Legal Advisories

The Legal Advisories page contains the DAEOgrams on substantive ethics issues published by OGE from 1992 to 2010, the Advisory Opinions published by OGE from 1979 to 2010, and the Legal Advisories, which OGE began publishing in 2011.

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June 30, 2015

LA-15-09: Diversified and Sector Real Estate Funds (Exemption under 5 C.F.R. § 2640.201)

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has issued a Legal Advisory on the application of the diversified mutual fund exemption to certain real estate funds under 5 C.F.R. § 2640.201(a).

June 4, 2015

LA-15-08: Annual Update of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c) Component Designations

In this Legal Advisory, OGE asks each agency to forward to OGE its annual letter stating whether its components that are currently designated should remain designated for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 207(c). Any request to modify the existing list of components should be submitted in accordance with regulatory procedures.

May 27, 2015

LA-15-07: Legislative Activity of the 113th Congress Affecting the Executive Branch Ethics Program

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) monitors ethics-related provisions of interest to the executive branch ethics program. This Legal Advisory highlights legislative activity from the 113th Congress affecting the executive branch ethics program.

May 5, 2015

LA-15-05: Determining the “Market Value” of Events When No Fee is Charged to Attend

This Legal Advisory clarifies how to determine the “market value” of a gift of free attendance to an event when no fee is charged to any attendee.

May 5, 2015

LA-15-06: Employee Benefit Plans Through Which Employees Hold Diversified Pooled Investment Funds and Employee Benefit Plans Established or Maintained Outside of the United States

This Legal Advisory explains when the employee benefit plan exemption at 5 C.F.R. § 2640.201(c)(1)(iii) is applicable to (1) employee benefit plans through which employees hold diversified pooled investment funds, and (2) employee benefit plans that are established or maintained outside of the United States.

April 30, 2015

LA-15-04: Treatment of Gift Cards under the $20 De Minimis Gift Exception

This Legal Advisory explains the types of prepaid gift cards that are considered to be cash equivalents, and are therefore categorically prohibited under the de minimis gift exception, and the types that are not treated as cash equivalents.

April 9, 2015

LA-15-03: The Standards of Conduct as Applied to Personal Social Media Use

This Legal Advisory discusses how the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees apply to employees' personal social media activities. The Legal Advisory focuses on common issues such as when an employee can reference his or her title on a personal social media account, and what rules apply to personal fundraising on social media.

April 6, 2015

LA-15-02: Free Attendance at Speaking Engagements and Widely Attended Gatherings; Waiver of Separate Fee for a Meal or Reception

This Legal Advisory discusses the definition of "free attendance" as used in the Widely Attended Gathering gift exception. The Legal Advisory confirms that free attendance does not include the waiver of an additional fee charged to attend a meal or reception that is collateral to the original event.

January 6, 2015

LA-15-01: Effect of Pay Adjustments on Ethics Provisions for Calendar Year 2015

This LA clarifies the 2015 thresholds for: (1) identifying which officers and employees must file public financial disclosure reports; (2) determining which senior employees are subject to the post-employment restrictions and (3) implementing the outside employment and outside earned income restrictions for certain covered noncareer employees.

November 19, 2014

LA-14-08: Reference to Official Title and Position by Employees Affiliated with Private Organizations in Their Personal Capacity

This Legal Advisory provides guidance to agencies on factors to consider in determining whether references to an employee's title or position made by a private organization with which the employee is affiliated would create an impermissible appearance of government sanction or endorsement.

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