The most recent list of companies with contracts with the Department of $25,000 or more has been posted on the SOCO website.
The new DoD regulation governing collection and retention of conference fees from non-Federal sources was published in July 2009 in Volume 12, Chapter 32 of the DoD Financial Management Regulation (FMR), DoD 7000.14-R. (last viewed, July 21, 2009).
The regulation implements 10 U.S.C. 2262, the statute that provides authority for the Secretary of Defense to collect registration fees in advance to offset the cost of sponsoring conferences.
Prior to enactment of section 1051 the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, the Miscellaneous Receipts Act, 31 U.S.C. 3302(b), prohibited agencies and departments within DoD from charging and retaining registration fees to offset the cost of sponsoring conferences. Section 1051 is now codified at 10 U.S.C. 2262.
Among other things, the new regulation permits DoD components to collect fees by contract, including no-cost contracts. Fee collections exceeding the costs of the conference must be deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. Otherwise, fees collected to offset costs are deposited into the appropriations account from which the conference is funded. See Sections 320202 and 320303(H) of the FMR.
The FMR also states that DoD conference managers should consult with their own component General Counsel to ensure (i) compliance with the regulation, and (ii) that no violations of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. part 2635, occur. See Section 32024 of the FMR.
Ethics guidance for conference sponsorship and conference planning can be found at http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/defense_ethics/resource_library/2007Deskbook/5ECC_TAB_O_Conference_Sponsorship_and_Planning.doc (link inactive).
On June 30, 2009, Jeffrey Davis, a former National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) employee pled guilty for collecting fees from a customer of a company he owned and operated for services he performed as part of his official duties at NARA. As an archives technician in the NARA Atlanta office, Davis was responsible for assisting the public with requests for court documents maintained by NARA. He also owned and operated a company that charged its customers a fee for obtaining court records in addition to the fees charged by NARA and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC). Davis admitted that he used his official position at NARA to retrieve and copy court documents for his company's customers. In an effort to conceal from NARA his affiliation with his company, and to increase his company's profits, Davis failed to pay NARA and AOUSC.
In the case of William Hickmon v. the United States Postal Service, 2008-3109, decided June 18, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board to remove Mr. Hickmon from Federal service for misuse of the Citibank Government credit card. As to the credit card, Mr. Hickmon's manager was notified of a past due balance on his Postal Service credit card issued for official use only in the summer of 2006. He had $451.41 worth of purchases in June 2006 for five gas station charges, a hotel stay, and a car rental charge. When his supervisor confronted him, Mr. Hickmon denied using the Government credit card for these purchases, and claimed he used the Government credit card as a deposit for a car rental. He claimed he paid for the car rental using his own personal credit card. Then he stated that his wife accidentally used the card to pay a hotel bill. He claimed that he used his own card to pay for that bill as well. Citibank subsequently notified him that he owed them money on the account. He paid off the account in January 2007. The Federal Court upheld the agency's position which was that Mr. Hickmon improperly used the Government credit card, repeated false statements about the charges and payments made, and failed to pay the bill for six months. The penalty for removal was considered by the court to be reasonable and appropriate. [LINK].
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.