Advisory 08-01 January 15, 2008

  1. Welcome New DoD SOCO Chief.

    Ms. Leigh Bradley has been appointed to lead the SOCO team. Leigh has served in legal and policy positions in the federal government as well as in the private sector. Most recently, she served as the Chief Risk Officer of the American Red Cross, where she oversaw its ethics, compliance, and risk management activities. Immediately prior to that, Leigh was a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, specializing in federal procurement law matters. Prior to going into private practice, Leigh held a variety of legal positions in the federal government. From 1998-2001, she served as the General Counsel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. From 1994-1998, she was the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy. Prior to that, from 1987-1994, she was a senior attorney in the DoD Office of the Deputy General Counsel (Personnel & Health Policy), where she was responsible for the array of legal issues associated with military justice, drug interdiction operations, DoD's policy on gays in the military, and DoD's drug testing policy and procedures. Before joining the DoD General Counsel's office, Leigh served for five years on active duty as an Air Force judge advocate, focused primarily on military justice matters. As a Reservist, she taught trial advocacy at the Air Force JAG School. Leigh is thrilled to be back in the Pentagon and looks forward to working with the talented community of ethics professionals in DoD.

  2. New Pay, New Thresholds.

    With the new year's pay adjustments, which took effect January 6, 2008, the new statutory thresholds for provisions that rely on the General Schedule or the Executive Schedule for the application of certain ethics provisions (including outside earned income and employment restrictions) are:

    • 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay payable for grade 15 of the General Schedule is $114,468.
    • 15% of the annual rate of basic pay for level II of the Executive Schedule is $25,830.
    • 86.5% of the annual rate of basic pay for level II of the Executive Schedule is $148,953.
  3. New "Minimal Value" Threshold.

    GSA announced the new $335.00 "minimal value" amount for acceptance of foreign gifts, superseding the current $305.00 threshold in 41 CFR 102-42 (and Federal Management Regulation 102-42), effective back to January 1, 2008. This changes several other minimal values, including "other than sponsor" gifts of attendance at widely attended gatherings, gifts to wounded requiring written determination, and gifts from a single source reportable on financial disclosure forms.

  4. Restriction on "Regulatory Agency" 31 USC §1353 Gift of Travel Acceptance NOT Applicable to Department of Defense.

    Some of you may have observed that Section 620 of Division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 provides that "no regulatory agency or commission funded by this Act may accept payment or reimbursement from a non-Federal entity for travel [from] a person or entity subject to regulation by such agency or commission." Further interpretation of the statutory language reveals that the defined "regulatory agency" subject to the restriction does not include the Department of Defense or the Military Departments. Under the terms of the Act, because the restrictions on the acceptance of travel payments under 31 USC §1353 appear in Division D, they apply only to those agencies and commissions (principally the independent agencies) that are funded by Division D.

  5. File Those Training Plans

    Remember that all DAEOs should have their Annual Training Plan on file by the end of the calendar year for the next year's training cycle. This requirement is found in 5 CFR 2638.706 and JER 11-302. A sample format for the plan may be found on our website.


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.