NIH Employees' Participation with Professional 501(c) Nonprofit Organizations Comparison

  Official Duty Federal Liaison Official Duty Leadership Position (e.g. Officer) Outside (Personal) Activity
General Considerations Non-voting, non-fiduciary role. May NOT participate in the organization’s business affairs, lobbying, fundraising, or political activities.


The employee may not make a representation on behalf of the nonprofit organization to the Executive Branch unless part of regular official duties to do so.
Voting participation is permitted, with limitations. May NOT participate in the professional 501(c) nonprofit organization’s business affairs, lobbying, fundraising, or political activities.

The employee may not make a representation on behalf of the nonprofit organization to the Executive Branch unless part of regular official duties to do so.

Outside activities with certain organizations are not permissible.

Certain provisions of the Hatch Act apply while “on” and “off” duty.

The employee may not make a representation on behalf of the nonprofit organization to the Executive Branch unless part of regular official duties to do so.

When is this role appropriate? When an NIH representative to the nonprofit organization is needed, i.e. spokesperson, but full voting membership is not appropriate. When the organization is a professional 501(c) nonprofit, participation advances NIH programmatic or policy goals and voting participation is essential to achieve joint aims. When participation is outside the scope of NIH job duties, or the position requires the employee to fully participate in business decisions of the organization.
May the employee’s NIH title be used? Yes Yes May be permissible in certain situations. Consult your ethics office.
May NIH time and resources be used? Yes Yes No. The HHS "minimal use" policy does not apply to personal, outside activities.
May compensation be accepted by the employee? No compensation may be accepted. No compensation may be accepted. Yes, with prior approval of an outside activity request (HHS 520). Note: Receipt of compensation from a private foundation may be problematic.
May travel expenses be accepted? NIH may either pay for the travel expenses or accept travel expenses pursuant to HHS travel policy. NIH may either pay for the travel expenses or accept travel expenses pursuant to HHS travel policy. Travel expenses may be accepted by the employee; not the agency. If the organization is a private foundation, additional restrictions apply.
Recusal If approved to engage in an official duty activity, the employee may not participate in a particular matter involving the nonprofit that will affect his own and others’ imputed financial interests. Recusal is required.   If approved to engage in an official duty activity, the employee may not participate in a particular matter involving the nonprofit that will affect his own and others’ imputed financial interests. Recusal is required.   If approved to engage in a personal outside activity, the employee must recuse from NIH official matters involving the outside organization. 
What approval is required? Supervisor Official Duty Activity Memo approved by Supervisor and Deputy Ethics Counselor (DEC) Request for Approval of Outside Activity (HHS 520) approved by Supervisor, DEC, and NIH Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC), when applicable.
Links to resources and forms Official Duty Information

Hatch Act Information

Anti-Lobbbying Act Information
Official Duty Information

Hatch Act Information

Anti-Lobbbying Act Information
Outside Activity Information

Hatch Act Information

 

For additional information, contact your IC's Deputy or Ethics Coordinator.

Updated: 10/3/14