A. Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. [section]101 et. seq.).
B. Executive Order 12674, "Principles of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees," April 12, 1989, as amended.
C. Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. 2635 (Office of Government Ethics Rules).
D. DOD 5500.7-R, JOINT ETHICS REGULATION (JER), 30 Aug 93. Change 4, effective 6 August 1998.
II. BASIC OBLIGATIONS OF PUBLIC SERVICE UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 12674.
1. Public Service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain.
2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.
3. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.
4. An employee shall not, except as [provided for by regulation], solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.
5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
6. Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.
7. Employees shall not use public office for private gain.
8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.
9. Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.
10. Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.
11. Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.
12. Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those--such as Federal, State, or local taxes--that are imposed by law.
13. Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.
14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or ethical standards. Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.
III. EC RESPONSIBILITIES (JER 1-412).
A. Provide written and oral advice, counseling, and assistance on all ethics matters.
B. Request assistance, through appropriate channels, from the DOD Component DAEO or designee on any matter that cannot be resolved locally.
C. Maintain a current copy of the JER, and all changes, for review by any DOD employee.
D. Maintain a thorough understanding of current DOD ethics policy through contact with the DOD Component DAEO, attendance at periodic ethics training courses, and other appropriate methods.
E. Promptly provide a copy to the DOD Component DAEO of precedental written decisions to assist uniformly throughout the DOD Components.
F. Perform other duties as assigned by written delegation from the DOD Component DAEO.
G. Review financial disclosure reports in accordance with Chapter 7 of the JER.
H. Conduct Ethics Training.
IV. HOW DO YOU GET INVOLVED?
A. Advise, counsel, and render opinions concerning ethics law and regulations:
1. Determine facts. - Inquire, question and examine.
2. Determine applicable laws and regulations.
3. Apply law and regulation to facts. - Give analysis.
4. Render ethics opinions. Sometimes strictly legal opinion. Oft-times requires lots of judgment. Oft-times requires ethics counsel.
B. Oral advice and Counsel.
1. Identify caller/visitor.
2. If situation calls for it, advise no attorney-client relationship.
3. Inquire, question, examine.
4. Don't just give answer...give analysis.
5. Written Record.
C. Written Opinions.
1. Insist on written requests for written opinion - in some cases, the law demands it.
41 U.S.C [section]423 (Procurement Integrity).
2. If written opinion is to an individual:
a. Should be a letter: Dear Requester, Sincerely Yours, signed EC.
b. Should not be signed FOR THE STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE:, FOR THE COMMANDER:.
c. Should not sign as SJA or Chief Counsel or Chief of Administrative Law and Civil Law.
V. SHOULD I GIVE ADVICE?
A. Every request for assistance is not a matter of ethics/standards of conduct.
B. Some matters may have to be answered by others, if at all.
1. Fiscal law issues. (Contract/Administrative Law).
2. Interpretation of JTR/JFTR. (Travel Office/AdLaw).
3. Computation of dual compensations offset. (Finance/Personnel).
4. Political Activities. (AdLaw/Labor Law/Office of Special Counsel).
5. Supervisor lied on civilian evaluation. (Grievance Process).
6. Commander treats unfairly. (Article 138/EO Process).
VI. REQUIRED REPORTS
A. OGE Form 450 - Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports (or the DoD version of OGE Optional Form 450-A, Confidential Certificate of No New Interests) (Due 30 November)
Timeline JER PARA DATE ACTION 7-301a2 3-Oct Directors of personnel offices will provide list of names, positions, and organizations of DoD employees required by supervisor to file an annual OGE 450. (Do so immediately for new employees upon entry.) 7-301b1 31-Oct Administrative offices shall coordinate with supervisors within organization to update the list of annual reporting individuals and report any additions or deletions to the Ethics Counselor (EC). 7-301b2 Directors of personnel offices shall coordinate with EC and supervisors to ensure that position descriptions of reporting individuals contain a statement that an OGE 450 must be filed. 7-302 DAEOs or designees shall provide appropriate notices and instructions to ensure timely preparation of the reports and submission to their supervisors/EC for review and filing. 7-303b 30-Nov Employee submits annual report (OGE 450) through supervisor to EC. Covers 12 month period through 30 Sep. 7-309 15-Dec EC prepares consolidated status report concerning the annual filing of the OGE 450. 7-307 NOTE: OGE 450s are retained for six years, then destroyed unless needed in an ongoing investigation. 7-303a Note: New entrant reports are due not later than 30 days after employee assumes duty. Submit through supervisor to EC. 7-300b3 Note: OGE OF 450-A authorized when no job change or no new interests. Must use DoD version and attach last year's OGE 450. Beginning in 2000, and in years subsequent divisible by 4, must file updated OGE 450.
B. OGE Form 450 - Status Report (JER 7-309) (Due 15 December - until Completed)
C. SF 278 - Public Financial Disclosure Reports (Due 15 May)
D. Gifts of Travel - (31 U.S.C. 1353). (Due within 30 days of travel) (Agency submits semi-annual reports on SF 326 to OGE NLT 31 May & 30 Nov)
E. Annual Ethics Training Plan. (5 C.F.R. [section]2638.702) (Chapter 11, JER [section]11-301). (Due Dec each year).
F. Annual Ethics Program Survey. (5 C.F.R. [section]2638.602(a)). (Due Feb each year).
G. Enforcement of the Joint Ethics Regulation - (Chapter 10, JER).
(As needed for serious criminal misconduct. Matters referred to DOJ or U.S. Attorney are reported on OGE Form 202, "Notification of Conflict of Interest Referral," January 1992. See Appendix C, JER).
VII. AUTHORITY AND APPOINTMENT OF ETHICS COUNSELORS.
1. Secretary of the Army appointed GC as DAEO.
2. GC appointed Deputy GC (Ethics & Fiscal) as Alternate DAEO.
3. DAEO appointed Deputy DAEOs and delegated authority: TJAG; Command Counsel, USAMC; Chief, SOCO; Senior Assistant to the GC
4. Deputy DAEOs appointed senior ECs and delegated authority.
5. Senior ECs appointed ECs and delegated authority.
B. Air Force:
1. Secretary of the Air Force appointed:
a. GC as DAEO.
b. Deputy GC as Deputy DAEO.
c. TJAG and Deputy TJAG as Deputy Ethics Officials.
2. USAF TJAG appointed MAJCOM and Base Legal Office SJA as Ethics Counselors.
1. Secretary of the Navy appointed GC as DAEO and TJAG as the Alternate DAEO (ALNAV 139/93, SECNAV 16213Z Nov 93).
2. DAEO appointed Deputy DAEOs: Principle Deputy General Counsel; Deputy Judge Advocate General; Director, Judge Advocate Division, HQ Marine Corps; Counsel, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Assistant General Counsel (Ethics)
3. Secretary of the Navy also appointed EC's: Associate General Counsels; Assistant General Counsels; SJAs to Flag Officers; Counsel in Charge of Office of GC Field and Branch Offices. (See ALNAV 139/93 for entire list.)
VIII. COMMAND RESPONSIBILITIES (CHAPTER 1, SECTION 4, JER)
A. DOD Component Heads (JER1-400).
1. Exercise personal leadership.
2. Take personal responsibility.
3. Provide sufficient resources to implement the program.
B. DOD Component Commanders (JER 1-404).
1. Personally accountable for command's ethics program.
2. Exercise personal leadership in maintaining the command's program.
C. Inspector General (JER1-413).
1. Investigate ethics matters.
2. Report to DAEO or Designee matters referred to Department of Justice.
D. Personnel and Administrative Officers (JER 1-414 & 415).
1. Identify employees required to receive ethics training.
2. Inform new employees of requirement to receive ethics training.
IX. RESOURCES (IN ADDITION TO LAW AND REGULATION)
A. GAO Redbook for Fiscal Law Related Issues.
B. OGE Material (see www.usoge.gov).
C. Your MACOM/MAJCOM/higher command EC.
D. Navy JAG (Code 13); Navy Assistance General Counsel; AF/JAG General Law Division; Army SOCO
E. LAAWS BBS.