[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 161 (Wednesday, August 20, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 49225-49226]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19735]

Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 161 / Wednesday, August 20, 2014 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 49225]]


5 CFR Part 6901

[Docket Number--2014-0001]
RIN 2700-AE03

Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: NASA, with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics 
(OGE), has adopted as final, without change, an interim rule amending 
the Supplement Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

DATES: Effective Date: August 20, 2014.

Designated Agency Ethics Official, NASA Office of the General Counsel, 
300 E. St. SW., Washington, DC 20546, 202.358.1775, 
[email protected].


I. Background

    NASA published an interim rule in the Federal Register at 79 FR 
7565 on February 10, 2014, to amend the Supplemental Standards of 
Ethical Conduct for Employees of the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration. The rule permitted student interns to seek prior 
approval to engage in outside employment with a NASA contractor, 
subcontractor, grantee, or party to a NASA agreement in connection with 
work performed by that entity or under that agreement. The amendments 
clarified the types of outside employment activities that require 
approval; streamlined the process for approval; eliminated obsolete 
position titles; and extended the permissible time period of approval. 
The interim rule became effective on February 10, 2014. One respondent 
submitted a comment on the interim rule.

II. Discussion and Analysis

    The NASA Office of General Counsel reviewed the comment and 
considered it in development of the final rule.

A. Summary of Significant Changes

    No changes were made as a result of the public comments.

B. Analysis of Public Comments

    Comment: The respondent commented that this was a positive 
regulatory change that would fix the predicament of student interns at 
NASA being too broadly restricted from engaging in outside employment, 
and increase interest in NASA's internships.
    Response: The comment supports NASA's regulatory amendments in the 
interim rule. Previously, student interns generally were barred from 
employment with an entity performing work under a NASA contract, grant, 
or Space Act agreement in connection with that work. In making this 
regulatory change, NASA concluded that the previous prohibition was 
unnecessarily broad, and that the integrity of NASA's operations will 
not be diminished by liberalizing the current prohibition to permit 
student interns to seek approval to engage in outside activities with 
these entities. Student interns typically perform basic research 
functions without substantial involvement in NASA decisions that affect 
outside entities, and often spend extended periods in leave without pay 
status during semesters when they carry a full-time academic workload. 
It is also vital that students in STEM (science, technology, 
engineering, math) disciplines have full access to NASA development 
opportunities to maintain U.S. leadership in these fields. For these 
reasons, NASA, with OGE's concurrence, retained but liberalized this 
provision in a revised paragraph (c) of Sec.  6901.103 to permit 
management to approve such activities of student interns when NASA 
ethics officials determine that the activity would comply with Federal 
ethics laws and OGE regulations, to which employed student interns 
remain subject.

III. Regulatory Analysis Section

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) generally 
requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any 
rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements, unless the 
agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities because this rule only pertains to NASA employees.

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if the 
regulation is necessary, to select the regulatory approach that 
maximizes net benefits. This rule is not a significant regulatory 
action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning 
and Review, because this rule relates solely to the internal operations 
of NASA. Therefore, the Office of Management and Budget did not review 
this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply 
to this rule because it does not contain any information collection 
requirement that requires approval of the Office of Management and 

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule relates to agency management or personnel, and therefore 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 
U.S.C. 801 et seq.) does not cover the rule.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 
13132, Federalism, NASA has determined that the rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the

[[Page 49226]]

preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    For the purposes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 
U.S.C. chapter 25, subchapter II), this rule would not significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments and would not result in increased 
expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more (as adjusted for inflation) in any one 

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 6901

    Ethical conduct.

Interim Rule Adopted as Final Without Change

Accordingly, the interim rule amending 5 CFR part 6901, which was 
published in the Federal Register at 79 FR 7565 on February 10, 2014, 
is adopted as a final rule without change.

    Dated: August 13, 2014.
Charles F. Bolden Jr.,
Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Walter M. Shaub, Jr.,
Director, United States Office of Government Ethics.
[FR Doc. 2014-19735 Filed 8-19-14; 8:45 am]