U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 28, 2020

§ 2634.901 - Policies of confidential financial disclosure reporting.

(a) The confidential financial reporting system set forth in this subpart is designed to complement the public reporting system established by title I of the Act. High-level officials in the executive branch are required to report certain financial interests publicly to ensure that every citizen can have confidence in the integrity of the Federal Government. It is equally important in order to guarantee the efficient and honest operation of the Government that other, less senior, executive branch employees, whose Government duties involve the exercise of significant discretion in certain sensitive areas, report their financial interests and outside business activities to their employing agencies, to facilitate the review of possible conflicts of interest. These reports assist an agency in administering its ethics program and counseling its employees. Such reports are filed on a confidential basis.

(b) The confidential reporting system seeks from employees only that information which is relevant to the administration and application of criminal conflict of interest laws, administrative standards of conduct, and agency-specific statutory and program-related restrictions. The basic content of the reports required by § 2634.907 reflects that certain information is generally relevant to all agencies. However, depending upon an agency's authorized activities and any special or unique circumstances, additional information may be necessary. In these situations, and subject to the prior written approval of the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, agencies may formulate supplemental reporting requirements by following the procedures of §§ 2634.103 and 2634.601(b).

(c) This subpart also allows an agency to request, on a confidential basis, additional information from persons who are already subject to the public reporting requirements of this part. The public reporting requirements of the Act address Governmentwide concerns. The reporting requirements of this subpart allow agencies to confront special or unique agency concerns. If those concerns prompt an agency to seek more extensive reporting from employees who file public reports, it may proceed on a confidential, nonpublic basis, with prior written approval from the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, under the procedures of §§ 2634.103 and 2634.601(b).

(d) The reports filed pursuant to this subpart are specifically characterized as “confidential,” and are required to be withheld from the public, pursuant to section 107(a) of the Act. Section 107(a) leaves no discretion on this issue with the agencies. See also § 2634.604. Further, Executive Order 12674 as modified by Executive Order 12731 provides, in section 201(d), for a system of nonpublic (confidential) executive branch financial disclosure to complement the Act's system of public disclosure. The confidential reports provided for by this subpart contain sensitive commercial and financial information, as well as personal privacy-protected information. These reports and the information which they contain are, accordingly, exempt from being released to the public, under exemptions 3(A) and (B), 4, and 6 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3)(A) and (B), (b)(4), and (b)(6). Additional FOIA exemptions may apply to particular reports or portions of reports. Agency personnel will not publicly release the reports or the information which these reports contain, except pursuant to an order issued by a Federal court, or as otherwise provided under applicable provisions of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), and in the OGE/GOVT-2 Governmentwide executive branch Privacy Act system of records, as well as any applicable agency records system. If an agency statute requires the public reporting of certain information and, for purposes of convenience, an agency chooses to collect that information on the confidential report form filed under this subpart, only the special statutory information may be released to the public, pursuant to the terms of the statute under which it was collected.

(e) Executive branch agencies hire or use the paid and unpaid services of many individuals on an advisory or other less than full-time basis as special Government employees. These employees may include experts and consultants to the Government, as well as members of Government advisory committees. It is important for those agencies that utilize such services, and for the individuals who provide the services, to anticipate and avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest. The confidential financial disclosure system promotes that goal, with special Government employees among those required to file confidential reports.

(f) For additional policies and definitions of terms applicable to both the public and confidential reporting systems, see §§ 2634.104 and 2634.105.

§ 2634.902 - [Reserved]

§ 2634.903 - General requirements, filing dates, and extensions.

(a) Incumbents. A confidential filer who holds a position or office described in § 2634.904(a) and who performs the duties of that position or office for a period in excess of 60 days during the calendar year (including more than 60 days in an acting capacity) must file a confidential report as an incumbent, containing the information prescribed in §§ 2634.907 and 2634.908 on or before February 15 of the following year. This requirement does not apply if the employee has left Government service or has left a covered position prior to the due date for the report. No incumbent reports are required of special Government employees described in § 2634.904(a)(2), but who must file new entrant reports under paragraph (b) of this section upon each appointment or reappointment. For confidential filers under § 2634.904(a)(3), consult agency supplemental regulations.

(b) New entrants. (1) Not later than 30 days after assuming a new position or office described in § 2634.904(a) (which also encompasses the reappointment or redesignation of a special Government employee, including one who is serving on an advisory committee), a confidential filer must file a confidential report containing the information prescribed in §§ 2634.907 and 2634.908. For confidential filers under § 2634.904(a)(3), consult agency supplemental regulations.

(2) However, no report will be required if the individual:

(i) Has, within 30 days prior to assuming the position, left another position or office referred to in § 2634.904(a) or in § 2634.202, and has previously satisfied the reporting requirements applicable to that former position, but a copy of the report filed by the individual while in that position should be made available to the appointing agency, and the individual must comply with any agency requirement for a supplementary report for the new position;

(ii) Has already filed such a report in connection with consideration for appointment to the position. The agency may request that the individual update such a report if more than six months has expired since it was filed; or

(iii) Is not reasonably expected to perform the duties of an office or position referred to in § 2634.904(a) for more than 60 days in the following 12-month period, as determined by the designated agency ethics official or delegate. That may occur most commonly in the case of an employee who temporarily serves in an acting capacity in a position described by § 2634.904(a)(1). If the individual actually performs the duties of such position for more than 60 days in the 12-month period, then a confidential financial disclosure report must be filed within 15 calendar days after the sixtieth day of such service in the position. Paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section does not apply to new entrants filing as special Government employees under § 2634.904(a)(2).

(3) Notwithstanding the filing deadline prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, agencies may at their discretion, require that prospective entrants into positions described in § 2634.904(a) file their new entrant confidential financial disclosure reports prior to serving in such positions, to ensure that there are no insurmountable ethics concerns. Additionally, a special Government employee who has been appointed to serve on an advisory committee must file the required report before any advice is rendered by the employee to the agency, or in no event, later than the first committee meeting.

(c) Advisory committee definition. For purposes of this subpart, the term advisory committee will have the meaning given to that term under section 3 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app). Specifically, it means any committee, board, commission, council, conference, panel, task force, or other similar group which is established by statute or reorganization plan, or established or utilized by the President or one or more agencies, in the interest of obtaining advice or recommendations for the President or one or more agencies or officers of the Federal Government. Such term includes any subcommittee or other subgroup of any advisory committee, but does not include the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the Commission on Government Procurement, or any committee composed wholly of full-time officers or employees of the Federal Government.

(d) Extensions - (1) Agency extensions. The agency reviewing official may, for good cause shown, grant to any employee or class of employees a filing extension or several extensions totaling not more than 90 days.

(2) Certain service during period of national emergency. In the case of an active duty military officer or enlisted member of the Armed Forces, a Reserve or National Guard member on active duty under orders issued pursuant to title 10 or title 32 of the United States Code, a commissioned officer of the Uniformed Services (as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101), or any other employee, who is deployed or sent to a combat zone or required to perform services away from the employee's permanent duty station in support of the Armed Forces or other governmental entities following a declaration by the President of a national emergency, the date of filing will be extended to 90 days after the last day of:

(i) The employee's service in the combat zone or away from the employee's permanent duty station; or

(ii) The employee's hospitalization as a result of injury received or disease contracted while serving during the national emergency.

(3) Agency procedures. Each agency may prescribe procedures to provide for the implementation of the extensions provided for by this paragraph.

(e) Termination reports not required. An employee who is required to file a confidential financial disclosure report is not required to file a termination report upon leaving the filing position.

§ 2634.904 - Confidential filer defined.

(a) The term confidential filer includes:

(1) Each officer or employee in the executive branch whose position is classified at GS-15 or below of the General Schedule prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 5332,or,other,at; each officer or employee of the United States Postal Service or Postal Rate Commission whose basic rate of pay is less than 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay for GS-15 of the General Schedule; each member of a uniformed service whose pay grade is less than 0-7 under 37 U.S.C. 201; and each officer or employee in any other position determined by the designated agency ethics official to be of equal classification; if:

(i) The agency concludes that the duties and responsibilities of the employee's position require that employee to participate personally and substantially (as defined in §§ 2635.402(b)(4) and 2640.103(a)(2) of this chapter) through decision or the exercise of significant judgment, and without substantial supervision and review, in taking a Government action regarding:

(A) Contracting or procurement;

(B) Administering or monitoring grants, subsidies, licenses, or other federally conferred financial or operational benefits;

(C) Regulating or auditing any non-Federal entity; or

(D) Other activities in which the final decision or action will have a direct and substantial economic effect on the interests of any non-Federal entity; or

(ii) The agency concludes that the duties and responsibilities of the employee's position require the employee to file such a report to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest, or to carry out the purposes behind any statute, Executive order, rule, or regulation applicable to or administered by the employee. Positions which might be subject to a reporting requirement under this subparagraph include those with duties which involve investigating or prosecuting violations of criminal or civil law.

Example 1:A contracting officer develops the requests for proposals for data processing equipment of significant value which is to be purchased by his agency. He works with substantial independence of action and exercises significant judgment in developing the requests. By engaging in this activity, he is participating personally and substantially in the contracting process. The contracting officer should be required to file a confidential financial disclosure report. Example 2:An agency environmental engineer inspects a manufacturing plant to ascertain whether the plant complies with permits to release a certain effluent into a nearby stream. Any violation of the permit standards may result in civil penalties for the plant, and in criminal penalties for the plant's management based upon any action which they took to create the violation. If the agency engineer determines that the plant does not meet the permit requirements, he can require the plant to terminate release of the effluent until the plant satisfies the permit standards. Because the engineer exercises substantial discretion in regulating the plant's activities, and because his final decisions will have a substantial economic effect on the plant's interests, the engineer should be required to file a confidential financial disclosure report. Example 3:A GS-13 employee at an independent grant making agency conducts the initial agency review of grant applications from nonprofit organizations and advises the Deputy Assistant Chairman for Grants and Awards about the merits of each application. Although the process of reviewing the grant applications entails significant judgment, the employee's analysis and recommendations are reviewed by the Deputy Assistant Chairman, and the Assistant Chairman, before the Chairman decides what grants to award. Because his work is subject to “substantial supervision and review,” the employee is not required to file a confidential financial disclosure report unless the agency determines that filing is necessary under § 2634.904(a)(1)(ii). Example 4:As a senior investigator for a criminal law enforcement agency, an employee often leads investigations, with substantial independence, of suspected felonies. The investigator usually decides what information will be contained in the agency's report of the suspected misconduct. Because he participates personally and substantially through the exercise of significant judgment in investigating violations of criminal law, the investigator should be required to file a confidential financial disclosure report.

(2) Unless required to file public financial disclosure reports by subpart B of this part, all executive branch special Government employees who:

(i) Have a substantial role in the formulation of agency policy;

(ii) Serve on a Federal Advisory Committee; or

(iii) Meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

Example 1:A consultant to an agency periodically advises the agency regarding important foreign policy matters. The consultant must file a confidential report if he is retained as a special Government employee and not an independent contractor. Example 2:A special Government employee serving as a member of an advisory committee (who is not a private group representative) attends four committee meetings every year to provide advice to an agency about pharmaceutical matters. No compensation is received by the committee member, other than travel expenses. The advisory committee member must file a confidential disclosure report because she is a special Government employee.

(3) Each public filer referred to in § 2634.202 on public disclosure who is required by agency regulations and forms issued in accordance with §§ 2634.103 and 2634.601(b) to file a supplemental confidential financial disclosure report which contains information that is more extensive than the information required in the reporting individual's public financial disclosure report under this part.

(4) Any employee who, notwithstanding the employee's exclusion from the public financial reporting requirements of this part by virtue of a determination under § 2634.203, is covered by the criteria of paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) Any individual or class of individuals described in paragraph (a) of this section, including special Government employees unless otherwise noted, may be excluded from all or a portion of the confidential reporting requirements of this subpart, when the agency head or designee determines that the duties of a position make remote the possibility that the incumbent will be involved in a real or apparent conflict of interest.

Example 1:A special Government employee who is a draftsman prepares the drawings to be used by an agency in soliciting bids for construction work on a bridge. Because he is not involved in the contracting process associated with the construction, the likelihood that this action will create a conflict of interest is remote. As a result, the special Government employee is not required to file a confidential financial disclosure report. Example 2:An agency has just hired aGS-5 Procurement Assistant who is responsible for typing and processing procurement documents, answering status inquiries from the public, performing office support duties such as filing and copying, and maintaining an on-line contract database. The Assistant is not involved in contracting and has no other actual procurement responsibilities. Thus, the possibility that the Assistant will be involved in a real or apparent conflict of interest is remote, and the Assistant is not required to file.

§ 2634.905 - Use of alternative procedures.

Agencies are encouraged to consider whether an alternative procedure would allow the agency to more effectively assess possible conflicts of interest. With the prior written approval of OGE, an agency may use an alternative procedure in lieu of filing the OGE Form 450. The alternative procedure may be an agency-specific form to be filed in place thereof. An agency must submit for approval a description of its proposed alternative procedure to OGE.

Example 1:A nonsupervisory auditor at an agency is regularly assigned to cases involving possible loan improprieties by financial institutions. Prior to undertaking each enforcement review, the auditor reviews the file to determine if she has a conflict of interest. After determining that she has no conflict of interest, she signs and dates a certification which verifies that she has reviewed the file and has made such a determination. She then files the certification with the head of her auditing division at the agency. On the other hand, if she cannot execute the certification, she informs the head of her auditing division. In response, the division will either reassign the case or review the conflicting interest to determine whether a waiver would be appropriate. This alternative procedure, if approved by the Office of Government Ethics in writing, may be used in lieu of requiring the auditor to file a confidential financial disclosure report. Example 2:To reduce its workload, an agency proposes that employees may file a statement certifying there has been no change in reportable information and no change in the filer's position and duties and attaching the most recent OGE Form 450. This alternative procedure, if approved by the Office of Government Ethics in writing, may be used in lieu of requiring the filer to complete an OGE Form 450.

§ 2634.906 - Review of confidential filer status.

The head of each agency, or an officer designated by the head of the agency for that purpose, will review any complaint by an individual that the individual's position has been improperly determined by the agency to be one which requires the submission of a confidential financial disclosure report pursuant to this subpart. A decision by the agency head or designee regarding the complaint will be final.

§ 2634.907 - Report contents.

(a) Other than the reports described in § 2634.904(a)(3), each confidential financial disclosure report must comply with instructions issued by the Office of Government Ethics and include on the standardized form prescribed by OGE (see § 2634.601) the information described in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section for the filer. Each report must also include the information described in paragraph (h) of this section for the filer's spouse and dependent children.

(b) Noninvestment income. Each financial disclosure report must disclose the source of earned or other noninvestment income in excess of $1,000 received by the filer from any one source during the reporting period, including:

(1) Salaries, fees, commissions, wages and any other compensation for personal services (other than from United States Government employment);

(2) Any honoraria, including payments made or to be made to charitable organizations on behalf of the filer in lieu of honoraria; and

Note to paragraph (b)(2):

In determining whether an honorarium exceeds the $1,000 threshold, subtract any actual and necessary travel expenses incurred by the filer and one relative, if the expenses are paid or reimbursed by the filer. If such expenses are paid or reimbursed by the honorarium source, they will not be counted as part of the honorarium payment.

(3) Any other noninvestment income, such as prizes, scholarships, awards, gambling income or discharge of indebtedness.

Example to paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(3):A filer teaches a course at a local community college, for which she receives a salary of $3,000 per year. She also received, during the previous reporting period, a $1,250 award for outstanding local community service. She must disclose both.

(c) Assets and investment income. Each financial disclosure report must disclose separately:

(1) Each item of real and personal property having a fair market value in excess of $1,000 held by the filer at the end of the reporting period in a trade or business, or for investment or the production of income, including but not limited to:

(i) Real estate;

(ii) Stocks, bonds, securities, and futures contracts;

(iii) Sector mutual funds, sector exchange-traded funds, and other pooled investment funds;

(iv) Pensions and annuities;

(v) Vested beneficial interests in trusts;

(vi) Ownership interest in businesses and partnerships; and

(vii) Accounts receivable.

(2) The source of investment income (dividends, rents, interest, capital gains, or the income from qualified or excepted trusts or excepted investment funds (see paragraph (i) of this section)), which is received by the filer during the reporting period, and which exceeds $1,000 in amount or value from any one source, including but not limited to income derived from:

(i) Real estate;

(ii) Collectible items;

(iii) Stocks, bonds, and notes;

(iv) Copyrights;

(v) Vested beneficial interests in trusts and estates;

(vi) Pensions;

(vii) Sector mutual funds (see definition at § 2640.102(q) of this chapter);

(viii) The investment portion of life insurance contracts;

(ix) Loans;

(x) Gross income from a business;

(xi) Distributive share of a partnership;

(xii) Joint business venture income; and

(xiii) Payments from an estate or an annuity or endowment contract.

Note to paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2):

For Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), brokerage accounts, trusts, mutual or pension funds, and other entities with portfolio holdings, each underlying asset must be separately disclosed, unless the entity qualifies for special treatment under paragraph (i) of this section.

(3) Exceptions. The following assets and investment income are excepted from the reporting requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section:

(i) A personal residence, as defined in § 2634.105(l);

(ii) Accounts (including both demand and time deposits) in depository institutions, including banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and similar depository financial institutions;

(iii) Money market mutual funds and accounts;

(iv) U.S. Government obligations, including Treasury bonds, bills, notes, and savings bonds;

(v) Government securities issued by U.S. Government agencies;

(vi) Financial interests in any retirement system of the United States (including the Thrift Savings Plan) or under the Social Security Act;

(vii) Financial interest in any diversified fund held in any pension plan established or maintained by State government or any political subdivision of a State government for its employees;

(viii) A diversified fund in an employee benefit plan; and

(ix) Diversified mutual funds and unit investment trusts.

Note to paragraphs (c)(3)(vii) through (ix):

For purposes of this section, “diversified” means that the fund does not have a stated policy of concentrating its investments in any industry, business, single country other than the United States, or bonds of a single State within the United States and, in the case of an employee benefit plan, means that the plan's independent trustee has a written policy of varying plan investments. Whether a fund meets this standard may be determined by checking the fund's prospectus or by calling a broker or the manager of the fund.

Example 1:A filer owns a beach house which he rents out for several weeks each summer, receiving annual rental income of approximately $5,000. He must report the rental property, as well as the city and state in which it is located. Example 2:A filer's investment portfolio consists of several stocks, U.S. Treasury bonds, several cash bank deposit accounts, an account in the Government's Thrift Savings Plan, and shares in sector mutual funds and diversified mutual funds. He must report the name of each sector mutual fund in which he owns shares, and the name of each company in which he owns stock, valued at over $1,000 at the end of the reporting period or from which he received income of more than $1,000 during the reporting period. He need not report his diversified mutual funds, U.S. Treasury bonds, bank deposit accounts, or Thrift Savings Plan holdings.

(d) Liabilities. Each financial disclosure report filed pursuant to this subpart must identify liabilities in excess of $10,000 owed by the filer at any time during the reporting period, and the name and location of the creditors to whom such liabilities are owed, except:

(1) Personal liabilities owed to a spouse or to the parent, brother, sister, or child of the filer, spouse, or dependent child;

(2) Any mortgage secured by a personal residence of the filer or the filer's spouse;

(3) Any loan secured by a personal motor vehicle, household furniture, or appliances, provided that the loan does not exceed the purchase price of the item which secures it;

(4) Any revolving charge account;

(5) Any student loan; and

(6) Any loan from a bank or other financial institution on terms generally available to the public.

Example:A filer owes $2,500 to his mother-in-law and $12,000 to his best friend. He also has a $15,000 balance on his credit card, a $200,000 mortgage on his personal residence, and a car loan. Under the financial disclosure reporting requirements, he need not report the debt to his mother-in-law, his credit card balance, his mortgage, or his car loan. He must, however, report the debt of over $10,000 to his best friend.

(e) Positions with non-Federal organizations - (1) In general. Each financial disclosure report filed pursuant to this subpart must identify all positions held at any time by the filer during the reporting period, other than with the United States, as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, proprietor, representative, executor, employee, or consultant of any corporation, company, firm, partnership, trust, or other business enterprise, any nonprofit organization, any labor organization, or any educational or other institution.

(2) Exceptions. The following positions are excepted from the reporting requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section:

(i) Positions held in religious, social, fraternal, or political entities; and

(ii) Positions solely of an honorary nature, such as those with an emeritus designation.

Example 1:A filer holds outside positions as the trustee of his family trust, the secretary of a local political party committee, and the “Chairman” of his town's Lions Club. He also is a principal of a tutoring school on weekends. The individual must report his outside positions as trustee of the family trust and as principal of the school. He does not need to report his positions as secretary of the local political party committee or “Chairman” because each of these positions is excepted from disclosure. Example 2:An official recently terminated her role as the managing member of a limited liability corporation upon appointment to a position in the executive branch. The managing member position must be disclosed in the official's new entrant financial disclosure report pursuant to this section. Example 3:An official is a member of the board of his church. The official does not need to disclose the position in his financial disclosure report. Example 4:An official is an officer in a fraternal organization that exists for the purpose of performing service work in the community. The official does not need to disclose this position in her financial disclosure report. Example 5:An official is the ceremonial Parade Marshal for a local town's annual Founders' Day event and, in that capacity, leads a parade and serves as Master of Ceremonies for an awards ceremony at the town hall. The official does not need to disclose this position in her financial disclosure report. Example 6:An official recently terminated his role as a campaign manager for a candidate for the Office of the President of the United States upon appointment to a noncareer position in the executive branch. The official does not need to disclose the campaign manager position in his financial disclosure report. Example 7:Immediately prior to her recent appointment to a position in an agency, an official terminated her employment as a corporate officer. In connection with her employment, she served for several years as the corporation's representative to an incorporated association that represents members of the industry in which the corporation operates. She does not need to disclose her role as her employer's representative to the association because she performed her representative duties in her capacity as a corporate officer. Example 8:An official holds a position on the board of directors of a local food bank. The official must disclose the position in his financial disclosure report.

(f) Agreements and arrangements. Each financial disclosure report filed pursuant to this subpart must identify the parties to, and must briefly describe the terms of, any agreement or arrangement of the filer in existence at any time during the reporting period with respect to:

(1) Future employment (including the date on which the filer entered into the agreement for future employment);

(2) A leave of absence from employment during the period of the filer's Government service;

(3) Continuation of payments by a current or former employer other than the United States Government; and

(4) Continuing participation in an employee welfare or benefit plan maintained by a current or former employer other than the United States Government. Confidential filers are not required to disclose continuing participation in a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) plan, to which a former employer is no longer making contributions.

Note to paragraph (f)(4):

Even if the agreement is not reportable, the filer must disclose any reportable asset, such as a sector fund or a stock, held in the account.

Example 1:A filer plans to retire from Government service in eight months. She has negotiated an arrangement for part-time employment with a private-sector company, to commence upon her retirement. On her financial disclosure report, she must identify the future employer, and briefly describe the terms of, this agreement and disclose the date on which she entered into the agreement. Example 2:A new employee has entered a position which requires the filing of a confidential form. During his Government tenure, he will continue to receive deferred compensation from his former employer and will continue to participate in its pension plan. He must report the receipt of deferred compensation and the participation in the defined benefit plan. Example 3:An employee has a defined contribution plan with a former employer. The employer no longer makes contributions to the plan. In the account, the employee holds shares worth $15,000 in an S&P 500 Index fund and shares worth $7,000 in an U.S. Financial Services fund. The employee does not need to disclose either the agreement to continue to participate in the plan or the S&P 500 Index Fund. The employee must disclose the U.S. Financial Services Fund sector fund.

(g) Gifts and travel reimbursements. (1) Each annual financial disclosure report filed pursuant to this subpart must contain a brief description of all gifts and travel reimbursements aggregating more than $415 in value which are received by the filer during the reporting period from any one source, as well as the identity of the source. For travel-related items, the report must include a travel itinerary, the dates, and the nature of expenses provided. Special government employees are not required to report the travel reimbursements received from their non-Federal employers.

(2) Aggregation exception. Any gift or travel reimbursement with a fair market value of $166 or less need not be aggregated for purposes of the reporting rules of this section. However, the acceptance of gifts, whether or not reportable, is subject to the restrictions imposed by Executive Order 12674, as modified by Executive Order 12731, and the implementing regulations on standards of ethical conduct.

Note to paragraph (g)(2):

The Office of Government Ethics sets these amounts every 3 years using the same disclosure thresholds as those for public financial disclosure filers. In 2020, the reporting thresholds were set at $415 and the aggregation threshold was set at $166. The Office of Government Ethics will update this part in 2023 and every three years thereafter to reflect the new amount.

(3) Valuation of gifts and travel reimbursements. The value to be assigned to a gift or travel reimbursement is its fair market value. For most reimbursements, this will be the amount actually received. For gifts, the value should be determined in one of the following manners:

(i) If the gift is readily available in the market, the value will be its retail price. The filer need not contact the donor, but may contact a retail establishment selling similar items to determine the present cost in the market.

(ii) If the item is not readily available in the market, such as a piece of art, the filer may make a good faith estimate of the value of the item.

(iii) The term “readily available in the market” means that an item generally is available for retail purchase.

(4) New entrants, as described in § 2634.903(b), need not report any information on gifts and travel reimbursements.

(5) Exceptions. Reports need not contain any information about gifts and travel reimbursements received from relatives (see § 2634.105(o)) or during a period in which the filer was not an officer or employee of the Federal Government. Additionally, any food, lodging, or entertainment received as “personal hospitality of any individual,” as defined in § 2634.105(k), need not be reported. See also exclusions specified in the definitions of “gift” and “reimbursement” at § 2634.105(h) and (n).

Example:A filer accepts a laptop bag, a t-shirt, and a cell phone from a community service organization he has worked with solely in his private capacity. He determines that the value of these gifts is: Gift 1 - Laptop bag: $200 Gift 2 - T-shirt: $20 Gift 3 - Cell phone: $275 The filer must disclose Gift 1 and Gift 3 because, together, they aggregate more than $415 in value from the same source. He need not aggregate or report Gift 2 because the gift's value does not exceed $166.

(h) Disclosure rules for spouses and dependent children - (1) Noninvestment income. (i) Each financial disclosure report required by the provisions of this subpart must disclose the source of earned income in excess of $1,000 from any one source, which is received by the filer's spouse during the reporting period. If earned income is derived from a spouse's self-employment in a business or profession, the report must disclose the nature of the business or profession. The filer is not required to report other noninvestment income received by the spouse such as prizes, scholarships, awards, gambling income, or a discharge of indebtedness.

(ii) Each report must disclose the source of any honoraria received by the spouse (or payments made or to be made to charity on the spouse's behalf in lieu of honoraria) in excess of $1,000 from any one source during the reporting period.

Example to paragraph (h)(1):A filer's husband has a seasonal part-time job as a sales clerk at a department store, for which he receives a salary of $1,000 per year, and an honorarium of $1,250 from the state university. The filer need not report her husband's outside earned income because it did not exceed $1,000. She must, however, report the source of the honorarium because it exceeded $1,000.

(2) Assets and investment income. Each confidential financial disclosure report must disclose the assets and investment income described in paragraph (c) of this section and held by the spouse or dependent child of the filer.

(3) Liabilities. Each confidential financial disclosure report must disclose all information concerning liabilities described in paragraph (d) of this section and owed by a spouse or dependent child.

(4) Gifts and travel reimbursements. (i) Each annual confidential financial disclosure report must disclose gifts and reimbursements described in paragraph (g) of this section and received by a spouse or dependent child which are not received totally independently of their relationship to the filer.

(ii) A filer who is a new entrant as described in § 2634.903(b) is not required to report information regarding gifts and reimbursements received by a spouse or dependent child.

(5) Divorce and separation. A filer need not report any information about:

(i) A spouse living separate and apart from the filer with the intention of terminating the marriage or providing for permanent separation;

(ii) A former spouse or a spouse from whom the filer is permanently separated; or

(iii) Any income or obligations of the filer arising from dissolution of the filer's marriage or permanent separation from a spouse.

Example:A filer and her husband are living apart in anticipation of divorcing. The filer need not report any information about her spouse's sole assets and liabilities, but she must continue to report their joint assets and liabilities.

(6) Unusual circumstances. In very rare cases, certain interests in property, transactions, and liabilities of a spouse or a dependent child are excluded from reporting requirements, provided that each requirement of this paragraph is strictly met.

(i) The filer must certify without qualification that the item represents the spouse's or dependent child's sole financial interest or responsibility, and that the filer has no knowledge regarding that item;

(ii) The item must not be in any way, past or present, derived from the income, assets or activities of the filer; and

(iii) The filer must not derive, or expect to derive, any financial or economic benefit from the item.

Note to paragraph (h)(6):

The exception described in paragraph (6) of this section is not available to most filers. One who prepares or files a joint tax return with a spouse will normally derive a financial or economic benefit from assets held by the spouse, and will also be presumed to have knowledge of such items; therefore one could not avail oneself of this exception after preparing or filing a joint tax return. If the filer and the spouse cohabitate and share household expenses, the filer will be deemed to derive an economic benefit from the item, unless the item is beyond the filer's control.

Example:The spouse of a filer has a managed account with a brokerage firm. The filer knows the account exists but the spouse does not share any information about the holdings and does not want the information disclosed on a financial disclosure statement. The filer must disclose the holdings in the spouse's managed account because the spouse shares in paying expenses (for example, household, vacation, or child related).

(i) Trusts, estates, and investment funds - (1) In general. (i) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each confidential financial disclosure report must include the information required by this subpart about the holdings of any trust, estate, investment fund or other financial arrangement from which income is received by, or with respect to which a beneficial interest in principal or income is held by, the filer, the filer's spouse, or dependent child.

(ii) Information about the underlying holdings of a trust is required if the filer, filer's spouse, or dependent child currently is entitled to receive income from the trust or is entitled to access the principal of the trust. If a filer, filer's spouse, or dependent child has a beneficial interest in a trust that either will provide income or the ability to access the principal in the future, the filer should determine whether there is a vested interest in the trust under controlling state law. However, no information about the underlying holdings of the trust is required for a nonvested beneficial interest in the principal or income of a trust.

Note to paragraph (i)(1):

Nothing in this section requires the reporting of the holdings of a revocable inter vivos trust (also known as a “living trust”) with respect to which the filer, the filer's spouse or dependent child has only a remainder interest, whether or not vested, provided that the grantor of the trust is neither the filer, the filer's spouse, nor the filer's dependent child. Furthermore, nothing in this section requires the reporting of the holdings of a revocable inter vivos trust from which the filer, the filer's spouse or dependent child receives any discretionary distribution, provided that the grantor of the trust is neither the filer, the filer's spouse, nor the filer's dependent child.

(2) Qualified trusts and excepted trusts. (i) A filer should not report information about the holdings of any qualified blind trust (as defined in § 2634.402) or any qualified diversified trust (as defined in § 2634.402).

(ii) In the case of an excepted trust, a filer should indicate the general nature of its holdings, to the extent known, but does not otherwise need to report information about the trust's holdings. For purposes of this part, the term “excepted trust” means a trust:

(A) Which was not created directly by the filer, spouse, or dependent child; and

(B) The holdings or sources of income of which the filer, spouse, or dependent child have no specific knowledge through a report, disclosure, or constructive receipt, whether intended or inadvertent.

(3) Excepted investment funds. (i) No information is required under paragraph (i)(1) of this section about the underlying holdings of an excepted investment fund as defined in paragraph (i)(3)(ii) of this section, except that the fund itself must be identified as an interest in property and/or a source of income.

(ii) For purposes of financial disclosure reports filed under the provisions of this subpart, an “excepted investment fund” means a widely held investment fund (whether a mutual fund, regulated investment company, common trust fund maintained by a bank or similar financial institution, pension or deferred compensation plan, or any other investment fund), if:

(A)(1) The fund is publicly traded or available; or

(2) The assets of the fund are widely diversified; and

(B) The filer neither exercises control over nor has the ability to exercise control over the financial interests held by the fund.

(iii) A fund is widely diversified if it does not have a stated policy of concentrating its investments in any industry, business, single country other than the United States, or bonds of a single State within the United States.

Note to paragraph (i)(3):

The fact that an investment fund qualifies as an excepted investment fund is not relevant to a determination as to whether the investment qualifies for an exemption to the criminal conflict of interest statute at 18 U.S.C. 208(a), pursuant to part 2640 of this chapter. Some excepted investment funds qualify for exemptions pursuant to part 2640, while other excepted investment funds do not qualify for such exemptions. If an employee holds an excepted investment fund that is not exempt from 18 U.S.C. 208(a), the ethics official may need additional information from the filer to determine if the holdings of the fund create a conflict of interest and should advise the employee to monitor the fund's holdings for potential conflicts of interest.

(j) Special rules. (1) Political campaign funds, including campaign receipts and expenditures, need not be included in any report filed under this subpart. However, if the individual has authority to exercise control over the fund's assets for personal use rather than campaign or political purposes, that portion of the fund over which such authority exists must be reported.

(2) With permission of the designated agency ethics official, a filer may attach to the reporting form a copy of a statement which, in a clear and concise fashion, readily discloses all information which the filer would otherwise have been required to enter on the concerned part of the report form.

(k) For reports of confidential filers described in § 2634.904(a)(3), each supplemental confidential financial disclosure report will include only the supplemental information:

(1) Which is more extensive than that required in the reporting individual's public financial disclosure report under this part; and

(2) Which has been approved by the Office of Government Ethics for collection by the agency concerned, as set forth in supplemental agency regulations and forms, issued under §§ 2634.103 and 2634.601(b) (see § 2634.901(b) and (c)).

[83 FR 33981, July 18, 2018, as amended at 85 FR 36716, June 18, 2020]

§ 2634.908 - Reporting periods.

(a) Incumbents. Each confidential financial disclosure report filed under § 2634.903(a) must include the information required to be reported under this subpart for the preceding calendar year, or for any portion of that period not covered by a previous confidential or public financial disclosure report filed under this part.

(b) New entrants. Each confidential financial disclosure report filed under § 2634.903(b) must include the information required to be reported under this subpart for the following reporting periods:

(1) Noninvestment income for the preceding 12 months;

(2) Assets held on the date of filing. New entrant filers are not required to report assets no longer held at the time of appointment, even if the assets previously produced income before the filers were appointed to their confidential positions;

(3) Liabilities owed on the date of filing;

(4) Positions with non-Federal organizations for the preceding 12 months; and

(5) Agreements and arrangements held on the date of filing.

§ 2634.909 - Procedures, penalties, and ethics agreements.

(a) The provisions of subpart F of this part govern the filing procedures and forms for, and the custody and review of, confidential disclosure reports filed under this subpart.

(b) For penalties and remedial action which apply in the event that the reporting individual fails to file, falsifies information, or files late with respect to confidential financial disclosure reports, see subpart G of this part.

(c) Subpart H of this part on ethics agreements applies to both the public and confidential reporting systems under this part.