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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 2, 2020

Title 31Subtitle A → Part 15


Title 31: Money and Finance: Treasury


PART 15—POST EMPLOYMENT CONFLICT OF INTEREST


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§15.737-1   Scope.
§15.737-2   Definitions.
§15.737-3   Director of Practice.
§15.737-4   Other discipline.
§15.737-5   Records.

Subpart B—Rules Applicable to Post Employment Practice by Officers and Employees of the Department

§15.737-6   Interpretative standards.

Subpart C—Administrative Enforcement Proceedings

§15.737-7   Authority to prohibit practice.
§15.737-8   Special orders.
§15.737-9   Receipt of information concerning former Treasury employee.
§15.737-10   Conferences.
§15.737-11   Institution of proceeding.
§15.737-12   Contents of complaint.
§15.737-13   Service of complaint and other papers.
§15.737-14   Answer.
§15.737-15   Reply to answer.
§15.737-16   Proof; variance; amendment of pleadings.
§15.737-17   Motions and requests.
§15.737-18   Representation.
§15.737-19   Administrative Law Judge.
§15.737-20   Hearings.
§15.737-21   Evidence.
§15.737-22   Depositions.
§15.737-23   Transcript.
§15.737-24   Proposed findings and conclusions.
§15.737-25   Decision of the Administrative Law Judge.
§15.737-26   Appeal to the General Counsel.
§15.737-27   Decision of the General Counsel.
§15.737-28   Notice of disciplinary action.

Subpart D—Other Departmental Proceedings

§15.737-29   Review by the General Counsel.

Authority: 92 Stat. 1864 (18 U.S.C. 207), as amended.

Source: 45 FR 39842, June 12, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§15.737-1   Scope.

This part contains rules governing discipline of a former officer or employee of the Department of the Treasury because of a post employment conflict of interest. Such discipline may include prohibition from practice before the Department or a separate statutory agency thereof as those terms are defined in this part.

§15.737-2   Definitions.

For the purpose of this part—

(a) The term Department means the Department of the Treasury and includes the separate statutory agencies thereof.

(b) The term Director means the Director of Practice.

(c) The term General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Department.

(d) The term practice means any informal or formal appearance before, or, with the intent to influence, any oral or written communication to the Department or, where applicable, to a separate statutory agency thereof on a pending matter of business on behalf of any other person (except the United States).

(e) The term separate statutory agency thereof means an agency or bureau within the Department designated by rule by the Director, Office of Government Ethics, as a separate agency or bureau. The Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, United States Secret Service, Bureau of the Mint, United States Customs Service, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Comptroller of the Currency were so designated effective July 1, 1979.

§15.737-3   Director of Practice.

There is, in the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Office of Director of Practice. The Director shall institute and provide for the conduct of disciplinary proceedings involving former employees of the Department as authorized by 18 U.S.C. 207(j), and perform such other duties as are necessary or appropriate to carry out his/her functions under this part.

§15.737-4   Other discipline.

For activity alleged to violate 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c), the Director may also bring a disciplinary proceeding pursuant to the regulations governing practice before the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or the Internal Revenue Service as found in 31 CFR part 8 and 31 CFR part 10, respectively. Such proceeding may be consolidated with any proceeding brought pursuant to this part.

§15.737-5   Records.

There are made available to public inspection at the Office of Director of Practice the roster of all persons prohibited from practice before the Department. Other records may be disclosed upon specific request, in accordance with appropriate disclosure regulations of the Department.

Subpart B—Rules Applicable to Post Employment Practice by Officers and Employees of the Department

§15.737-6   Interpretative standards.

A determination that a former officer or employee of the Department violated 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c) will be made in conformance with the standards established in the interpretative regulations promulgated by the Office of Government Ethics and published at 5 CFR part 737.

Subpart C—Administrative Enforcement Proceedings

§15.737-7   Authority to prohibit practice.

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 207(j), if the General Counsel finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that a former officer or employee of the Department violated 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c), the General Counsel in his/her discretion may prohibit that person from engaging in practice before the Department or a separate statutory agency thereof for a period not to exceed five years, or may take other appropriate disciplinary action.

§15.737-8   Special orders.

The General Counsel may issue special orders as he/she may consider proper in any case within the purview of this part.

§15.737-9   Receipt of information concerning former Treasury employee.

If an officer or employee of the Department has reason to believe that a former officer or employee of the Department has violated 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c), or if any such officer or employee receives information to that effect, he/she shall promptly make a written report thereof, which report or a copy thereof shall be forwarded to the Inspector General, Department of the Treasury. If any other person has information of such violations, he/she may make a report thereof to the Inspector General or to any officer or employee of the Department. The Inspector General shall refer any information he/she deems warranted to the Director.

§15.737-10   Conferences.

(a) In general. The Director may confer with a former officer or employee concerning allegations of misconduct irrespective of whether an administrative disciplinary proceeding has been instituted against him/her. If such conference results in a stipulation in connection with a proceeding in which such person is the respondent, the stipulation may be entered in the record at the instance of either party to the proceeding.

(b) Voluntary suspension. A former officer or employee, in order to avoid the institution or conclusion of a proceeding, may offer his/her consent to suspension from practice before the Department or a separate statutory agency thereof. The Director in his/her discretion, may suspend a former officer or employee in accordance with the consent offered.

§15.737-11   Institution of proceeding.

(a) Whenever the Director has reason to believe that any former officer or employee of the Department has violated 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c), he/she may reprimand such person or institute an administrative disciplinary proceeding for that person's suspension from practice before the Department or a separate statutory agency thereof. The proceeding shall be instituted by a complaint which names the respondent and is signed by the Director and filed in his/her office. Except in cases of willfulness, or where time, the nature of the proceeding, or the public interest does not permit, a proceeding will not be instituted under this section until facts or conduct which may warrant such action have been called to the attention of the proposed respondent in writing and he/she has been accorded the opportunity to provide his/her position on the matter.

(b) The Director shall coordinate proceedings under this part with the Department of Justice in cases where it initiates criminal prosecution.

§15.737-12   Contents of complaint.

(a) Charges. A complaint shall give a plain and concise description of the allegations which constitute the basis for the proceeding. A complaint shall be deemed sufficient if it fairly informs the respondent of the charges against him/her so that the respondent is able to prepare a defense.

(b) Demand for answer. In the complaint, or in a separate paper attached to the complaint, notification shall be given of the place and time within which the respondent shall file his/her answer, which time shall not be less than 15 days from the date of service of the complaint, and notice shall be given that a decision by default may be rendered against the respondent in the event he/she fails to file an answer as required.

§15.737-13   Service of complaint and other papers.

(a) Complaint. The complaint or a copy thereof may be served upon the respondent by certified mail, or first-class mail as hereinafter provided; by delivering it to the respondent or his/her attorney or agent of record either in person or by leaving it at the office or place of business of the respondent, attorney or agent; or in any other manner which has been agreed to by the respondent. Where the service is by certified mail, the return post office receipt duly signed by or on behalf of the respondent shall be proof of service. If the certified mail is not claimed or accepted by the respondent and is returned undelivered, complete service may be made upon the respondent by mailing the complaint to him/her by first-class mail, addressed to him/her at the last address known to the Director. If service is made upon the respondent or his/her attorney or agent of record in person or by leaving the complaint at the office or place of business of the respondent, attorney or agent, the verified return by the person making service, setting forth the manner of service, shall be proof of such service.

(b) Service of papers other than complaint. Any paper other than the complaint may be served upon a respondent as provided in paragraph (a) of this section or by mailing the paper by first-class mail to the respondent at the last address known to the Director, or by mailing the paper by first-class mail to the respondent's attorney or agent of record. Such mailing shall constitute complete service. Notices may be served upon the respondent or his/her attorney or agent of record by telegraph.

(c) Filing of papers. Whenever the filing of a paper is required or permitted in connection with a proceeding, and the place of filing is not specified by this subpart or by rule or order of the Administrative Law Judge, the paper shall be filed with the Director of Practice, Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC 20220. All papers shall be filed in duplicate.

§15.737-14   Answer.

(a) Filing. The respondent's answer shall be filed in writing within the time specified in the complaint, unless on application the time is extended by the Director or the Administrative Law Judge. The answer shall be filed in duplicate with the Director.

(b) Contents. The answer shall contain a statement of facts which constitute the grounds of defense, and it shall specifically admit or deny each allegation set forth in the complaint, except that the respondent shall not deny a material allegation in the complaint which he/she knows to be true, or state that he/she is without sufficient information to form a belief when in fact he/she possesses such information. The respondent may also state affirmatively special matters of defense.

(c) Failure to deny or answer allegations in the complaint. Every allegation in the complaint which is not denied in the answer shall be deemed to be admitted and may be considered as proved, and no further evidence in respect of such allegation need be adduced at a hearing. Failure to file an answer within the time prescribed in the notice to the respondent, except as the time for answer is extended by the Director or the Administrative Law Judge, shall constitute an admission of the allegations of the complaint and a waiver of hearing, and the Administrative Law Judge may make his/her decision by default without a hearing or further procedure.

§15.737-15   Reply to answer.

No reply to the respondent's answer shall be required, and new matter in the answer shall be deemed to be denied, but the Director may file a reply in his/her discretion or at the request of the Administrative Law Judge.

§15.737-16   Proof; variance; amendment of pleadings.

In the case of a variance between the allegations in a pleading and the evidence adduced in support of the pleading, the Administrative Law Judge may order or authorize amendment of the pleading to conform to the evidence: Provided, That the party who would otherwise be prejudiced by the amendment is given reasonable opportunity to meet the allegations of the pleading as amended; and the Administrative Law Judge shall make findings on any issue presented by the pleadings as so amended.

§15.737-17   Motions and requests.

Motions and requests may be filed with the Director or with the Administrative Law Judge.

§15.737-18   Representation.

A respondent or proposed respondent may appear in person or he/she may be represented by counsel or other representative. The Director may be represented by an attorney or other employee of the Department.

§15.737-19   Administrative Law Judge.

(a) Appointment. An Administrative Law Judge appointed as provided by 5 U.S.C. 3105 (1966), shall conduct proceedings upon complaints for the administrative disciplinary proceedings under this part.

(b) Power of Administrative Law Judge. Among other powers, the Administrative Law Judge shall have authority, in connection with any proceeding assigned or referred to him/her, to do the following:

(1) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(2) Make rulings upon motions and requests, which rulings may not be appealed from prior to the close of a hearing except, at the discretion of the Administrative Law Judge, in extraordinary circumstances;

(3) Determine the time and place of hearing and regulate its course and conduct;

(4) Adopt rules of procedure and modify the same from time to time as occasion requires for the orderly disposition of proceedings;

(5) Rule upon offers of proof, receive relevant evidence, and examine witnesses;

(6) Take or authorize the taking of depositions;

(7) Receive and consider oral or written argument on facts or law;

(8) Hold or provide for the holding of conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties;

(9) Assess the responsible party extraordinary costs attributable to the location of a hearing;

(10) Perform such acts and take such measures as are necessary or appropriate to the efficient conduct of any proceeding; and

(11) Make initial decisions.

§15.737-20   Hearings.

(a) In general. The Administrative Law Judge shall preside at the hearing on a complaint for the suspension of a former officer or employee from practice before the Department. Hearings shall be stenographically recorded and transcribed and the testimony of witnesses shall be taken under oath or affirmation. Hearings will be conducted pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 556.

(b) Public access to hearings. Hearings will be closed unless an open hearing is requested by the respondent, except that if classified information or protected information of third parties (such as tax information) is likely to be adduced at the hearing, it will remain closed. A request for an open hearing must be included in the answer to be considered.

(c) Failure to appear. If either party to the proceeding fails to appear at the hearing, after due notice thereof has been sent to him/her, he/she shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing and the Administrative Law Judge may make a decision against the absent party by default.

§15.737-21   Evidence.

(a) In general. The rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law and equity are not controlling in hearings on complaints for the suspension of a former officer or employee from practice before the Department. However, the Administrative Law Judge shall exclude evidence which is irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious.

(b) Depositions. The deposition of any witness taken pursuant to §15.737-22 of this part may be admitted.

(c) Proof of documents. Official documents, records and papers of the Department shall be admissible in evidence without the production of an officer or employee to authenticate them. Any such documents, records, and papers may be evidenced by a copy attested or identified by an officer or employee of the Department.

(d) Exhibits. If any document, record, or other paper is introduced in evidence as an exhibit, the Administrative Law Judge may authorize the withdrawal of the exhibit subject to any conditions which he/she deems proper.

(e) Objections. Objections to evidence shall be in short form, stating the grounds of objection relied upon, and the record shall not include argument thereon, except as ordered by the Administrative Law Judge. Rulings on such objections shall be a part of the record. No exception to the ruling is necessary to preserve the rights of the parties.

§15.737-22   Depositions.

Depositions for use at a hearing may, with the consent of the parties in writing or the written approval of the Administrative Law Judge, be taken by either the Director or the respondent or their duly authorized representatives. Depositions may be taken upon oral or written interrogatories, upon not less than 10 days' written notice to the other party before any officer duly authorized to administer an oath for general purposes or before an officer or employee of the Department who is authorized to administer an oath. Such notice shall state the names of the witnesses and the time and place where the depositions are to be taken. The requirement of 10 days' notice may be waived by the parties in writing, and depositions may then be taken from the persons and at the times and places mutually agreed to by the parties. When a deposition is taken upon written interrogatories, any cross-examination shall be upon written interrogatories. Copies of such written interrogatories shall be served upon the other party with the notice, and copies of any written cross-interrogation shall be mailed or delivered to the opposing party at least 5 days before the date of taking the depositions, unless the parties mutually agree otherwise. A party upon whose behalf a deposition is taken must file it with the Administrative Law Judge and serve one copy upon the opposing party. Expenses in the reporting of depositions shall be borne by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.

§15.737-23   Transcript.

In cases where the hearing is stenographically reported by a Government contract reporter, copies of the transcript may be obtained from the reporter at rates not to exceed the maximum rates fixed by contract between the Government and the reporter or from the Department at actual cost of duplication. Where the hearing is stenographically reported by a regular employee of the Department, a copy thereof will be supplied to the respondent either without charge or upon payment of a reasonable fee. Copies of exhibits introducted at the hearing or at the taking of depositions will be supplied to the parties upon the payment of a reasonable fee (Sec. 501, Pub. L. 82-137, 65 Stat. 290 (31 U.S.C. 483a)).

§15.737-24   Proposed findings and conclusions.

Except in cases where the respondent has failed to answer the complaint or where a party has failed to appear at the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge prior to making his/her decision, shall afford the parties a reasonable opportunity to submit proposed findings and conclusions and supporting reasons therefor.

§15.737-25   Decision of the Administrative Law Judge.

As soon as practicable after the conclusion of a hearing and the receipt of any proposed findings and conclusions timely submitted by the parties, the Administrative Law Judge shall make the initial decision in the case. The decision shall include (a) a statement of findings and conclusions, as well as the reasons or basis therefor, upon all the material issues of fact, law, or discretion presented on the record, and (b) an order of suspension from practice before the Department or separate statutory agency thereof or other appropriate disciplinary action, or an order of dismissal of the complaint. The Administrative Law Judge shall file the decision with the Director and shall transmit a copy thereof to the respondent or his/her attorney of record. In the absence of an appeal to the General Counsel or review of the decision upon motion of the General Counsel, the decision of the Administrative Law Judge shall without further proceedings become the decision of the General Counsel 30 days from the date of the Administrative Law Judge's decision.

§15.737-26   Appeal to the General Counsel.

Within 30 days from the date of the Administrative Law Judge's decision, either party may appeal to the General Counsel. The appeal shall be filed with the Director in duplicate and shall include exceptions to the decision of the Administrative Law Judge and supporting reasons for such exceptions. If an appeal is filed by the Director, he/she shall transmit a copy thereof to the respondent. Within 30 days after receipt of an appeal or copy thereof, the other party may file a reply brief in duplicate with the Director. If the reply brief is filed by the Director, he/she shall transmit a copy of it to the respondent. Upon the filing of an appeal and a reply brief, if any, the Director shall transmit the entire record to the General Counsel.

§15.737-27   Decision of the General Counsel.

On appeal from or review of the initial decision of the Administrative Law Judge, the General Counsel will make the agency decision. In making his/her decision, the General Counsel will review the record or such portions thereof as may be cited by the parties to permit limiting of the issues. A copy of the General Counsel's decision shall be transmitted to the respondent by the Director.

§15.737-28   Notice of disciplinary action.

(a) Upon the issuance of a final order suspending a former officer or employee from practice before the Department or a separate statutory agency thereof, the Director shall give notice thereof to appropriate officers and employees of the Department. Officers and employees of the Department shall refuse to participate in any appearance by such former officer or employee or to accept any communication which constitutes the prohibited practice before the Department or separate statutory agency thereof during the period of suspension.

(b) The Director shall take other appropriate disciplinary action as may be required by the final order.

Subpart D—Other Departmental Proceedings

§15.737-29   Review by the General Counsel.

In my proceeding before the Department, if an initial decision is made with respect to the disqualification of a representative or attorney for a party on the grounds of 18 U.S.C. 207(a), (b) or (c), such decision may be appealed to the General Counsel, who will make the agency decision on the issue.

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