Detailees

An executive branch employee may be temporarily assigned (“detailed”) to a different position for a specified period. An employee may be detailed to another position in the executive branch, to a position in the judicial or legislative branch, or to a position in a non-Federal entity, such as a state or local government or an international organization.

Example: The Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 3371-3376, authorizes the head of a Federal agency, under certain conditions and restrictions, to arrange for the temporary assignment of an employee to one of several types of non-Federal entities. (The IPA also permits an employee of a specified non-Federal entity to be temporarily assigned to a Federal agency.)

Note: OGE has published a comprehensive summary that explains how executive branch ethics provisions apply to executive branch employees who are assigned to non-Federal positions pursuant to the IPA (and how those provisions apply to non-Federal employees assigned to Federal agencies).

Although a detailed executive branch employee generally is considered for pay and strength count purposes to be permanently occupying his or her regular position, the employee may or may not be covered by various ethics provisions that would apply to an occupant of the position to which detailed. Similarly, the employee may or may not continue to be covered by certain ethics provisions applicable to the regular position during the course of the detail. (Similar questions concerning the applicability of ethics provisions arise when an employee is “acting” in another position, regardless of whether the acting employee is serving in the position on detail, pursuant to authority in the employee’s own position description to act in the absence of a superior, or because designated by the President as acting in a Senate-confirmed position under the Vacancies Reform Act.)

The bullet points below highlight how certain issues have been resolved concerning the applicability of ethics provisions and financial disclosure requirements when an executive branch employee is detailed to another position.

Applicability of Conflict of Interest Statutes

  • While on detail within the executive branch, an employee remains subject to the conflict of interest statutes. Notably:
    • An employee is considered an “employee” of the individual’s home agency and receiving agency, for purposes of the post-Government employment restrictions in 18 U.S.C. § 207, for the duration of the detail.
    • An employee does not qualify as a “senior” or “very senior” employee, for purposes of certain post-Government employment restrictions in 18 U.S.C. § 207, by virtue of being detailed to a senior or very senior position.
  • While on detail to a position outside the executive branch, an employee generally remains subject to the criminal conflict of interest statutes.

Applicability of Standards of Conduct Regulation and Agency Supplemental Regulations

  • While on detail within the executive branch:
    • An employee remains subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, at 5 C.F.R. part 2635.
    • An employee remains subject to the home agency’s agency supplemental regulation, if any, but is instead subject to the receiving agency’s supplemental regulation for the duration of the detail if the detail is for a period in excess of 30 calendar days.
    • An employee remains subject to the home agency’s supplemental regulation for the duration of a detail, regardless of the length of the detail, in relation to any provisions in the regulation that implement an agency statute which restricts employee activities or financial holdings.
  • While on detail to the legislative or judicial branch:
    • An employee remains subject to the Standards of Conduct regulation and to the home agency’s supplemental regulation, if any, but is instead subject to the receiving branch’s ethical standards for the duration of the detail if the detail is for a period in excess of 30 calendar days. However, an employee remains subject to the home agency’s supplemental regulation for the duration of the detail, regardless of the length of the detail, in relation to any provisions in the regulation that implement an agency statute which restricts employee activities or financial holdings.
  • While on detail to a position to a non-Federal entity:
    • An employee remains subject to the Standards of Conduct regulation and to the home agency’s supplemental regulation, if any, but may be exempted from the gift rules in Subpart B of 5 C.F.R. part 2635 if detailed to a state or local government or international organization for a period in excess of six months.

Applicability of Financial Disclosure Requirements

  • An employee detailed to a “public filer” position for more than 60 days must file an OGE Form 278.
  • An employee detailed to a “confidential filer” position for more than 60 days must file an OGE Form 450.

The information on this page is not a substitute for individual advice. Agency ethics officials should be consulted about specific situations.

Laws & Regulations