[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 228 (Monday, November 25, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 59815-59820]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-29991]


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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

5 CFR Ch. XLIII

RINs 3209-AA15, 3145-AA20


Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
National Science Foundation

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF or Foundation).

ACTION: Interim rule, with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The National Science Foundation, with the concurrence of the 
Office of Government Ethics (OGE), is issuing regulations for officers 
and employees of the NSF that supplement the Standards of Ethical 
Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (Standards) issued by 
OGE. The rule is a necessary supplement to the Standards, and addresses 
ethical issues unique to NSF. It restricts employee participation in 
certain proposals and awards; provides for clearance for participation 
in NSF-supported conferences and in certain other outside activities, 
and prescribes certain ethics restriction on Members of the National 
Science Board.

DATES: Interim rule effective November 25, 1996. Comments are invited 
and must be received on or before January 24, 1997. Comments will then 
be evaluated in order to determine what changes, if any, may be needed.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to the Office of the General Counsel, National 
Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1265, Arlington, 
Virginia 22230.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Charles S. Brown, Designated Agency Ethics Official, Office of the 
General Counsel, National Science Foundation, telephone 703-306-1060, 
FAX 703-306-0149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On August 7, 1992, the Office of Government Ethics published 
Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch 
(Standards) that are now codified at 5 CFR part 2635. See 57 FR 35006-
35067, as corrected at 57 48557, 57 FR 52583, and 60 FR 51667, and 
amended at 61 FR 42965-42970 (as corrected at 61 FR 48733) and 61 FR 
50689-50691, with additional grade period extensions at 59 FR 4779-
4780, 60 FR 6390-6391, 60 FR 66857-66858, and 61 FR 40950-40952. The 
Standards took effect on February 3, 1993, and set uniform standards of 
ethical conduct for all executive branch personnel.
    With the concurrence of OGE, 5 CFR 2635.105 authorizes executive 
branch agencies to publish agency-specific supplemental regulations 
that are necessary to properly implement agency ethics programs. The 
Foundation, with OGE's concurrence, has determined that the following 
supplemental rule, being codified in new chapter XLIII of 5 CFR, 
consisting of part 5301, is necessary to successfully implement NSF's 
ethics program in light of NSF's unique programs, structure, and 
operations. Today NSF also published in the Federal Register 
regulations that repeal portions of its conflict of interest and 
standards of conduct regulations that are superseded by 5 CFR part 2635 
and by these supplemental regulations.

[[Page 59816]]

II. Analysis of the Regulations

Section 5301.101  General

    Section 5301.101(a) explains that the regulations contained in the 
interim rule apply to all NSF employees, including members of the 
National Science Board (NSB), and that they supplement the Standards of 
Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch at 5 CFR part 
2635.
    Section 5301.101(b) sets forth definitions that apply to the 
interim rule. While the rule contains provisions applicable to special 
Government employees, including Members of the NSB, particular 
substantive provisions apply to special Government employees and NSB 
Members only when the substantive language specifically makes that 
provision applicable. Thus, for purposes of the NSF supplemental 
regulations only, the definitional language in paragraph (b)(2) defines 
the term ``employee'' to exclude special Government employees, 
including Members of the NSB. Exclusion of NSB Members from this 
definitional language facilitates the adoption of slightly different 
supplemental standards for NSB Members than those applicable to other 
NSF employees. The definition at Sec. 5301.101(b)(2) has no effect on 
the manner in which 5 CFR part 2635 applies to NSB Members or other 
special Government employees. They continue to be covered by the 
definition of an employee at 5 CFR 2635.102(h) and to be subject to the 
standards in part 2635 applicable to all employees of the executive 
branch, including special Government employees.
    The definition of ``award'' in paragraph (b)(1) is intended to make 
it clear that, for purposes of interpreting the standards set forth in 
Secs. 5301.102 through 5301.105 of this interim rule, the term is to be 
broadly construed to cover financial arrangements made by the 
Government including, but not limited to, those that are in the nature 
of a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or loan. The definition of 
a ``proposal'' in paragraph (b)(4) is included to make it clear that, 
for similar purposes, the term covers any application for such a 
financial arrangement, even though it is not technically denominated a 
``bid'' or ``proposal.''
    A definition of ``institution'' is provided in paragraph (b)(3). 
Since NSF awards are ordinarily made to ``institutions,'' paragraph 
(b)(3) makes it clear that this term is to be interpreted broadly. In 
accordance with OGE formal advisory opinion 82 OGE 1, regarding the 
breadth of the term ``organization,'' as used in 18 U.S.C. 208 and 
applied to State colleges, universities, and higher education systems, 
the definition applies to all parts of multi-institution State or city 
university systems. (See pp. 851-857 of the bound volume available from 
the Government Printing Office entitled The Informal Advisory Letters 
and Memoranda and Formal Opinions of the United States Office of 
Government Ethics (1979-1988).) However, the definition treats 
consortia as separate ``institutions'' from the colleges and 
universities that belong to them.

Section 5301.102  Participation in Proposals and Awards

    Section 5301.102(a) supplements subpart E (Impartiality in 
Performing Official Duties) of 5 CFR part 2635 with additional 
standards to be used in determining whether NSF employees should or 
should not participate as part of their official duties in proposals 
and awards. Where disqualification is not mandated by 18 U.S.C. 208, 
subpart E creates a mechanism for determining whether employees should 
be disqualified on grounds of lack of impartiality from participation 
in proposals, awards, and other particular matters involving specific 
parties. With the exception of party matters that affect the financial 
interests of a member of the employee's household, the mechanism in 
subpart E is specifically triggered only when a person with whom the 
employee has a covered relationship is a party or represents a party to 
the matter. The definition of a ``covered relationship'' in 5 CFR 
2635.502(b)(1), however, does not cover all the affiliations and 
relationships that NSF believes should be considered in determining 
whether an NSF employee's participation in a proposal or award is 
appropriate.
    Paragraph (a)(3) of Sec. 5301.102 lists the additional 
relationships that are likely to raise questions about an NSF 
employee's ability to participate with complete impartiality in 
proposals and awards involving the persons with whom the employee has 
the affiliation or relationship. As provided in paragraph (a)(1) of 
Sec. 5301.102, one effect of paragraph (a)(3) is to create additional 
categories of covered relationships for NSF employees that are to be 
addressed under all or part of the mechanism set forth in subpart E. 
For certain relationships, paragraph (a)(2) eliminates the discretion 
an employee is otherwise given by 5 CFR 2635.502(a) to make the initial 
judgment call as to whether his or her participation would cause a 
reasonable person to question the employee's impartiality in the 
matter. Paragraph (a)(2) provides that where an affiliation listed in 
paragraph (a)(3) is denoted as ``automatically disqualifying,'' the 
employee is disqualified from participating in a proposal or award to 
which the institution or person is a party unless the employee's 
participation is authorized by the agency designee with the concurrence 
of the Office of the General Counsel.
    The Foundation has long recognized that prospective, current, and 
recent NSF employees are likely to be perceived as having an unfair 
advantage in obtaining NSF awards. Section 5301.102(b) continues NSF's 
current practice of making sure that employees disclose the involvement 
or likely involvement of prospective, current, or recent NSF employees 
in a proposal or award to an appropriate official who, in turn, will 
ensure that the proposal is fairly evaluated or the award is fairly 
administered.
    Section 5301.102(b) also requires employees to disclose the 
involvement or likely involvement of current Members of the NSB. These 
Members are special Government employees, but because they constitute 
NSF's governing body, they too may be perceived as benefiting from an 
unfair advantage in obtaining NSF awards. Nonetheless, Members of the 
NSB are appointed by the President and are not ``recruited'' by NSF in 
the same manner as are prospective NSF employees. For this reason, NSF 
has decided not to require the reporting of the involvement or likely 
involvement of ``prospective'' NSB Members. Section 5301.102(b) also 
does not impose a reporting requirement with respect to ``recent'' NSB 
Members. Members work at NSF for so few days a year that recent NSB 
Members are unlikely to have developed close ties with NSF employees 
who might handle a proposal or award to which the recent NSB Member is 
a party.

Section 5301.103  Outside Employment and Activities

    Pursuant to 5 CFR 2635.802(a), Sec. 5301.103(a) of this interim 
rule imposes restrictions on NSF employees engaging in certain outside 
employment and activities. It prohibits them from receiving any form of 
compensation or reimbursement from an NSF award, serving as principal 
investigator or project director under an NSF award, and receiving 
compensation or expenses for participating in conferences and other 
events supported by NSF funds. The prohibitions are imposed on the 
basis of NSF's determination that employees' participation in such 
activities would be likely to raise questions as to whether they were

[[Page 59817]]

improperly using their official positions for private gain.
    Under 5 CFR 2635.803, an agency may, by supplemental regulation, 
require employees to obtain prior approval before engaging in outside 
employment or activities where it determines that such a requirement is 
necessary or desirable for the purpose of administering its ethics 
program. The Foundation has made that determination with respect to the 
requirements for prior approval of outside employment and activities 
set forth in Sec. 5301.103(b).
    Section 5301.103(b)(1) requires NSF employees to obtain prior 
approval from an agency designee to engage in compensated outside 
employment with any institution or person doing or expected to do 
business with NSF, or to serve, with or without compensation, on such 
an institution's visiting committee. This is a new requirement intended 
to help protect employees from inadvertent violation of substantive 
ethics laws and regulations.
    Section 5301.103(b)(2)(i) is similar to a previous NSF rule 
requiring permission from an ethics counselor in the Office of the 
General Counsel to hold a policymaking office in a research 
institution, scientific society, or professional association. It is 
intended to ensure that NSF employees wishing to hold such positions 
receive appropriate assistance from an ethics official in dealing with 
the complex issues that arise from affiliations of this character.
    Section 5301.103(b)(2)(ii) imposes an approval requirement for NSF 
employees who wish to participate, in their personal capacities, in 
NSF-funded events where the participation takes the form of presenting 
a paper, or serving as organizer, director, proceedings editor, or 
session chairperson. The Foundation is concerned that some may perceive 
NSF employees to be in a better position than others to enhance their 
personal professional credentials by such participation in NSF-
supported events. This approval requirement is therefore intended to 
ensure that employees actually do not misuse their official positions 
in participating in NSF-supported events in their personal capacities.
    Section 5301.103(b)(3) sets forth the standard to be used by 
officials who review and approve requests to engage in the outside 
activities specified in paragraph (b). This standard is intended to 
ensure that these determinations are not made arbitrarily, but on the 
basis of applicable statutes part 2635, and this supplemental 
regulation.

Section 5301.104  Participation in NSF-Supported Conferences

    For employees who wish to participate in their personal capacities 
in NSF-supported events, Sec. 5301.104(a) provides cross-references to 
the relevant prohibitions and approval requirements contained in 
Sec. 5301.103.
    Section 5301.104(b) addresses the concern that some may perceive 
NSF employees to be in a better position than others to enhance their 
professional standing by participating in NSF-sponsored events. Very 
often, those presenting papers, chairing sessions, editing proceedings, 
or serving as directors or organizers at conferences or other 
scientific events will take credit for that participation on their 
resumes with the expectation that they will be accorded some 
recognition for these professional activities. The fact that the 
employee's participation takes place in an official rather than a 
personal capacity is unlikely to have a bearing on the degree to which 
that participation enhances his or her credentials and professional 
standing.
    Paragraph (b)(1) thus serves as a corollary to the prohibitions and 
prior approval requirements in Sec. 5301.103 (a)(3) and (b)(2)(iii) 
that apply to personal participation in NSF-supported events. With an 
exception for events that primarily serve NSF purposes, it requires 
prior approval for certain forms of participation in NSF-funded events 
when undertaken by NSF employees as part of their official duties. The 
approval standard set forth in Sec. 5301.104(b)(2) requires a balancing 
of the importance of the employee's official participation against the 
likelihood that his or her participation may be viewed as use of 
official position to enhance the employee's professional credentials.

Section 5301.105  Restrictions Applicable to Members of the National 
Science Board

    Much like Sec. 5301.102(a), Sec. 5301.105(a) supplements subpart E 
of 5 CFR part 2635 with additional standards to be used in determining 
whether National Science Board (NSF) Members should or should not 
participate as part of their official duties in proposals and awards. 
As with Sec. 5301.102(a), the definition of a ``covered relationship'' 
in 5 CFR 2635.502(b)(1) does not cover all the affiliations and 
relationships that NSF has determined need to be considered in deciding 
whether an NSF Member's participation in a proposal or award is 
appropriate.
    Paragraph (a)(3) lists the additional relationships that are likely 
to raise questions about the Member's ability to participate with 
complete impartiality in proposals and awards involving the persons 
with whom the Member has the affiliation or relationship. Paragraphs 
(a)(3)(i)(A) and (a)(3)(ii) denote relationships as ``automatically 
disqualifying.'' Here the Member is disqualified from participating 
unless the NSB Chairman or the Designated Agency Ethics Official 
authorizes the Member to participate in accordance with paragraph 
(a)(2). Affiliations not identified as ``automatically disqualifying'' 
in paragraph (a)(3)(i) will be addressed in the same manner as covered 
relationships described in subpart E of 5 CFR part 2635.
    Section 5301.105(b)(1) maintains the NSF's previous rule barring 
Members from representing themselves or others in dealings with NSF 
staff. National Science Board Members are special Government employees 
who ordinarily work at NSF for so few days per year that they are not 
covered by the sixty-one-day threshold on the agency-wide 
representation restriction contained in 18 U.S.C. 205. Yet unlike most 
special Government employees, NSB Members have significant 
decisionmaking responsibility for management of the agency. The 
Foundation has found that a prohibition on NSB Members negotiating with 
NSF staff prevents even the appearance that they are in a position to 
misuse their official positions to improperly influence normal 
decisionmaking processes.
    Section 5301.105(b)(2) maintains the NSF's previous restrictions on 
Members' receipt of compensation from NSF awards made during their 
terms of service and, in so doing, strikes a balance between their role 
as NSB Members and their continuing outside careers in science, 
engineering, and education.

III. Matters of Regulatory Procedure

Administrative Procedure Act

    The National Science Foundation has found that good cause exists 
under 5 U.S.C. 553 (b) and (d) for waiving, as unnecessary and contrary 
to the public interest, the general notice of proposed rulemaking and 
the 30-day delay in effectiveness as to this final rule. Similar 
regulations have been applicable to NSF employees under the now 
suspended NSF regulations contained in 45 CFR parts 680, 681, 682, 683, 
and 684. An immediate effective date is necessary to effect a smooth 
regulatory transition and minimize any lapse in applicable procedural 
and substantive rules relating to prior approval of outside activities 
due to the

[[Page 59818]]

expiration of ``grandfathering'' provisions contained in the OGE 
Standards.
    Moreover, the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative 
Procedure Act are not applicable to this final rule because it deals 
with agency organization, procedure, or practice, 5 U.S.C. 553(b), and 
relates to matters of agency management and personnel, 5 U.S.C. 
553(a)(2). The final rule also contains substantive provisions that 
grant or recognize an exemption or relieve a restriction such that an 
immediate effective date is permitted under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1).

Executive Order 12866

    In promulgating this interim rule, the National Science Foundation 
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 regulation has not been reviewed 
by the Office of Management and Budget under that Executive order, as 
it deals with agency organization, management, and personnel matters 
and is not, in any event, deemed a significant rule thereunder.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The National Science Foundation has determined under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this regulation will not have 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
because it primarily affects NSF employees, as well as prospective and 
former NSF employees.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The National Science Foundation has determined that the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply, because this 
regulation does not contain any information collection requirements 
that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 5301

    Conduct standards, Conflict of interests, Ethical standards, 
Executive Branch Standards of Conduct, Government employees, National 
Science Foundation.

    Dated: November 14, 1996.
Lawrence Rudolph,
General Counsel, National Science Foundation.

    Approved: November 18, 1996.
Stephen D. Potts,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the National Science 
Foundation, with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics, is 
amending title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations by adding a new 
chapter XLIII, consisting of part 5301, to read as follows:

CHAPTER XLIII--NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

PART 5301--SUPPLEMENTAL STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES 
OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Sec.
5301.101  General.
5301.102  Participation in proposals and awards.
5301.103  Outside employment and activities.
5301.104  Participation in NSF-supported conferences.
5301.105  Restrictions applicable to Members of the National Science 
Board.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 7301; 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government 
Act of 1978); 42 U.S.C. 1870(a); 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; 5 CFR 2635.105, 2635.502, 2635.802(a), 2635.803.


Sec. 5301.101  General.

    (a) Purpose. In accordance with 5 CFR 2635.105, the regulations in 
this part apply to employees of the National Science Foundation (NSF), 
including Members of the National Science Board. They supplement the 
Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch 
contained in 5 CFR part 2635.
    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this part, unless a provision 
plainly indicates otherwise:
    (1) Award means any grant, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, 
or other arrangement made by the Government.
    (2) Employee has the meaning set forth in 5 CFR 2635.102(h), except 
that, for purposes of this part, it shall not include a special 
Government employee.
    (3) Institution means any university, college, business firm, 
research institute, professional society, or other organization. It 
includes all parts of a university or college, including all 
institutions in a multi-institution State or city system. It includes 
any university consortium or joint corporation, but not the individual 
universities that belong to such a consortium. Those universities shall 
be considered separate institutions for purposes of this part.
    (4) Proposal means an application for an award and includes a bid.


Sec. 5301.102  Participation in proposals and awards.

    (a) Participation in proposals and awards. (1) For the purpose of 
determining whether an employee or a special Government employee, other 
than a Member of the National Science Board, should participate as part 
of his official duties in a proposal or award, the affiliations and 
relationships listed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be 
considered additional ``covered relationships'' for purposes of 
applying 5 CFR 2635.502. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section, they shall be treated as disqualifying to the same extent as 
the covered relationships listed in 5 CFR 2635.502(b)(1).
    (2) Where an affiliation or relationship is listed in paragraph 
(a)(3) of this section as ``automatically disqualifying,'' an employee 
shall not participate in a proposal or award in which the institution 
or other person with whom the employee has a covered relationship is or 
represents a party unless participation is authorized in accordance 
with 5 CFR 2635.502(d) by the agency designee, with the concurrence of 
an ethics counselor in the Office of the General Counsel.
    (3) An employee has a covered relationship, within the meaning of 5 
CFR 2635.502(b)(1), with:
    (i) An institution with which the employee is affiliated through:
    (A) Membership on a visiting committee or similar body at the 
institution. The relationship is automatically disqualifying where the 
particular department, school, or faculty that the visiting committee 
or similar body advises originated the proposal or where a proposal 
from the department, school, or faculty formed the basis for the award;
    (B) Current enrollment of the employee or a member of the 
employee's household as a student;
    (C) Receipt and retention of an honorarium or other form of 
compensation, award, or off-duty travel payment from the institution 
within the last twelve months. The relationship is automatically 
disqualifying, unless the payment or award was received before 
beginning Government service; and
    (ii) A person who is an investigator or project director on or who 
otherwise is identified in a proposal as a party to the

[[Page 59819]]

proposal or award and with whom the employee has:
    (A) A family relationship as sibling, parent, spouse, or child. Any 
such relationship is automatically disqualifying;
    (B) Associated, in the past or currently, as thesis advisor or 
thesis student;
    (C) Collaborated on a project, book, article, report, or paper 
within the last 48 months; or
    (D) Co-edited a journal, compendium, or conference proceedings 
within the last 24 months.
    (b) Reporting involvement of prospective, current, or recent 
employees. (1) When an employee who is participating in a proposal or 
award becomes aware that a prospective, current, or recent NSF employee 
or current National Science Board member is or is likely to become a 
member of the research group or project staff under that proposal or 
award, the employee shall bring that circumstance to the attention of 
an agency designee. For purposes of this paragraph:
    (i) A ``recent NSF employee'' is any former NSF employee who left 
the NSF within the year before submission of the proposal at issue or 
on which the award was based.
    (ii) A ``prospective NSF employee'' is any person being recruited 
by an NSF official for a specific opening and from whom the official 
has received an indication of mutual interest. Such a person is a 
``prospective NSF employee'' even though those recruiting have not 
extended an offer and even though the person might not accept an offer 
if it were extended.
    (2) The agency designee shall review the circumstances to determine 
what action, if any, should be taken to assure that the proposal or 
award is administered impartially and otherwise in compliance with 
applicable laws and regulations, including this part, 5 CFR part 2635, 
18 U.S.C. 207 and 208, and 45 CFR part 680.


Sec. 5301.103  Outside employment and activities.

    (a) Prohibited outside employment and activities. (1) An NSF 
employee may not receive, directly or indirectly, any salary, 
consulting fee, honorarium, or other form of compensation for services, 
or reimbursement of expenses, from an NSF award.
    (2) An NSF employee may not serve as principal investigator or 
project director under an NSF award.
    (3) An NSF employee may not receive, directly or indirectly, any 
honorarium or any other form of compensation, or reimbursement of 
expenses from anyone, other than the United States, for participating 
in an event supported by NSF funds.
    (b) Prior approval of outside employment and activities. (1) An 
employee shall obtain written approval from an agency designee before:
    (i) Engaging in compensated outside employment with any person or 
institution (including any for-profit, non-profit, or governmental 
organization) which does business or may reasonably be expected to do 
business with the NSF. For these purposes, ``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, trustee, teacher, or 
speaker. It includes writing when done under an arrangement for 
publication of the written product; or
    (ii) Serving, with or without compensation, on a visiting committee 
with any institution that does business or may reasonably be expected 
to do business with NSF.
    (2) In addition to any prior approval required in paragraph (b)(1) 
of this section, an employee shall obtain prior written approval:
    (i) From an ethics counselor in the Office of the General Counsel 
before participating, with or without compensation, as a policymaking 
officer of any research or educational institution or any scientific 
society or professional association; and
    (ii) From his Assistant Director or Office head before serving in a 
personal capacity as an organizer, director, proceedings editor, or 
session chairperson for a conference, workshop, or similar event 
supported by NSF funds, or before presenting a paper at such an event.
    (3) The approvals required by paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this 
section shall be granted only upon a determination by the appropriate 
NSF official that the outside employment or activity is not expected to 
involve conduct prohibited by statute or Federal regulations, including 
5 CFR part 2635 and this part.


Sec. 5301.104  Participation in NSF-supported conferences.

    An NSF employee may participate in conferences, workshops, and 
similar events supported by NSF funds provided that:
    (a) Where the employee's participation is undertaken in a personal 
capacity, his participation does not violate the restrictions on 
outside employment and activities of Sec. 5301.103(a), and the approval 
requirements of Sec. 5301.103(b) have been met.
    (b) Where the employee's participation is undertaken as part of his 
official duties as an NSF employee:
    (1) The employee shall obtain prior written approval from his 
Assistant Director or Office head before serving as an organizer, 
director, proceedings editor, or session chairperson for a conference, 
workshop, or similar event sponsored by NSF funds, or before presenting 
a paper at such an event. However, prior approval is not required where 
the primary purpose of the event is to plan, assess, or publicize NSF 
programs or needs, or where the subject of the paper or session to be 
presented focuses on NSF programs or needs.
    (2) The approval required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall 
be granted only upon a determination that the importance of the 
employee's participation outweighs any appearance of use of official 
position to enhance his personal credentials.


Sec. 5301.105  Restrictions applicable to Members of the National 
Science Board.

    (a) Participation in proposals and awards. (1) For the purpose of 
determining whether a Member of the National Science Board (Board) 
should participate as part of his official duties in a proposal or 
award coming before the Board or any of its committees, the 
affiliations and relationships listed in paragraph (a)(3) of this 
section shall be considered ``covered relationships'' for purposes of 
applying 5 CFR 2635.502. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section, they shall be treated as disqualifying to the same extent as 
the covered relationships listed in 5 CFR 2635.502(b)(1).
    (2) Where an affiliation or relationship is listed in paragraph 
(a)(3) of this section as ``automatically disqualifying,'' a Member of 
the National Science Board shall not participate in a proposal or award 
in which the institution or other person with whom the Member has a 
covered relationship is or represents a party, unless participation is 
authorized in accordance with 5 CFR 2635.502(d) by the Chairman of the 
National Science Board or by the Designated Agency Ethics Official.
    (3) A Member of the National Science Board has a covered 
relationship, within the meaning of 5 CFR 2635.502(b)(1), with:
    (i) An institution or other person with which the Member is 
affiliated through:

[[Page 59820]]

    (A) Membership on a visiting committee or similar body at the 
institution. The relationship is automatically disqualifying where the 
particular department, school, or faculty that the visiting committee 
or similar body advises originated the proposal or where a proposal 
from the department, school, or faculty formed the basis for the award; 
or
    (B) Current enrollment of the Member or a member of his household 
as a student; and
    (ii) A person who is an investigator or project director or who is 
otherwise identified in a proposal as a party to the proposal or award 
and with whom the Member has a family relationship as sibling, parent, 
spouse, or child. Any such relationship is automatically disqualifying.
    (b) Outside employment and activities. (1) A Member of the National 
Science Board shall not represent himself, herself, or any other person 
in negotiations or other dealings with an NSF official on any proposal, 
award, or other particular matter, as defined in 5 CFR 2635.402(b)(3).
    (2) A Member of the National Science Board may not receive 
compensation from any award made while serving on the Board. However, 
unless prohibited by law, an award may be charged, and a Member may be 
reimbursed, for actual expenses incurred by the Member in doing work 
supported by the award. If a Member was an investigator or consultant 
under an award before appointment to the Board, the award may be 
charged and the Member may continue to receive compensation to the 
extent established before the Member's nomination.

[FR Doc. 96-29991 Filed 11-22-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7555-01-M