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November 5, 2012

NOTES -- DEC/EC Meeting
Monday, November 5, 2012

Introductions:

  • NEO Staff:  Deneen Brent
  • IC Staff:  Kim Lapine and Erin Moriarty Harrelson (NIAID); and Tammy Dean-Maxwell (NIGMS)

Items for Discussion/Presentations:

  • Questions from last DEC/EC meeting?  STOCK Act; (g)(1) vs. (g)(2); CFC

STOCK Act Update:  OGE is seeking authority to collect information on those persons accessing a Form 278 or 278-T through OGE’s website (if those forms are ultimately posted on the web).  The data would be collected through a newly created electronic Form 201-A.  Federal Register notice is available on the Government Printing Office web site.

  • Use of HHS Grant Funds To Pay for NIH Employees’ Registration

See attached Talking Points

  • Reporting Bonds on 278-T

Similar to the rules for reporting Schedule B transactions on 278 reports, calls or redemptions of individual bonds are not reportable on 278-T reports, but sales and purchases are.  (You may need to confirm that the bond was called or redeemed when certifying the annual 278 report.)  Also note that all transactions with respect to bond funds (if the fund is an EIF and most are) are also not reportable on 278-Ts, but sales and purchases of bond funds are.

  • Section 208(b)(3) Waivers

Discussion postponed till working group meets.  WG’s meeting cancelled due to hurricane.

  • Equal Classification Determinations

Review current 278 list and consider whether any positions (for example, lab chiefs) should be reconsidered, for example, because of an IC reorganization.  Obtain the documentation that was used to make the original determination (the list of executive responsibilities), and then consider how, if at all, those responsibilities have changed. (For example, in the case of a lab chief, if a position no longer has budget responsibilities it had in the past, then it may no longer meet the SES equivalent criteria.) Questions on this should be directed to Elton Croy. 

  • Discussing Collaborations in EA/EU

If new employee has only intramural duties, include in the Ethics Agreement or Understanding a discussion of wrap-up projects (research and manuscripts) where collaborators and co-authors are from employee’s most recent employer.  Since the new employee has a covered relationship with his/her most recent employer, an authorization pursuant to 5 CFR 2635.502 needs to be issued before the employee can participate in those projects as part of his/her NIH duties.  If employee wants to participate in new projects involving most recent employer, additional authorization is required.

If the new employee has extramural duties, all wrap-up projects in which the employee wants to participate as part of his/her official duties must be included in the Ethics Agreement or Understanding to address covered relationships and assure compliance with extramural policy.   In addition, if the new employee has both intramural and extramural duties, the Ethics Agreement or Understanding needs to address recusal obligation from grants involving intramural collaborators.  Last, if employee wants to participate in new projects involving extramural collaborators, review such projects for covered relationships and recusal obligations under OER policy. 

To be supplied:  OER contact for questions about OER policy.

  • Coordination of Pre-Clearances Between IC/NEO

Please contact NEO as soon as you are aware of a Top 5 recruitment.  As much as possible, we want to conduct a joint review of the draft 278, CV and other issues so that a comprehensive list of questions to the candidate can be formulated and sent. 

When an employee is assigned to a position that has not yet been determined to be a 278 position (equal classification determination is pending), conduct the same analysis as a pre-clearance once the ECD is approved.  While we will not call it a formal pre-clearance, we want to honor the spirit of the policy.

  • Case Studies from Annual Training

Section 207(a) applies to all former executive branch employees regarding specific party matters in which the former employee participated personally and substantially (subsection (a)(1)) for the lifetime of the matter or which was pending under the former employee’s official responsibilities (subsection (a)(2)) for two years after leaving federal employment.  Statute prohibits communication to or appearance before any Executive Branch agency or US Federal Court on such matters. 

Section 207(c) applies to only senior employees (i.e., SES; CC Officers 0-7 and above; and those with a salary greater than $155,441) regarding any matter where official action by the agency is sought for one year after senior employee completes service in a senior position.  Statute prohibits communication to or appearance before only his/her former agency.

See Annual Training Qs&As (attached)

Reminders:

  • OGE 450 Filer List – Never Too Early To Start!  Reminder – 2012 new entrant filers with filer appointment date prior to November 2nd should be changed to incumbent on the NEES Personal Data page.  Regardless of reminders, last year some filers submitted the wrong report because their report type was not changed. 

Training:

  • EMIS & NEES:  Week of December 10th   
  • 4-day class:  Week of January 14       

 

Posted 11/8/12 (Revised: 11/21/12)