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Post-Employment Conflict of Interest Restrictions; Revision of Departmental Component Designations

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Office of Government Ethics (OGE).


Final rule.


The Office of Government Ethics is issuing this rule to designate Start Printed Page 4682several departmental components, to revoke an existing component designation, and to change the names of two existing departmental components, for purposes of the one-year post-employment conflict of interest restriction at 18 U.S.C. 207(c).


This amendatory rule is effective January 30, 2003, except for the removal of the listing for the International Joint Commission, United States and Canada (American Section), as set forth in amendatory instruction 3, which is effective on April 30, 2003.

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Richard M. Thomas, Associate General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics; telephone: 202-208-8000, extension 1152; TDD: 202-208-8025; FAX: 202-208-8037.

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A. Substantive Discussion

The Director of OGE (Director) is authorized by 18 U.S.C. 207(h) to designate distinct and separate departmental or agency components in the executive branch for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207(c). The representational bar of 18 U.S.C. 207(c) usually extends to the whole of any department or agency in which a former senior employee served in any capacity during the year prior to termination from a senior employee position. However, eligible senior employees may be permitted to communicate to or appear before parts of their former department or agency if one or more components of the department or agency have been designated as separate agencies or bureaus by OGE.

As specified in 5 CFR 2641.201(e)(3)(iii), the Director of OGE “shall by rule make or revoke a component designation after considering the recommendation of the designated agency ethics official.” Component designations are listed in appendix B of 5 CFR part 2641. Pursuant to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 2641.201(e), several departments have forwarded letters to OGE recommending the amendment of appendix B since it was last revised in 1999 (64 FR 5709-5710 (February 5, 1999)). After carefully reviewing these recommendations in light of the criteria in 18 U.S.C. 207(h) as implemented in 5 CFR 2641.201(e)(6), the Director has determined to revise appendix B as explained below.

At the recommendation of the Department of Defense (DOD), the Director is designating the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as a distinct and separate component of that Department. NRO is charged, under 50 U.S.C. 403-5(b)(3), with responsibility for the “continued operation of an effective unified organization for the research and development, acquisition, and operation of overhead reconnaissance systems necessary to satisfy the requirements of all elements of the intelligence community.” NRO is the sole designer, builder and operator of the United States' reconnaissance satellites. According to DOD, NRO was omitted from the Department's original list of recommended components in 1990 because the existence of the NRO was, at that time and for several years thereafter, a highly classified fact. That is no longer the case, and NRO can now be designated as a new component of the DOD.

The Director is also granting the request of the Department of Labor to designate the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) as a distinct and separate component of that Department. ODEP is a new office established by legislation enacted on December 21, 2000, section 1(a)(1), Pub. L. 106-554, as codified at 29 U.S.C. 557b. The office, which is headed by an Assistant Secretary, is charged to “provide leadership, develop policy and initiatives, and award grants furthering the objective of eliminating barriers to the training and employment of people with disabilities.” 29 U.S.C. 557b.

As recommended by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Director is designating the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as a distinct and separate component of that Department. The FMCSA commenced operations on January 2, 2000. It was created pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, section 101(a), Pub. L. 106-159, as codified at 49 U.S.C. 113, to perform functions relating to motor carriers and motor carrier safety. These functions were previously performed by DOT's Federal Highway Administration.

Also pursuant to the recommendation of DOT, the Director is designating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as a distinct and separate component of that Department. Under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, section 101(a), Pub. L. 107-71, as codified at 49 U.S.C. 114, TSA was created as an administration of DOT, with the responsibility for civil aviation security as well as the security of other modes of transportation. Although the functions of TSA are expected to be transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security at a later time during 2003, this separate component designation will define the relationship between DOT and TSA with respect to section 207(c) immediately.

As requested by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the Director is designating the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a distinct and separate component of that Department. Under 31 U.S.C. 310, FinCEN is designated as a bureau in Treasury to provide trend analysis and threat assessments, regulate financial and other institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act, and foster international cooperation in efforts to deter and detect money laundering.

Additionally, as recommended by the Department of State, the Director is revoking the designation of the International Joint Commission, United States and Canada (American Section) (IJC). Section 207(h) of 18 U.S.C. authorizes the designation of agencies and bureaus “within” a department or agency. Although the IJC receives funding from the Department of State and Federal employees serve in its American Section, IJC is not a part of the Department of State. Rather, it is an international organization in which the United States participates. See, e.g., 22 U.S.C. 288 (IJC is among the international organizations in which the United States participates which are entitled to certain privileges, exemptions, and immunities).

Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has advised that the names of two HHS components currently listed in appendix B of part 2641 have been changed. According to HHS, the “Agency for Health Care Policy and Research” is now the “Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,” and the “Health Care Financing Administration” is now the “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.” Accordingly, the Director is amending the HHS listing in appendix B to reflect the current names of these components.

As indicated in 5 CFR 2641.201(e)(4), a designation “shall be effective as of the effective date of the rule that creates the designation, but shall not be effective as to employees who terminated senior service prior to that date.” Initial designations were effective as of January 1, 1991. The effective date of subsequent designations is indicated by means of parenthetical entries in appendix B. The new component designations made by this rulemaking document, as well as the component name changes being reflected herein (which do not affect their underlying component designation dates), are effective January 30, 2003. As also provided in 5 CFR 2641.201(e)(4), a revocation is effective 90 days after the Start Printed Page 4683effective date of the rule that revokes the designation. Accordingly, the component designation revocation made in this rulemaking will take effect April 30, 2003. Revocations are not effective as to any individual terminating senior service prior to the expiration of the 90-day period.

B. Matters of Regulatory Procedure

Administrative Procedure Act

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, as the Director of OGE, I find that good cause exists for waiving the general requirements for notice of proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public comment, and, except as to the component revocation (see the preamble discussion above), a 30-day delayed effective date. It is important and in the public interest that the designation or revocation herein by OGE of the specified separate departmental components, as well as the component name changes, all of which reflect the current organization of the concerned departments and, as to the new component designations, relieve a restriction, be published in the Federal Register and take effect as promptly as possible.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I certify under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects only Federal departments and agencies and current and former Federal employees.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply to this rule because it does not contain information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

For purposes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. chapter 25, subchapter II), the final rule would not significantly or uniquely affect small governments and would not result in increased expenditures by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (as adjusted for inflation) in any one year.

Congressional Review Act

The Office of Government Ethics has determined that this rulemaking involves a nonmajor rule under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 8) and has submitted a report thereon to the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and General Accounting Office in accordance with the law.

Executive Order 12866

In promulgating this final rule, the Office of Government Ethics has adhered to the regulatory philosophy and the applicable principles of regulation set forth in section 1 of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. This rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under that Executive order since it deals with agency organization, management, and personnel matters and is not “significant” under the order.

Executive Order 12988

As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I have reviewed this rule in light of section 3 of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, and certify that it meets the applicable standards provided therein.

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List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 2641

  • Conflict of interests
  • Government employees
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Approved: January 23, 2003.

Amy L. Comstock,

Director, Office of Government Ethics.

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Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Office of Government Ethics is amending 5 CFR part 2641 as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 2641 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); 18 U.S.C. 207; E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306.

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2. Effective January 30, 2003, appendix B to part 2641 is amended by revising the listings for the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Treasury to read as follows:

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Appendix B to Part 2641—Agency Components for Purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207(c)

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Parent: Department of Defense


Department of the Air Force

Department of the Army

Department of the Navy

Defense Information Systems Agency

Defense Intelligence Agency

Defense Logistics Agency

Defense Threat Reduction Agency (effective February 5, 1999)

National Imagery and Mapping Agency (effective May 16, 1997)

National Reconnaissance Office (effective January 30, 2003)

National Security Agency

Parent: Department of Health and Human Services


Administration on Aging (effective May 16, 1997)

Administration for Children and Families (effective January 28, 1992)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) (effective May 16, 1997)

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (effective May 16, 1997)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (effective May 16, 1997)

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly Health Care Financing Administration)

Food and Drug Administration

Health Resources and Services Administration (effective May 16, 1997)

Indian Health Service (effective May 16, 1997)

National Institutes of Health (effective May 16, 1997)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (effective May 16, 1997)

* * * * *

Parent: Department of Labor


Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment and Training Administration

Employment Standards Administration

Mine Safety and Health Administration

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Office of Disability Employment Policy (effective January 30, 2003)

Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (effective May 16, 1997)

* * * * *

Parent: Department of Transportation


Federal Aviation Administration

Federal Highway Administration

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (effective January 30, 2003)

Federal Railroad Administration

Federal Transit Administration

Maritime Administration

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Surface Transportation Board (effective May 16, 1997)

Transportation Security Administration (effective January 30, 2003) Start Printed Page 4684

United States Coast Guard

Parent: Department of the Treasury


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Bureau of the Mint

Bureau of the Public Debt

Comptroller of the Currency

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) (effective January 30, 2003)

Financial Management Service

Internal Revenue Service

Office of Thrift Supervision

United States Customs Service

United States Secret Service

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3. Effective April 30, 2003, appendix B to part 2641 is further amended by removing the word and colon “Components:” and adding in place thereof the word and colon “Component:” in the listing for the Department of State and by removing the “International Joint Commission, United States and Canada (American Section)” from that listing.

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[FR Doc. 03-2117 Filed 1-29-03; 8:45 am]