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November 18, 2003
TO: Designated Agency Ethics Officials
FROM: Jack Covaleski Deputy Director, Office of Agency Programs
SUBJECT: Reporting Payments Accepted Under 31 U.S.C. § 1353
Agency heads are required to submit to the Director, 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 (31 U.S.C. § 1353). The next semiannual report should be submitted to OGE no later than November 30, 2003, concerning payments received from April 1, 2003, through September 30, 2003. Agencies must submit negative reports.
Earlier this year, the General Services Administration published a final rule, effective June 16, 2003. This rule establishes a uniform reporting format that generally should be used for reporting payments received on or after that date. To the extent possible, agencies are strongly encouraged to submit their semiannual reports to OGE via e-mail at 1353Travel@oge.gov. The final rule also clarifies OGE’s role: OGE is to collect and make publically available the information submitted in these semiannual reports. OGE’s acceptance of this information does not constitute an OGE determination that the information is adequate or an OGE concurrence with the agency’s conflict of interest analysis. (See 68 Federal Register 12602-12610 published March 17, 2003). If you have any questions, please contact Denise Shelton or Joann Barber at (202) 482-9276 or (202) 482-9208, respectively. Their e-mail addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.