PA-11-02: Procedural Update for Reporting Payments Accepted Under 31 U.S.C. § 1353

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March 30, 2011

PA-11-02

MEMORANDUM
TO: Designated Agency Ethics Officials

FROM: Joseph Gangloff
Deputy Director

SUBJECT: PROCEDURAL UPDATE FOR REPORTING PAYMENTS ACCEPTED UNDER 31 U.S.C. § 1353

This Program Management Advisory serves as a reminder, notice of change, and clarification of the requirements for reporting payments accepted under 31 U.S.C. § 1353.

Background

Agencies are required to submit to the Director, United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE), semiannual reports of payments for travel, subsistence, and related expenses received from non-Federal sources in connection with the attendance of employees at certain meetings or similar functions. See 31 U.S.C. § 1353.

Alternative Reporting Format

The next semiannual report for payments received between October 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011, is due to OGE no later than May 31, 2011. Beginning with this reporting period, and for any reporting period thereafter, OGE will accept section 1353 travel reports only through the electronic, section 508-compliant SF-326 (in PDF format) or the new, OGE-approved alternative to the SF-326, the OGE Form-1353 (in Excel format). Both forms are available on the OGE website in the Forms Library. Agencies must submit their section 1353 travel reports via email to 1353Travel@oge.gov.

New Publication Policy

In furtherance of the Administration’s policy that agencies take affirmative steps to make information available to the public, with this reporting cycle OGE will begin posting section 1353 travel reports on the OGE website.[1] Because reports will be posted on the OGE website, reports not submitted in one of the two prescribed formats will be returned to the agency for re-submission. Please note that negative reports must also be submitted to OGE in one of the accepted formats. Additionally, because these reports are available to the public, agencies should take to care to submit reports timely and ensure that the reports contain required personal information only.

For questions about section 1353 travel reports, please contact Dale Christopher, Associate Director, Program Services Division, at 202-482-9224.

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[1] See Memorandum of January 21, 2009—Freedom of Information Act and Transparency and Open Government, 74 Fed. Reg. 4,683 (January 26, 2009); see also Memorandum from Attorney General to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies (March 9, 2009) (available at www.justice.gov/ag/foia-memo-march2009.pdf).