. Hearings required to be held under the provisions of this section shall be held before an Administrative Law Judge, utilizing the procedures prescribed by the Commission's rules of practice for adjudicatory proceedings (17 CFR part 10), except to the extent that those rules are inconsistent with the provisions of this section. Any proceeding brought under the provisions of this section shall be prosecuted by the General Counsel or his or her designee.

(4) Sanctions. If the Commission finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that a former Commission member or employee has violated 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c), as amended, the Commission may prohibit that person from making, on behalf of any other person (except the United States), any formal or informal appearance before, or with the intent to influence any oral or written communication to, the Commission on a pending matter of business for a period not to exceed five years, or may take other appropriate disciplinary action.

[58 FR 52658, Oct. 12, 1993; 58 FR 58593, Nov. 2, 1993]

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§140.735-7   Statutory violations applicable to conduct of Commission members and employees.

A violation of section 2(a)(7), 8 or 9 (c) or (d) of the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended, shall be deemed to be a violation of this subpart as well.

[58 FR 52660, Oct. 12, 1993]

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§140.735-8   Interpretative and advisory service.

(a) Counselor for the Commission. The General Counsel, or his or her designee, will serve as Counselor for the Commission and as the Commission's representative to the Office of Government Ethics, on matters covered by this subpart. The General Counsel will also serve as the Commission's designated agency ethics official to review the financial reports filed by high-level Commission officials under title II of the Ethics in Government Act, as well as otherwise to coordinate and manage the Commission's ethics program.

(b) Duties of the Counselor. The Counselor shall:

(1) Coordinate the agency's counseling services and assure that counseling and interpretations on questions of conflict of interests and other matters covered by the regulations in this subpart are available as needed to Regional Deputy Counselors, who shall be appointed by the General Counsel, in coordination with the Chairman of the Commission, for each Regional Office of the Commission;

(2) Render authoritative advice and guidance on matters covered by the regulations in this subpart which are presented to him or her by employees in the Washington, DC headquarters office; and

(3) Receive information on, and resolve or forward to the Commission for consideration, any conflict of interests or apparent conflict of interests which appears in the annual financial disclosure (Standard Form 278 or Standard Form 450), or is disclosed to the General Counsel by a member or employee pursuant to §140.735-2a(d) of this part, or otherwise is made known to the General Counsel.

(i) A conflict of interests or apparent conflict of interests is considered resolved by the General Counsel when the affected member or employee has executed an ethics agreement pursuant to 5 CFR 2634.801 et seq. to undertake specific actions in order to resolve the actual or apparent conflict.

(ii) If, after advice and guidance from the General Counsel, a member or employee does not execute an ethics agreement, the conflict of interests is considered unresolved and must be referred to the Commission for resolution or further action consistent with 18 U.S.C. 208 and 28 U.S.C. 535.

(iii) Where an unresolved conflict of interests or apparent conflict of interests is to be forwarded to the Commission by the General Counsel, the General Counsel will promptly notify the affected member or employee in writing of his or her intent to forward the matter to the Commission. Any member or employee so affected will be afforded an opportunity to be heard by the Commission through written submission.

(c) Regional Deputy Counselors. Regional Deputy Counselors shall:

(1) Give advice and guidance as requested to the employees assigned to their respective Regional Offices; and

(2) Receive information on and refer to the Director of Human Resources, any conflict of interests or appearance of conflict of interests in Statements of Employment and Financial Interests submitted by employees to whom they are required to give advice and guidance.

(d) Confidentiality of communications. Communications between the Counselor and Regional Deputy Counselors and an employee shall be confidential, except as deemed necessary by the Commission or the Counselor to carry out the purposes of this subpart and of the laws of the United States.18

18No attorney-client privilege, however, attaches to such communications since the Counselors are counsel to the Commission, not to the employee. Thus, any evidence of criminal law violations divulged by an employee to the Counselor must be reported by the latter to the Commission, which may refer the matter to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney in whose venue the violations lie.

(e) Furnishing of conduct regulations. The Director of Human Resources shall furnish a copy of this Conduct Regulation to each member, employee, and special government employee immediately upon his or her entrance on duty and shall thereafter, annually, and at such other times as circumstances warrant, bring to the attention of each member and employee this Conduct Regulation and all revisions thereof.

(f) Availability of counseling services. The Director of Human Resources shall notify each member, employee, and special government employee of the availability of counseling services and of how and where these services are available at the time of entrance on duty and periodically thereafter.

[58 FR 52660, Oct. 12, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 21955, May 13, 1996; 62 FR 13302, Mar. 20, 1997; 67 FR 5941, Feb. 8, 2002]

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