[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 248 (Wednesday, December 27, 1995)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66857-66858]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-31280]

Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 248 / Wednesday, December 27, 1995 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 66857]]


5 CFR Part 2635

RINs 3209-AA04, 3209-AA15

Further Grace Period Extension for Certain Existing Agency 
Standards of Conduct

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Final rule; technical amendment.


SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics is granting a further 
grandfathering grace period extension of just over eight months for 
certain existing executive agency standards of conduct, dealing with 
financial interest prohibitions and prior approval for outside 
employment and activities, which have been temporarily preserved. This 
further action (two previous extensions have been granted) is necessary 
because many agencies still have not been able to issue, with OGE 
concurrence and co-signature, interim or final supplemental regulations 
during the prior grace periods. This further extension will help ensure 
that agencies which in conjunction with OGE are actively working on 
draft supplementals will have adequate time to issue, if they so 
desire, successor regulatory provisions to replace grandfathered 
financial interest prohibitions and prior approval requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 3, 1996.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William E. Gressman, Office of 
Government Ethics, telephone: 202-523-5757, FAX: 202-523-6325.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Government Ethics is granting 
under the executive branch standards of ethical conduct a further 
extension of time for just over eight months, until August 7, 1996, for 
certain agencies' existing conduct standards dealing with prohibited 
financial interests and prior approval for outside employment and 
activities. When OGE published its ethical conduct standards for 
executive branch employees in the Federal Register on August 7, 1992 
(as now codified at 5 CFR part 2635), it provided that most existing 
individual agency standards of conduct would be superseded once the 
executive branchwide standards took effect on February 3, 1993. 
However, OGE also provided, by means of notes following 5 CFR 
2635.403(a) and 2635.803, that any existing agency standards dealing 
with the two types of restrictions noted above would be preserved for 
one year, until February 3, 1994, or until the agency concerned issued 
(with OGE concurrence and co-signature) a supplemental regulation, 
whichever occurred first. See 57 FR 35006-35067, as corrected at 57 FR 
48557 and 52583 and 60 FR 51667. In February of 1994 and 1995, OGE 
extended that original grace period for a total of a year and eleven 
months, until January 3, 1996 (or until agency issuance of a 
supplemental regulation), for those executive branch departments and 
agencies that had not yet been able to issue final or interim final 
successor rules. See 59 FR 4779-4780 (February 2, 1994) and 60 FR 6390-
6391 (February 2, 1995), as well as appendixes A and B which were added 
to part 2635.
    Through OGE's liaison efforts, the Office of the Federal Register 
(OFR) has assigned new chapters, including parts, at the end of title 5 
of the Code of Federal Regulations to accommodate agencies' future 
supplemental standards regulations (on these two and other appropriate 
subject areas), as well as any supplemental agency regulations under 
OGE's executive branchwide financial disclosure provisions at 5 CFR 
part 2634. Almost 60 agencies have had such chapters reserved, 
including those which have by now already issued, with OGE concurrence 
and co-signature, interim final or final supplemental ethics 
regulations. However, many agencies have still not yet had the time to 
issue their planned supplemental standards regulations in interim or 
final form.
    The Office of Government Ethics has therefore determined to permit 
a further preservation of existing agency regulatory standards of 
conduct setting forth financial interest prohibitions and outside 
employment and activities prior approval requirements for just over 
eight more months, until August 7, 1996 (or until issuance by each 
agency of its supplemental regulation, whichever comes first), for 
those agencies which are actively working in conjunction with OGE on 
draft supplemental standards regulations. The agencies subject to this 
further grandfathering grace period extension (including the Social 
Security Administration which statutorily separated from the Department 
of Health and Human Services during the past year), as provided in the 
notes (which are hereby being further amended) following 5 CFR 
2635.403(a) and 2635.803, are enumerated at new appendix C which OGE is 
adding to part 2635. The agencies are listed in the order of the 
assignment of their chapter numbers at the end of 5 CFR. Agencies not 
listed either have not expressed an interest in issuing supplemental 
agency ethics regulations, have indicated to OGE that they are no 
longer interested in a further grace period extension, or have already 
issued final or interim final supplemental standards.
    The Office of Government Ethics notes that it is not by this 
rulemaking setting a deadline for agencies to submit supplemental 
ethics regulations. Agencies can, with OGE concurrence and co- 
signature, issue supplementals at any time. Further, they can, at any 
time, have new title 5 CFR chapters reserved through OGE and OFR for 
such purpose if they have not already done so. Moreover, if an agency's 
prohibited financial interest (and/or prior approval) restrictions are 
based on a separate statute, they are not superseded by the 5 CFR part 
2635 executive branchwide standards. If any related regulatory 
provisions were located in its old agency standards of conduct, the 
agency concerned could, after consultation with OGE, retain them in 
their existing place in the agency's own CFR title and chapter or move 
the provisions to another appropriate part of its regulations. See 5 
CFR 2635.105(c)(3). Only prior standards of conduct provisions that are 
purely regulatory in nature are subject to supersession from the 
executive branchwide regulation at 5 CFR part 2635, with entitlement to 
the successive grace periods for the two enumerated types of provisions 
as provided in the further amended notes 

[[Page 66858]]
at Secs. 2635.403(a) and 2635.803 as well as appendixes A, B and C.

Administrative Procedure Act

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and (d), as Director of the Office of 
Government Ethics, I find good cause exists for waiving the general 
notice of proposed rulemaking and 30-day delay in effectiveness as to 
this further grace period extension. The notice and delayed effective 
date are being waived because this rulemaking concerns a matter of 
agency organization, practice and procedure. Furthermore, it is in the 
public interest that those agencies concerned have adequate time to 
promulgate successor provisions to another their existing standards of 
conduct regulations in these two areas without a lapse in necessary 
regulatory restrictions.

Executive Order 12866

    In promulgating this grace period extension technical amendment, 
the Office of Government Ethics has adhered to the regulatory 
philosophy and the applicable principles of regulation set forth in 
section 1 of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. 
This amendment has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget under that Executive order, as it is not deemed ``significant'' 

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I certify under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this rulemaking 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply 
because this rulemaking does not contain information collection 
requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and 

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 2635

    Conflict of interests, Government employees.

    Approved: December 14, 1995.
Stephen D. Potts,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.
    Accordingly, pursuant to its authority under title IV of the Ethics 
in Government Act and Executive Order 12674/12731, the Office of 
Government Ethics is amending 5 CFR part 2635 as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 2635 continues to read as 

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 7351, 7353; 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978); E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., 
p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., 
p. 306.

    2. The notes following both Secs. 2635.403(a) and 2635.803 are 
amended by adding a new sentence at the end of each to read as follows:

    Note: * * * Provided still further, that for those agencies 
listed in appendix C to this part, the grace period for any such 
existing provisions shall be further extended until August 7, 1996 
or until issuance by each individual agency concerned of a 
supplemental regulation, whichever occurs first.

    3. A new appendix C is added at the end of part 2635 to read as 

Appendix C to Part 2635--Agencies Entitled to Another Further 
(Third) Grace Period Extension Pursuant to Notes Following 
Secs. 2635.403(a) and 2635.803

 1. Department of the Treasury
 2. Department of Energy
 3. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
 4. Department of the Interior
 5. Department of Commerce
 6. Department of Justice
 7. Federal Communications Commission
 8. Securities and Exchange Commission
 9. Office of Personnel Management
10. Thrift Depositor Protection Oversight Board
11. United States Information Agency
12. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
13. Department of State
14. Department of Labor
15. National Science Foundation
16. Small Business Administration
17. Department of Health and Human Services
18. Department of Transportation
19. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
20. Environmental Protection Agency
21. National Transportation Safety Board
22. General Services Administration
23. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
24. National Labor Relations Board
25. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
26. Department of Housing and Urban Development
27. National Archives and Records Administration
28. Peace Corps
29. Tennessee Valley Authority
30. Consumer Product Safety Commission
31. Executive Office of the President
32. Department of Agriculture
33. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
34. Agency for International Development
35. Social Security Administration

[FR Doc. 95-31280 Filed 12-26-95; 8:45 am]