(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.
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.