Advisory 16-01 May 9, 2016

  1. The $25,000 list and the Top 10 Defense Contractor Listing.

    The most current listing of contractors, who received payments from the Department of Defense of $25,000 or more in 2015, is now posted on the SOCO web site in the Ethics Resource Library, "DoD contractors exceeding $25,000" here.  The listing of the top 10 defense contractors by value of contracts is now posted on the SOCO web site in the Ethics Resource Library here.
    Remember this is not an exhaustive list of DoD prohibited sources, since it is limited to contractors, and does not, for example, include grant recipients or entities seeking to do business with DoD, or entities that have contracts with DoD of less than $25,000.

  2. Secretary's Letter on Culture of Ethics in DoD

    Secretary Carter signed a memorandum on February 12, 2016 in which he charges leaders at all levels to set the example and to engage in formal and informal discussions about values-based decision-making.  While attorneys across the Department should assist with this, the Secretary's message is clear that leaders must set the tone and personally engage with subordinates in discussions about ethical conduct with a focus on core ethical values and their application to the organization's day-to-day activities.

  3. Board Service reminder for O-7 through O-10 appointees, and divesture requirement for O-9 and O-10 appointees.

    As a reminder, on November 30, 2012, the Office of the Under Secretary of Personnel and Readiness issued a policy effectively expanding the Senate Armed Services Committee's ban on service on Boards of Directors for O-9 and O-10 military members to include O-7 and O-8 military members.  The policy is available here.
    Also, recall the policy that all O-9 and O-10 military members must divest themselves of any investment in the DoD top ten contractor stock listing unless the value is $15,000 or less.

  4. Hatch Act: Frequently Asked Questions in Federal agencies and the Use of Social Media Accounts.

    On December 18, 2015, the Office of Special Counsel issued a revised memorandum addressing frequently asked questions with a focus on political activity issues for civilians when using social media.  This revision can be found at here.

    In addition, in an effort to assist you with political activity questions during the election cycle, SOCO has updated its summary of the rules that regulate the political activities of both civilian and military personnel at DoD.  The guidance contains links to several documents that provide a more comprehensive review of the rules.  Please forward this guidance (or the applicable guidance contained in the links) to employees in your respective offices as you deem appropriate.

  5. Surveys.

    We have received several inquiries about when and who may conduct surveys of DoD personnel in the workplace.  The limits are set forth in DoD Instruction 1100.13.


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.