[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 250 (Thursday, December 30, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73852-73853]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-33960]



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Part V





Department of Labor





_______________________________________________________________________



Office of the Secretary



_______________________________________________________________________



5 CFR Part 5201



29 CFR Part 0



Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
Department of Labor; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 250 / Thursday, December 30, 1999 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 73852]]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of the Secretary

5 CFR Part 5201

29 CFR Part 0

RINs 1290-AA15, 3209-AA15


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

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary of Labor.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (Department), with the concurrence of 
the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), is issuing a final rule for 
employees of the Department that supplements the Standards of Ethical 
Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (Standards) issued by 
OGE. The regulations established by the final rule adopt the prior 
interim regulations as final, with additional technical amendments to 
the Department's residual agency conduct regulations that reflect 
changes in underlying law and OGE regulations. The regulations are a 
necessary supplement to the Standards of Ethical Conduct because they 
address requirements that are unique to the Department.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This final rule is effective January 31, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Apol, Office of the Solicitor, 
Department of Labor, telephone 202-219-8065, FAX 202-219-6896.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Rulemaking History

    On August 7, 1992, the Office of Government Ethics published a 
final rule entitled ``Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
Executive Branch'' (Standards). The Standards, codified as corrected 
and amended at 5 CFR part 2635 and effective February 3, 1993, 
establish uniform standards of ethical conduct that apply to all 
executive branch personnel.
    On June 23, 1994, the Department issued a final rule which removed 
all of the provisions of its Ethics and Conduct Regulations at 29 CFR 
Part 0 that had been superseded by 5 CFR part 2635 or by OGE's 
executive branch financial disclosure regulations at 5 CFR part 2634. 
See 59 FR 32611. The Department preserved those provisions of its 
Ethics and Conduct Regulations containing regulatory waivers issued 
under the prior version of 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(2) (1988), and provisions 
restricting the acquisition or holding of certain financial interests 
and requiring prior approval of outside employment or activities. These 
provisions were permitted to continue in effect until superseded, as 
provided respectively in 5 CFR 2635.402(d)(1) and the notes following 5 
CFR 2635.403(a) and 2635.803, as extended by 59 FR 4779-4780, 60 FR 
6390-6391, 60 FR 66857-66858, and 61 FR 40950-40952.
    Pursuant to E.O. 12674 (54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as 
modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306) and 5 
CFR 2635.105, executive branch agencies, with the concurrence of OGE, 
were permitted to issue agency-specific supplemental regulations 
necessary to implement their ethics programs. On November 6, 1996, the 
Department, with OGE concurrence, issued the interim rule with request 
for comments, setting forth Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct 
for Employees of the Department of Labor. See 61 FR 57281. The interim 
rule designated certain components of the Department as separate 
agencies for the purposes of provisions in the executive branch-wide 
Standards regarding gifts from outside sources, the receipt of 
compensation for teaching, speaking or writing, and fundraising in a 
personal capacity; restricted the outside employment and the holding of 
certain financial interests by employees of the Mine Safety and Health 
Administration and by their spouses and minor children; and required 
employees in the Department's Office of the Inspector General to obtain 
prior approval for outside employment. The supplemental standards are 
now codified at 5 CFR part 5201.
    The interim rule also repealed 29 CFR 0.735-13, one of the 
remaining provisions of the Department's Ethics and Conduct 
Regulations. This provision required prior approval of outside 
employment or activities. Pursuant to the OGE Standards, this provision 
was superseded upon issuance of the interim rule. The interim rule also 
redesignated 29 CFR 0.735-12, the Department's regulatory waiver 
provision, as Sec. 0.735-2 and inserted a new 29 CFR 0.735-1 cross-
referencing the executive branch-wide Standards, the financial 
disclosure regulations, and the interim rule.
    On December 18, 1996, the Office of Government Ethics issued a 
financial interests final rule, 61 FR 66830-66851 (Part III), as 
corrected at 62 FR 1361 (January 9, 1997) and further corrected at 62 
FR 23127-23128 (April 29, 1997), and which became effective on January 
17, 1997. This final rule as codified at 5 CFR part 2640, includes 
interpretations, and exemption and waiver guidance concerning 18 U.S.C. 
208, dealing with official acts affecting a personal financial 
interest. The rule superseded the regulatory waivers issued by the 
Department of Labor under the prior 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(2) (1988). See 29 
CFR 0.735-2, as redesignated by the Department's prior interim rule.
    Amendments to 18 U.S.C. 207 effective January 1, 1991 substantially 
revised the post-employment restrictions applicable to executive branch 
employees. As a result, employees terminating Government service on or 
after that date were no longer subject to the old 18 U.S.C. 207(i) 
(1988) provision for administrative disciplinary proceedings for 
possible 18 U.S.C. 207 violations. The Office of Government Ethics 
issued partial regulations reflecting this change on February 1, 1991 
with a retroactive effective date of January 1, 1991. See 5 CFR part 
2641.

II. Comments and Amendments to Interim Rule

    The Department has received no comments in response to its requests 
for comments on the interim rule. This final rule, nevertheless, makes 
a couple of needed further changes in the Department's agency conduct 
regulations at 29 CFR part 0, as revised in the prior interim rule.
    This final rule revokes the regulatory waiver contained in 29 CFR 
0.735-2 which has been superseded by the OGE regulations at subpart B 
of 5 CFR part 2641. The authority citation for part 0 is also being 
revised to remove reference to the Ethics in Government Act and 18 
U.S.C. 207 (1988) and add reference to 18 U.S.C. 208 and 5 CFR part 
2640. Moreover, the final rule adds a cross-reference to the conflict 
of interest regulations at 5 CFR part 2640 in Sec. 0.735-1, and removes 
an outdated appendix of related statutory authorities which has been 
superseded by the list of such authorities at 5 CFR 2635.902.
    This rule also corrects the applicability provision of the post-
employment conflict of interest rule, at 29 CFR 0.737-1, to conform 
with both the amended 18 U.S.C. 207 (1988) and Office of Government 
Ethics regulations at 5 CFR part 2641. The final rule will now 
accurately define the executive branch employees subject to the 
administrative proceedings section of the previous version of 18 U.S.C. 
207 (1988) as those employees terminating Government service on or 
after July 1, 1979 and prior to January 1, 1991.

III. Publication in Final

    The Department of Labor has determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C.

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553(b)(3)(B), that good cause exists for waiving public comments on the 
minor changes being made in this rule. Publication of a proposed rule 
and solicitation of comments would be neither necessary nor fruitful. 
This final rule adopts and makes final, with certain revisions, interim 
regulations that affect only Department of Labor employees or former 
employees. These additional minor technical amendments bring the 
Department of Labor's supplemental regulations up-to-date in order to 
conform with 18 U.S.C. 207 and 208 and Office of Government Ethics 
regulations.

IV. Matters of Regulatory Procedure

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

    As Secretary of Labor, I have determined that this regulation is 
not a ``regulatory action'' under section 3 of Executive Order 12866. 
Because the rule is limited to agency organization, management and 
personnel, it falls within the exclusion set forth in section 3(d)(3) 
of the Executive order. In promulgating this rule, the Department has 
adhered to the regulatory philosophy and the applicable principles of 
regulation set forth in section 1 of the Executive Order.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not classified as a ``rule'' under the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, because it is a rule 
pertaining to agency organization, procedure, or practice that does not 
substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. 
See 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(C).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    As Secretary of Labor, I certify under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this regulation will not have significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it 
imposes ethics standards only on Federal employees or former employees 
and their immediate families. The Secretary of Labor has provided this 
certification to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    As Secretary of Labor, I have determined that the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply because this 
regulation does not contain any information collection requirements 
that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget 
thereunder.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 5201 and 29 CFR Part 0:

    Conflict of interests, Government employees.

    Dated: December 23, 1999.
Alexis M. Herman,
Secretary of Labor.
    Approved: December 23, 1999.
Stephen D. Potts,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.

    Accordingly, the Department of Labor, with the concurrence of the 
Office of Government Ethics, is adopting the interim rule amending 
title 5 and amending title 29, subtitle A, of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, which was published at 61 FR 57281-57287 on November 6, 
1996, as a final rule with the following changes:

TITLE 29--LABOR

Subtitle A--Office of the Secretary of Labor

Part 0--[Amended]

    1. The authority citation for part 0 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 207 (1988); E.O. 12674, 54 FR 
15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 
42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306; 5 CFR part 2634, part 2635, part 
2640.

    2. Section 0.735-1 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 0.735-1  Cross-references to employee ethical conduct standards, 
financial disclosure regulations and other ethics regulations.

    Employees of the Department of Labor (Department) are subject to 
the executive branch-wide standards of ethical conduct at 5 CFR part 
2635, the Department's regulations at 5 CFR part 5201 which supplement 
the executive branch-wide standards, the executive branch financial 
disclosure regulations at 5 CFR part 2634, the conflicts of interest 
regulations at 5 CFR part 2640, and the post employment regulations at 
5 CFR part 2641.


Sec. 0.735-2  [Removed]

    3. Section 0.735-2 is removed.
    4. Section 0.737-1 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 0.737-1  Applicability.

    This subpart is applicable to any former employee of the Department 
of Labor leaving Government service on or after July 1, 1979 and prior 
to January 1, 1991.

Appendix A to Part 0--is [Removed]

    5. Appendix A to part 0 removed.

[FR Doc. 99-33960 Filed 12-29-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-23-P