September 8, 1998DO-98-027
Designated Agency Ethics Officials, General Counsels and Inspectors General
Stephen D. PottsDirector
Reports of Referral for Possible Prosecution and Minor Revisions to "Notification of Conflict of Interest Referral" Form (OGE Form 202)
Section 535 of Title 28 of the United States Code requires each executive branch department and agency to report to the Attorney General any information, allegation or complaint relating to violations of title 18 of the U.S. Code involving Government officers and employees, including possible violations of 18 U.S.C. § 207 by former Government employees.
When any matter involving an alleged violation of Federal conflict of interest law is referred to the Attorney General, agencies are to concurrently notify the Director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) of the referral (5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978), § 402(b)(10) & (e)(2); 5 C.F.R. §2638.603(b)). Each agency shall also provide the Director follow-up reports of any indictment, information, or declination of prosecution as well as any disciplinary or corrective action initiated, taken, or to be taken by the agency.
OGE received notification for only 56 referrals in 1996 and 50 referrals in 1997. These figures make it appear that agencies may not be complying with their statutory requirement for notifying OGE of conflicts of interest referrals to the Attorney General. As a result, agencies are again encouraged to use the "Notification of Conflict of Interest Referral" form (OGE Form 202) to meet the statutory requirement to notify OGE. (See DAEOgram (DO-94-032) dated September 20, 1994.) Use of the form also helps to focus a referral and speeds the notification process to OGE. Moreover, it assists OGE in developing programs to address recurring ethics problems.
For your convenience, we are attaching a copy of the revised form. However, the previous form can be used. This revised version of the OGE Form 202 contains minor changes to the one previously distributed by OGE. The OGE Form 202 will now contain a supplemental question regarding the type of financial disclosure form filed by the employee in the case of referrals involving 18 U.S.C. § 208. We have also revised the introductory paragraph of the form to reflect OGE organizational changes and new telephone numbers. Agencies may photocopy this form as necessary.
We previously requested that the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) in each agency inform us as to the name and telephone number of the individual who would be providing referral and follow-up information to us. (See DAEOgram (DO-94-034) dated October 4, 1994.) In order to ensure the ongoing facilitation of the regulatory and statutory reporting requirements, we again request that each DAEO provide us, in writing, with an updated point of contact. This point of contact is needed by September 30, 1998. Your cooperation will ensure compliance with the regulatory and statutory reporting requirements and enable us to track the types of violations. Please direct any questions to Michael Shifrin at 202-208-8000, extension 1155, regarding the use of OGE Form 202.