[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 200 (Thursday, October 16, 1997)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53713-53726]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-27069]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 62, No. 200 / Thursday, October 16, 1997 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 53713]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

5 CFR Chapter XXV

43 CFR Part 20

RINs 1090-AA38, 3209-AA15


Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
Department of the Interior

AGENCY: Department of the Interior (Department).

ACTION: Interim rule, with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Department of the Interior, with the concurrence of the 
Office of Government Ethics (OGE), is issuing an interim rule for the 
employees of the Department that supplements the Standards of Ethical 
Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch issued by OGE. This 
interim rule is a necessary supplement to the Standards because it 
addresses ethical issues unique to the Department. The interim rule 
designates separate agency components for purposes of identifying 
prohibited sources of gifts and applying the restrictions on 
compensated outside teaching, speaking and writing that relate to an 
employee's official duties; provides cross-references to certain 
statutory prohibitions against the holding by some Department employees 
of certain financial and other interests, and regulations implementing 
those prohibitions; prohibits certain financial interests and outside 
employment; and requires employees to obtain prior approval for certain 
outside employment. The Department is also revising its employee 
responsibilities and conduct regulations by adding a cross-reference to 
ethics and other conduct-related regulations, removing superseded or 
redundant provisions, and redesignating the provisions remaining in the 
regulation.

DATES: This rule is effective on October 16, 1997. Comments on the 
interim rule must be received on or before December 15, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to the Department Ethics Office, Department of 
the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW., Room 5013, Washington, DC 20240.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Gabe Paone or Mason Tsai, Department Ethics Office, 202-208-5916; 
Internet E-mail address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On August 7, 1992, the Office of Government Ethics published the 
Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch 
(Standards). See 57 FR 35006-35067, as corrected at 57 FR 48557, 57 FR 
52583, and 60 FR 51667, and amended at 61 FR 42965-42970 (as corrected 
at 61 FR 48733), 61 FR 50689-50691 (interim rule revisions adopted as 
final at 62 FR 12531), and 62 FR 48746-48748, with additional grace 
period extensions at 59 FR 4779-4780, 60 FR 6390-6391, 60 FR 66857-
66858, and 61 FR 40950-40952. The Standards, codified at 5 CFR part 
2635 and effective February 3, 1993, establish uniform standards of 
ethical conduct for executive branch personnel.
    On June 10, 1993, the Department issued a final rule which removed 
certain provisions of its employee responsibilities and conduct 
regulations at 43 CFR part 20 that had been superseded by 5 CFR part 
2635 or by OGE's executive branch financial disclosure regulations at 5 
CFR part 2634. See 58 FR 32446-32449. Along with portions of 43 CFR 
part 20 that the Department retained under authority separate from 5 
CFR parts 2634 and 2635, the Department retained in 43 CFR part 20 
provisions regarding prohibited financial interests and outside 
employment which were temporarily preserved, respectively, by the notes 
following 5 CFR 2635.403(a) and 2635.803, as extended at 59 FR 4779-
4780, 60 FR 6390-6391, 60 FR 66857-66858, and 61 FR 40950-40952.
    The Standards, at 5 CFR 2635.105, authorize executive branch 
agencies, with the concurrence of OGE, to publish agency-specific 
supplemental regulations that are necessary to implement their 
respective ethics programs. The Department, with OGE's concurrence, has 
determined that the following supplemental regulations, being codified 
in new chapter XXV of 5 CFR, are necessary to the success of its ethics 
program. Also, upon issuance of the supplemental regulation, the 
Department is removing those remaining provisions in 43 CFR part 20 
that now have been superseded, and other provisions as explained in 
part III of this supplementary information.

II. Analysis of the Regulations

Section 3501.101  General

    Section 3501.101(a) provides that the regulations contained in the 
interim rule apply to employees of the Department of the Interior and 
supplement the executive branch-wide Standards in 5 CFR part 2635. This 
section also notes that employees of the Department are subject to the 
responsibilities and conduct regulations for executive branch 
employees, at 5 CFR part 735; the executive branch financial disclosure 
regulations, at 5 CFR 2634; and the Department's regulations regarding 
employee responsibilities and conduct, at 43 CFR part 20.
    Section 3501.101(b) includes definitions for various terms used in 
the regulation, and provides information about ethics program 
responsibilities within the Department.
    Section 3501.101(c) authorizes the Designated Agency Ethics 
Official (DAEO), or the Ethics Counselor for each major operating 
component of the Department, to issue explanatory guidance and 
implementing procedures to assist the employees in the Department to 
understand and comply with the executive branch-wide Standards and 
these supplemental regulations. In accordance with 5 CFR 2635.105(c), 
these issuances themselves will neither supplement nor amend the 
executive branch-wide Standards in 5 CFR part 2635 or this interim 
rule.

Section 3501.102  Designation of Separate Agency Components

    The Standards, at 5 CFR 2635.202(a), prohibit an employee from 
soliciting or accepting a gift from a prohibited source. A prohibited 
source is defined by 5 CFR 2635.203(d) to include a person who has a 
specific relationship with an employee's agency. For purposes of 
identifying an employee's agency, 5 CFR 2635.203(a) authorizes an 
executive department, by supplemental regulation, to designate as 
separate

[[Page 53714]]

agencies components of the department that exercise distinct and 
separate functions. Designations made pursuant to Sec. 2635.203(a) are 
used also for purposes of applying the restrictions in 5 CFR 
2635.807(a) on receipt of compensation for teaching, speaking or 
writing related to an employee's official duties. Since the Department 
is establishing in Sec. 3501.105(c) a prior approval requirement for 
outside employment with a prohibited source, the designations in this 
section will also be used for purposes of applying the supplemental 
regulation's requirement for prior approval of outside employment.
    Section 3501.102(a) of the interim rule designates ten of the 
Department's bureaus and offices as separate agencies. The Department 
has determined that each of bureaus and offices exercises separate and 
distinct functions. As further amplified in Sec. 3501.102(c), employees 
of the Department not employed in one of the ten separate agency 
components are deemed to be employees of the entire Department, which 
for those employees includes any parts of the Department that are not 
included in the ten separate agency components as well as those parts 
that are so included.
     Examples at the end of this section illustrate how the separate 
agency designations are applied.

Section 3501.103  Prohibited Interests in Federal Lands

    Section 3501.103(a) contains cross-references to the statutory 
prohibitions at 43 U.S.C. 11 and 31(a), which provide respectively that 
``[t]he officers, clerks, and employees of the Bureau of Land 
Management are prohibited from directly or indirectly purchasing or 
becoming interested in the purchase of any of the public land,'' and 
``[t]he Director and members of the United States Geological Survey 
shall have no personal or private interests in the lands or mineral 
wealth of the region under survey * * *.'' The Department's 
responsibilities and conduct rules, at 43 CFR 20.735-23(b)(1) (being 
partially retained and redesignated by this interim rule-making as 43 
CFR 20.401), implement these long standing statutory prohibitions and 
also are cross-referenced in Sec. 3501.103(a).
    The prohibitions at 43 U.S.C. 11 and 31(a) has been extended by the 
Department's regulations in 43 CFR part 20 to employees of the Minerals 
Management Service (MMS) and certain other Department employees. The 
statutory prohibitions' regulatory extension to MMS employees followed 
the establishment of MMS in October 1982. The MMS was initially staffed 
with natural resource employees from the United States Geological 
Survey (USGS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). At the time, 
many of the new MMS employees were to be performing duties regarding 
Federal lands similar to those for which they were responsible when 
they were USGS OR BLM employees. This created an ethics concern for MMS 
and the Department, since the MMS employees transferring from USGS and 
BLM would no longer be covered by the organic prohibitions of their 
former bureaus. To address this concern the Department decided to 
extend, in its employee responsibilities and conduct regulations at 43 
CFR part 20, those organic prohibitions to MMS employees.
    The other Department employees to whom the prohibitions at 43 
U.S.C. 11 and 31(a) were extended in 43 CFR part 20 were the Secretary 
and employees ``in pay grades equivalent to GS-16 and above or who are 
in merit pay positions as described in 5 U.S.C. 5401(b)(1)'' in ``the 
Office of the Secretary and other Departmental offices reporting 
directly to a Secretarial officer.'' The Department determined that the 
prohibitions needed to be extended to those additional personnel 
because they were positions which could substantially influence the 
actions and decisions made by employees of USGS, BLM, or MMS.
    Under 5 CFR 2635.403(a), an agency may, by supplemental regulation, 
prohibit or restrict the acquisition or holding by its employees of 
financial interests that the agency determines would cause a reasonable 
person to question the impartiality or objectivity with which agency 
programs are administered. The Department has made this determination 
with respect to the statutory prohibition's regulatory extensions 
formerly found at 43 CFR 20.735-23, and is reinstituting those 
regulatory extensions, in modified form to conform with the 
requirements of 5 CFR part 2635, in Sec. 3501.103(b).
    In addition to all MMS employees, Sec. 3501.103(b) describes the 
employees to whom the regulatory prohibition therein applies as those 
in ``positions classified at GS-15 and above'' in ``the Office of the 
Secretary and other Departmental offices reporting directly to a 
Secretarial officer,'' instead of in ``pay grades equivalent to GS-16 
and above'' or in ``merit pay positions'' in those offices, as the 
superseded provision had done. Grades 16 and above of the General 
Schedule (GS) no longer exist, having been abolished by the Federal 
Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101-509. Likewise, the 
statutory basis for merit pay positions has expired. Although the 
coverage of the former provision reached some employees in merit pay 
positions at GS-13 and GS-14, the Department has determined that it is 
not necessary for the prohibition to reach employees at those grade 
levels in order to avoid the appearance of misuse of position or loss 
of impartiality and objectivity with which Department programs and 
administered.
    As defined in former Sec. 20.735-20(c) of 43 CFR, ``the Office of 
the Secretary and other Departmental offices reporting directly to a 
Secretarial officer'' included the Immediate Office of the Secretary 
(except for the Office of Historically Black College and University 
Programs and Job Corps); Office of the Solicitor; Office of the 
Inspector General; Office of Hearings and Appeals; Office of 
Congressional and Legislative Affairs; Office of Public Affairs; all 
Assistant Secretaries, their immediate Office staff and heads of 
bureaus which are subordinate to an Assistant Secretary, including the 
following offices under the Office of the Assistant Secretary--Policy, 
Management and Budget: Office of Acquisition & Property Management, 
Office of Budget, Office of Environmental Affairs, and Office of 
Program Analysis. This list, modified to reflect reorganizations and 
restructuring at the Department, has been carried forward as the 
definition of ``Office of the Secretary and other Departmental offices 
reporting directly to a Secretary officer'' in this section.
    Paragraph (b)(2) of Sec. 3501.103 contains exceptions to the 
regulatory restriction in Sec. 3501.103(b)(1). These exceptions are 
being carried forward from the former regulatory restriction in 43 CFR 
part 20, and provide that the restriction does not apply to an 
individual employed on an intermittent or seasonal basis for a period 
not exceeding 180 working days in each calendar year, or a special 
Government employee engaged in field work relating to land, range, 
forest, and mineral conservation and management activities.
    Section 3501.103(c)91) provides for an additional restriction on 
employees' interests in Federal lands. Because the Department has 
authority to grant claims, permits, leases, small tract entries, and 
other rights in most of the country's nationally owned public lands and 
natural resources, the Department's employee responsibilities and 
conduct regulations long included a provision at 43 CFR 20.735-
23(b)(3), generally restricting all employees of the Department from 
acquiring or retaining such rights for commercial or

[[Page 53715]]

investment purposes. This prohibition has been reinstituted, in 
modified form to conform with the requirements of 5 CFR part 2635, as 
Sec. 3501.103(b)(1). The Department has determined under 5 CFR 
2635.403(a) that it is necessary to continue to restrict all employees 
from acquiring or retaining, for commercial or investment purposes, any 
claim, permit, lease, small tract entry, or other right in lands or 
resources administered or controlled by the Department, in order to 
maintain public confidence in the impartiality or objectivity with 
which the Department's programs are administered. The Department has 
made the additional determination under 5 CFR 2635.403(a) with respect 
to this prohibition that it is necessary for the efficiency of the 
service to extend the prohibition to employees' spouses and minor 
children.
    Paragraph (c)(2) of Sec. 3501.103 contains two exceptions to the 
regulatory restriction in Sec. 3501.103(c)(1). Both exceptions had 
applied to the former restriction in 43 CFR part 20. The first 
exception is intended to make it clear that the prohibition does not 
apply to acquiring or holding a right in Federal lands, administered or 
controlled by the Department, for recreational purposes. The second 
exception allows employees working in the Office of the Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs or in the Bureau of Indian Affairs to acquire 
or retain interests in Federal lands controlled by the Department for 
the benefit of Indians or Alaska Natives. Many of those employees are 
Native Americans or Alaska Natives who may have an involuntary interest 
in tribal lands simply because of their innate membership in their home 
tribes. Generally, under the exception at 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(4) to the 
prohibitions contained in 18 U.S.C. 208(a), such an interest would not 
bar an employee's participation in a particular matter affecting the 
interest.
    Under Sec. 3501.103(d), the DAEO may require divestiture of an 
interest in Federal lands that would otherwise be allowed to be 
retained under the exceptions listed in Sec. 3501.103(b)(2), using the 
standard of ``substantial conflict'' set forth in 5 CFR 2635.403(b). 
Under Sec. 3501.103(e), the DAEO may grant a waiver from the regulatory 
restrictions in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section based on a 
determination that the waiver is not inconsistent with 5 CFR part 2635 
or otherwise prohibited by law and that, under the particular 
circumstances, application of the restriction is not necessary to avoid 
the appearance of misuse of position or loss or impartiality and 
objectivity with which Department programs are administered. An 
employee may be required under the waiver to disqualify himself from a 
particular matter or take other appropriate action. Section 3501.103(f) 
provides that existing waivers, issued under the Department's 
regulations for employees to whom the regulatory prohibitions in 
paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section applied under the former 
provisions in 43 CFR part 20, remain in effect but may be withdrawn 
subject to the standard for waivers in paragraph (e).

Section 3501.104  Prohibited Interests in Mining

    Section 3501.104(a) provides a cross-reference to the prohibition 
in the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (Surface 
Mining Act), at 30 U.S.C. 1211(f), on employees of the Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement or any other employee who 
performs functions or duties under the Surface Mining Act having any 
financial interest in underground or surface coal mining operations, 
and the Department's regulation at 30 CFR part 706 which implement the 
prohibition. The Department has included this cross-reference in the 
supplemental regulation at the request of OGE, because some of the 
interests prohibited by the Surface Mining Act are financial interest 
within the meaning of 5 CFR 2635.403(c).
    Section 3501.104(b)(1) prohibits employees of the U.S. Geological 
Survey and their spouses and minor children from having a direct or 
indirect financial interest in mining activities conducted on 
privately-owned lands within the United States. This provision is being 
issued under the authority of 5 CFR 2635.403(a), based on the 
Department's determinations that the acquisition or retention of such 
interests would cause a reasonable person to question the impartiality 
and objectivity with which USGS programs are administered, and that 
there is a direct and appropriate nexus between the prohibition as 
applied to employees' spouses and minor children and the ability of 
USGS to carry out efficiently its mission related to the mineral 
resources of the national domain. This provision is based upon the 
former provision at 43 CFR 20.735-25(b)(2) (now superseded), under 
which neither the Director nor any member of the USGS was allowed to 
hold ``substantial'' personal or private interests, direct or indirect, 
in any private mining activities in the United States. The Department 
found this provision useful in avoiding conflicts of interest for USGS 
employees.
    As defined in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of Sec. 3501.104, ``financial 
interest'' has the meaning given in the executive branch-wide Standards 
at 5 CFR 2635.403(c). Also, as defined in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of 
Sec. 3501.104, ``private mining activities'' include exploration, 
development and production of oil, gas and other minerals on privately-
owned lands in the United States. Lands owned by the Federal government 
or by a State or local government are not privately-owned.
    Paragraph (b)(3) of Sec. 3501.104 contains exceptions to the 
regulatory restriction in Sec. 3501.104(b)(1). These exceptions are 
intended to permit the acquisition or holding of financial interests 
that the Department has determined are unlikely to raise questions 
regarding the objective and impartial performance of USGS employees' 
official duties or the efficient accomplishment of the Department's 
mission. The exceptions permit interests of certain de minimis values. 
These threshold amounts vary for employees of different organizational 
elements of the USGS, depending on the extent of the elements' direct 
connection to private mining activities in the United States. There is 
also a de minimis amount set for mineral royalties and ``overriding 
royalty interests'' (ORRI), i.e., an exclusive payment that is 
generally given to a landowner by an oil exploration company in return 
for the right to explore and produce oil and/or gas from privately-
owned lands. An ORRI is generally determined by the quantity of oil 
and/or gas produced at the surface of an active well and does not 
include production costs. The exceptions also permit interests in 
publicly traded or publicly available investment funds and qualified 
profit sharing, retirement, or similar plans, provided that, in the 
case of such a fund, its prospectus does not indicate the objective or 
practice of concentrating its investments in entities engaged in 
private mining activities in the United States, or, in the case of such 
a plan, the plan does not invest more than 25 percent of its funds in 
debt or equity instruments of entities engaged in private mining 
activities in the United States, and provided that the employee neither 
exercises control nor has the ability to exercise control over the 
financial interests held in the fund or plan. In addition, for the 
spouses and minor children of USGS employees, the exceptions permit the 
acquisition or retention of a financial interest in mining activities 
conducted on privately-owned lands within the United States when the 
interest was

[[Page 53716]]

obtained under certain circumstances unrelated to USGS employment.
    Under Sec. 3501.104(b)(4), the Director of the USGS may require 
divestiture of a financial interest that would otherwise be allowed to 
be retained under the exceptions listed in Sec. 3501.104(b)(3), if he 
or she determines under 5 CFR 2635.403(b) that the financial interest 
will require the employee's disqualification to a debilitating extent 
or will adversely affect the efficient accomplishment of the 
Department's mission because another employee cannot be readily 
assigned to perform work from which the employee would be disqualified 
by reason of the financial interest. Under Sec. 3501.104(b)(5), the 
Director of the USGS may grant a waiver from the regulatory 
restrictions in paragraph (b)(1) of this section based on a 
determination that the waiver is not inconsistent with 5 CFR part 2635 
or otherwise prohibited by law and that, under the particular 
circumstances, application of the restriction is not necessary to avoid 
the appearance of misuse of position or loss of impartiality and 
objectivity with which Department programs are administered. An 
employee may be required under the waiver to disqualify himself from a 
particular matter or take other appropriate action.
    Section 3501.104(b)(6) provides that a spouse or minor child of an 
employee may retain a financial interest otherwise prohibited by 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section, if the interest was permitted under 
criteria and procedures in effect before November 2, 1996 (pursuant to 
provision at 43 CFR 20.735-25(b)(2) which expired at that time). The 
Director of the USGS may, however, review those retained financial 
interests for consistency with the standard for waivers in paragraph 
(b)(5) of this section, and may disallow an interest if he or she 
determines in writing that the waiver standard is not met.

Section 3501.105  Outside Employment and Activities

    5 CFR 2635.802(a) provides that an employee shall not engage in 
outside employment or activities if the outside employment or activity 
is prohibited by, inter alia, an agency supplemental regulation. To 
much the same effect, 5 CFR 2635.403 permits an agency, by supplemental 
regulation, to prohibit compensated outside employment on the same 
basis that it may prohibit employees from holding other financial 
interests. The Department's employee responsibilities and conduct 
regulation at 43 CFR part 20 had included various prohibitions on the 
outside employment and activities of specific classes of Department 
employees.
    To the extent that prohibitions on employees' outside employment 
and activities were issued by an agency under authority independent of 
5 CFR part 2635, the prohibitions would not have to be included in the 
agency's supplemental regulation. Nevertheless, the Department is 
including in Sec. 3501.105(a)(1) a cross-reference to the statutory 
prohibition at 43 U.S.C. 31(a), under which employees of the U.S. 
Geological Survey shall execute no surveys or examinations for private 
parties or corporations. The purpose of including this cross-reference 
in the supplemental regulation is to provide further notice to 
employees of the prohibition.
    Also with respect to prohibited outside employment and activities, 
the Department is reinstituting in Sec. 3501.105(a)(2) the longstanding 
prohibitions, which had been included in its former regulations at 43 
CFR 20.735-22(c), against Bureau of Land Management employees working 
as real estate agents and realty specialists. The Department has 
determined this prohibition is necessary to ensure public confidence in 
the impartiality and objectivity with which the Department's programs 
are administered, and to avoid any public perception that Department 
employees are using their official positions or Department connections 
to advance their outside real estate careers. In order to lessen the 
burden of this prohibition, such employees are not required to cancel a 
real estate license, but may maintain the license on an inactive basis 
as they were allowed to do under the former regulations.
    Finally with respect to prohibited outside employment and 
activities, the Department is reinstituting in Sec. 3501.105(a)(4) the 
longstanding prohibition which had been included in its former 
regulations, at 43 CFR 20.735-27(c)(1), against employees in the Office 
of the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, and in the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA), holding a position on a tribal election board or on a 
tribal school board which oversees BIA schools. The Department has 
determined that this prohibition is needed to ensure public confidence 
in the impartiality and objectivity with which the Department's 
programs are administered.
    Under 5 CFR 2635.803, an agency that determines it is necessary or 
desirable for the purpose of administering its ethics program may, by 
supplemental regulation, require its employees to obtain written 
approval before engaging in outside employment. The Department's former 
regulation at 43 CFR 20.735-22 provided that each major program 
operating component of the Department and other Departmental offices 
could require their employees to obtain approval to engage in outside 
work by issuing supplementary requirements. The prior approval 
requirements that were instituted pursuant to that authority remained 
in effect through November 1, 1996, under the note following 5 CFR 
2635.803, as extended, and appendix D to part 2635. Those requirements 
served the Department well in ensuring that its employees avoided 
violations of the standards of conduct and conflict of interest 
statutes. In accordance with 5 CFR 2635.803, the Department has 
determined that it is necessary to the administration of its ethics 
program to require prior approval for certain types of outside 
employment that pose a potential for employees to engage in conduct 
that might violate applicable laws and regulations.
    Therefore, Sec. 3501.105(b)(1)(i) requires an employee (other than 
a U.S. Geological Survey employee--who would be subject to a broader 
provision--or a special Government employee) who wishes to engage in 
outside employment with a prohibited source to obtain prior written 
approval from his servicing ethics counselor before engaging in such 
outside employment. In identifying a ``prohibited source'' for purposes 
of this prior approval requirement, the Department will apply the 
definition of that term in the Standards at 5 CFR 2635.203(d), a 
supplemented by the separate agency component designations in 
Sec. 3501.102(a). Thus, an employee would have to obtain approval 
before engaging in outside employment with any person (including an 
organization more than half of whose members are persons) seeking 
official action by the Department, or, in the case of an employee in 
one of the separate agency components designated in Sec. 3501.102(a), 
by that component; doing business or seeking to do business with the 
Department, or, in the case of an employee in one of the separate 
agency components designated in Sec. 3501.102(a), with that component; 
conducting activities regulated by the Department, or, in the case of 
an employee in one of the separate agency components designated in 
Sec. 3501.102(a), by that component; or having interests that may be 
substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the 
employee's official duties. Section 3501.105(b)(1) provides further 
that this

[[Page 53717]]

prior approval requirement applies without regard to whether the 
outside employment is to be undertaken for compensation.
    In view of the organic restrictions on outside activities that 
apply to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees, and USGS's success in 
avoiding violations of those restrictions by having had a broad prior 
approval requirement for its employees, Sec. 3501.105(b)(1)(ii)(A) 
provides that notwithstanding the requirement for prior approval of 
outside employment with a prohibited source in Sec. 3501.105(b)(1)(i), 
USGS employees must obtain prior written approval for any outside 
employment. Under Sec. 3501.105(b)(1)(ii)(B), however, categories of 
outside employment could be exempted by USGS from the prior written 
approval requirement, provided the employment exempted is not 
prohibited by law, the Standards, or these supplemental regulations, 
and would normally be approved if subject to the case-by-case 
requirement for prior approval.
    Section 3501.105(b)(2) lists the basic items that an employee must 
include in an approval request. Section 3501.105(b)(3) sets forth the 
standard to be used in evaluating approval requests. Section 
3501.105(b)(4) provides definitions of terms used in this section. 
Under Sec. 3501.105(b)(4)(i), ``employment'' is broadly defined to 
cover any form of non-Federal employment or business relationship 
involving the provision of personal services, including writing when 
done under an arrangement with another person for production or 
publication of the written product. It does not, however, include 
participation in the activities of nonprofit charitable, religious, 
professional, social, fraternal and similar organizations, unless such 
activities involve the provision of professional services or advice and 
are for compensation other than reimbursement of expenses. Paragraph 
(b)(4)(ii) of Sec. 3501.105 sets forth for ease of reference the 
definition of ``prohibited source'' at 5 CFR 2635.203(d), as 
supplemented by the designation of separate agency components at 
Sec. 3501.102.

III. Repeal of Portions of the Department's Employee Responsibilities 
and Conduct Regulations and Related Modifications

    The interim rule removes those provisions in the regulations at 43 
CFR part 20 governing Department employees' responsibilities and 
conduct that had remained in effect through November 1, 1996, pursuant 
to the notes following 5 CFR 2635.403(a) and 2635.803, as extended, and 
the appendixes to part 2635. In addition, the interim rule removes a 
provision dealing with use of official title, which was superseded when 
the executive branch-wide Standards went into effect on February 3, 
1993, but which inadvertently was not removed from 43 CFR part 20 when 
the Department first amended that regulation in response to the 
issuance of the Standards.
    The interim rule also removes provisions in 43 CFR part 20 which, 
based on the United States Bureau of Mines' organic legislation at 30 
U.S.C. 6, prohibited certain interests in mining activities for certain 
Department employees. Pub. L. 104-134, the Omnibus Consolidated 
Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996, closed the United States 
Bureau of Mines on April 26, 1996. Likewise, the interim rule removes 
provisions in 43 CFR part 20 that were based on prohibitions in the 
Trading with Indians Act, at 18 U.S.C. 437. Pub. L. 104-178 repealed 18 
U.S.C. 437 on August 6, 1996.
    Additionally, the Department is removing from 43 CFR part 20 
various sections that are redundant, in light of other regulations. 
Those sections, and the regulations which the Department has determined 
make them unnecessary for inclusion in 43 CFR part 20, are Sec. 20.735-
2(c) regarding equal employment opportunity policy, and Sec. 20.735-
10(a) regarding sexual harassment, both unnecessary in light of 
regulations at 29 CFR part 1614; Sec. 20.735-6 regarding gifts and 
decoration from foreign governments, unnecessary in light of 
regulations at 41 CFR part 101-49; Sec. 20.735-8 regarding nepotism, 
unnecessary in light of regulations at 5 CFR part 310; Sec. 20.735-9 
regarding political activity, unnecessary in light of regulations at 5 
CFR part 734; and Sec. 20.735-10(h) regarding patents, unnecessary in 
light of regulations at 43 CFR part 6.
    These removals leave in 43 CFR part 20 only provisions which the 
Department has authority to issue independent of 5 CFR part 2635 or 
which for other reasons set forth in 5 CFR 2635.105 do not have to be 
included in an agency's supplemental standards of ethical conduct 
regulation. Among these provisions are rules regarding acceptance and 
payment of travel and related expenses. Revisions to those provisions 
are being made to inform employees of the Department's authority under 
31 U.S.C. 1353 to accept payment from non-Federal sources for employees 
who are on official travel to a meeting or similar function. Non-
substantive changes have been made to this and other preserved 
provisions, to reflect changes in related authorities or for greater 
clarity.
    The provisions remaining in 43 CFR part 20 are being redesignated, 
and are having added to them a cross-reference to the executive branch-
wide Standards at 5 CFR part 2635, the Department's supplemental 
standards of ethical conduct being codified at 5 CFR part 3501, the 
executive branch financial disclosure regulations at 5 CFR part 2634, 
and the employee responsibilities and conduct regulations at 5 CFR part 
735.

IV. Matters of Regulatory Procedure

Executive Order 12866

    In promulgating this interim rule, the Department 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 ``significant'' thereunder.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department has found good cause, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(a)(2), (b), and (d)(3), 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 these interim rules and repeals. 
The reason for this determination is that it is important to a smooth 
transition from the Department's prior ethics rules to the new 
executive branch-wide Standards that these rulemaking actions become 
effective as soon as possible. Furthermore, this rulemaking is related 
to the Department's organization, procedure and practice. Nonetheless, 
this is an interim rulemaking, with provision for a 60-day public 
comment period. The Department will review all comments received during 
the comment period and will consider any modifications that appear 
appropriate in adopting these rules as final, with the concurrence and 
co-signature of the Office of Government Ethics.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department has determined that these regulations will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605).

[[Page 53718]]

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Department has determined that these regulations do not contain 
any information collection requirements that require the approval of 
the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 3501 and 43 CFR Part 20

    Conflict of interests, Government employees.

    Dated: September 30, 1997.
John R. Garamendi,
Deputy Secretary, Department of the Interior.
    Approved: October 7, 1997.
F. Gary Davis,
Deputy Director, Office of Government Ethics.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the 
Department of the Interior is amending title 5 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics, 
and is also amending title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations as 
follows:

TITLE 5--[AMENDED]

    1. A new chapter XXV, consisting of part 3501, is added to title 5 
of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:

CHAPTER XXV--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

PART 3501--SUPPLEMENTAL STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES 
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Sec.
3501.101  General.
3501.102  Designation of separate agency components.
3501.103  Prohibited interests in Federal lands.
3501.104  Prohibited interests in mining.
3501.105  Outside employment and activities.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 7301; 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978); 30 U.S.C. 1211; 43 U.S.C. 11, 31(a); E.O. 
12674, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 3 CFR, 
1990 Comp., p. 306; 5 CFR 2635.105, 2635.203(a), 2635.403(a), 
2635.803.


Sec. 3501.101  General.

    (a) In accordance with 5 CFR 2635.105, the regulations in this part 
apply to employees of the Department of the Interior and supplement the 
Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch 
contained in 5 CFR part 2635. In addition to the regulations in 5 CFR 
part 2635 and this part, employees of the Department are subject to the 
employee responsibilities and conduct regulations at 5 CFR part 735; 
the executive branch financial disclosure regulations at 5 CFR part 
2634; and the Department's employee responsibilities and conduct 
regulations at 43 CFR part 20.
    (b) Definitions. As used in this part:
    (1) Department means the U.S. Department of the Interior and any of 
its components.
    (2) Bureau means each major program operating component of the 
Department, the Office of the Secretary, the Office of the Solicitor, 
and the Office of the Inspector General.
    (3) Designated Agency Ethics Official means the Assistant 
Secretary--Policy, Management and Budget.
    (4) Ethics Counselor means the head of each bureau, except that the 
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy is the Ethics Counselor for 
employees within the Office of the Secretary.
    (5) Deputy Ethics Counselor means the bureau personnel officer or 
other qualified headquarters employee who has been delegated 
responsibility for the operational duties of the Ethics Counselor for 
the bureau.
    (c) Bureau instructions. With the concurrence of the Designated 
Agency Ethics Official, each Ethics Counselor is authorized, consistent 
with 5 CFR 2635.105(c), to issue explanatory guidance and establish 
procedures necessary to implement this part and part 2635 of this title 
for his or her bureau.


Sec. 3501.102   Designation of separate agency components.

    (a) Each of the following ten components of the Department is 
designated as an agency separate from each of the other nine listed 
components and, for employees of that component, as an agency distinct 
from the remainder of the Department, for purposes of the regulations 
in subpart B of 5 CFR 2635 governing gifts from outside sources, 5 CFR 
2635.807 governing teaching, speaking and writing, and Sec. 3501.105 
requiring prior approval of outside employment. However, the following 
ten components are not deemed to be separate agencies for purposes of 
applying any provision of 5 CFR part 2635 or this part to employees of 
the remainder of the Department:
    (1) Bureau of Indian Affairs, including the Office of Indian 
Education Programs;
    (2) Bureau of Land Management;
    (3) Bureau of Reclamation;
    (4) Minerals Management Service;
    (5) National Indian Gaming Commission;
    (6) National Park Service;
    (7) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement;
    (8) Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians;
    (9) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and
    (10) U.S. Geological Survey.
    (b) Employees in components not listed in paragraph (a) of this 
section (including employees within the immediate office of each 
Assistant Secretary) are employees of the remainder of the Department, 
which for those employees shall include the components designated in 
this section as well as those parts of the Department not designated in 
this section.

    Example 1: A company that conducts activities regulated by the 
Bureau of Land Management would not be a prohibited source of gifts 
for an employee of the National Park Service (NPS), unless that 
company seeks official action by the NPS; does business or seeks to 
do business with the NPS; conducts activities that are regulated by 
the NPS; or has interests that may be substantially affected by the 
performance or nonperformance of that employee's official duties.
    Example 2: A paralegal who works part-time in the Office of the 
Solicitor wants to take an additional part-time job with a private 
company that does business with the U.S. Geological Survey. The 
company is a prohibited source for the paralegal, since the company 
does business with a component of the Department from which his 
component has not been listed as separate in Sec. 3501.102(a). The 
paralegal must obtain prior approval for the outside employment, 
because Sec. 3501.105 requires employees to obtain such approval 
before engaging in outside employment with a prohibited source.


Sec. 3501.103   Prohibited interests in Federal lands.

    (a) Cross-references to statutory prohibitions--(1) Prohibited 
purchases of public land by Bureau of Land Management employees. As set 
forth in 43 CFR 20.401, the officers, clerks, and employees in the 
Bureau of Land Management are prohibited by 43 U.S.C. 11 from directly 
or indirectly purchasing or becoming interested in the purchase of any 
of the public lands.
    (2) Prohibited interests in the lands or mineral wealth of the 
region under survey for U.S. Geological Survey employees. As set forth 
in 43 CFR 20.401, the Director and members of the U.S. Geological 
Survey are prohibited by 43 U.S.C. 31(a) from having any personal or 
private interests in the lands or mineral wealth of the region under 
survey.
    (b) Prohibited financial interests in Federal lands for Minerals 
Management Service employees and for the Secretary and employees of the 
Office of the

[[Page 53719]]

Secretary and other Departmental offices reporting directly to a 
Secretarial officer who are in positions classified at GS-15 and above. 
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the 
following employees may not acquire or hold any direct or indirect 
financial interest in Federal lands or resources administered or 
controlled by the Department:
    (i) All employees of the Minerals Management Service; and
    (ii) The Secretary and employees of the Office of the Secretary and 
other Departmental offices reporting directly to a Secretarial officer 
who are in positions classified at GS-15 and above. As used in this 
section, ``Office of the Secretary and other Departmental Offices 
reporting directly to a Secretarial officer'' means the Immediate 
Office of the Secretary; Office of the Solicitor; Office of the 
Inspector General; Office of Communications; Office of Congressional 
and Legislative Affairs; all Assistant Secretaries, their immediate 
Office staff and heads of bureaus which are subordinate to an Assistant 
Secretary. This includes the following offices under the Office of the 
Assistant Secretary--Policy, Management and Budget: Office of Budget, 
Office of Hearings and Appeals, Office of Acquisition & Property 
Management, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, Office of 
Policy Analysis, Office of Financial Management, and Office of 
Information Resources Management.
    (2) Exceptions. The prohibition in paragraph (b)(1) of this section 
does not apply to:
    (i) An individual employed on an intermittent or seasonal basis for 
a period not exceeding 180 working days in each calendar year; or
    (ii) A special Government employee engaged in field work relating 
to land, range, forest, and mineral conservation and management 
activities.
    (c) Prohibition as to Department-granted rights in Federal lands. 
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, employees 
and their spouses and their minor children are prohibited from 
acquiring or retaining any claim, permit, lease, small tract entries, 
or other rights that are granted by the Department in Federal lands.
    (2) Exceptions. (i) Nothing in paragraph (c)(1) of this section 
prohibits the recreational or other personal and noncommercial use of 
Federal lands by an employee, or the employee's spouse or minor child, 
on the same terms as use of Federal lands is available to the general 
public.
    (ii) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, employees in the Office of 
the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, or in the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, and the spouses and minor children of such employees, are not 
prohibited by paragraph (c)(1) of this section from acquiring or 
retaining rights in Federal lands controlled by the Department for the 
benefit of Indians or Alaska Natives.
    (d) Divestiture. The Designated Agency Ethics Official may require 
an employee to divest an interest the employee is otherwise authorized 
to retain under an exception listed in this section, based on a 
determination of substantial conflict under Sec. 2635.403(b) of this 
title.
    (e) Waivers. The Designated Agency Ethics Official may grant a 
written waiver from the prohibitions contained in paragraphs (b) and 
(c) of this section, based on a determination that the waiver is not 
inconsistent with 5 CFR part 2635 or otherwise prohibited by law and 
that, under the particular circumstances, application of the 
prohibition is not necessary to avoid the appearance of misuse of 
position or loss of impartially, or otherwise to ensure confidence in 
the impartiality and objectivity with which Department programs are 
administered. A waiver under this paragraph may be accompanied by 
appropriate conditions, such as acquiring execution of a written 
statement of disqualification. Notwithstanding the grant of any waiver, 
an employee remains subject to the disqualification requirements of 5 
CFR 2635.402 and 2635.502.
    (f) Pre-existing interests. An employee may retain a financial 
interest otherwise prohibited by paragraph (b) or (c) of this section 
which was approved in writing under criteria and procedures in effect 
before November 2, 1996, unless the approval is withdrawn by the 
Designated Agency Ethics Official, subject to the standards for waivers 
in paragraph (e) of this section.


Sec. 3502.104  Prohibited interests in mining.

    (a) Cross-referenced to statutory prohibition. As set forth in 30 
CFR part 706 and 43 CFR 20.402, employees of the Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and other employees who perform 
functions or duties under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., are prohibited by 30 U.S.C. 
1211(f) from having a direct or indirect financial interest in 
underground or surface coal mining operations.
    (b) Prohibited interests in private mining activities in the United 
States for U.S. Geological Survey employees, their spouses, and minor 
children. (1) Except as provided in this section, no employee of the 
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), or spouse or minor child of a USGS 
employee, shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in private 
mining activities in the United States.
    (2) Definitions. For purposes of applying the prohibition in 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section:
    (i) Financial interest has the meaning set forth in 5 CFR 
2635.403(c), and includes an employee's legal or beneficial interest in 
a trust.
    (ii) Private mining activities means exploration, development, and 
production of oil, gas, and other minerals on land in the United States 
that is not owned by the Federal government or by a State or local 
government.
    (3) Exceptions. The prohibition set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of 
this section does not apply to:
    (i)(A) Financial interests worth $5000 or less, for employees (or 
their spouses and minor children) of the Office of the Director and the 
Geologic Division, or
    (B) A single financial interest worth $5000 or less or an aggregate 
of financial interests worth $15,000 or less, for employees (or their 
spouses and minor children) of all other USGS organizational elements;
    (ii) Mineral royalties and overriding royalty interests of $600 per 
year or less;
    (iii) A publicly traded or publicly available investment fund 
(e.g., a mutual fund) which, in its prospectus, does not indicate the 
objective or practice of concentrating its investments in entities 
engaged in private mining activities in the United States, if the 
employee neither exercises control nor has the ability to exercise 
control over the financial interests held in the fund;
    (iv) A legal or beneficial interest in a qualified profit sharing, 
retirement, or similar plan, provided that the plan does not invest 
more than 25 percent of its funds in debt or equity instruments of 
entities engaged in private mining activities in the United States, and 
the employee neither exercise control nor has the ability to exercise 
control over the financial interests held in the plan; or
    (v) The ownership of a financial interest by an employee's spouse 
or minor child where the spouse or minor child obtained the interest 
through:
    (A) A gift from someone other than the employee or a member of the 
employee's household;
    (B) Inheritance;
    (C) Acquisition prior to the employee's becoming a USGS employee;
    (D) Acquisition prior to marriage to a USGS employee; or
    (E) A compensation package in connection with the employment of the 
spouse or minor child.

[[Page 53720]]

    (4) Divestiture. The Director of the U.S. Geological Survey may 
require an employee to divest an interest the employee is otherwise 
authorized to retain under an exception listed in paragraph (b)(3) of 
this section, based on a determination of substantial conflict under 
Sec. 2635.403(b) of this title.
    (5) Waivers. The Director of the U.S. Geological Survey may grant a 
written waiver from the prohibition contained in paragraph (b)(1) of 
this section, based on a determination that the waiver is not 
inconsistent with 5 CFR part 2635 or otherwise prohibited by law, and 
that, under the particular circumstances, application of the 
prohibition is not necessary to avoid the appearance of misuse of 
position or loss of impartiality, or otherwise to ensure confidence in 
the impartiality and objectivity with which Department programs are 
administered. A waiver under this paragraph may be accompanied by 
appropriate conditions, such as requiring execution of a written 
statement of disqualification. Notwithstanding the granting of any 
waiver, an employee remains subject to the disqualification 
requirements of 5 CFR 2635.402 and 2635.502.
    (6) Pre-existing interests. A spouse or minor child of an employee 
may retain a financial interest otherwise prohibited by paragraph 
(b)(1) of this section which was permitted under criteria and 
procedures in effect before November 2, 1996, unless the Director of 
the U.S. Geological Survey determines in writing that such retention is 
inconsistent with the standards for waivers in paragraph (b)(5) of this 
section.


Sec. 3501.105  Outside employment and activities.

    (a) Prohibited outside employment and activities. (1) Under 43 
U.S.C. 31(a), employees of the U.S. Geological Survey shall execute no 
surveys or examinations for private parties or corporations.
    (2) Employees in the Bureau of Land Management may not engage in 
outside employment as real estate agents and realty specialists. Such 
employees are not required to cancel a real estate license, but may 
maintain the license on an inactive basis.
    (3) Employees in the Office of the Assistant Secretary--Indian 
Affairs, or in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), may not hold a 
position on a tribal election board or on a tribal school board which 
oversees BIA schools.

    Note to paragraph (a)(3): Except for membership on a tribal 
election board and a tribal school board which oversees BIA schools, 
an eligible person employed in the Office of the Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs or in the BIA may become a candidate for 
office in his local tribe or may be appointed as a representative of 
his local tribe if prior approval is obtained from the Deputy 
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs pursuant to paragraph (b) of 
this section.

    (b) Prior approval of outside employment--(1) Prior approval 
requirement. (i) An employee of the Department, other than an employee 
of the U.S. Geological Survey or a special Government employee, shall 
obtain written approval from his ethics counselor or other agency 
designee before engaging in outside employment with a prohibited 
source.
    (ii)(A) An employee of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), other 
than a special Government employee, shall obtain written approval from 
the USGS deputy ethics counselor before engaging in any outside 
employment.
    (B) The USGS may issue instructions exempting categories of 
employment from the prior approval requirement in paragraph 
(b)(1)(ii)(A) of this section, based on a determination that the 
employment within those categories would generally be approved and are 
not likely to involve conduct prohibited by statute or Federal 
regulation, including 5 CFR part 2635 and this part.
    (2) Form of request for approval.
    (i) A request for prior approval of outside employment shall 
include, at a minimum, the following:
    (A) The employee's name, occupational title, office address, and 
office telephone number;
    (B) A brief description of the employee's official duties;
    (C) The nature of the outside employment, including a full 
description of the specific duties or services to be performed;
    (D) The name and address of the prospective outside employer; and
    (E) A statement that the employee currently has no official duties 
involving a matter that affects the outside employer and will 
disqualify himself from future participation in matters that could 
directly affect the outside employer.
    (ii) Upon a significant change in the nature of the outside 
employment or in the employee's official position, the employee shall 
submit a revised request for approval.
    (3) Standard for approval. Approval shall be granted unless a 
determination is made that the outside employment is expected to 
involve conduct prohibited by statute or Federal regulation, including 
5 CFR part 2635 and this part.
    (4) Definitions. As used in this section:
    (i) Employment means any form of non-Federal business relationship 
involving the provision of personal services by the employee, with or 
without compensation. 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 done under an arrangement with another person for 
production or publication of the written product. It does not, however, 
include participation in the activities of a nonprofit charitable, 
religious, professional, social, fraternal, educational, recreational, 
public service, or civic organization, unless the participation 
involves the provision of professional services or advice for 
compensation other than reimbursement for actual expenses.
    (ii) Prohibited source has the meaning in 5 CFR 2635.203(d), as 
supplemented by Sec. 3501.102, and includes any person who:
    (A) Is seeking official action by the Department or, in the case of 
an employee of one of the separate agency components designated in 
Sec. 3501.102(a), by that component;
    (B) Does business or seeks to do business with the Department, or 
in the case of an employee of one of the separate agency components 
designated in Sec. 3501.102(a), with that component;
    (C) Conducts activities regulated by the Department or, in the case 
of an employee of one of the separate agency components designated in 
Sec. 3501.102(a), by that component;
    (D) Has interests that may be substantially affected by the 
performance or nonperformance of the employee's official duties; or
    (E) Is an organization a majority of whose members are described in 
paragraphs (c)(4)(ii) (A) through (D) of this section.

TITLE 43--[AMENDED]

SUBTITLE A--[AMENDED]

    2. Part 20 of 43 CFR is revised to read as follows:

PART 20--EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONDUCT

Subpart A--General Provisions

Sec.
20.101  Cross-references to ethical conduct, financial disclosure 
and other applicable regulations.
20.102  Definitions.
20.103  Employee responsibilities.

Subpart B--Department Ethics Program

20.201  Ethics officials.
20.202  Ethics program responsibilities.
20.203  Exclusion from confidential financial disclosure requirement 
for certain special Government employees.

[[Page 53721]]

Subpart C--Acceptance and Payment of Travel and Related Expenses

20.301  General policy.
20.302  Exclusions.
Subpart D--Special Provisions Governing Financial and Other Outside 
Interests of Certain Employees of the Department
20.401  Interests in Federal lands.
20.402  Interests in underground or surface coal mining operations.
20.403  Certificates of disclaimer.

Subpart E--Other Employee Conduct Provisions

20.501  General policy.
20.502  Conformance with policy and subordination to authority.
20.503  Scope of authority.
20.504  Selling or soliciting.
20.505  Habitual use of intoxicants.
20.506  Appropriations, legislation and lobbying.
20.507  Unlawful organizations.
20.508  Notary.
20.509  Penalty mail and official stationery.
20.510  Fraud or false statements in a Government matter.
20.511  Carrying of firearms.
20.512  Labor practices.

Subpart F--Disciplinary and Remedial Actions

20.601  General.
20.602  Remedial action.
20.603  Appealing an order for remedial action.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 5 U.S.C. App. (Reorganization Plan No. 
3 of 1950); 30 U.S.C. 1211; 43 U.S.C. 11, 31; 5 CFR 2634.903, 
2634.905.

Subpart A--General Provisions


Sec. 20.101  Cross-references to ethical conduct, financial disclosure 
and other applicable regulations.

    In addition to the rules in this part, employees of the Department 
of the Interior also should refer to the Standards of Ethical Conduct 
for Employees of the Executive Branch, at 5 CFR part 2635; the 
Department's regulations that supplement those executive branch-wide 
standards at 5 CFR part 3501; the employee responsibilities and conduct 
regulations at 5 CFR part 735; and the executive branch financial 
disclosure regulations at 5 CFR part 2634.


Sec. 20.102  Definitions.

    (a) The following terms are used throughout this part and have the 
following meanings:
    (1) Department means the U.S. Department of the Interior and any of 
its components.
    (2) Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.
    (3) Bureau means each major program operating component of the 
Department, the Office of the Secretary, the Office of the Solicitor, 
and the Office of the Inspector General.
    (4) Employee means a regular employee, a special Government 
employee, and a contract education employee in the Office of the 
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs or the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
unless the text of a particular subpart, section, or paragraph 
indicates that either regular employees or special Government employees 
are not intended to be covered by that subpart, section or paragraph. 
Volunteers in National Parks whose services are accepted pursuant to 16 
U.S.C. 18g are not employees.
    (b) Specific definitions. Additional definitions of terms 
specifically associated with a particular subpart, section, or 
paragraph are found in that subpart, section, or paragraph.


Sec. 20.103  Employee responsibilities.

    It is the responsibility of each employee:
    (a) To be familiar with and to comply with all Federal statues, 
Executive Orders, and regulations that govern his or her conduct. 
Employees are expected to consult with their supervisors and servicing 
ethics counselors on questions they may have regarding the 
applicability of any ethics or other conduct provision. Ethics advice 
may also be obtained from the Solicitor's Office and the Department 
Ethics Office.
    (b) To report directly or through appropriate channels to the 
Office of Inspector General or other appropriate authority matters 
coming to their attention which do or may involve violations of law or 
regulation by employees, contractors, sub-contractors, grantees, 
subgrantees, lessees, licensees or other persons having official 
business with the Department.

Subpart B--Department Ethics Program


Sec. 20.201  Ethics officials.

    (a) The Designated Agency Ethics Official is the Assistant 
Secretary--Policy, Management and Budget. In accordance with 5 CFR 
2638.203, the Designated Agency Ethics Official is responsible for the 
coordination and management of the Department's ethics program.
    (b) The head of each bureau is the ``Ethics Counselor'' for that 
bureau, except that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy is the 
Ethics Counselor for employees in the Office of the Secretary and 
related offices. The Solicitor is the Ethics Counselor for the Office 
of the Solicitor and the Inspector General is the Ethics Counselor for 
the Office of Inspector General.
    (c) The personnel officer for each bureau or other qualified 
employee who has been delegated responsibility for the operational 
duties of the Ethics Counselor for the bureau, it the ``Deputy Ethics 
Counselor'' for that bureau.
    (d) A bureau, regional, or area personnel officer or other 
qualified employee may be assigned to serve as an ``Associate Ethics 
Counselor'' or ``Assistant Ethics Counselor,'' with delegated 
responsibility to perform the operational duties of the Ethics 
Counselor at the field level. Associate Ethics Counselors or Assistant 
Ethics Counselors may also be designated within the bureau 
headquarters.


Sec. 20.202  Ethics program responsibilities.

    (a) The Designated Agency Ethics Official (or the alternate agency 
ethics official in his or her absence) shall coordinate and manage the 
department's ethics program in accordance with 5 CFR 2638.203.
    (b) Each Ethics Counselor shall, for his or her bureau:
    (1) Order disciplinary or remedial action in accordance with the 
provisions of subpart F of this part. This authority may not be 
redelegated.
    (2) Designate: (i) The Bureau Personnel Officer (or other qualified 
headquarters employee) as Deputy Ethics Counselor to carry out 
operational duties of the Ethics Counselor within their bureaus under 
the general direction of the Ethics Counselor; and
    (ii) Headquarters bureau, regional, or area personnel officers (or 
other qualified employees) as Associate Ethics Counselors or Assistant 
Ethics Counselors to perform ethics counseling and the collection and 
review of financial disclosure reports.
    (3) Ensure that vacancy announcements for positions which require a 
public or confidential financial disclosure report alert applicants to 
the filing requirement.
    (4) Establish and maintain internal procedures and guidelines to 
adequately and systematically inform employees of the content, meaning, 
and importance of ethical conduct and other conduct regulations.
    (c) All supervisors may make decisions as to whether conduct by 
employees under their supervision would result in the appearance that 
the employee would violate or is violating the ethical standards set 
forth in 5 CFR 2635; all supervisors are expected, therefore, to be 
familiar with those standards. In addition, any supervisor who grants 
prior approval of an employee's outside employment under 5 CFR 
3501.105(b) is expected, at a

[[Page 53722]]

minimum, to provide information to the employee about the prohibitions 
in 18 U.S.C. 203, 205 and 208 at the time such approval is granted.


Sec. 20.203  Exclusion from confidential financial disclosure 
requirement for certain special Government employees.

    In an instance involving the proposed employment of a special 
Government employee for highly specialized and limited duties, the head 
of the bureau or office may propose to the Designated Agency Ethics 
Official (DAEO) a reporting of financial interests restricted to such 
interests as may be determined to be relevant to the duties the special 
Government employee is to perform. The DAEO may, under the provisions 
of 5 CFR 2634.905, exclude the special Government employee from all or 
a portion of the confidential reporting requirements of the OGE Form 
450. Any confidential financial disclosure requirement must be 
satisfied by the special Government employee before he begins his 
employment.

Subpart C--Acceptance and Payment of Travel and Related Expenses


Sec. 20.301  General policy.

    (a) Except as specifically authorized by law, when an employee is 
on official duty (no leave status), all travel and accommodations shall 
be at Government expense and his or her acceptance of outside 
reimbursement for travel expenses or services in kind from private 
sources, either in his or her behalf or in behalf of the Government, is 
not allowed.
    (b) Under certain circumstances, the Department may charge a fee or 
accept reimbursement for providing a service or thing of value to a 
private source when the service or thing of value provided benefits to 
both the Government and the particular private source (31 U.S.C. 9701). 
In such instances only a portion of the costs can be accepted from the 
private source. The Department must pay expenses associated with its 
usual official business and for the benefits it receives from 
participating in the event. The private source can be charged or may 
reimburse the Department for that portion of the service provided that 
exceeds the Department's usual expenses and the benefits to the 
Government. Under this provision, payments from private sources must be 
deposited in the U.S. Treasury unless the bureau receiving the payment 
is authorized by statute to accept such payments.
    (c) When a bureau is authorized by statute other than 31 U.S.C. 
1353 to accept gifts, and 31 U.S.C. 1353 does not apply, the travel 
expenses incurred by an employee directed to participate in a 
convention, seminar, or similar meeting sponsored by a private source 
for the mutual interest of the Government and the private source may be 
reimbursed to the bureau and credited to its appropriation. The 
employee shall be paid by the bureau in accordance with the law 
relating to reimbursement for official travel and any accommodations 
and goods or services in kind furnished an employee shall be treated as 
a donation to the bureau and an appropriate reduction shall be made to 
the employee's reimbursement (46 CG 689 (1967)).
    (d) When participation at a function is not in an official 
capacity, an employee may accept reimbursement of travel and 
accommodation expenses from a private source, provided that such 
acceptance is permitted by law and Federal regulations. Participation 
as a private citizen must occur on one's own time, such as while on 
leave. If participation should occur during the course of official 
travel (i.e., evening or weekend hours during official travel status), 
the travel voucher submitted for Government reimbursement of official 
duty expenses must be adjusted to claim only that per diem and travel 
attributable to official duty. Employees who are in positions for which 
the rate of pay is specified in 5 U.S.C. 5311-5318 (the Executive 
Schedule) are on 24-hour duty, and determinations of what constitutes 
official duty and what is private participation should be carefully 
made.


Sec. 20.302  Exclusions.

    (a) Where employee travel is for attendance at a meeting or similar 
function (31 U.S.C. 1353(a)), the Department may accept payment for the 
employee and/or the employee's spouse's travel from a non-Federal 
source when proper consideration is given to the conditions in 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section and a written authorization to accept 
payment is issued in advance of the travel.
    (1) Conditions. Such travel expenses paid for by a non-Federal 
source may be accepted by the Department only if all of the following 
conditions are met:
    (i) The travel relates to the employee's official duties;
    (ii) The travel, subsistence and related expenses are with respect 
to the attendance of an employee (and/or the accompanying spouse of 
such employee when applicable) at a meeting or similar function. This 
includes a conference, seminar, speaking engagement, symposium, 
training course, or similar event that takes place away from the 
employee's official station, and is sponsored or cosponsored by a non-
Federal source;
    (iii) The non-Federal source is not disqualified because of a real 
or apparent conflict of interest as determined under paragraph (a)(2) 
of this section; and
    (iv) The travel event is not required to carry out the Department's 
statutory or regulatory functions. Examples of statutory or regulatory 
functions that are essential to the Department's mission include 
investigations, inspections, audits, site visits, compliance reviews or 
program evaluations.
    (2) Conflict of interest analysis. (i) The Department's acceptance 
of any payment from a non-Federal source under the authority of 31 
U.S.C. 1353 shall not be approved when an Authorized Approving 
Official, identified in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, 
determines that under the circumstances, acceptance of the travel 
expenses would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of all relevant 
facts to:
    (A) Question the integrity of the work to be performed by the 
employee receiving the benefit; or
    (B) Question the integrity of the Department's other program 
operations.
    (ii) When making these determinations, an Authorized Approving 
Official shall be guided by all relevant considerations including, but 
not limited to:
    (A) The identity of the non-Federal source and the source's 
relationship to the Department;
    (B) The purpose of the meeting or similar function and its 
relationship to the Department's programs or operations;
    (C) The identity of other expected participants and their 
relationship to the Department;
    (D) The nature and sensitivity of any pending Department matter 
which, when decided, may affect the interests of the non-Federal 
source;
    (E) The significance of the employee's role in any such pending 
matter;
    (F) The monetary value and character of the travel benefits offered 
by the non-Federal source; and
    (G) The potential reaction from Department customers, including the 
public, if the acceptance of travel expenses was made known to them.
    (iii) An ``Authorized Approving Official'' means that Department 
official who has been delegated authority to approve the usual travel 
authorizations of the employee who will benefit from the non-Federal 
travel payment.

[[Page 53723]]

    (iv) The procedures stated below must be satisfied before the 
employee (and/or the accompanying spouse) begin his or her travel:
    (A) Each employee (and/or the accompanying spouse) must have an 
approved Travel Authorization (Form DI-1020). Section 10 (``Purpose and 
Remarks'') of this Form must contain a statement that the authority to 
accept payment from a non-Federal source for the specified travel event 
is 31 U.S.C. 1353, and the travel situation complies with the 
conditions for acceptance under 41 CFR 304-1.4.
    (B) The supplementary form entitled, ``Report of Payments Accepted 
From Non-Federal Sources Under 31 U.S.C. 1353'' (Form DI-2000) must 
also be completed and signed by the employee and the Authorized 
Approving Official. A copy of Form DI-1020 and Form DI-2000 must be 
filed with the employee's Deputy Ethics Counselor.
    (C) Payment from a non-Federal source to cover the travel related 
expenses of an employee may be made in the form of a check or similar 
instrument made payable to the Department. Employees should not accept 
cash or negotiate checks or similar instruments payable to them. Any 
negotiable instruments received by an employee shall be transmitted 
immediately to the appropriate accounting office.
    (b) When on official duty, contributions and awards incident to 
training in non-Government facilities, and payment of travel, 
subsistence, and other expenses incident to attendance at meetings may 
be accepted by an employee when the payment is made by a non-profit, 
tax exempt organization as described in 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) and when no 
real or apparent conflict of interest will result. Prior advice should 
be obtained from the employee's ethics counselor in this circumstance 
(5 U.S.C. 4111).
    (c) Employees may accept reimbursement by the Department for travel 
and related expenses when on detail under the Intergovernmental 
Personnel Act, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3375.
    (d) Should the Director of the United States Information Agency, 
with the approval of the employing agency, assign an employee to a 
foreign government, reimbursement for the employee's pay and allowances 
shall be made to the United States in an amount equal to the 
compensation, travel expenses, and allowances payable to such person 
during the period of such assignment, in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 
1451.
    (e) Should an employee be detailed by the Secretary to an 
international organization which requests services, the employee is 
deemed to be (for the purpose of preserving his or her allowances, 
privileges, rights, seniority, and other benefits) an employee of the 
Department and the employee is entitled to pay, allowances, and 
benefits from funds available to the Department. The international 
organization may reimburse the Department for all or part of the pay, 
travel expenses, and allowances payable during the detail; or, the 
detailed employee may be paid or reimbursed directly by the 
international organization for allowances or expenses incurred in the 
performance of duties required by the detail without regard to 18 
U.S.C. 209 (5 U.S.C. 3343).

Subpart D--Special Provisions Governing Financial and Other Outside 
Interests of Certain Employees of the Department


Sec. 20.401  Interests in Federal lands.

    (a) Statutory prohibition applicable to employees of the Bureau of 
Land Management. (1) In accordance with 43 U.S.C. 11, employees of the 
Bureau of Land Management are prohibited from voluntarily acquiring a 
direct or indirect interest in Federal lands.
    (2) Definitions. For purposes of applying the prohibition in 43 
U.S.C. 11:
    (i) Federal lands. means public lands or resources or an interest 
in lands or resources administered or controlled by the Department, 
including, but not limited to, all submerged lands lying seaward 
outside of the area of ``lands beneath navigable water'' as defined in 
43 U.S.C. 1301(a), and of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the 
United States and are subject to its jurisdiction and control.
    (ii) Direct interest in Federal lands means any employee ownership 
or part ownership in Federal lands or any participation in the earnings 
therefrom, or the right to occupy or use the property or to take any 
benefits there from, based upon a contract, grant, lease, permit, 
easement, rental agreement, or application. Direct interest in Federal 
lands also includes:
    (A) Membership or outside employment in a business which has 
interests in Federal lands; and.
    (B) Ownership of stock or other securities in corporations 
determined by the Department to have an interest in Federal lands 
directly or through a subsidiary.
    (iii) Indirect interest in Federal lands means any ownership or 
part ownership of an interest in Federal lands by an employee in the 
name of another where the employee still reaps the benefits. Indirect 
interest in Federal lands also includes:
    (A) Holdings in land, mineral rights, grazing rights or livestock 
which in any manner are connected with or involve the substantial use 
of the resources or facilities of the Federal lands; or
    (B) Substantial holdings of a spouse or minor child.
    (b) Statutory prohibition applicable to employees of the U.S. 
Geological Survey. (1) In accordance with 43 U.S.C. 31(a), the Director 
and members of the U.S. Geological Survey are prohibited from having 
any personal or private interests in the lands or mineral wealth of the 
region under survey.
    (2) Definitions. For purposes of applying the prohibition in 43 
U.S.C. 31(a):
    (i) Personal or private interest means ownership of an interest in, 
or employment with a person or enterprise which leases or uses, Federal 
lands for commercial purposes.
    (ii) Region under survey means Federal lands which are administered 
or controlled by the Department.
    (c) Exclusions. (1)(i) Except for U.S. mineral surveyors, an 
individual employed on an intermittent or seasonal basis for a period 
not exceeding 180 working days in each calendar year, and a special 
Government employee (SGE) engaged in field work relating to land, 
range, forest, and mineral conservation and management activities, and 
the spouse of such an individual or SGE, shall not be precluded from 
retaining any interest, including renewal or continuation of existing 
rights, in Federal lands, provided that such individual or SGE or 
spouse shall not acquire any additional interest in Federal lands 
during employment.
    (ii) A U.S. mineral surveyor is a person appointed under the 
authority of 30 U.S.C. 39, and as such is included within the term 
``officers, clerks, and employees'' of the Bureau of Land Management as 
that term is used in 43 U.S.C. 11 and construed in Waskey v. Hammer, 
223 U.S. 85 (1912). U.S. mineral surveyors are also considered to be 
special government employees.
    (2) A Bureau of Land Management employee or any member of the 
employee's family may acquire wild free-roaming horses or burros from 
Federal lands for maintenance and protection through a cooperative 
agreement entered into in accordance with 43 CFR part 4700.
    (3) A Bureau of Land Management employee may retain a direct or 
indirect interest in Federal lands when:

[[Page 53724]]

    (i) There is little or no relationship between the employee's 
functions or duties and the particular interest in Federal lands, and
    (ii) The employee, or the spouse or dependent child of the 
employee, acquired such an interest:
    (A) By gift, devise, bequest, or court award or settlement, or
    (B) Prior to the time the employee entered on duty in the 
Department.
    (4) Pursuant to 43 U.S.C. 1621(d), 43 U.S.C. 11 does not apply to 
any land grants or other rights granted under 43 U.S.C. chapter 33.
    (5) The recreational or other personal and noncommercial use of the 
Federal lands by an employee, the employee's spouse or dependent child, 
on the same terms as use of the Federal lands is available to the 
general public, is not prohibited.
    (6) Advisory councils. Nothing in 43 U.S.C. 11 shall disqualify 
individuals appointed pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1739, as members of advisory boards 
or councils, from acquiring or retaining grazing licenses or permits 
issued pursuant to section 3 of the Taylor Grazing Act (43 U.S.C. 
315b), or any other interest in land or resources administered by the 
Bureau of Land Management: Provided, that in no case shall the member 
of any such board or council participate in any advice or 
recommendation concerning such license or permit in which such member 
is directly or indirectly interested.
    (d) Request for advice. When an employee is in doubt as to whether 
the acquisition or retention of any interest in lands or resources 
administered by the Department would violate the provisions of this 
section, a statement of the facts should be submitted promptly by the 
individual involved to his or her servicing ethics counselor for 
guidance.


Sec. 20.402  Interests in underground or surface coal mining 
operations.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:
    (1) Direct financial interest in underground or surface coal mining 
operations means ownership or part ownership by an employee of lands, 
stocks, bonds, debentures, warrants, partnership shares, or other 
holdings and also means any other arrangement where the employee may 
benefit from his or her holding in or salary from coal mining 
operation. Direct financial interests also include employment, 
pensions, creditor, real property and other financial relationships.
    (2) Indirect financial interest in underground or surface coal 
mining operations means the same financial relationships as for direct 
ownership, but where the employee reaps the benefits of such interests 
including interests held by his or her spouse, dependent child and 
other relatives, including in-laws, residing in the employee's home. 
The employee will not be deemed to have an indirect financial interest 
if there is no relationship between the employee's functions or duties 
and the coal mining operation in which the spouse, dependent child or 
other resident relative holds a financial interest.
    (3) Coal mining operation means the business of developing, 
producing, preparing or loading bituminous coal, subbituminous coal, 
anthracite or lignite or of reclaiming the areas upon which such 
activities occur.
    (4) Performing any function or duty under the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 means those decisions or actions, 
which if performed or not performed by an employee, affect the programs 
under the Act.
    (b) Prohibitions. (1) Neither the Director nor any other employee 
of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement or any 
other employee who performs functions or duties under the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., 
shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in underground or 
surface coal mining operations.
    (2) The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, at 30 
U.S.C. 1211(f), provides that anyone who knowingly violates the 
prohibitions in that Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine 
of not more than $2,500, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, 
or both.
    (c) Employees are encouraged to review regulations contained in 30 
CFR part 706 which pertain to the prohibitions restated in this 
section.


Sec. 20.403  Certificates of disclaimer.

    (a) Each employee of the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land 
Management, Minerals Management Service, and Office of Surface Mining 
Reclamation and Enforcement shall sign a certificate of disclaimer upon 
entrance to or upon transfer to a position within any of these bureaus. 
The employee's signature will indicate that he or she:
    (1) Is aware of the specific restrictions pertinent to his or her 
employment; and
    (2) Is in compliance with such restrictions.
    (b) If an employee is unable to sign the certificate, he or she 
must submit a statement of facts to the appropriate ethics counselor 
for review and appropriate action.
    (c) Signed certificates of disclaimer shall be filed and maintained 
by the employee's deputy ethics counselor.

Subpart E--Other Employee Conduct Provisions


Sec. 20.501  General policy.

    Employees of the Department are expected to maintain especially 
high standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality, and conduct to 
ensure the proper performance of Government business and the continual 
trust and confidence of citizens in their Government. Employees are 
expected to comply with all Federal statutes, Executive Orders, Office 
of Government Ethics and Office of Personnel Management regulations, 
and Departmental regulations. The conduct of employees should reflect 
the qualities of courtesy, consideration, loyalty to the United States, 
a deep sense of responsibility for the public trust, promptness in 
dealing with and serving the public, and a standard of personal 
behavior which will be a credit to the individual and the Department. 
These principles apply to official conduct and to private conduct which 
affects in any way the ability of the employee or the Department to 
effectively accomplish the work of the Department.


Sec. 20.502  Conformance with policy and subordination to authority.

    Employees are required to carry out the announced policies and 
programs of the Department and to obey proper requests and directions 
or supervisors. While policies related to one's work are under 
consideration employees may, and are expected to, express their 
professional opinions and points of view. Once a decision has been 
rendered by those in authority, each employee is expected to comply 
with the decision and work to ensure the success of programs or issues 
affected by the decision. An employee is subject to appropriate 
disciplinary action, including removal, if he or she fails to:
    (a) Comply with any lawful regulations, orders, or policies; or
    (b) Obey the proper requests of supervisors having responsibility 
for his or her performance.


Sec. 20.503  Scope of authority.

    Employes shall not engage in any conduct or activity which is in 
excess of his or her authority, or is otherwise contrary to any law or 
announced Departmental policy.


Sec. 20.504  Selling or soliciting.

    Employees and other persons are prohibited from selling or 
soliciting for personal gain within any building or on

[[Page 53725]]

any lands occupied or used by the Department. Exception is granted for 
Department-authorized operations, including, but not limited to, the 
Interior Department Recreation Association, the Indian Arts and Crafts 
store, and for cafeteria, newsstand, snack bar and vending machine 
operations which are authorized by the Department of the benefit of 
employees or the public.


Sec. 20.505  Habitual use of intoxicants.

    An employee who habitually uses intoxicants to excess may be 
subject to removal (5 U.S.C. 7352).


Sec. 20.506  Appropriations, legislation and lobbying.

    (a) Unless expressly authorized by Congress, employees are 
prohibited from using any part of the money appropriated by any 
enactment of Congress to pay for any personal service, advertisement, 
telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other 
device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of 
Congress, to favor or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation or 
appropriation by Congress, whether before or after the introduction of 
any bill or resolution proposing such legislation or appropriation; 
this prohibition does not prevent any employee from communicating to 
Members of Congress on the request of any Member or through proper 
official channels, requests for legislation or appropriations which 
they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business 
(18 U.S.C. 1913).
    (b) When acting in their official capacity, employees are required 
to refrain from promoting or opposing legislation relating to programs 
of the Department without the official sanction of the property 
Departmental authority.
    (c) The rights of employees, individually or collectively, to 
otherwise petition Congress, or to a Committee or Member thereof, shall 
not be interfered with or denied (5 U.S.C. 7211).


Sec. 20.507  Unlawful organizations.

    An employee may not advocate the violent overthrow of our 
constitutional form of government nor may an employee be a member of an 
organization that he or she knows advocates the violent overthrow of 
our constitutional form of government (5 U.S.C. 7311).


Sec. 20.508  Notary.

    An employee is prohibited from charging fees for performance of any 
notarial act for any employee of the Federal Government who is acting 
in his or her official capacity, or for any person during the hours of 
such notary's service to the Government (E.O. 977, Nov. 24, 1908).


Sec. 20.509  Penalty mail and official stationery.

    (a) An employee is prohibited from using any official envelope, 
label, or indorsement authorized by law, to avoid the payment of 
postage or registry fee on his or her private letter, packet, package, 
or other matter in the mail (18 U.S.C. 1719).
    (b) Official Government envelopes and official letterhead 
stationery are Government property that may only be used for authorized 
purposes. Employees' use of Government envelopes to mail their own 
personal job applications is not authorized.


Sec. 20.510  Fraud or false statements in a Government matter.

    An employees shall not, in any matter within the jurisdiction of 
any department or agency of the United States, knowingly or willfully 
falsify, conceal or cover up by any trick, scheme, or device a material 
fact, or make any false, fictitious, fraudulent statements or 
representations, or make or use any false writing or document knowing 
the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or 
entry (18 U.S.C. 1001). Special attention is required in the 
certification of time and attendance reports, applications for 
employment, request for travel reimbursement, and purchase orders and 
receiving forms.


Sec. 20.511  Carrying of firearms.

    Employees, except those specifically designated to perform 
enforcement, police or other official duties requiring the use of 
firearms, are prohibited from carrying or having in their possession 
firearms on property under the control of the Secretary. Employees who 
are officially stationed in parks, refuges, Indian reservations, other 
Tribal lands or other wilderness areas which are known to be inhabited 
by wild animals, are permitted, when on those lands, to carry and use 
firearms for personal protection as permitted by existing policy or as 
authorized by the park, refuge or area supervisor. Notwithstanding this 
paragraph, employees who are not on official duty may carry firearms on 
Departmental lands under the same conditions and in accordance with 
procedures and authorizations established for members of the general 
public.


Sec. 20.512  Labor practices.

    Employees are prohibited from striking against the Government of 
the United States (5 U.S.C. 7311). Additional information regarding 
affiliation with employee organizations is found in the Department 
Manual, Part 370, Chapter 711, Labor Management Relations.

Subpart F--Disciplinary and Remedial Actions


Sec. 20.601  General.

    This subpart deals with disciplinary actions and remedial actions 
for violations, or potential violations, of conflict of interest laws 
or of the regulations in this part or in 5 CFR part 2635 or 5 CFR part 
3501. Disciplinary action may include oral or written warning or 
admonishment, reprimand, suspension, reduction in grade or pay, removal 
from position or removal from office. Such action shall be taken in 
accordance with Departmental policies and procedures, applicable 
statutes, Executive Orders, regulations, and any applicable collective 
bargaining agreement provisions. Disciplinary action may be imposed 
independently from and without prior application of remedial actions, 
including those remedial actions listed in Sec. 20.602.


Sec. 20.602  Remedial action.

    (a)(1) Remedial action should normally be considered only after 
attempts to obtain voluntary resolution have failed. Voluntary 
resolution may include:
    (i) Voluntary divestiture;
    (ii) Voluntary conversion to securities which are not prohibited, 
or the holding of which would not violate law or regulation; or
    (iii) Voluntary reassignment to another position.
    (2) If the bureau Ethics Counselor decides that remedial action is 
required, such action shall be initiated within a reasonable time, 
usually 90 days.
    (b) Remedial action may include:
    (1) Reassignment or disqualification of the employee. It may be 
possible for the employee to be reassigned to another job, or to be 
disqualified from performing particular duties. Although the number of 
cases where this remedy can be used should be rare, the possibility 
should be explored before divestiture of an interest is ordered.
    (2) Waiver. (i) The Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) is 
authorized to make a written advance determination pursuant to 18 
U.S.C. 208(b)(1) waiving the prohibitions of 18 U.S.C. 208(a) for any 
Department employee except the Secretary and those employees in the 
same organization as the DEAO, i.e., the Department's Office of Policy, 
Management and Budget. The Secretary

[[Page 53726]]

or the Deputy Secretary shall issue individual waivers pursuant to 18 
U.S.C. 208(b)(1) for employees in the Office of Policy, Management and 
Budget.
    (ii) In the case of a special Government employee serving on an 
advisory committee within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act, 5 U.S.C. App. (including an individual being considered for an 
appointment to such a position), the DAEO, after review of the 
financial disclosure report filed by the individual pursuant to the 
Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. App., is authorized to 
certify in writing that the need for the individual's services 
outweighs the potential for a conflict of interest created by the 
financial interest involved.
    (iii) The DAEO may grant a waiver under 5 CFR 3501.103(e) from the 
regulatory restrictions at 5 CFR 3501.103 (b) and (c).
    (3) Divestiture of the interest. An employee may be required to 
divest an interest, including outside employment, that is prohibited by 
law or regulation. Divestiture of the interest shall be ordered in all 
situations where it is determined by the appropriate official that 
there is no other satisfactory remedy. Evidence of divestiture must be 
provided in the form of broker's sale receipt or other appropriate 
document.

    Note to paragraph (b)(3): It may be possible in certain cases 
for the tax consequences of divestiture to be delayed, if the 
interest is sold pursuant to a certificate of divestiture issued 
before the sale by the Director, U.S. Office of Government Ethics. 
See 5 CFR part 2634, subpart J.

    (c) Authority to order remedial action. (1) Each bureau Ethics 
Counselor is authorized to order remedial actions within his or her 
bureau. The advice of the appropriate Regional Solicitor, the Associate 
Solicitor--Division of General Law, or the Designated Agency Ethics 
Official or his or her designee may be sought before such an order is 
issued. This authority to order remedial action may not be redelegated.
    (2) The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy is authorized to 
order remedial actions for employees within the Office of the 
Secretary, except that the Secretary shall order remedial actions in 
situations involving the Deputy Secretary.
    (d) An employee who fails to comply with an order for remedial 
action is considered to be in violation of this part and shall be 
subject to disciplinary action.


Sec. 20.603   Appealing an order for remedial action.

    (a) When and how to appeal. An employee has the right to appeal an 
order for remedial action under Sec. 20.602, and shall have 30 days 
from the date of the remedial action order to exercise this right 
before any disciplinary action may be initiated. For appeals of 
remedial orders issued under Sec. 20.602, the procedures described in 
370 DM 771 may not be used in lieu of or in addition to those of this 
section. Each appeal shall be in writing and shall contain:
    (1) The basis for appeal;
    (2) Fact(s) supporting the basis; and
    (3) The telephone number where appellant can be reached to discuss 
facts pertinent to the appeal.
    (b) Where to appeal. (1) Orders for remedial action issued by an 
Ethics Counselor may be appealed to the Deputy Secretary, whose 
decision shall be final.
    (2) Orders for remedial action issued by the Deputy Secretary may 
be appealed to the Secretary, whose decision shall be final.
    (c) Review Board analysis and recommendations. (1)(i) Each appeal 
shall be considered by a Review Board consisting of:
    (A) A program Assistant Secretary selected by the Designated Agency 
Ethics Official;
    (B) The Associate Solicitor or the Deputy Associate Solicitor, 
Division of General law; and
    (C) The Director or Deputy Director of the Departmental Office of 
Personnel within the Department.
    (ii) Assistant Secretaries may delegate authority to serve on the 
Review Board to a Deputy Assistant Secretary who has not been involved, 
and who has not advised or made a decision on the issue or on the order 
for remedial action.
    (2) The Deputy Agency Ethics Official or his or her assistant shall 
serve as secretary to the Review Board, except for cases in which he or 
she has previously participated. In such cases, the Review Board shall 
designate an employee who has not previously been involved with the 
case to serve as secretary.
    (3) The Review Board members shall: (i) Obtain from the appropriate 
ethics counselor a full statement of actions and considerations which 
led to the order for remedial action including any supporting 
documentation or files used by the Ethics Counselor.
    (ii) Obtain from the employee all facts, information, exhibits for 
documents which he or she feels should be considered before a final 
decision is made.
    (iii) The secretary to the Review Board shall prepare a summary of 
the facts pertinent to the appeal. When appropriate, the Review Board 
may provide for personal appearance by the appellant before the Review 
Board if necessary to ascertain the circumstances concerning the appeal 
or may designate the Review Board secretary or another employee to 
conduct further fact finding, or may do both. Fact finding procedures 
shall be carried out by a person(s) who:
    (A) Has not been involved in the matter being appealed; and
    (B) Does not occupy a position subordinate to any official who 
recommended, advised, made a decision on, or who otherwise is or was 
involved in, the matter being appealed.
    (iv) Establish a file containing all documents related to the 
appeal, which shall be available to the appellant and his or her 
representative.
    (v) Provide to the official who will decide the appeal an advisory 
recommendation on the appeal. The views of dissenting members of the 
Review Board shall also be provided.
    (d) Assurances to the appellant. Each appellant is assured of:
    (1) Freedom from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination 
or reprisal in presenting an appeal;
    (2) A reasonable amount of official time to present the appeal if 
the employee is otherwise in a duty status;
    (3) The right to obtain counseling from an ethics counselor of the 
Department; and
    (4) The right to be accompanied, represented, and advised by a 
representative of his or her own choosing, except that the Review Board 
may disallow the choice of an individual as a representative if such 
representation would result in a conflict of interest or position, 
would conflict with the priority needs of the Department, or which 
would give rise to unreasonable costs to the Government.
    (e) Assurances to the appellant's representative. Each person 
chosen to represent an appellant is assured of:
    (1) Freedom from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination 
or reprisal; and
    (2) A reasonable amount of official time to present the appeal if 
the representative is an employee of the Department and is otherwise in 
a duty status.

[FR Doc. 97-27069 Filed 10-15-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-10-M