[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 13 (Tuesday, January 21, 2014)]
[Pages 3383-3384]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00946]



Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB 
Review; Proposed Collection; Comment Request for a Modified OGE Form 
278 Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Notice of request for agency and public comments.


SUMMARY: After publication of this second round notice, OGE intends to 
submit a modified OGE Form 278 Executive Branch Personnel Public 
Financial Disclosure Report to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) for review and approval of a three-year extension under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

DATES: Written comments by the public and the agencies on this proposed 
extension are invited and must be received on or before February 20, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this paperwork notice to the 
Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for OGE, via fax at 
202-395-6974 or email at [email protected]. (Include 
reference to ``OGE Form 278 paperwork comment'' in the subject line of 
the message).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Paul D. Ledvina, Agency Clearance 
Officer, at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics; telephone: 202-482-
9247; TTY: 800-877-8339; FAX: 202-482-9237; Email: 
[email protected]. An electronic copy of the current OGE Form 278 is 
available in the Forms Library section of OGE's Web site at http://www.oge.gov. A copy of the OGE Form 278 containing the proposed 
modifications may be obtained, without charge, by contacting Mr. 

    Title: Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure 
    Form Number: OGE Form 278.
    OMB Control Number: 3209-0001.
    Type of Information Collection: Extension with modifications of a 
currently approved collection.
    Type of Review Request: Regular.
    Respondents: Private citizen Presidential nominees to executive 
branch positions subject to Senate confirmation; other private citizens 
who are potential (incoming) Federal employees whose positions are 
designated for public disclosure filing; those who file termination 
reports from such positions after their Government service ends; and 
Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates.
    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 1,394.
    Estimated Time per Response: 3 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 4,182 hours.
    Abstract: The OGE Form 278 collects information from certain 
officers and high-level employees in the executive branch for conflicts 
of interest review and public disclosure. The form is also completed by 
individuals who are nominated by the President for high-level executive 
branch positions requiring Senate confirmation, new

[[Page 3384]]

entrants to other public reporting positions in the executive branch, 
and Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. The financial 
information collected relates to: Assets and income; transactions; 
gifts, reimbursements and travel expenses; liabilities; agreements or 
arrangements; outside positions; and compensation over $5,000 paid by a 
source--all subject to various reporting thresholds and exclusions. The 
information is collected in accordance with section 102 of the Ethics 
in Government Act, 5 U.S.C. app. section 102, as amended by the Stop 
Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-105) (STOCK 
Act), and OGE's implementing financial disclosure regulations at 5 CFR 
part 2634. OGE is proposing to make minor modifications to the paper 
version of the OGE Form 278 to update the Privacy Act Statement and the 
legal authorities under which the information is collected. OGE 
proposes to include in this renewal submission the new OGE Form 278e, 
an electronic version to be implemented later in 2014, pursuant to the 
e-filing system mandated under section 11(b) of the STOCK Act.

(See Amendments to the STOCK Act Pub. L. 113-7 (April 15, 2013)).

    The OGE Form 278e will collect the same information that both the 
current paper version of the OGE Form 278 collects, as well as the 14 
e-filing systems that are currently in use in executive branch 
agencies. Although the OGE Form 278e will not collect any additional 
information, the application will produce a streamlined output report 
format that presents only the filer's inputs in given categories, and 
that does not report other categories not selected by the filer.
    OGE published a first round notice of its intent to request 
paperwork clearance for a modified OGE Form 278 Executive Branch 
Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report. See 78 FR 55079 
(September 9, 2013). OGE received one response to that notice from an 
executive branch agency ethics official who requested that OGE modify 
the language of the filer's certification. The current certification 
requires the filer to certify that statements made on the form and all 
attached schedules are true, complete, and correct to the best of the 
filer's knowledge. The agency official commented that the certification 
should also include a statement that there are no potential conflicts 
or that conflicts have been identified. This agency submitted the same 
comment in response to OGE's request for public comments about the 
proposed renewal under the Paperwork Reduction Act of an unmodified OGE 
Form 450, the confidential financial disclosure report for employees of 
the executive branch. The filer's certification on the OGE Form 450 is 
very similar to the filer's certification on the OGE Form 278. OGE 
declined to adopt this recommendation for the OGE Form 450 because OGE 
deemed the existing certification to be appropriate.
    OGE also declines to adopt this suggestion with regard to the OGE 
Form 278. Neither the Ethics in Government Act, 5 U.S.C. app. sections 
101-111, nor the financial disclosure regulation, 5 CFR part 2634, 
requires the filer to certify that he or she has no conflicts of 
interest. A certification that is made once a year, such as the 
proposed one, is ineffective. The analysis of whether a filer has 
conflicts of interest must continue throughout a filer's executive 
branch employment and is not limited to the date on which the filer 
signs a financial disclosure report. No conflicts may exist on the date 
that the filer signs the report. A conflict, however, may arise six 
months later if, for example, the filer is faced with participating in 
a particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on one of 
the companies in which the filer owns stock. Once a conflict arises, it 
is the responsibility of the filer to seek the advice of an ethics 
counselor to determine the appropriate remedy for the conflict.
    Request for Comments: Agency and public comment is again invited 
specifically on the need for and practical utility of this information 
collection, the accuracy of OGE's burden estimate, the enhancement of 
quality, utility and clarity of the information collected, and the 
minimization of burden (including the use of information technology). 
Comments received in response to this notice will be summarized for, 
and may be included with, the OGE request for extension of OMB 
paperwork approval. The comments will also become a matter of public 

    Approved: January 14, 2014.
Walter M. Shaub, Jr.,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.
[FR Doc. 2014-00946 Filed 1-17-14; 8:45 am]