[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 153 (Wednesday, August 7, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 40950-40952]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-19971]



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 one further 
grandfathering grace period extension of just under three months for 
certain existing executive agency standards of conduct, dealing with 
regulatory financial interest prohibitions and prior approval for 
outside employment and activities, which have been temporarily 
preserved. This further action (three previous extensions have been 
granted) is necessary because some 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 supplemental regulatory provisions 
to replace grandfathered financial interest prohibitions and prior 
approval requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 7, 1996.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William E. Gressman, Office of 
Government Ethics; telephone: 202-208-8000, extension 1110; FAX: 202-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Government Ethics is granting, 
under the executive branch standards of ethical conduct, an extension 
of time until November 1, 1996 for certain

[[Page 40951]]

agencies' existing conduct standards dealing with regulatory 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individual agency standards of conduct would be superseded once the 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, 57 FR 52583 and 60 FR 51667. In February 1994, February 1995 and 
December 1995, OGE extended that original grace period for a total of 
some two and a half years, until August 7, 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), 
60 FR 6390-6391 (February 2, 1995) and 60 FR 66857-66858 (December 27, 
1995), as well as appendixes A, B and C 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, some agencies have still not issued 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 provisions described above until November 1, 1996 (or until 
issuance by each agency listed 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, 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 D 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 agencies listed should take advantage of this final 
further extension to complete the issuance, with OGE concurrence and 
co-signature, of replacement regulations for grandfathered provisions 
which otherwise will be superseded this fall at the end of this 
    The Office of Government Ethics does note that it is not by this 
rulemaking, which only affects grandfathered provisions, 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 
specific authority independent of 5 CFR part 2635, 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).

Administrative Procedure Act

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and (d), as Deputy 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 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 Deputy 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 because it primarily affects executive branch 
departments and agencies and their employees.

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: August 1st, 1996.
F. Gary Davis,
Deputy 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 D to this part, the grace period for any such 

[[Page 40952]]

provisions shall be further extended until November 1, 1996 or until 
issuance by each individual agency concerned of a supplemental 
regulation, whichever occurs first.

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

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

1. Department of the Treasury
2. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
3. Department of the Interior
4. Department of Commerce
5. Department of Justice
6. Federal Communications Commission
7. Securities and Exchange Commission
8. United States Information Agency
9. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
10. Department of State
11. Department of Labor
12. National Science Foundation
13. Small Business Administration
14. Department of Transportation
15. National Transportation Safety Board
16. General Services Administration
17. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
18. National Labor Relations Board
19. Peace Corps
20. Consumer Product Safety Commission
21. Executive Office of the President
22. Department of Agriculture
23. Agency for International Development
24. Social Security Administration

[FR Doc. 96-19971 Filed 8-6-96; 8:45 am]