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Title 5

Displaying title 5, up to date as of 9/23/2021. Title 5 was last amended 9/21/2021.

Title 5

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Subpart C - Individual Waivers
§ 2640.301 Waivers issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1).

(a) Requirements for issuing an individual waiver under 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1). Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1), an agency may determine in an individual case that a disqualifying financial interest in a particular matter or matters is not so substantial as to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the employee's services to the Government. Upon making that determination, the agency may then waive the employee's disqualification notwithstanding the financial interest, and permit the employee to participate in the particular matter. Waivers issued pursuant to section 208(b)(1) should comply with the following requirements:

(1) The disqualifying financial interest, and the nature and circumstances of the particular matter or matters, must be fully disclosed to the Government official responsible for appointing the employee to his position (or other Government official to whom authority to issue such a waiver for the employee has been delegated);

(2) The waiver must be issued in writing by the Government official responsible for appointing the employee to his position (or other Government official to whom the authority to issue such a waiver for the employee has been delegated);

(3) The waiver should describe the disqualifying financial interest, the particular matter or matters to which it applies, the employee's role in the matter or matters, and any limitations on the employee's ability to act in such matters;

(4) The waiver shall be based on a determination that the disqualifying financial interest is not so substantial as to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the employee's services to the Government. Statements concerning the employee's good character are not material to, nor a basis for making, such a decision;

(5) The waiver must be issued prior to the employee taking any action in the matter or matters; and

(6) The waiver may apply to both present and future financial interests, provided the interests are described with sufficient specificity.

Note to paragraph (a):

The disqualifying financial interest, the particular matter or matters to which the waiver applies, and the employee's role in such matters do not need to be described with any particular degree of specificity. For example, if a waiver were to apply to all matters which an employee would undertake as part of his official duties, the waiver document would not have to enumerate those duties. The information contained in the waiver, however, should provide a clear understanding of the nature and identity of the disqualifying financial interest, the matters to which the waiver will apply, and the employee's role in such matters.

(b) Agency determination concerning substantiality of the disqualifying financial interest. In determining whether a disqualifying financial interest is sufficiently substantial to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the employee's services to the Government, the responsible official may consider the following factors:

(1) The type of interest that is creating the disqualification (e.g. stock, bonds, real estate, other securities, cash payment, job offer, or enhancement of a spouse's employment);

(2) The identity of the person whose financial interest is involved, and if the interest is not the employee's, the relationship of that person to the employee;

(3) The dollar value of the disqualifying financial interest, if it is known or can be estimated (e.g. the amount of cash payment which may be gained or lost, the salary of the job which will be gained or lost, the predictable change in either the market value of the stock or the actual or potential profit or loss or cost of the matter to the company issuing the stock, the change in the value of real estate or other securities);

(4) The value of the financial instrument or holding from which the disqualifying financial interest arises (e.g. the face value of the stock, bond, other security or real estate) and its value in relationship to the individual's assets. If the disqualifying financial interest is that of a general partner or organization specified in section 208, this information must be provided only to the extent that it is known by the employee; and

(5) The nature and importance of the employee's role in the matter, including the extent to which the employee is called upon to exercise discretion in the matter.

(6) Other factors which may be taken into consideration include:

(i) The sensitivity of the matter;

(ii) The need for the employee's services in the particular matter; and

(iii) Adjustments that may be made in the employee's duties that would reduce or eliminate the likelihood that the integrity of the employee's services would be questioned by a reasonable person.

§ 2640.302 Waivers issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(3).

(a) Requirements for issuing an individual waiver under 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(3). Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(3), an agency may determine in an individual case that the prohibition of 18 U.S.C. 208(a) should not apply to a special Government employee serving on, or an individual being considered for, appointment to an advisory committee established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notwithstanding the fact that the individual has one or more financial interests that would be affected by the activities of the advisory committee. The agency's determination must be based on a certification that the need for the employee's services outweighs the potential for a conflict of interest created by the financial interest involved. Waivers issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(3) should comply with the following requirements:

(1) The advisory committee upon which the individual is serving, or will serve, is an advisory committee within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. app.;

(2) The waiver must be issued in writing by the Government official responsible for the individual's appointment (or other Government official to which authority to issue such waivers has been delegated) after the official reviews the financial disclosure report filed by the individual pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978;

(3) The waiver must include a certification that the need for the individual's services on the advisory committee outweighs the potential for a conflict of interest;

(4) The facts upon which the certification is based should be fully described in the waiver, including the nature of the financial interest, and the particular matter or matters to which the waiver applies;

(5) The waiver should describe any limitations on the individual's ability to act in the matter or matters;

(6) The waiver must be issued prior to the individual taking any action in the matter or matters; and

(7) The waiver may apply to both present and future financial interests of the individual, provided the interests are described with sufficient specificity.

(b) Agency certification concerning need for individual's services. In determining whether the need for an individual's services on an advisory committee outweighs the potential for a conflict of interest created by the disqualifying financial interest, the responsible official may consider the following factors:

(1) The type of interest that is creating the disqualification (e.g. stock, bonds, real estate, other securities, cash payment, job offer, or enhancement of a spouse's employment);

(2) The identity of the person whose financial interest is involved, and if the interest is not the individual's, the relationship of that person to the individual;

(3) The uniqueness of the individual's qualifications;

(4) The difficulty of locating a similarly qualified individual without a disqualifying financial interest to serve on the committee;

(5) The dollar value of the disqualifying financial interest, if it is known or can be estimated (e.g. the amount of cash payment which may be gained or lost, the salary of the job which will be gained or lost, the predictable change in either the market value of the stock or the actual or potential profit or loss or cost of the matter to the company issuing the stock, the change in the value of real estate or other securities);

(6) The value of the financial instrument or holding from which the disqualifying financial interest arises (e.g. the face value of the stock, bond, other security or real estate) and its value in relationship to the individual's assets. If the disqualifying financial interest is that of a general partner or organization specified in section 208, this information must be provided only to the extent that it is known by the employee; and

(7) The extent to which the disqualifying financial interest will be affected individually or particularly by the actions of the advisory committee.

§ 2640.303 Consultation and notification regarding waivers.

When practicable, an official is required to consult formally or informally with the Office of Government Ethics prior to granting a waiver referred to in §§ 2640.301 and 2640.302. A copy of each such waiver is to be forwarded to the Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

§ 2640.304 Public availability of agency waivers.

(a) Availability. A copy of an agency waiver issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208 (b)(1) or (b)(3) shall be made available upon request to the public by the issuing agency. Public release of waivers shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth in section 105 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended. Those procedures are described in 5 CFR 2634.603.

(b) Limitations on availability. In making a waiver issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208 (b)(1) or (b)(3) publicly available, an agency:

(1) May withhold from public disclosure any information contained in the waiver that would be exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552; and

(2) Shall withhold from public disclosure information in a waiver issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(3) concerning an individual's financial interestwhich is more extensive than that required to be disclosed by the individual in his financial disclosure report under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, or which is otherwise subject to a prohibition on public disclosure under law.