In anticipation of the upcoming 2012 election cycle, SOCO has prepared comprehensive guidance in the form of Q & As regarding political activity of DoD employees. The Hatch Act is the law that restricts the partisan political activity of civilian executive branch employees of the Federal Government. While most civilian employees at DoD may engage in partisan political activity in their personal capacity while off-duty and outside of the Federal workplace, there continue to be a number of prohibited activities for all employees, including fundraising and misuse of one's official authority. Further, Presidential Appointees confirmed with the consent of the Senate (PAS), non-career and career members of the SES, contract appeals board members, all employees of the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Geo-Spatial-Intelligence Agency are prohibited from engaging in any partisan political activity, even when off-duty.
Recently, the President extended the National Emergency related to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A copy of the Federal register notice is here. The practical effect for the ethics community is a continuation (through September 14, 2011) of the suspension of the 180 day waiting period for retired military member employment as a civilian in DoD contained in 5 U.S.C. § 3326.
Need new ideas and cases for annual ethics training? Check out the updates for The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure on the SOCO web site under DoD Guidance, Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure -- 2011 Additions only at: DoD Guidance.
Looking for resources and guidance on the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)? Look no further. Check out the 2010 Fundraising SOCO Advisory here. Remember, 5 C.F.R. § 2635.808(b) states that Federal employees may engage in official fundraising, without misusing their official positions, only if they comply with the Government-wide rules for CFC. Specific questions about DoD implementation of CFC should be directed to your local CFC key workers who can coordinate with the Voluntary Campaign Management Office (VCMO). The VCMO is responsible for establishing policy for all DoD voluntary campaigns and provides operational guidance for conducting these campaigns.
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.