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. …