February 17, 2000
TO: Designated Agency Ethics Officials, General Counsels and Inspectors General
FROM: Stephen D. Potts Director
SUBJECT: Training Regulation Interim Amendments
On February 14, 2000, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) published in the Federal Register an interim rule amending the "Executive Agency Ethics Training Programs" (Training Regulation) in Subpart G of 5 C.F.R. part 2638. See 65 Federal Register 7275-7281 (February 14, 2000). This interim regulation will become effective on March 15, 2000.
The regulation addresses the comments OGE received regarding two changes made by a previous interim Training Regulation published on March 12, 1997. See 62 Federal Register 11307-11314. The amendments clarify that a qualified instructor need not be physically present at the training site and that agencies may provide certain employees with verbal training once every three years. The new interim rule also rewrites the Training Regulation in plain language. Federal agencies are required under Executive Order 12866 to write all new rules in plain language. Although the Training Regulation was published before the effective date of that Executive order, OGE has decided that the rule would be improved if rewritten in plain language.
A complete discussion of the changes to the Training Regulation may be found in the preamble of the interim rule as published in the Federal Register. Comments on both the plain language revision of the interim Training Regulation and its substantive provisions are invited and are due on or before May 15, 2000. In particular, we invite comments about what types of computer-based training agencies have used to satisfy the verbal training requirement, and how agencies have tracked employees' usage of such programs. OGE has received questions regarding various methods of computer-based training and we would like to encourage an ongoing dialogue between agencies and OGE to improve the effectiveness of the Training Regulation.
The complete text to the Interim Amendments of the Training Regulation, including the preamble and revised regulatory text, as published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2000, may be viewed on OGE's website: www.usoge.gov.