[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 182 (Monday, September 21, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56893-56894]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-23560]


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OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS

5 CFR Part 2641

RIN 3209-AA14


Post-Employment Conflict of Interest Restrictions; Revision of 
Departmental Component Designations

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is issuing this 
rule to revoke the designation, for purposes of the one-year post-
employment conflict of interest restriction in the United States Code, 
of an agency departmental component that was abolished.

DATES: Effective December 21, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly L. Sikora Panza, Assistant 
Counsel, General Counsel and Legal Policy Division, Office of 
Government Ethics, Telephone: 202-482-9300; TTY: 800-877-8339; FAX: 
202-482-9237.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Substantive Discussion: Revocation of Departmental Component

    The Director of OGE (Director) is authorized by 18 U.S.C. 207(h) to 
designate distinct and separate departmental or agency components in 
the executive branch for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207(c). The 
representational bar of 18 U.S.C. 207(c) usually extends to the whole 
of any department or agency in which a former senior employee served in 
any capacity during the year prior to termination from a senior 
employee position. However, 18 U.S.C. 207(h) provides that whenever the 
Director determines that an agency or bureau within a department or 
agency in the executive branch exercises functions which are distinct 
and separate from the remaining functions of the department or agency 
and there exists no potential for use of undue influence or unfair 
advantage based on past Government service, the Director shall by rule 
designate such agency or bureau as a separate component of that 
department or agency. As a result, a former senior employee who served 
in a ``parent'' department or agency is not barred by 18 U.S.C. 207(c) 
from making communications to or appearances before any employees of 
any designated component of that parent, but is barred as to employees 
of that parent or of other components that have not been separately 
designated. Moreover, a former senior employee who served in a 
designated component of a parent department or agency is barred from 
communicating to or making an appearance before any employee of that 
component, but is not barred as to any employee of the parent, of 
another designated component, or of any other agency or bureau of the 
parent that has not been designated.
    Under 18 U.S.C. 207(h)(2), component designations do not apply to 
persons employed at a rate of pay specified in or fixed according to 
subchapter II of 5 U.S.C. chapter 53 (the Executive Schedule). 
Component designations are listed in appendix B to 5 CFR part 2641.
    The Director regularly reviews the component designations and 
determinations and, in consultation with the department or agency 
concerned, makes such additions and deletions as are necessary. 
Specifically, the Director ``shall, by rule, make or revoke a component 
designation after considering the recommendation of the designated 
agency ethics official.'' 5 CFR 2641.302(e)(3). Before designating an 
agency component as distinct and separate for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 
207(c), the Director must find that there exists no potential for use 
of undue influence or unfair advantage based on past Government 
service, and that the component is an agency or bureau, within a parent 
agency, that exercises functions which are distinct and separate from 
the functions of the parent agency and from the functions of other

[[Page 56894]]

components of that parent. 5 CFR 2641.302(c)(1).
    Pursuant to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 2641.302(e), one 
department forwarded a written request to OGE to amend its listing in 
appendix B. After carefully reviewing the requested change in light of 
the criteria in 18 U.S.C. 207(h) as implemented in 5 CFR 2641.302(c), 
the Director has determined to grant this request and amend appendix B 
to 5 CFR part 2641 as explained below.
    The Department of the Interior (DOI) has requested that OGE remove 
the Minerals Management Service (MMS) from its list of component 
designations. Pursuant to DOI Secretarial Order No. 3299 dated May 19, 
2010, the Secretary of the Interior divided MMS into three independent 
entities and MMS ceased to exist, effective that same date. Because MMS 
no longer exists, the Director is granting the request of the 
Department of the Interior and is amending the Department of the 
Interior listing in appendix B to part 2641 to remove MMS from the 
component designation list.
    As indicated in 5 CFR 2641.302(f), revocation is effective 90 days 
after the effective date of the rule that revokes the designation. 
Accordingly, the component designation revocation made in this 
rulemaking will take effect December 21, 2015. Revocations are not 
effective as to any individual terminating senior service prior to the 
expiration of the 90-day period.

B. Matters of Regulatory Procedure

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    As Director of OGE, I certify under the Regulatory Flexibility Act 
(5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this final rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it 
affects only Federal departments and agencies and current and former 
Federal employees.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

Congressional Review Act

    OGE has determined that this rulemaking involves a non-major rule 
under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 8) and will submit 
a report thereon to the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and 
Government Accountability Office in accordance with that law at the 
same time this rulemaking document is sent to the Office of the Federal 
Register for publication in the Federal Register.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 & 13563)

    In promulgating this final rule, OGE has adhered to the regulatory 
philosophy and the applicable principles of regulation set forth in 
Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. This rule has not been reviewed by 
the Office of Management and Budget because it deals with agency 
organization, management, and personnel matters and is not 
``significant'' for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

Executive Order 12988

    As Director of OGE, I have reviewed this final rule in light of 
section 3 of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, and certify 
that it meets the applicable standards provided therein.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 2641

    Conflict of interests, Government employees.

    Approved: September 14, 2015.
Walter M. Shaub, Jr.,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, OGE is 
amending 5 CFR part 2641 as follows:

PART 2641--POST-EMPLOYMENT CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESTRICTIONS

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1. The authority citation for part 2641 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. app. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); 18 
U.S.C. 207; 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.

Appendix B to Part 2641 [Amended]

0
2. Appendix B to part 2641 is amended by removing the Minerals 
Management Service from the listing for the Department of the Interior.
[FR Doc. 2015-23560 Filed 9-18-15; 8:45 am]
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