DoD published its final rule relating to commercial solicitations on DoD installations. (Federal Register, July 10, 2006, page 38760). The rule amends 32 CFR Parts 43 and 50. The rule covers insurance sales and commercial sponsorships with MWR activities. This is an important addition to every installation SJA's library.
The updated encyclopedia now offers 110 pages of examples of actual violations by Government personnel. The encyclopedia is organized by type of violations, such as conflicts of interest, misuse of Government equipment, violations of post-employment restrictions, and travel. It is an excellent resource document for training and briefing of personnel. The ability to cite real situations and their disciplinary resolution is an excellent tool to make a point for even those employees that think it unnecessary and enjoy voicing their negative sentiment about the need for training. For those already familiar with the encyclopedia, we have also posted an "updates only" version that includes 17 pages of recent cases.
OGE published its 2005 advisory letters and formal opinions. See notice at: http://www.usoge.gov/pages/daeograms/dgr_files/2006/do06019.html (link inactive). These opinions include very useful guidance on defining "particular matters," application of 18 U.S.C. 203 and 205, and a reformatted index covering OGE opinions from 1990-2005.
OGE announced that it will be holding training for ethics officials in Seattle on September 12 - 14. Announcement at: http://www.usoge.gov/pages/daeograms/dgr_files/2006/dt06020.html (link inactive). This is free, excellent training for Federal ethics counselors. Sign up soon, because spaces are limited.
According to the Washington Post (July 11, 2006), a former Department of Health and Human Services official agreed to reimburse the Government almost $10,000 for expenses for official travel to at least three different cities, during which he carried out Government business and conducted his personal job search. The settlement agreement with the Government cites a trip to Atlanta in which the official conducted a "perfunctory meeting" with employees before meeting with representatives of his future employer. The official also billed his agency $26.84 for parking and mileage to a meeting he said was 19 miles away, but was actually 2 miles away.
Federal travel regulations permit payment of travel expenses for official or authorized purposes only.
DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this advisory is to disseminate relevant information and sources of general guidance, policy and law on Government Ethics issues to the Department of Defense ethics community. Advisories are not intended to be and should not be cited as authoritative guidance, DoD policy, or law.