Statutes

The conduct of executive branch employees is governed by criminal and civil statutes (and by an administrative code of conduct and certain other legal authorities).  The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) does not have authority to provide guidance concerning every statute that restricts employee conduct.  This website is focused on statutes that are both central to the executive branch ethics program and that fall within OGE’s purview, but it may reference 18 U.S.C. § 201 or another statute that is relevant to a website topic, even though OGE lacks authority to interpret the provision.

  • The criminal statutes.  The bribery and illegal gratuities statute (18 U.S.C. § 201) and the “criminal conflict of interest statutes” (18 U.S.C. §§ 202-209) are codified in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 11.  These statutes were enacted in 1962 by Public Law 87-849 as part of a major revision of the then-existing conflict of interest laws.  Each has been amended since its original enactment. 
  • The civil statutes.  The civil statutes are codified in 5 U.S.C. app. 4.  These statutes were enacted by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-521), or by a subsequent amendment to that Act.  Each has been amended since its original enactment.
  • Other statutes.  Selected other statutes are listed in OGE’s Compilation of Federal Ethics Laws or in subpart I of 5 C.F.R. part 2635, or are referenced elsewhere on this website where relevant.

Except as otherwise indicated, the links below are to the Federal Digital System (FDsys).  The Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives is responsible for updating and maintaining the United States Code.  

18 U.S.C. § 201: Bribery of public officials and witnesses

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18 U.S.C. § 202: Definitions

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18 U.S.C. § 203: Compensation to Members of Congress, officers, others in matters affecting the Government

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18 U.S.C. § 205: Activities of officers and employees in claims against and other matters affecting the Government

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18 U.S.C. § 207: Restrictions on former officers, employees, and elected officials of the executive and legislative branches

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18 U.S.C. § 208: Acts affecting a personal financial interest

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18 U.S.C. § 209: Salary of Government officials and employees payable only by United States

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5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 101-111: Public financial disclosure requirements

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5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 401-408: Office of Government Ethics

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5 U.S.C. app. 4 §§ 501-505: Outside earned income and activities

Text of Statute