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2011 National Government Ethics Conference

September 1, 2011


Organizational Integrity is a Shared Responsibility 



Don Fox 

Acting Director, United States Office of Government Ethics 

Government Ethics Year in Review 

Office of General Counsel and Legal Policy 

United States Office of Government Ethics  



1.  Gearing Up for the 2012 Election Season: What Every Federal Employee Needs to Know (Part 1)               

This session will review the Hatch Act, which regulates the participation of Federal employees in partisan politics, by providing recent case updates and trends, as well as best practices regarding the political activity of Presidential appointees with Senate confirmation.  In addition, this session will highlight the intersection between the Hatch Act and social media.  Lastly, guidance will be provided on how agencies can promote a non-partisan work environment in the upcoming year and beyond. 


Ana Galindo-Marrone, Office of Special Counsel 

Erica S. Hamrick, Office of Special Counsel 


2.  The Former Director:  Reflections and Predictions (SESSION CANCELLED)


3.  Executive Compensation and Public Financial Disclosure               

This session will focus on complex financial disclosure issues related to executive compensation packages.  The presentation will include a practical exercise on reporting compensation packages on Public Financial Disclosure Reports (OGE Form 278) filed by Presidential Nominees Requiring Senate Confirmation and New Entrants.  In addition, the session will feature an interactive exercise on assessing conflicts and drafting an ethics agreement. 


Deborah Bortot, OGE 

Sandy Mabry, OGE 

Lorna Syme, OGE


4.  Developing Real Agency-wide Support for Your Ethics Program 

If you ask employees if they are "ethical" and "know how to do the right thing," you will receive a resounding "Yes" 100% of the time.  As result of this dangerously high ethical self-esteem, we all know that ethics can go unnoticed until there's a violation or dilemma. This session will examine many of the seemingly small things that ethics officials can do to yield massive support and trust from employees.  Through creating a “to be” list as opposed to a “to do” list, we will focus on proven ways to prevent ethics from becoming the “black ice” of your organization. 


Sean Dent, Federal Housing Finance Agency  

Karen Dalheim, Department of Defense  


5.  The Ethics of RIFs:  Dealing With Ethical Issues Generated by the 112th Congress’ “right sizing” of the Federal Government 

The members of the 112th Congress are intent on cutting Federal spending and are making significant reductions in a broad spectrum of agencies, programs, departments, and their associated workforces.  What are the unique ethics challenges presented by these unprecedented cuts to Federal agencies, programs, and personnel?  How do we treat furloughed employees and what are their ethical obligations?  How do furloughs and RIFs affect outside employment and conflicts of interest?  How do the seeking employment rules apply to employees involved in the RIF process?  The developing lean budget years will cause a myriad of ethics issues for employees, agencies, and ethics counselors.  Are you prepared?  

Presenter:  Kevin Walker, Department of Justice  


6.  Building a Team Oriented Conflict Management System for Members of Your Advisory Committees 

This session will examine advisory committee member conflict of interest issues and suggest ways to improve an agency’s conflicts management system.  Specifically, the session will discuss a team approach of “shared responsibility” in managing member conflicts of interest during the life cycle of an advisory committee.  The topics of this session will include: using the member selection process as a means to minimize conflicts, better approaches for identifying conflicts of interest, effective conflicts resolution, and ways to enhance ethics oversight of committee members.  The panel will discuss 208 waivers, certain regulatory exemptions under 208, waiver criteria documents, the effectiveness of alternative reporting mechanisms, and the availability of ethics training tools, etc.  The goal of the session is for ethics officials to take away a strategy and some of the tools needed to build effective conflicts management systems for their advisory committees. 


Vince Salamone, OGE 

John Szabo, Nuclear Regulatory Commission 

Robert Flaak, General Services Administration  


7.  Ethics By A Different Name: Winning the Hearts and Minds of Your Fellow Employees With Effective Communication 

What we call what we do affects whether our fellow employees embrace ethical efforts. In this workshop, we will explore the impact of various labels used to communicate about ethics initiatives. We’ll identify the most compelling words and concepts we can use to build consensus, enhance understanding, and drive action. Workshop leader Gretchen Winter is the Executive Director of the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society at the University of Illinois College of Business, and she has found success with the term “professional responsibility.” Join us to learn more about ways to put your ideas into language that will accomplish ethical objectives for your organizations. 

Presenter:  Gretchen Winter, Center for Professional Responsibility   


8.  Workshop: Analyzing Outside Activity Requests (Part 1) (Repeat Session) 

Outside activities are some of the most complex issues ethics officials have to analyze. Critical to any good analysis is a fundamental understanding of all the ethics authorities that could potentially apply. By the end of the workshop, each participant will have analyzed an outside activity request, will know the universe of authorities that might apply, and will be far less likely to err by omission in their advice and counseling on outside activities.  


Cheryl Kane-Piasecki, OGE 

Kim Kaplan, OGE 

Denise O'Connell, OGE 

Dan Skalla, OGE  



Ethics Education Lab #1:  Is There an App for That? 

Confused about the conference app?  Thinking about taking your ethics program mobile?  Mobile web and native apps have you confused?  Bring your questions and curiosity to the E2 Lab where Nicole Stein and Patrick Shepherd will introduce the conference app, discuss the pros and cons of native apps vs. mobile web, and share ideas for taking ethics mobile. 


Patrick Shepherd, OGE 

Nicole Stein, OGE  


Program Support Lab #1:  Ethics Requirements and Small Agencies  

This session will provide attendees from small agencies the opportunity to share their challenges and successes in administering their ethics programs. 

Presenter:  Dale Christopher, OGE  


Program Management Lab #1:  How to Use Technology to Engage Employees  

Ethics officials are continually looking for ways to engage employees and help raise awareness of their ethical responsibilities. This session will walk participants through several methods of utilizing technology in order to reach and engage employees.   We will showcase various tools such as online surveys, posters, and newsletters that can be incorporated into the day to day administration of your ethics program.  The presenters will demonstrate the ease of use of these tools and provide ethics officials with information, ideas, and examples that may be used to enhance and strengthen an ethics program. 


Jorge Guzman, OGE 

Ciara Guzman, OGE 

Michelle MaGee, OGE 



9.  Gearing Up for the 2012 Election Season: What Every Federal Employee Needs to Know (Part 2)  


10.  Ethics as Education: How to Turn Ethics Training into Professional Development 

This session will help ethics officials step back a bit from the minimum regulatory training requirements, examine their true training objectives, and look at ethics training from a different perspective: that of ethics training as education and professional development, not merely technical instruction or the minimal fulfillment of a requirement. The session will include a discussion of what really works to accomplish a true understanding of ethics among employees, provide dozens of immediately useful teaching tips and exercises for trainers and ethics officials, and review some of the collateral benefits of a professional development ethics program. 


Greg Weinman, United States Mint  


11.  Ethics for an Outsourced Government 

In recent decades, the Federal Government has greatly expanded its use of contractors to perform services, and now purchases more than $260 billion in services every year.  While the Government has an extensive array of statutes and regulations imposing ethics restrictions on Government employees, the ethics of contractor personnel are largely unregulated.  A few agencies have adopted regulations imposing Government ethics standards on some of their contractor personnel, and other agencies impose such standards through contract clauses.  This session will explain how agencies have approached this issue and describe the recent recommendation from the Administrative Conference of the United States that the Government increase its regulation of contractor personnel ethics.  

Presenter:  Kathleen Clark, Office of the Attorney General, District of Columbia  


12.  The Complete History of Executive Branch Ethics:  1789-Present (Abridged) 

The session will place the conflicts of interest regimen in a historic context.  The presentation will provide an informative awareness that many of the current ethics rules are not merely the results of then-contemporaneous events – such as the Hall Carbine Affair (1861), or the Teapot Dome (1921) or Watergate scandals (1974) – but were established after much consideration and deliberation by both the legislative and executive branches, dating back to the earliest years of the republic, as necessitated by an evolving and growing system of government.  Many practitioners in the ethics community are familiar with the current ethics regime, but may find it interesting to learn just how long (and difficult) in the making were these rules. 


Don Fox, OGE 

Emory Rounds, OGE  


13.  Details, Details, Details!  

With no statutory definition of “detail,” issues will be explored such as defining when a person has been detailed, whether “acting” is considered a detail, responsibilities of detailed employees, and other related issues.  The panelists will discuss the most common ethics implications of details in detail(!), including practical advice of avoiding redundant filing of financial disclosure forms (particularly when a 450 filer acts in a 278 position); and the ramifications related to post-employment and 18 U.S.C. 207.  


Arthur A. Lopez, OGE 

Jeff Green, Department of Defense  

Jennie Keith, Environmental Protection Agency  


14.  A Foreign Restriction: The Unusual Case of 18 U.S.C. 207(f) 

This session will focus on the unprecedented scope of the post-employment restrictions concerning foreign entities in 18 U.S.C. 207(f).  In addition to a discussion of the legislative purposes and continuing Congressional concerns in this area, the session will explore the unique features of section 207(f) through a series of exercises.  This session is advanced and recommended for those who already have a general understanding of the post-employment laws. 


15.  Compliance and Ethics Programs for Government Organizations – Lessons from the Private Sector 

Agency compliance with the law is at the heart of organizational integrity and is a shared responsibility.  It is incorporated in our Oath of Office and is quite simply a baseline expectation of the notion that public office is a public trust. A program to prevent and detect organizational non-compliance is a core element of modern corporate governance.  The RCGCE was established to advance the application of effective ethics and compliance program principles as an element of public governance at the Federal, state and local levels. The session will provide an overview of the development of corporate compliance programs, the business case and the benefits of the adoption of such programs in a government environment. 

Presenter:  Emil Moshella, Rutgers Center for Government Compliance and Ethics  


16.  Workshop: Analyzing Outside Activity Requests  (Part 2) (Repeat Session)   



Ethics Education Lab #2:  On-demand Web-based Training; Easy as 1-2-3  

Have you ever wanted to create an on-demand computer-based ethics training, but don’t know where to begin?  Worried that it will be high cost or require extensive programming skills? Join Dan Fort and Justina Fugh in the Ethics Education Lab where they will share their easy three-step development process from concept to completed course and answer your questions about course design. 


Dan Fort, Environmental Protection Agency 

Justina Fugh, Environmental Protection Agency 


Program Support Lab #2:  Building Support from the Outside in:  Why Employees and the Public Should Care About Your Ethics Program  

This session is intended as an interactive discussion on methods to raise the profile of your agency’s ethics program, both internally and externally.  Participants are invited to share their ideas, challenges, and successes relating to getting the message out about the importance of ethics in Government. 


Dale Christopher, OGE   

Shira Minton, Securities and Exchange Commission  


Program Management Lab #2:  Give Your Ethics Program a Tweak  

The Model Practice Learning Lab is an exchange forum where we will discuss and share a wide range of model practices in administering elements of the ethics program.  Model practices can help agencies exceed mere compliance with ethics rules and regulations and increase productivity, consistency, and accuracy in the program.  We will demonstrate how to use OGE’s online forum to post or retrieve tools to help improve your ethics program. 


Michelle Walker, OGE 

James Macon, OGE 




Keith Darcy 

Executive Director, Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) 



17.  Federal Travel, Appropriations and Related Ethics Issues (Repeat Session) 

Lenny Loewentritt will discuss various travel and ethics related policies and regulations affecting all employees of the Government.  He will discuss issues relating to frequent flyer benefits, premium class accommodations, the use of the Government charge card, acceptance of payment for travel expenses from non-Federal sources, the airline contract city pairs program, routing of travel, refreshments at conferences, use of rental cars, and a number of other travel related issues.  There will also be opportunity for questions and answers on any travel related issues.  

Presenter:  Lenny Loewentritt, General Services Administration  


18.  Ethics, Investigations, and the Digital Frontier: A Choose Your Own Adventure in New-Media Land 

The use of new media by employees requires ethics officials and others to revisit old questions and, sometimes, develop new solutions. This panel will present the audience with a twist on a familiar story and ask the audience to pick a solution. It will be up to the audience to determine how to proceed and apply old concepts to a new medium. The panel will assist by discussing investigation techniques, privacy, search and seizure, and 1st amendment concepts. This is an interactive session so audience members should be prepared to participate.  


Nancy Eyl, Department of Homeland Security 

Sabrina Segal, International Trade Commission 

Epin Christensen, Smithsonian Institution 

Alexis Turner, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration  


19.  So You Think You Want a New Website:  OGE's Journey from Concept to Product Launch 

This month, OGE launched a new website with numerous improvements beyond mere appearance.  In this session, OGE will share lessons learned in developing a website, including: identifying requirements, preparing a statement of work, and putting together a successful web management team.  Additionally, this session will demonstrate the website and its improvements, which include the ability to search Advisories by topic, to locate Advisories on a specific conflict of interest law or regulation, and to preview upcoming features, such as an automated OGE Form 201 that will provide immediate access to the certified public financial disclosure reports filed with OGE. Questions are encouraged.   


Amy Braud, OGE 

Kerri Cox, OGE 

With an Introduction by Don Fox, OGE   


20.  And The Award Goes To.... 

Almost every agency has an employee who is honored for his or her contribution to a field of work that relates to the agency’s mission.   When an employee shares the good news that he or she has won an award, an ethics official needs to make sure that it is a bona fide award.  This session will address the issues ethics officials must address when evaluating whether the award meets the regulatory framework and if the employee has official duties that may affect the award donor.  The presenters will discuss the handling of the different types of awards and will delve into steps an ethics official needs to take to ensure that the award is part of an established program of recognition.  They will also present some scenarios and ask the audience if the employee should be allowed to accept the award offered by an outside organization. 


Sandie Dunham, National Institutes of Health 

Holli Beckerman Jaffe, National Institutes of Health 

Traci Melvin, National Institutes of Health  


21.  Financial Disclosure:  An Ethics Play in Three Acts 

The EPA ethics team believes that filing financial disclosure reports is not the end of employees' annual requirements but rather the beginning of an ethical journey.  Join us on our journey to see how EPA moves beyond the paperwork exercise and integrates ethics into the Agency's culture.  Learn strategies to triage the deluge of forms, bring awareness to filers about potential conflicts and their ethical obligations, and use the form as a vehicle to begin the conversation.  Using real-life examples, the EPA Players will show you how to build effective relationships with your filers, to focus on conflicts of interest, and to ultimately forge an ethical culture at your agency. 


Justina Fugh, Environmental Protection Agency 

Daniel Fort, Environmental Protection Agency 

Jennie Keith, Environmental Protection Agency            


22.  Navigating Ethics Rules as They Apply to Employee Associations and Unions 

Federal officials often play key roles in agency auxiliary organizations such as employee associations and Federal unions.  In their capacity as auxiliary organization leaders, these officials frequently come in contact with familiar ethical topics but in a context that may or may not be ripe with unseen pitfalls.  Do the fundraising and solicitation rules still apply? How free are they to use agency names, logos and insignia?  Do the procurement integrity rules apply when they contract with third parties on behalf of the auxiliary?  How much political activity is too much under the Hatch Act?  What kind of gifts or payment for teaching, speaking or writing can they accept in their auxiliary capacity? What about confidentiality and fiduciary obligations - are they always compatible?  What about privacy laws?  This session will help ethics officials navigate these landmines when interested employees come calling. 


Greg Weinman, United States Mint 

Dan Shaver, United States Mint


23.  Lessons from the Private Sector: What Federal Ethics Practitioners Can Learn from Corporate Ethics Programs 

Most Fortune 500 corporations have ethics programs today, though they didn't 10 years ago.  In that time, flashes of excellence have appeared alongside scandal and intrigue as the world of private-sector ethics slowly evolves into a powerful force for corporate good.  Today, some of the most-highly regarded federal agency programs gratefully acknowledge inspiration from their private-sector peers--and vice-versa.  This session will bring attendees up-to-date on best practices in corporate ethics and compliance, with an eye toward helping DAEOs gather innovative ideas to improve the effectiveness of their own programs. 

Presenter: Tim Mazur, Ethics and Compliance Officer Association             


24.  Enhancing Your Ethics Writing Skill Set 

A writing workshop designed to establish a standard of quality written guidance and advice.  The instructor will share with everyone the legal method of providing written ethics advice memoranda.  She will also offer helpful tips for creating useful templates and she will include short exercises on issue spotting and creating roadmaps so that everyone will have an opportunity to practice what they learn and see improvements right away.  


Arlene McCarthy, Department of Agriculture    



Ethics Education Lab #3:  OGE Education Year in Review and Look Ahead 

The OGE education program has undergone a great deal of change since the last conference.  Come to the E2 Lab where Cheryl-Kane Piasecki and Patrick Shepherd will share information about the new certificate programs, expanded workshop offerings, online courses, and what’s ahead for the OGE ethics education program.  We also want to hear what you think about our new offerings and your thoughts about the future of ethics education at OGE. 


Patrick Shepherd, OGE 

Cheryl Kane-Piasecki, OGE  


Program Support Lab #3:  Alternative Financial Disclosure Procedures 

This lab session will involve a discussion of alternative financial disclosure and whether an alternative procedure is right for your agency. 

Presenter:  Dale Christopher, OGE     


Program Management Lab #3:  Rethinking Initial Ethics Orientation 

We'll take a fresh look at Initial Ethics Orientation (IEO) and discuss how it just might make your life easier as an ethics official.  Beyond just meeting regulatory compliance with a standard PowerPoint presentation,  we'll share ways a well-done IEO can help build the foundation for ethical culture, prevent conflicts of interest, and maybe even lighten your workload. 

Presenter:  Dan Skalla, OGE        



25.  Federal Travel, Appropriations and Related Ethics Issues  (Repeat Session)   


26. 18 U.S.C. 209:  Intent Matters – Can the Government Employee Get Paid (Again)? 

This panel will explore the element of intent in 18 U.S.C. § 209.   We will incorporate real world cases, including an update on the POGO decision, and at least one interactive exercise in which the audience will practice applying the intent factors addressed in OGE DAEOgram DO-02-016 and -016A, dated July 1, 2002, summarizing the restriction in 18 U.S.C. § 209. 


Allison George, OGE 

Walter Shaub, OGE  


27.  Managing Organizational Conflicts of Interest: A Discussion of the New Proposed Guidelines and a DOD Case Study 

DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to provide revised regulatory coverage on organizational conflicts of interest (OCIs), provide additional coverage regarding contractor access to nonpublic information, and add related provisions and clauses.  This session will familiarize you with the new proposed rules and present a case study on how an OCI can occur.  

Presenter:  Richard Fowler, Defense Acquisition University  


28.  Advising the Ethically-Challenged Employee 

Frequently, agency employees seek your ethics advice under less than ideal circumstances. You may face fact patterns that are incomplete, overly-complex, overly-generalized, or intentionally obfuscated. The employees seeking advice may be overworked, have ulterior motives, show outright hostility to regulation, or be genuinely bewildered by basic ethics principles. And you anticipate your advice will be disregarded, published on the internet, or offered as an exhibit in a criminal proceeding. This session will explore advising techniques, frequently-misunderstood issues, communication methods, and recordkeeping practices to enhance the efficiency of your ethics program.   

Presenter: Kenneth Goetzke, National Aeronautics and Space Administration


29.  Ethics Across the Branches: Comparison of the Ethics Rules for Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches 

This panel will provide an introductory overview of the ethics program in each branch, including the source of the rules.  The panel will then engage in an academic discussion about the similarities, the differences, the reasons for those differences. 


Karena Dees, House Committee on Ethics (moderator) 

Emory Rounds, OGE 

Matthew J. Mesmer, Senate Select Committee on Ethics 

Beth Horton, Department of the Treasury 

Bob Deyling, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts 

Carol Dixon, House Committee on Ethics 


30.  What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Considerations Before Selecting an E-Filing System     

This session will feature a presentation by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, followed by a question and answer period about the experiences of these two Departments in implementing online financial disclosure filing for Calendar Year 2010 (launched in January 2011). The Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture for the first time moved to online financial disclosure filing by using a system provided by the Department of Commerce via its contractor, HRWorx. The end result was a much more efficient system; however, there were certainly challenges in implementing the system. This session will reflect on the Departments’ experiences and review the lessons learned. Anyone considering implementing an online financial disclosure system should attend this session.  The session will consider costs, convincing Agency leadership and stakeholders of the benefits of e-filing, available alternative systems and their strengths and weaknesses, as well as working with the Agency Chief Information Officer and how to pay for the system.  


Craig Clark, Department of the Interior 

Pamela Miller, Department of the Interior 

Michael Edwards, Department of Agriculture 

                                                                                Stuart Bender, Department of Agriculture                                                                


31.  Accepting Responsibility Responsibly:  Preparing for and Responding to Organizational Crises 

In the age of transparency, organizations can easily be overwhelmed by crises.  Public trust and reputations can be destroyed in the process.  What is the life cycle of a crisis and how can one best prepare for and navigate through it?  What is “organizational DNA” and how does it relate to assessing risk? How can intentionally developing your informal network help you build trusting and energizing relationships that not only sustain you in crisis, but help overcome organizational inertia and get important work done?  This session will help you better understand the nature of crises and prepare you to navigate through them. 


Earnie Broughton, Ethics Resource Center 

Nick Fetzer, Ethics Resource Center


32.  Enhancing Your Advice and Counsel Skills Workshop 

Are you new to providing ethics advice and counsel?  This interactive workshop will focus on the critical skills you need.   Learn what these skills are and why each skill is critical.  We will provide you with astounding facts about each skill and take you through a variety of exercises that will help you enhance your advice and counsel skills. 


Nicole Stein, OGE 

Stephanie Nonluecha, OGE 



Ethics Education Lab #4:  HHS, A Case Study in Ethics Education 

HHS has over 73,000 full time employees, over 2,000 SGEs serving on 235 FACA committees and almost 10,000 additional SGEs serving in a variety of capacities, most notably with the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).  HHS employees run the gamut from entry level support staff to Senate confirmed Presidential appointees, and include scientists, policy-makers, lawyers, analysts, physicians, IT specialists, and virtually every other occupation out there.  These employees are dispersed throughout the country, from major urban areas to remote Indian reservations, and some HHS employees work overseas.  With such a diverse and dispersed group of individuals, providing quality ethics training is both essential and a daunting challenge.  To meet this challenge, HHS maintains a decentralized ethics program with 115 full time ethics officials and another 180+ employees whose duties include some ethics responsibilities.  These ethics officials use a variety of training tools to support the agency’s mission.  Laura will share with you the challenges her agency faces in meeting its ethics training obligations, some of the tools that they use to meet those obligations, and her personal experiences as a trainer. 

Presenters:  Laura McManamy, Department of Health and Human Services   


Program Support Lab #4:  Overview of OGE’s New Website 

This lab will consist of a brief overview of OGE’s new Website, including an explanation of the site’s layout and a demonstration of some of its new functionality. 


Dale Christopher, OGE 

Steve Corbally, OGE 

Bradley Khaner, OGE


Program Management Lab #4:  The Yellow Brick Road to E-Filing 

Are you overwhelmed with the paper, folders, and file drawers? Is now the time to shift to an e-filing system? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to turn your e-filing visions into reality.  Engage with experts in the field from both a large and a small agency who will share their experience and expertise in an interactive setting.  You will come away from this lab with information that will help you to formulate or refine your e-filing plans. You will also have the opportunity to learn about two e-filing systems that your agency may be able to adopt. 


George Hancock, Department of the Army 

Robin Clay, National Science Foundation 

Karen Rigby, OGE 

Michelle Walker, OGE



33.  Official Duties v. Outside Activities - What Hat Are You Wearing? 

Most ethics officials have been asked by employees if they can participate in certain activities with outside organizations.  The activities often appear to be related to the employees’ duties.  The ethics officials need to evaluate all of the relevant facts and legal authorities to decide how an employee can become involved in a particular activity.  This session will address the common issues ethics officials must address when evaluating employee participation with outside organizations. The presenters will explore factors to consider in determining whether employees partake in activities officially or personally, and the rules that apply to each.   They will also focus on how ethics officials should collaborate with the requester and his/her supervisor to define the roles of each of the players, evaluate pros and cons, and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution.  Context will be provided through discussion of a variety of common activities and by engaging the audience to evaluate several illustrative scenarios. 


Sandie Dunham, National Institutes of Health 

Holli Beckerman Jaffe, National Institutes of Health 

Traci Melvin, National Institutes of Health


34.  How Free Speech Intersects with Whistleblowing 

This session will discuss the intersection of the ethical standards regarding outside activities with the whistleblower statutes.  Special emphasis will be on the legal elements of whistleblowing, knowing what conduct constitutes whistleblowing, and related First Amendment issues.   

Presenter:  Bruce Fong, Office of Special Counsel  


35.  Ethics, Investigations, and Discipline 

This session will discuss the relationship between:  (1) the ethics regulations and related policies, as well as rules of professional conduct; (2) investigations that result from alleged violations of these authorities; and (3) resulting actions that can be taken against employees.  The session will review the entire process, including the roles and responsibilities of agency officials in providing advice and reporting misconduct, the different entities that may investigate ethics violations, and the implementation of discipline and other penalties against individuals found to have violated ethics-related rules and policies.   


Jeff Rosenblum, Department of Justice 

Brigette Frantz, Departmnet of Justice


36.  Ethics at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 

In this session, presenters will discuss the ways in which the White House and the Office of the Vice President ethics programs sustain an ethical culture in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment.   The presenters will share practical tips on engaging senior leaders and building program capacity to identify and address short and long term ethics issues. 


Heather Gottry, White House 


37.  Do's and Don'ts for New Trainers (and Not-So-New) 

An experienced panel explains the most important things ethics trainers must accomplish, as well as common pitfalls to be avoided. The emphasis is on intensely practical pointers and lessons learned in the trenches, rather than educational theorizing. A slide show illustrates concrete examples, and handouts include useful take-away checklists and a detailed bibliography of ethics training modules available online and elsewhere that trainers can modify for the needs of their agencies. The primary audience for this session is relatively new ethics trainers, but those with moderate to advanced experience should obtain at least some benefit. 


Jerry Lawson, Agency for International Development OIG 

                                                   Harrison Ford, Department of State OIG                         


38.  Pro Bono Activity: A Legal and Procedural Guide for Federal Agency Ethics Counsel 

The Federal Government Pro Bono Program encourages agency attorneys to volunteer their legal skills in their local communities.  Since 1996, Federal attorneys have answered this call by participating in legal clinics, drafting wills, and handling pro bono cases. Engagement in these outside activities raises numerous issues which affect an agency’s organizational integrity and require review by agency ethics counsel.  This presentation will address those issues, such as conflicts of interest and standards of conduct rules, which govern pro bono activity by Federal Government attorneys.  The speaker will offer examples of types of pro bono activities that are appropriate for Federal Government attorneys and criteria for evaluating such activities. 

                                                             Presenter:  Laura Klein, Department of Justice                                                                      


39.  What is “Market Value” and Why Do We Care? 

This panel will review how “market value” is relevant to the gifts regulation in Subpart B of 5 C.F.R. part 2635 and will apply the regulatory definition of the term to various categories of gifts, including tangible items, attendance at ticketed events, seating in private suites, and meals.  The panel will use slides to highlight text in Subpart B and other background material, and will encourage audience participation when discussing the proper valuation of various gifts, including those pulled from the “mystery box.”   


Julie Eirinberg, OGE 

Lorna Syme, OGE 


40.  Post-Employment Workshop: 207(a)(1) 

As more and more Federal employees leave Government service the demand for post-employment counseling increases.  This beginner level workshop will introduce you to the most common post-employment restriction -- 18 U.S.C. 207(a)(1) -- and challenge you to analyze a real post-employment situation element by element.  

                                                                                     Presenter:  Denise O’Connell, OGE                                                                                            



Ethics Education Lab #5:  Ethics Training Sans PowerPoint 

Free yourself and your audience from the PowerPoint monologue.  During this session, Brian Boykin and Jen Dickey will share ideas on ways you can engage your class in a lively dialogue about how Government ethics standards can help resolve many workplace dilemmas that result from competing values.  Brian and Jen will also demonstrate a couple of exercises designed to prompt employees to think about their role in promoting an ethical work culture. 


Jen Dickey, Department of the Treasury 

Brian Boykin, Department of Justice



Program Support Lab #5:  Expert Q&A Featuring Lenny Loewentritt, GSA 

This session will serve as a follow-up to Mr. Loewentritt's breakout session entitled "Federal Travel, Appropriations and Related Ethics Issues."  It will provide attendees the opportunity to ask questions in a more accessible and intimate setting and for which there may have been insufficient time for a response during the breakout session. 

Presenter:  Lenny Loewentritt, General Services Administration


Program Management Lab #5:  How to Timely Identify New Entrant Confidential Filers? 

This session will serve as a forum for attendees to discuss procedures and tools they have developed to foster collaboration between their offices in support of the ethics program. Examples may include: identifying and notifying financial disclosure filers of the filing requirements, scheduling and/or participating in IEO, and cooperation between HR and ethics officials in taking administrative action against employees who have violated the ethics rules. 

Presenter:  David Meyers, OGE 




The Role of the Office of Special Counsel in Safeguarding Good Government   

Mark Cohen 

Deputy Special Counsel, Office of Special Counsel                 



41.  Managing the Multi-Sector Workforce (Repeat Session) 

As the Federal Government shrinks, more Federal agencies will adopt a multi-sector workforce composed of Federal personnel and contractor employees.  Ethical risks involving gifts, conflicts of interest, revolving-door employment, travel, and protection of non-public information become much more problematic when Federal personnel and contractor employees work shoulder to shoulder on a common mission for years at a time, creating personal relationships that foster high office spirit, but severely testing Federal and contractor ethics.   

This session updates our presentation at the last OGE Conference (entitled "Working with Uncle Sam"), to include regulatory changes, including the proposal by the Administrative Conference of the United States on agency ethics rules for contractor personnel.  There will be true-life examples (you won’t believe).  If you have a multi-sector workforce, don’t miss this.  


John Szabo, NRC 

Steve Epstein, The Boeing Company 


42.  Appropriations Law Considerations for Ethics Officials 

This session will explore the intersection of fiscal statutes and the principles of appropriations law with ethics rules and regulations.  It will introduce attendees to some aspects of appropriations law that, together with ethics rules, ensure organizational integrity and citizens' confidence in Government operations. 

Presenters:  Tom Armstrong, General Accounting Office  


43.  Inspector General and Ethics Counsel: Changing Environments and Challenges – The Sequel 

The duties and responsibilities of Federal attorneys serving in Ethics and IG counsel positions have grown and flourished in the 33 years since the Ethics in Government Act and Inspector General Act were enacted in 1978. In the mid-1990s we published and presented a comprehensive description of legal and regulatory rules that define the respective roles for these positions. Since then, significant statutory and policy changes have occurred in both communities’ practices. An updated article reflecting these changes appeared in the final issue of the Federal Ethics Report (June 2011).  This presentation will provide an overview revisiting basic issues, identify and discuss the changes that have occurred, and provide suggested best practices in the current environment to reinforce our common objective of good government. 


Maryann Grodin, Nuclear Regulatory Commission OIG 

Nancy Eyl, Department of Homeland Security OIG  


44.  Apps and MAX and the CLOUD! Oh My! 

This session is a follow-up to Ms. Segal’s session during the 2010 Ethics Conference where she discussed how ethics officials could use new media tools to enhance ethics training.  This year she will discuss the development of a new ethics app for handheld technology, how the MAX Federal Community system could provide the ethics community with a secure collaboration and knowledge sharing environment for both intra and inter-agency interactions, and how “cloud” technology could impact ethics officials.  Ms. Segal will be accompanied by Andrew Schoenbach, head of OMB’s Budget Systems and the Policy Lead for the Budget Formulation and Execution E-Gov Line of Business, to discuss MAX’s capabilities. 


Sabrina Segal, International Trade Commission OIG 

Andrew Schoenbach, Office of Management and Budget  


45.  Financial Instruments and Public Financial Disclosure 

This session will focus on specific financial disclosure issues related to selected financial instruments.  The presentation will include a practical exercise on reporting these financial instruments on Public Financial Disclosure Reports (OGE Form 278) filed by Presidential Nominees Requiring Senate Confirmation and New Entrants.  In addition, the session will feature an interactive exercise on assessing conflicts and drafting an ethics agreement.  


Deborah Bortot, OGE 

Sandy Mabry, OGE 

Keith Labedz, OGE  


46.  Why Your Agency Might Want a Supplemental Agency Regulation 

This panel will discuss and address 1) whether an agency needs a supplemental ethics regulation to accomplish its goals, 2) appropriate subject matter areas to include in a supplemental agency ethics regulation, and 3) a summary of OGE’s role in assisting agencies in this process.   The panelists will incorporate interactive case studies to help you save time and effort creating a supplemental regulation. 


Seth Jaffe, OGE 

Emory Rounds, OGE 

Robert Golden, Department of Housing and Urban Development               


47.  Reflections on OGE Program Reviews: What You Need to Know 

When OGE announces a program review, agencies need to take a frank look at the strengths and weaknesses of their ethics programs.  This panel will address how agency ethics officials look back at what they wish they knew, give tips for advocating for their agency’s ethics program, shoring up their weaknesses, and how they leveraged OGE’s program review to make positive changes within their agencies.  It will also provide the perspective of OGE program review officials who will share how they view their roles, what they are looking for, and what they expect agencies to do to prepare for a program review.  


Omer Poirier, Department of Transportation 

Judy Kaleta, Department of Transportation 

David Meyers, OGE  


48.  Working with 208 Exemptions Workshop 

This session will provide a brief review of the criminal conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. § 208, and will introduce participants to some of the most common exemptions to that statute issued by OGE in its regulations at 5 CFR part 2640. The exemptions discussed will be the exemption for diversified mutual funds, sector fund de minimis, and the securities de minimis exemptions.   


Mark Stewart, OGE 

Kim Kaplan, OGE  



Ethics Education Lab #6:  Training through Engagement - The Ethics Quiz 

Do you want employees to look forward to ethics training?  Do you want employees to miss your ethics training when you leave the organization?  Do you want your agency head to tell you that you gave the best ethics training he or she ever had?  If so, try the Ethics Quiz. This course suggests a method of training that incorporates a variety of training concepts into a simple “quiz” format.  People learn by seeing, by hearing, and by doing, but the most effective method is the combination of all three. The quiz incorporates all three. People read the quiz, answer the questions, and hear the explanations.  The quiz allows for employee participation, and in some cases can trigger competitive instincts that enhance interaction between the instructor and the audience. It maintains a higher level of employee interest.  The quiz asks real workplace ethics questions that employees have either personally experienced or have seen.  Experience has shown me that most employees miss several questions. This demonstrates to the employee that their understandings of the ethics rules are not as complete as they thought. This facilitates not only their desire to learn, but also to seek ethics counseling in the future.  By allowing 10 minutes at the beginning of the session to answer the quiz, there is a built in period for late arrivals.  The quiz is an effective training tool at all levels of the organization, from agency heads to the lowest GS employees.  The quiz gives the employee an ethics handout that answers common workplace questions and contains contact information on ethics counselors.  The quiz can be easily adjusted and modified. It can cover a variety of topics. However, in order to be effective, it requires either baseline knowledge or baseline assumptions.   Two quiz samples:  Standards of Conduct and Working with Contractors. 

Presenter:  Thomas King, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Program Support Lab #6:  Government Ethics and the Use of Social Media  

This lab will serve as a precursor to the two-part panel discussion on Government ethics and social media for those who need a primer in what social media is and how it works. The lab will consist of a hands-on demonstration of social media tools such as: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs, Widgets, and mobile devices during which attendees can see how the tools work and learn what they should look for when evaluating these tools. 

Presenter:  Jodi Cramer, Federal Emergency Management Agency


Program Management Lab #6:  Back to the Basics 

This lab is designed to remind ethics officials of the details that are sometimes neglected. For instance, your agency may have written procedures for administering financial disclosure, but do those written procedures include specific provisions for following up on delinquent reports?  If not, your procedures are not in compliance with requirements.  We will also address how agencies can ensure all components stay on track and don't forget the little things that can leave an otherwise excellent ethics program "out of compliance." 


Doug Chapman, OGE 

Kingsley Simons, OGE 



49.  Real Ethics:  Tips and Trends in Ethics Enforcement 

Accountability is a part of every ethics official’s responsibilities.  But, what does that mean day to day?  This session will explore the spectrum of enforcement measures that ethics officials should know, from preventative actions, such as outreach, education, and counseling, to dealing with tough questions, such as when to make the call to the IG and what to say when you do.   The discussion will feature tips from a practicing ethics official, and will cover tools and resources available to assist you in navigating the Federal disciplinary process and an overview of trends in recent cases involving discipline for ethics infractions. 


Justina Fugh, Environmental Protection Agency 

Diana Veilleux, OGE


50.  Government Ethics and the Use of Social Media (Part 1) 

This two part presentation will (1) introduce attendees to the terminology and background of social media software, (2) discuss how Government ethics principles are implicated in official and personal use of social media tools, (3) provide insight into best practices, recommendations, and lessons learned from other ethics officials, and (4) provide resources for practitioners’ reference.  The first part will address initial ethics (and other legal) considerations when the Agency implements social media tools.  The second part will address ethics considerations when employees use social media in both their official and personal capacities. 


Steven Jawgiel, Environmental Protection Agency 

Erica Dornburg, Department of Defense 

Jodi Cramer, Federal Emergency Management Agency 


51.  How to Use Free Online Tools to Create a Powerful, State of the Art Ethics Training Program (and Massively Increase Ethics Awareness in your Agency) 

In a world dominated increasingly by the internet, online training tools designed to entertain and instruct are becoming essential for the contemporary Federal ethics practitioner.  In particular, several websites can help ethics officials create custom training materials quickly and easily.  Attendees will learn how to use free or inexpensive tools such as and to create cartoons and videos teaching common ethics principles for annual training or awareness programs.  In addition, attendees will be shown several sites for creating teaching aids such as ethics crossword puzzles, bingo cards and word search games – all proven successful in annual ethics training programs. Demonstrations will be provided on how HUD uses all of these various online tools to create popular training and ethics awareness programs. Session includes actual demonstration of tools, as well as PowerPoint and “how to” handouts. 

Presenter:  Gregory Walters, Department of Housing and Urban Development  

52.  Whistleblower Disclosures:  Reporting Allegations of Agency Wrongdoing to the Office of Special Counsel 

Did you know that OSC provides an independent secure channel for disclosure and resolution of wrongdoing in Federal agencies?  Federal employees may satisfy their duty to disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities under 5 CFR 2635.101(b)(11), by filing with OSC.  OSC’s Disclosure Unit reviews disclosures of information alleging violations of law, rule or regulation, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, and substantial and specific dangers to public health and safety.  These allegations may include violations of post-employment restrictions, improper acceptance of gifts from outside employment, the use of public office for private gain, and misuse of government time.  Under 5 U.S.C. § 1213, allegations filed by Federal employees, former Federal employees, and applicants for Federal employment may be referred to the head of an agency for investigation if OSC determines that there is a substantial likelihood that the disclosure meets the statutory criteria.  When a disclosure is referred, the agency is required to conduct an investigation and provide OSC with a report within 60 days.  This lecture will discuss the statutory requirements and agency responsibilities under the statute. 


Catherine McMullen, Office of Special Counsel 

Karen Gorman, Office of Special Counsel  

53.  The View from Outside: How Ethics Watchdogs Work 

Watchdog or "Good Government" groups play a vital role in improving integrity in government. Meet seasoned experts and advocates and learn how they work to expose lapses in ethics and corruption and to advance better polices and enforcement. Join a discussion about scandals and change; explore how relationships with outside stakeholders can strengthen ethics in government. 


Angela Canterbury, Project on Government Oversight 

Melanie Sloan, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington 

Craig Holman, Public Citizen  


54.  Building Relationships in an Ever-Changing Agency 

The FDIC has gone through an enormous growth spurt during the past 3 years in response to both the nation's financial crisis and the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform Act.  In order to meet these challenges, the FDIC has staffed up its ethics program and confronted the challenges of Government ethics on all fronts:  through Board buy-in, through building and developing relationships with management and peers, and responding to the needs of the rank and file through ethics training and assistance.  In this session we will explore how the FDIC used in-place systems and developed new tools to address the challenges of an ever changing workforce in an environment where work objectives, agency mission, and ethics targets are constantly evolving. 


Michael Korwin, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 

Marsha Martin, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 

Kimball Johnson, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 

Jack McGarry, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation  


55.  How Alternative Pay Systems Impact Financial Disclosure 

This session will take a look at how alternative pay systems impact an agency’s decision on who should file financial disclosure reports.  This discussion will focus on the alternative or non-GS pay systems at two agencies and the equal classification provision in the Ethics in Government Act (5 U.S.C. app 101(f)). 


Elaine Newton, OGE 

Gretchen Weaver, National Institutes of Health 

Wilsie Minor, Corporation for National and Community Service   


56.  Workshop: Analyzing Outside Activity Requests (Part 1) (Repeat Session)   



Ethics Education Lab #7:  iSpy Alternate Reality Game Debrief 

Do you want to find out why some of your colleagues have been acting strangely?  Did you play iSpy, Operation Ethics Infiltration?  Are you interested in learning about serious games for serious education?  Come to the iSpy debrief and share your game experiences, hear from others who played the game, and find out how much players learned from the game. 


Patrick Shepherd, OGE 

Ryan Segrist, OGE  


Program Support Lab #7:  Utilizing OGE's Desk Officers (Repeat Lab) 

This lab will provide attendees the opportunity to meet their respective OGE Officers, to discuss both common and unique issues that require coordination between the Desk Officer and the ethics official, and to outline some of the OGE internal procedures and policies related to the Desk Officer roles and functions. 

Presenter:  Stephanie Nonluecha, OGE 


Program Management Lab #7: Managing Your Program's Prior Approval Process 

This lab is designed to provoke discussion about best program practices in the area of requests for outside activities. Ethics officials are encouraged to discuss and share program practices which enhance the prior approval process. Speakers will also discuss ways to encourage employees to seek counseling when prior approval is not required. 


Jason Kaar, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences 

Danielle Clarke, OGE  



57.  Managing the Multi-Sector Workforce (Repeat Session)   


58.  Government Ethics and the Use of Social Media (Part 2)    


59.  “I Didn't Even Know That an Ethics Situation was There.” 

A session about ethics by occurrence.  Thinking about ethics on a situational basis such as in the context of press inquiries, Federal advisory committees, peer review or merit review panels, conference management issues, social media, use of an agency's indicia (e.g. official seal), or senior official’s meetings requests.  The session will also include a discussion regarding how to provide training in a situational sense (e.g. scheduling personnel, procurement officials, supervisors, etc.) and dealing with media inquiries with respect to ethics issues. 


Susan Beard, Department of Energy 

Tom Reynolds, Department of Energy  


60.  A Vision for Managing the Ethics Program: Benchmarking Success 

To be fully successful and to realize enduring ethics program effectiveness, an agency must incorporate success factors into its program that complement compliance with ethics laws and regulations. The four critical success factors are leadership, awareness, resources, and oversight. OGE recently conducted two benchmarking projects measuring the incorporation of the critical success factors; this session will provide a summary of the results.  In addition, participants will have an opportunity to assess their agency’s incorporation of the success factors.   


Jack MacDonald, OGE 

Karen Rigby, OGE 

Jorge Guzman, OGE


61.  Don’t Get Caught in Congressional Crosshairs:  What You Need to Know about the Legislative Process and How OGE Can Help 

The path from ethical problem to unflattering press headlines to testy congressional hearings and sweeping ethics legislation affecting your agency ethics program may be shorter than you think.  Be prepared.  Come learn the basics of the legislative process, how OGE’s legislative program can and does help you, and how you can help yourself avoid problems on Capitol Hill. 


Shelley Finlayson, OGE 

Seth Jaffe, OGE 

Leigh Francis, OGE  


62.  Ethics Officials and IPAs:  Who Are They and Why Should You Care 

Discussion of how to develop an Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 (IPA) program with your agency Human Relations staff to ensure that OGE required ethics training, financial disclosure form filing, and conflict of interest analysis is done for all IPAs entering your agency from state and local governments and other designated entities, and how to assist your employees serving as IPAs at state and local governments, universities, and other designated entities to avoid representation and conflict of interest issues. 


Paul Conrad, Federal Emergency Management Agency 

Troy Byers, Department of Homeland Security


63.  Capturing the Criminals But Maybe Not The Reward Money: What To Do When Your Federal Employee Helps Catch The Bad Guys And Is Offered A Reward That Implicates 18 U.S.C. 209 

Last summer a Forest Service employee assisted in the capture of two dangerous criminals who escaped from prison.  The fugitives’ prison break made national news and sparked an urgent three-week manhunt.  The fugitives made the mistake of camping in a Federal forest where they encountered a Forest Service employee who contacted law enforcement authorities.  The criminals’ capture made international headlines and the Federal employee was a hero.  But, could he accept the reward money?  An open-and-shut case under 18 U.S.C. 209, right?  This real life case presented a novel and complex fact pattern and raised intriguing questions of what it means to be "performing one's official duties" in the context of Section 209's outside supplementation of salary ban.  The panelists will share the ethical and legal challenges -- and the final result. 


Stuart Bender, Department of Agriculture 

Lorraine "Rainee" Luciano, Department of Agriculture  


64.  Workshop: Analyzing Outside Activity Requests (Part 2) (Repeat Session)   



Ethics Education Lab #8:  Apps and MAX and the CLOUD! Oh My! (The Lab)  

This lab will cover the development of an ethics app for handheld technology, the Office of Management and Budget MAX system which allows for collaboration and knowledge sharing within agencies and across the government, and how “cloud” technology could impact ethics officials.  If you enjoyed the session or weren’t able to attend, join us afterward in the E2 Lab where Sabrina Segal will be available to answer questions and share more information about these exciting initiatives.   


Sabrina Segal, International Trade Commission OIG 

Andrew Schoenbach, Office of Management and Budget  


Program Support Lab #8:  Utilizing OGE's Desk Officers (Repeat Lab)    


Program Management Lab #8:  The Program Review Process  

Are you ready for your next program review?  Do you know what to expect during a program review?  We will walk through the process and discuss ways to you can demonstrate your program complies with ethics requirements, leverages people, processes and systems effectively and employs model practices. 


Rashmi Bartlett, OGE 

David Meyers, OGE