HQ AMC ETHICS ADVISORY 98-06 - Conflicts of Interests

Journal of Power and Ethics, January 2001 | Go to article overview

HQ AMC ETHICS ADVISORY 98-06 - Conflicts of Interests


To: HQAMC-All-Personnel
cc:
Subject: ETHICS ADVISORY 98-06 -- Conflicts of Interests

What's a "conflict of interest?" Simply put, a "conflict of interest" is a situation where an Army employee has a financial stake in the outcome of an official Army matter. But, it can be a daunting task to know and recognize when such a financial stake exists.

Most of what USAMC does affects contractors, those trying to become contractors, and the alphabet soup of various professional, technical and scientific organizations that bring together various segments of the Federal and non-Federal communities (e.g., AUSA, AAAA, FBA, AFCEA, NDIA, IEEE, ASMC, etc.). There are a whole host of ways in which USAMC employees can end up with a financial stake in the official matters that affect these companies and organizations. Some of these are:

   If you own stock in a company, you are a part-owner and you have a
   financial interest in whether your company gets a USAMC contract, or how
   some dispute might be resolved. However, if the amount of stock that you
   own (including any owned by your spouse and minor children) in this company
   does not exceed $5,000, you are exempt from this conflict by Office of
   Government Ethics regulation. If more than one company is interested in the
   official matter (e.g., a statement of work or a request for proposals), the
   exemption applies only if the total amount of your financial interest in
   all the offerors does not exceed $5,000.

   If you own shares in a mutual fund, you are also part-owner in the
   companies that the mutual fund invests in and you have a financial interest
   in Army matters that affect these companies. However, if the mutual fund is
   "diversified," the OGE regulation exempts this conflict. But, this
   exemption does not apply to stock ownership in "sector" funds (a "sector"
   fund concentrates its investments in an industry, business, single country
   (other than the United States), or a single state). However, if the value
   of the sector fund shares does not exceed $5,000, the exemption mentioned
   above applies.

   If you are an officer or director of a professional organization, the law
   imputes the financial interests of the organization to you -- even if you
   are serving without pay. This means that you have a financial interest in
   whether USAMC provides a speaker or other support to an event sponsored by
   the organization, or whether USAMC intends to send employees to the event.
   There is no regulatory exemption for this conflict.

   If your spouse or your minor child is employed by a contractor, you have a
   financial interest in their continued employment because the law imputes
   their financial interests to you. Therefore, if your spouse is affected by
   a USAMC contract (e.g., he or she works on it), then you have a financial
   interest in the issues involving this contract. There is no regulatory
   exemption for this conflict. 

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HQ AMC ETHICS ADVISORY 98-06 - Conflicts of Interests
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