Relations with Non-Federal Entities

Interaction by Government employees with organizations outside the Government is governed by a complex set of rules and regulations and Government employees should consult with their ethics offices if they have any questions concerning application of the various rules affecting work with non-federal entities. The following general principles and references are provided for your information and use. In analyzing relations with non-Federal entities (NFEs) and applying the principles, determining whether participation by DoD personnel will be in their official or personal capacity is the first step. Different rules and principles are implicated at each level of relationship. You must consider both the status of involvement (personal versus official) and the degree of involvement ranging from mere meeting attendance to provision of significant official support.

In each instance, prior consultation with your assigned ethics counselor is encouraged.

General Principles:

Personnel shall not use Government property for other than authorized purposes. (You must use Government time and resources only to accomplish the official mission. (5 C.F.R. 2635.101(b)(9))

Personnel shall not use public office for private gain of themselves, their affiliated private organizations, or any non-Federal entity. (5 C.F.R. § 2635.101(b)(7))

Personnel shall not give preferential treatment to or otherwise favor in their official capacity any private organization or individual. (5 C.F.R. § 2635.101(b)(8))

Personnel shall not participate in official matters that conflict with personal interests (including those imputed to them because of their personal work with a non-Federal entity). (5 C.F.R. 2635.402 and 2635.502)


DoDD 1000.26E, Support for NFEs Authorized to Operate on DoD Installations

DoDI 1000.15, Procedures and Support for NFEs Authorized to Operation on DoD Installations

DoDD 1100.20, Support for Outside Eligible Organizations

DoDD 5410.18, Public Affairs Community Relations Policy

DoDI 5410.19, Public Affairs Community Relations Policy Implementation

See also:

Deskbook Chapter


Engaging With Industry Policy