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On July 12, 2011, SOCO rescinded prior guidance, issued on August 28, 1998, and issued updated guidance that addresses the intersection of Procurement Integrity Act and implementing regulations and Government ethics law & regulations. The updated guidance provides answers to common ethics issues that involve Procurement Integrity Act restrictions. The guidance can be found on the SOCO website here.
On March 8, 2011, OGE issued Legal Advisory LA-11-02 to Designated Agency Ethics Officials. Of particular importance are: the codification of the Procurement Integrity Act (PIA); and changes to the ethics laws for the intelligence community. With specific regard to the PIA, on January 4, 2011, 41 U.S.C. § 423 (previous citation for the PIA) was repealed and subsequently replaced by 41 U.S.C.A. §§ 2101 - 2107. See Pub. L. No. 111-350, sec. 7(b), 124 Stat. 3855 (2011). The post-employment restriction that prohibits certain former federal employees from accepting employment with a contractor for a one-year period was codified into a separate section. Id. (to be codified at 41 U.S.C. § 2104).
GSA published a final rule on 26 May 2011 increasing the "minimal value" for foreign gifts under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (5 U.S.C. 7342), from $335 to $350, retroactive to January 1, 2011. See 76 Fed. Reg. 30550.
On June 2, 2010, Patricia M. Biondolillo, 50, of Newport News, Va., pleaded guilty to using her position as a NASA Human Resources Specialist (HRS) and Co-op Program Coordinator (CPC) to gain employment for her husband at the Langley Research Center. Biondolillo faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. (link inactive).
A Justice press release reports that a former Army contracting official and his spouse were indicted for conspiracy to defraud the US, filing false tax statements, and filing false statements on their Government ethics financial disclosure documents. See full press release here.
Ex-NSA official Thomas Drake to plead guilty to misdemeanor for unauthorized use of a govt computer, instead of more severe unauthorized release of classified material. See full article here.
In March 2011, in U.S. v. Stadd (No. 09-3121), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed a former NASA official's conviction for one count of committing an act affecting a personal financial interest in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 208(a) and 216(a)(2) and two counts of making false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2). The discussion is concerning the elements of § 208 is worth reading. See full opinion here.
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.