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NIH Special Government Employee (SGE) Resources


The NIH Director, Institute and Center (IC) Directors, and senior scientific staff are advised by a number of Advisory Council/Boards, Program Advisory Committees, or Boards of Scientific Counselors (Committees/Boards), comprised of individuals from the scientific community and the public, whose input is essential in guiding and reviewing the endeavors of the agency.  These Committee/Boards are subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the statute that governs how executive branch agencies manage soliciting advice from the public while maintaining transparency.  In accordance with FACA, most members of these Committees/Boards must be appointed as Special Government Employees (SGEs).

Required Special Government Employee (SGE) Training

All SGEs serving at NIH are required to complete ethics training prior to attending your first Federal Advisory Committee meeting. In addition, you will be required to complete ethics training annually throughout your term. Your committee management point of contact will notify you of this and any other associated requirements. 

For questions related to NIH SGE training, contact Committee Management..  

Laws and Regulations applicable to SGEs

Principles of Ethical Conduct

The Principles of Ethical Conduct were established by Executive Order 12674, modified by Executive Order 12731, as basic principles regarding the conduct of federal employees. These principles apply to all employees of the Federal Government.

Standards of Ethical Conduct

The Standards of Ethical Conduct were developed by the Office of Government Ethics and set forth the basic obligation of public service. The standards contain general provisions and regulations.

Federal Conflict of Interest Statutes

United States Code, Title 18 contains the criminal conflict of interest statutes applicable to employees in the executive branch of the government. Included in Title 18 is a prohibition against solicitation or receipt of bribes; a prohibition against acting as an agent or attorney before the government; post-employment restrictions; a prohibition against participating in matters affecting personal financial interest; and a prohibition against receiving supplementation of salary as compensation for government service.

HHS Supplemental Standards

On February 3, 2005, HHS published revised Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct (5 CFR 5501) and a new Supplemental Financial Disclosure Requirements section (5 CFR 5502), both effective on that date.  On August 31, 2005, HHS published the Final Rule for both sections.

NOTE: 5 C.F.R. Part 5501 subsections 104, 106, 109, 110, 111, and 112 do NOT apply to SGEs. None of the contents of 5 C.F.R. Part 5502 apply to SGEs.

Additional Resources

Note: Questions related the SGE Portal should be directed to: Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy (OFACP)

  • To Serve with Honor: Booklet for advisory committee members. Prepared by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), 2008.
  • The Ethical Choice: Ethics for Special Government Employees. A video presented by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE). The video follows three special government employees through some of the ethical hurdles they face in the course of their government work.

Updated: 2/15/21