5 U.S.C. app. § 101(g); 5 C.F.R. §§ 2634.201(g) & (h)
An agency may grant any filer or class of filers an extension of the time available to file a report for “good cause shown,” provided such extensions do not exceed 90 days. Extensions of more than 45 days are subject to stricter documentation requirements.
Form of the Request and Approval
OGE recommends that all extension requests and approvals be in writing. However, oral extensions are permissible, provided that the extension does not extend the total time to file more than 45 days past the original due date. An extension that extends the total time for filing by 46 to 90 days requires a written request by the filer and written approval by the agency.
For example, a filer may orally request a single 45-day extension but may only request (and receive agency approval of) a 90-day extension in writing. Similarly, a filer may orally request a 15-day extension on three separate occasions; however, the filer may not orally request (and the agency may not orally approve) a fourth such extension because that extension, when aggregated with prior extensions, would total more than 45 days.
Examples of “good cause shown” include:
- an agency’s failure to notify an individual in a timely manner of the obligation to file;
- a New Entrant filer’s inability to collect value and income information for complex holdings within 30 days of entering the position;
- an Annual filer’s inability to provide value and income information until certain investment statements are received;
- long periods of official travel by the filer prior to the due date;
- significant illness or family emergency;
- extremely pressing duty assignments;
- convenience of filing combined reports (e.g., combined Annual/Termination report); and
- administrative or technical difficulties in filing a report (e.g., the electronic financial disclosure system used by the agency was unavailable in the days leading up to the filing deadline).
Agencies may grant extensions in other situations not covered by these examples; however, an agency should be able to articulate why an extension meets the criteria for “good cause.”
Timing of Extension Requests and Approvals
Filers should request an extension before the due date. Likewise, agencies should act on the request prior to the due date.
The Cover Page of the filer’s financial disclosure report must reflect the total number of days by which the due date was extended. For reports filed in Integrity, the reviewer should record the extension in the applicable field of the General Information page. Once entered, the extension information will appear next to the filer’s signature on the printed Cover Page.
Special Extension for Service in a Combat Zone
A filer serving with or in support of the Armed Forces automatically receives an extension if serving in a combat zone on the applicable due date. When applicable, this extension replaces all other extensions.
This extension runs until 180 days after the later of the following two dates:
- the last day of the filer’s service in the combat zone or
- the last day of the filer’s hospitalization resulting from that service.
Agencies must document the combat zone extension in the Cover Page to the filer’s OGE Form 278e. Writing “combat zone extension” is sufficient.
Extensions Do Not Change the Reporting Period
The reporting period is tied to a report’s original due date and is unaffected by any extensions. For example, a New Entrant report was originally due December 14, 2019. The filer received a 30-day extension and filed January 8, 2020. The Part 2 reporting period would start on January 1, 2018, and end on December 14, 2019.