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