DO-00-045: Increased Gifts and Travel Reimbursements Reporting Thresholds

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November 28, 2000
DO-00-045

MEMORANDUM

TO:

Designated Agency Ethics Officials

FROM:

Amy L. Comstock
Director

SUBJECT:

Technical Amendments Rulemaking

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has published in the Federal Register a set of final rule technical amendments to certain of its executive branch regulations. See 65 Fed. Reg. 69655-69657 (November 20, 2000). The rulemaking is also available in the "What's New In Ethics" section of OGE's Web site (Internet address: http://www.usoge.gov).

Among the changes are references in 5 C.F.R. part 2634 to the higher categories of value for reporting on SF 278 public financial disclosure reports of assets, income, transactions and liabilities over $1,000,000, as required by the 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act amendments to the Ethics in Government Act. In addition, OGE has adjusted the reporting thresholds for gifts and travel reimbursements for both the public and confidential executive branch financial disclosure systems.[1] The new thresholds for gifts and reimbursements are "more than $260" for the aggregation level for reporting and "$104 or less" for de minimis items which do not have to be counted towards the aggregate threshold (previously $250 and $100, respectively). Similarly, in the branchwide standards of ethical conduct regulation at 5 C.F.R. § 2635.204(g)(2), OGE has raised the widely attended gathering gift exception ceiling for nonsponsor gifts of free attendance from $250 to $260. OGE has also made additional, minor revisions to parts 2634, 2635 and 2638 of its executive branchwide regulations.

These revisions were effective upon publication, except for the gifts/reimbursements threshold changes which were made retroactively effective to January 1, 1999.

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1. Both changes are reflected on the new March 2000 edition of the SF 278 Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report form, as are the gifts/reimbursements threshold changes on the current April 1999 edition of the OGE Form 450 Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report