82 FR 50494, Nov. 1, 2017, unless otherwise noted.
(a) Purpose. In accordance with § 2635.105 of this title, the regulations in this part apply to employees, including Commissioners, of the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) and supplement the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch contained in part 2635 of this title. In addition, the executive branch financial disclosure regulations contained in part 2634 of this title, additional regulations on responsibilities and conduct at part 735 of this title, and Commission-specific provisions contained in 39 CFR part 3000 apply to Commission employees.
(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this part:
(1) The term securities includes an interest in debt or equity instruments. The term includes, without limitation, secured and unsecured bonds, debentures, notes, securitized assets, and commercial paper, as well as all types of preferred and common stock. The term encompasses both current and contingent ownership interests, including any beneficial or legal interest derived from a trust. It extends to any right to acquire or dispose of any long or short position in such securities and includes, without limitation, interests convertible into such securities, as well as options, rights, warrants, puts, calls, and straddles with respect thereto.
(2) The term parent means a company that possesses, directly or indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of an entity identified in § 5601.102 (b)(1)(i) through (v).
(3) The term person means an individual, corporation and subsidiaries it controls, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other organization or institution, including any officer, employee, or agent of such person or entity. For purposes of this part, a corporation will be deemed to control a subsidiary if it owns 50 percent or more of the subsidiary's voting securities. The term is all-inclusive and applies to commercial ventures and nonprofit organizations as well as to foreign, State, and local governments, including the Government of the District of Columbia. It does not include any agency or other entity of the Federal Government or any officer or employee thereof when acting in his official capacity on behalf of that agency or entity.
(4) The term entity means person.
(5) The term DAEO means the Designated Agency Ethics Official, or his delegate under § 2638.601 of this title.
(6) The term employment means any form of non-Federal employment or business relationship involving the provision of personal services by the employee. It includes but is not limited to personal services as an officer, director, employee, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, general partner or trustee. Employment does not include participation in the activities of a nonprofit charitable, religious, professional, social, fraternal, educational, recreational, public service or civic organization unless such activities involve the practice of a profession within the meaning of § 2636.305(b)(1) of this title, including the giving of professional advice, or are for compensation, other than reimbursement of expenses.
(7) The term publicly held corporation means any corporation issuing any class of common equity securities required to be registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
(8) The term dependent child means when used with respect to any reporting individual, any individual who is a son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter and who:
(i) Is unmarried, under age 21, and living in the household of the reporting individual; or
(ii) Is a dependent of the reporting individual within the meaning of section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. 152.
(a) General prohibition. No employee, and no spouse or dependent child of an employee, shall acquire or hold any securities issued by an entity on the prohibited securities list described in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Prohibited securities list. At least once a year, the Commission will publish and distribute to employees a list of entities whose securities an employee or the spouse or dependent child of an employee may not own.
(1) The list shall include:
(i) An entity participating in a proceeding before the Commission in the last 4 years, e.g., complainants, appellants, intervenors, and entities filing comments on the record in Commission proceedings;
(ii) A party to a proceeding to which the Commission is a party, e.g., appellate proceedings, administrative proceedings, or civil actions;
(iii) An entity primarily engaged in the business of delivering packages, merchandise, or written communications, i.e., an entity whose primary business competes with the Postal Service;
(iv) An entity providing services or products to the Postal Service that can be expected to produce annual revenue:
(A) to a publicly held corporation exceeding $1,000,000, and if the entity reports its gross revenue publicly, exceeding 10 percent of its annual gross revenue; or
(B) to any other entity exceeding $100,000, and if the entity reports its gross revenue publicly, exceeding 5 percent of the entity's annual gross revenue;
(v) Any other entities not listed above for which a Commission employee holding a security may raise an actual or apparent loss of impartiality affecting the integrity of the Commission's programs and operations, e.g., entities primarily engaged in the business of publishing or distributing publications such as periodicals or sending advertising, promotional, or other material on behalf of itself or another entity through the mails; and
(2) The list shall not include an entity whose use of the mail is merely an incidental or minor factor in the general conduct of its business.
(c) Exception. Nothing in this section prohibits an employee, or the spouse or dependent child of an employee, from acquiring or holding an interest in a publicly traded or publicly available mutual fund or other collective investment fund, or in a widely held pension or mutual fund, provided that the fund's prospectus or practice does not indicate the stated objective of concentrating its investments in entities identified in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (vi) of this section.
(d) Newly prohibited securities or new employees. Within 30 days after the Commission disseminates the prohibited securities list to an employee, an employee who owns, or whose spouse or dependent child owns, prohibited securities shall report that ownership to the DAEO. The employee's report must be in writing and include the name of the prohibited security and the date of acquisition. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, the employee, or the spouse or dependent child of the employee, shall divest prohibited securities within 90 days after dissemination of the prohibited securities list.
(e) Securities acquired without specific intent. Within 30 days after an employee, or the spouse or dependent child of an employee, acquires securities of an entity on the prohibited securities list as a result of marriage, inheritance, gift or otherwise without specific intent to acquire the securities, the employee shall report the acquisition to the DAEO. The employee's report must be in writing and include the name of the prohibited security, the date of acquisition, and the method of acquisition. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, an employee, or the spouse or dependent child of an employee, shall divest prohibited securities within 90 days after the date of acquisition.
(f) Divestiture -
(1) Procedure for accomplishing divestiture. To alleviate an actual or apparent conflict of interest, an employee divesting prohibited securities shall obtain written confirmation from the DAEO that divesture has been accomplished. A request for such confirmation shall be submitted in writing with sufficient proof to enable the DAEO to confirm that the employee has divested the prohibited security. The employee shall continue to be recused until the date of the DAEO's written confirmation that divesture has been accomplished.
(3) Disqualification pending divestiture. Pending divestiture of prohibited securities, an employee must disqualify himself or herself, in accordance with § 2635.402 of this title, from participation in particular matters which, as a result of continued ownership of the prohibited securities, would affect the financial interests of the employee, or those of the spouse or dependent child of the employee.
(g) Waivers. The DAEO may grant a written waiver from this section based on a determination that the waiver is not inconsistent with part 2635 of this title or otherwise prohibited by law and that, under the particular circumstances, application of the prohibition is not necessary to avoid the appearance of an employee's misuse of position or loss of impartiality, or to otherwise ensure confidence in the impartiality and objectivity with which the Commission's programs are administered, or in the case of a special Government employee, divestiture would result in substantial financial hardship. A waiver under this paragraph must be in writing and may impose conditions, such as requiring execution of a written disqualification.
(a) An employee who has been assigned to or is supervising work on a particular matter that affects the financial interests of a prospective employer and who is required, in accordance with § 2635.604(a) of this title, to disqualify himself or herself from participation in that matter shall provide written notice of disqualification to the DAEO within 3 business days. The DAEO shall inform the employee's supervisor that the employee is disqualified from the matter. Public filers must comply with the notification requirement set forth in § 2635.607 of this title even when not required to disqualify from participation in a particular matter. Employees who file a notification statement in compliance with § 2635.607 of this title are not required to file a separate notice under this section.
(b) An employee may withdraw written notice under paragraph (a) of this section upon determining that disqualification from participation in the matter is no longer required. A withdrawal of disqualification shall be in writing and shall be provided to the DAEO. The DAEO shall inform the employee's supervisor that the employee is no longer disqualified from the matter.
(a) Prior approval for outside employment. An employee who wishes to engage in outside employment, either on a paid or unpaid basis, shall obtain the prior written approval of the DAEO. A request for such approval shall be submitted in writing with sufficient description of the employment to enable the DAEO to give approval based on an informed determination that the outside employment is not expected to involve conduct prohibited by statute or Federal regulation, including paragraph (a) of this section and part 2635 of this title. The DAEO shall provide a copy of any written approvals for outside employment to the employee's supervisor.
(b) Scope of approval. An employee must submit a new request for approval upon either a significant change in the nature or scope of the outside employment or a change in the employee's Commission position or assigned responsibilities.