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e-CFR data is current as of August 4, 2020

Title 45Subtitle ASubchapter APart 73aSubpart E → §73a.735-504

Title 45: Public Welfare
Subpart E—Financial Interests

§73a.735-504   Exceptions.

(a) A control activity employee who can satisfy all of the conditions specified in §73a.735-502(a)(2) may submit a request to retain a prohibited financial interest. Any such request must be submitted no later than 30 days after the event that results in the employee holding the prohibited financial interest. Such requests for exception should be forwarded in writing through supervisory channels to the Associate Commissioner for Administration for review by the FDA Conflict of Interest Review Board and subsequent recommendation to the Commissioner. All decisions on requests for exceptions shall be in writing and a copy furnished to the employee involved.

(b) A memorandum of each approved exception shall be filed in the Public Records and Documents Center for public inspection. Such public disclosure shall be made within 10 days after the Commissioner's decision. The following is an example of the format of such memorandum (in a hypothetical employee situation):

(1) Employee: Joe Doe.

(2) Title: Research Chemist.

(3) Grade/Salary: GS-14.

(4) Organization: Bureau of Biologics, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Md.

(5) Date of employee's request for exception: ______.

(6) Date of Commissioner's approval: ______.

(7) Basis for exception: Employee owns financial interest in the ABC Foods Corporation, and permanent retention is normally prohibited under FDA/HHS conflict of interest regulations for such an employee. The employee, however, acquired this financial interest prior to his reassignment to FDA on ______, which was part of a major Department reorganization transferring certain functions from NIH to the FDA (i.e., FDA's Bureau of Biologics). At the time of acquisition and immediately prior to the reorganization, the employee's financial interest was allowable under Department regulations. The employee's official duties are fully confined to the matters under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Biologics, and his official duties do not involve any contact with the food industry. The Commissioner has determined that an exception is warranted under the following criteria:

(i) Acquisition occurred prior to Department reorganization;

(ii) Financial interest retention will not give rise to an actual conflict of interest situation;

(iii) There is no direct relationship between the employee's official duties and the regulated activities of ABC Foods;

(iv) The employee occupies a position below that of Bureau or Deputy Bureau Director (or equivalent position in the Office of the Commissioner); and

(v) The employee agrees to refrain from engaging in any direct or indirect transactions that are designed to increase the value/shares of the “excepted” ABC Foods interests.

This exception is considered equitable to the employee involved, and retention of the ABC Foods interest will not in any way impair the interests of the Government or of the public.

(c) In interpreting the requirement of §73a.735-502(a)(2)(v), events not involving employee discretion (e.g., accepting dividends in the form of cash or additional shares) do not constitute transactions designed to increase the value/shares of an “excepted” financial interest. A transaction involving discretion, e.g., exercise of stock options, may be made only if proposed to the Associate Commissioner for Administration and approved by the Conflict of Interest Review Board as an amendment to the original exception. A memorandum recording such approval shall be made public in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) An employee may temporarily retain a prohibited financial interest pending review of a written request for an exception submitted in accordance with this section.

(e) Except as provided in §73a.735-501(c), no employee may participate in an official matter whose outcome will have a direct and predictable effect on a financial interest held by him. This prohibition applies to official matters handled before and after approval of an exception under this section.

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