Executive Branch Ethics Information Sources
From OpenCongress Wiki
Executive Office of the President
OMB's predominant mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies. In helping to formulate the President's spending plans, OMB evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies, and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies, and sets funding priorities. OMB ensures that agency reports, rules, testimony, and proposed legislation are consistent with the President's Budget and with Administration policies.
In addition, OMB oversees and coordinates the Administration's procurement, financial management, information, and regulatory policies. In each of these areas, OMB's role is to help improve administrative management, to develop better performance measures and coordinating mechanisms, and to reduce any unnecessary burdens on the public.
Spending Tracking Databases
USASpending.gov was created and operated by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act) requires a single searchable website, accessible by the public for free that includes for each Federal award:
- the name of the entity receiving the award;
- the amount of the award;
- information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, etc;
- the location of the entity receiving the award;
- a unique identifier of the entity receiving the award.
USAspending.gov, a re-launch of www.fedspending.org, provides this information to the public, as collected from federal agencies, in an easy to use website. The data is largely from sources: the Federal Procurement Data System, which contains information about federal contracts; and the Federal Assistance Award Data System, which contains information about federal financial assistance such as grants, loans, insurance, and direct subsidies like Social Security.
OIRA develops and oversees several critical functions, including:
- The implementation of government-wide policies and standards with respect to Federal regulations and guidance documents;
- The quality, utility, and analytic rigor of information used to support public policy;
- Dissemination of and access to government information;
- Privacy and confidentiality;
- Electronic records; and
- Federal statistics.
OIRA reviews significant proposed and final rules as well as information collection requests prior to publication in the Federal Register. Coordinated review of agency rulemaking is necessary to ensure that regulatory actions do not conflict with the policies or actions taken or planned by another agency, are consistent with applicable law, the President's priorities, and the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866. The office is headed by a Presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Administrator.
OIRA offers their forms in .XML format. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg_xmlreports/
- Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites
- Updated Guidance on Developing a Handbook for Individuals Seeking Access to Public Information
- Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Amendments of 1990 and the Privacy Act of 1974
- Privacy Act Guidance
OIRA and Other Regulatory Information
RegInfo.gov: The public can use this site to search the the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and Regulatory Plan, as well as current and past OIRA regulatory reviews in accordance with EO 12866.
Regulations.gov: The public can use this site to send their comments electronically to agencies on Federal regulations published for comment in the Federal Register.
OFFM, led by the OMB Controller under the direction of the Deputy Director for Management, is responsible for the financial management policy of the Federal Government. OFFM responsibilities include implementing the financial management improvement priorities of the President, establishing government-wide financial management policies of executive agencies, and carrying out the financial management functions of the CFO Act.
- Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements (PDF)
- Programs to Identify and Recover Erroneous Payments to Contractors (PDF)
- OMB Issues Grants.gov FIND Policy (PDF)
General Services Administration
GSA provides workplaces by constructing, managing, and preserving government buildings and by leasing and managing commercial real estate. GSA's acquisition solutions offer private sector professional services, equipment, supplies, telecommunications, and information technology to government organizations and the military. GSA policies promote management best practices and efficient government operations.
The GSA oversees the Federal Advisory Committee Act as well as the Federal Business Opportunities (Fedbizopps), Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) databases.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act was enacted in 1972 to ensure that advice by the various advisory committees formed over the years is objective and accessible to the public. The Act formalized a process for establishing, operating, overseeing, and terminating these advisory bodies and created the Committee Management Secretariat to monitor compliance with the Act. FACA is overseen by the General Services Administration.
The chair of the committee has to file SF-278, other members don't have to make public disclosures.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) database is used by Federal agencies to continuously manage an average of 1,000 advisory committees government-wide. This database is also used by the Congress to perform oversight of related Executive Branch programs and by the public, the media, and others, to stay abreast of important developments resulting from advisory committee activities.
Each advisory committee’s Designated Federal Official (DFO) primarily uses the system to update the information on their advisory committee during the current fiscal year. For the Designated Federal Official, the program collects and displays
- Charters and related information,
- Members and their appointment information,
- The agency’s recommendation for continuation or termination of the committee,
- The number of the committee’s recommendations to the agency and the action taken on the recommendations,
- Report titles, publication dates, and the text of the report,
- Meeting purposes, dates, location, whether the meetings were open or closed, and the minutes or transcript,
- Activity and justification (raison d’etre) information,
- DFO appointment and contact information,
- Committee Decision Maker contact information,
- Web site addresses for the committee or accessing committee information like the minutes, reports, and recommendations, and
- Committee interest or issue areas.
The Committee Management Officer uses the program to collect, total, access, and/or display all the information available to the DFO mentioned above. Specifically for the CMO the program also collects, totals, accesses, and displays information that includes
- A current year list of agency advisory committees and the committees’ update status,
- An agency totals report of the distribution among committees of establishment authorities and committee functions, and the total meetings, reports, costs, and members,
- A listing of committee DFOs with their contact information,
- A complete set of the current annual comprehensive reviews for all the committees in the agency,
- The ability to add and manage agency users of the agency’s committees’ editable and reportable data,
- The ability to add a new committee to the FACA committee list online,
- A current status overview to quickly put the CMO in touch with the activity level of their committees as recorded in the online system and a growing set of heads-up/potential problem comparisons about and between agency committees,
- The available discretionary ceiling pertinent to the agency for new committees,
- The ability to create and manage sub-groups of committees within the agency, and
- E-mail listings for individuals in agency groups responsible for advisory committee activity.
In addition, when viewing an individual committee, the program allows the CMO to establish, renew, re-establish, amend, or terminate a committee, and upload a copy of the charter to the system
Spending Tracking Databases
- Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOps)
Fbo.gov, created and operated by the General Services Administration (GSA) since 2000, contains all federal solicitation information.
The purpose of EPLS, which was created and operated by the GSA, is to provide a single comprehensive list of individuals and firms excluded by Federal government agencies from receiving federal contracts or federally approved subcontracts and from certain types of federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits. The EPLS is used to keep agencies abreast of administrative, as well as, statutory exclusions taken throughout the Federal Government. Actions may be taken under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or supplements thereto, under specific agency regulations or under the Government-wide Nonprocurement Suspension and Debarment Common Rule [68 FR 66533] or other specific statutory authority.
FPDS, created and operated by the GSA, stores information on $250 billion worth of federal contracts awarded each year for goods and services. It provides detailed information on contracts above $25,000 and summary data on procurements below $25,000.
Department of Justice
Inspectors General Information
The primary responsiblities of the Attorneys General are to detect and prevent fraud, waste, abuse, and violations of law and to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the Federal Government.
Inspector General Reports
Federal Elections Commission
Campaigns and Campaign Finance
- compliance committee
- Candidate/Staff Legal Defense Funds
- See, e.g., Mike Espee, Clinton officials
- Rules committee
Divided into five offices:
- The Office of the Director (OD) provides overall direction to the executive branch ethics program and is responsible for ensuring that OGE fulfills its Congressional and Presidential mandates.
- The Office of International Assistance and Governance Initiatives (OIAGI) coordinates the Office's support of U.S. efforts in promoting international ethics and anti-corruption programs. It also coordinates the Office's good governance initiatives.
- The Office of General Counsel and Legal Policy (OGC & LP) is responsible for establishing and maintaining a uniform legal framework of Government ethics for executive branch employees. This Office develops executive branch ethics program policies and regulations, interprets laws and regulations, assists agencies in legal and policy implementations, and recommends changes in conflicts of interest and ethics statutes. It also responds to requests for information from the media, such as newspapers and wire services, and similar other news organizations. The Office also provides liaison to the Congress and to the Office of Management and Budget.
- The Office of Agency Programs (OAP) is responsible for monitoring and providing services to Federal executive branch agency ethics programs. This Office has three divisions: Program Services Division, Education Division, and the Program Review Division. The three divisions coordinate their services to assist agencies in carrying out their programs. They work closely with agencies to identify and resolve problem areas, provide educational materials and training, staying abreast of budgetary concerns and identifying the emergent issues to be addressed by OGE. The Office holds an annual ethics conference for government-wide ethics officials, as well as hosting smaller topic specific events quarterly during the year.
- The Office of Administration and Information Management (OAIM) provides essential support to all OGE operating programs through two divisions. The Administration Division has program responsibilities for: personnel, payroll, fiscal resource management, printed graphics, facilities and property management, travel, procurement, and the publishing and printing of materials. The Information Resource Management Division is responsible for telecommunications, web graphics, and records management; as well as the program management of information and web site technologies.
OGE Form 202: Notification of Conflict of Interest Referral
OGE Form 202: Notification of Conflict of Interest Referral (PDF)
Summary: For use in cases involving possible violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 203 (Compensation for Representation Affecting the Government), 205 (Representation Affecting the Government), 207-209 (207: Post-Employment, 208: Acts Affecting a Personal Financial Interest, and 209: Supplementation of Salary.) by current or former executive branch employees only.
SF 278: Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report
SF 278: Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report (PDF)
Summary: Financial Disclosure Reports include information about the source, type, amount, or value of the incomes of Members, officers, certain employees of the U.S. House of Representatives and related offices, and candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Is information available online or offline?
- Online: No
- Offline: Documents are available from the Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20005-3917. Can obtain up to 6 copies at once time.
- Application form is available online: OGE Form 201: Request to Inspect or Receive Copies of SF 278 Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Reports or Other Covered Records (PDF)
Who is covered?
- Candidates for nomination or election to the office of President or Vice President.
- Presidential nominees to positions requiring the advice and consent of the Senate, other than those nominated for judicial office or as a Foreign Service Officer or for appointment to a rank in the uniformed services at a pay grade of O-6, or below.
- The following newly elected or appointed officials:
- The President;
- The Vice President;
- Officers and employees (including special Government employees, as defined in 18 U.S.C.¤202) whose positions are classified above GS-15 of the General Schedule, or the rate of basic pay for which is fixed, other than under the General Schedule, at a rate equal to or greater than 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay for GS-15 of the General Schedule.
- Members of the uniformed services in pay grade O-7 or above;
- Officers or employees in any other positions determined by the Director of the Office of Government Ethics to be of equal classification to above GS-15;
- Administrative law judges;
- Employees in the excepted service in positions which are of a confidential or policy-making character, unless by regulation their positions have been excluded by the Director of the Office of Government Ethics;
- The Postmaster General, the Deputy Postmaster General, each Governor of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service and officers or employees of the U.S. Postal Service or Postal Rate Commission in positions for which the rate of basic pay is equal to or greater than 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay for GS-15 of the General Schedule;
- The Director of the Office of Government Ethics and each designated agency ethics official; and
- Civilian employees in the Executive Office of the President (other than special Government employees) who hold commissions of appointment from the President.
- Incumbent officials holding positions referred to in section II.c. of these instructions if they have served 61 days or more in the position during the preceding calendar year.
- Officials who have terminated employment after having served 61 days or more in a calendar year in a position referred to in section II.c. and have not accepted another such position within 30 days thereafter.
Are filings required on a regular basis: Yes
- If so, when:
- 30 days after becoming a candidate for nomination or election to the office of President or Vice President, or by May 15 of that calendar year, whichever is later, but at least 30 days before the election, and on or before May 15 of each succeeding year an individual continues to be a candidate.
- At any time after the President or President-elect has publicly announced an intention to nominate an individual referred to in section II.b. of these instructions, but no later than 5 days after the President transmits the nomination to the Senate.
- Within 30 days after assuming a position described in section II.c. unless such an individual has left another such position within 30 days prior to assuming the new position, or has already filed a report with respect to nomination for the new position (section II.b.) or as a candidate for the position (section II.a.).
- No later than May 15th annually, in the case of those in a position described in section II.d.
- In the event an individual terminates employment in the position and does not accept another position described in section II.c. within 30 days, the report must be filed no later than the 30th day after termination
Other: Reports of Members are printed annually by the Clerk and distributed as a House Document. Individuals who want to review the records must fill out a form stating name, address, and occupation. These requests are retained and made public for 6 years from the date of the request.
OGE Form 450: Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report
OGE Form 450: Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (PDF)
Summary: Nonpublic (confidential) financial disclosure by executive branch employees.
Who must file: Agencies are required to designate positions at or below GS-15, O-6, or comparable pay rates, in which the nature of duties may involve a potential conflict of interest. Examples include contracting, procurement, administering grants and licenses, regulating/auditing non-Federal entities, other activities having a substantial economic effect on non-Federal entities, or law enforcement. All special Government employees (SGEs) must file, unless exempted by their agency or subject to the public reporting system. Agencies may also require certain employees in positions above GS-15, O-6, or a comparable pay rate to file.
The Office of Personnel Management has three main responsibilities. Executive Order 13197 (2001) made formal OPM's responsibility to hold Executive departments and agencies more accountable to the President for effective human resources management (HRM). By amending Civil Service Rules V and VII and adding two new Civil Service rules, it:
- clarifies OPM's authority to require agencies to establish their own systems for ensuring that their HRM practices are consistent with merit system principles;
- clarifies OPM's authority to collect workforce information from agencies and strengthens OPM's authority to establish basic standards of quality for the agency information; and
- clarifies OPM's authority to review and report on agencies' HRM programs and practices that are outside Title 5, enabling OPM to share with other agencies information on the most effective programs while ensuring that any inconsistencies with merit system principles do not go unnoticed.
SF 85P: Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF85P.pdf (PDF) The U.S. Government conducts background investigations and reinvestigations to establish that applicants or incumbents either employed by the Government or working for the Government under contract, are suitable for the job and/or eligible for a public trust or sensitive position. Information from this form is used primarily as the basis for this investigation.
Is information available online or offline?
- Online: No
- Offline: Documents are not publicly available
Who is covered?
- Anyone who applies for a job with an agency which requires a security clearance
Are filings required on a regular basis: No, the form must be filled out after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
OPM-1623 Employment of Experts or Consultants (PDF) This annual report is required from all agencies that used or paid employees hired under section 3109 during the year reported. Each agency submits, by Feb. 28, one consolidated report covering the entire agency for the year ending Dec. 31.
Rules Specific to Agencies
An ex parte presentation is a communication directed to the merits or outcome of a proceeding that, if written, is not served on all the parties to a proceeding, and if oral, is made without advance notice to the parties and an opportunity for them to be present.
The ex parte rules specify three types of Commission proceedings for ex parte purposes --
- "Exempt" proceedings, in which ex parte presentations may be made freely
- "Permit-but-disclose" proceedings, in which ex parte presentations to Commission decision-making personnel are permissible but subject to certain disclosure requirements (i.e., a copy of written presentations and a summary of oral presentations must be filed in the record)
- "Restricted" proceedings, in which ex parte presentations to and from Commission decision-making personnel are generally prohibited (i.e., written materials must generally be served on all parties and all parties must have an opportunity to be present at oral presentations)
Ex parte presentations by members of Congress or their staffs and other federal agencies or their staffs need be disclosed only if they are of substantial significance and clearly intended to affect the ultimate decision in the proceeding. Disclosure of ex parte presentations by members of Congress or their staffs and other federal agencies or their staffs will generally be made by the Commission's staff.
In other circumstances, persons making written ex parte presentations must, no later than the next business day after the presentation, submit two copies of the presentation to the Commission's secretary under separate cover for inclusion in the public record. The presentation (and cover letter) must clearly identify the proceeding to which it relates, including the docket number, if any; must indicate that two copies have been submitted to the Secretary; and must be labeled as an ex parte presentation. If the presentation relates to more than one proceeding, two copies must be filed for each proceeding.
Persons making oral ex parte presentations must disclose them if they present data or arguments not already reflected in that person's written comments, memoranda or other filings in that proceeding. In that case, the person must, no later than the next business day after the presentation, submit to the Commission's Secretary, with copies to the Commissioners or Commission employees involved in the oral presentation, an original and one copy of a memorandum which summarizes the new data or arguments. The subject matter of the presentation must be fully disclosed; a mere listing of the subjects discussed is not sufficient, and more than a one or two sentence description of the views and arguments presented is required. The memorandum (and cover letter) must clearly identify the proceeding to which it relates, including the docket number, if any, must indicate that an original and one copy have been submitted to the Secretary, and must be labeled as an ex parte presentation. If the presentation relates to more than one proceeding, two copies of the memorandum (or an original and one copy) must be filed for each proceeding. There is an exception to these requirements where, for example, presentations occur in the form of discussion at a widely attended meeting, and preparation of a memorandum as specified in the rule might be cumbersome. Under these circumstances, the rule may be satisfied by submitting a transcript or tape recording of the discussion as an alternative to a memorandum.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Third Party Sources
Trac and TracFed
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) is a data gathering, data research and data distribution organization at Syracuse University.
The purpose of TRAC is to provide the American people — and institutions of oversight such as Congress, news organizations, public interest groups, businesses, scholars and lawyers — with comprehensive information about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities of the federal government.
TRAC is a free public web site that provides easy access to TRAC's published reports, spotlights, and other information, mostly about federal enforcement issues. TRACFED is a subscription site offering direct dynamic access to a wide range of federal data concerning enforcement, staffing, spending, and other matters.
Other Relevant Ethics Sources (Government, non Executive Branch
Spending Tracking Databases
PPIRS was created and operated by the Naval Sea Logistics Center Detachment, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The database provides the acquisition community timely and pertinent contractor performance information that can be used in making source selection decisions. Several collection tools submit data to PPIRS. The Department of Defense maintains three collection tools for its military departments and agencies, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration uses its own system, and most civilian departments and many independent agencies use the Contractor Performance System (CPS) managed by the National Institutes of Health. Civilian agencies are strongly encouraged to use the CPS as their collection tool, as it can be easily and seamlessly modified to meet agency-specific requirements.
ORCA is an e-Government initiative that was designed by the Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) to replace the paper based Representations and Certifications (Reps and Certs) process.
Other Sources of Past Performance Information
ACASS and CCASS past performance information systems are mandated for use by Department of Defense (DoD) agencies, and are also used by some civilian agencies. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the DoD Executive Agent for these systems and the Portland District Contractor Appraisal Information Center (CAIC) is the primary center to assist both government personnel and contractors in using these systems. ACASS & CCASS are now modules of DoD's Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) DoD Core Solution for Reporting of Contractor Performance Information. CPARS is hosted by the Navy Sea Logistics Center, Detachment Portsmouth, NH.
ACASS is a web-enabled application that supports the completion, distribution, and retrieval of Architect-Engineer (A-E) contract performance evaluations (DD Form 2631). ACASS is for UNCLASSIFIED use only. An evaluation assesses a contractor’s performance and provides a record, both positive and negative, on a given contract. Each evaluation is based on objective facts and supported by contract management data, such as quality of A-E services by discipline, and assessments of the attributes of the engineering services as to accuracy, thoroughness, schedules, cost constraints, technical capability, and other contract performance requirements.
CCASS is a web-enabled application that supports the completion, distribution, and retrieval of Construction contract performance evaluations (DD Form 2626). CCASS is for UNCLASSIFIED use only. An evaluation assesses a contractor’s performance and provides a record, both positive and negative, on a given contract. Each evaluation is based on objective facts and supported by contract management data, such as contract performance elements that evaluate quality, timely performance, effectiveness of management, and compliance with contract terms, labor standards, and safety requirements.
CPARS is used by the Navy, USMC, Air Force, DLA and other defense agencies.
CPARS is a web-enabled application that collects and manages the library of automated CPARs. CPARS is for UNCLASSIFIED use only. Classified information is not to be entered into this system. A CPAR assesses a contractor`s performance and provides a record, both positive and negative, on a given contract during a specific period of time. Each assessment is based on objective facts and supported by program and contract management data, such as cost performance reports, customer comments, quality reviews, technical interchange meetings, financial solvency assessments, construction/production management reviews, contractor operations reviews, functional performance evaluations, and earned contract incentives.
Designed, developed, and implemented by the NIH Center for Information Technology (CIT) under the guidance and sponsorship of the Office of Contracts Management, Office of the Director, NIH.
Supports acquisition activities in all fifty states and over 100 foreign countries. Contains evaluations from the following Federal Departments/Agencies: Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Treasury, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, Agency for International Development, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, General Services Administration, Department of Transportation, Department of Education, Department of State, Export-Import Bank and the Architect of the Capital.
Some Laws and Regulations Governing Executive Branch Ethics
The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of executive branch employees of the federal government, District of Columbia government and some state and local employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. Under amendments passed in 1993, most federal and D.C. employees are now permitted to take an active part in political management and political campaigns. A small group of federal employees are subject to greater restrictions and continue to be prohibited from engaging in partisan political management and partisan political campaigns. The Hatch Act also applies by extension to certain employees of state and local governments whose positions are primarily paid for by federal funds. It has been interpreted, for instance, to bar employees of state agencies administering federal unemployment insurance programs, or appointed local law enforcement agency officials with oversight of federal grant funds, from political activity.
Lobbying the Executive Branch
President Obama's January 21, 2009 Executive Order -- Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel
U.S. CODE: Title 31 Section 1352: Limitation on use of appropriated funds to influence certain Federal contracting and financial transactions
Summary: No proceeds of government contract may be used for lobbying
Disclosure of Lobbying Information -- SF-LLL
Sunlight's Bill Allison's blog post: Tracking Contractors and Lobbyists, and a Congressional Intervention
Copy of form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/sflllin.pdf
SF-LLL must be filed “for each payment or agreement to make payment to any lobbying entity for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with a covered Federal action,” with the phrase “a covered federal action” here meaning a federal contract, grant, loan, loan agreement, loan insurance, or a cooperative agreement.
Foreign Agents Registration Act
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938. FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. The FARA Registration Unit of the Counterespionage Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act.
- In what formats is the data made available?
- Bulk/aggregate data: Yes, downloadable in CSV format
- Individual data: Yes, downloadable in CSV format
- Format: Webform
- Years: Archives since at least 1947 available at FARA office, online archives since 2004
CRM 153: Registration Statement of Individuals (Foreign Agents)
Is information available online or offline?
- Online: Yes
- Application forms are available online:
- Offline: Yes
- Public information relating to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) may be obtained in person at the FARA Registration Unit Public Office located at: Department of Justice Registration Unit, 1400 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 100, Washington, D.C. 20005
Who is covered?
- Foreign governments
- Foreign political parties
- A person or organization outside the United States, except U. S. citizens, and any entity organized under the laws of a foreign country or having its principal place of business in a foreign country.
Who is exempt from FARA?
- Diplomats and officials of foreign governments, and their staffs, are exempt if properly recognized by the U.S. State Department.
- Persons whose activities are of a purely commercial nature or solely of a religious, scholastic, academic, scientific or fine arts nature are exempt.
- Certain soliciting or collecting of funds to be used for medical aid, or for food and clothing to relieve human suffering are also exempt.
- Lawyers engaged in legal representation of foreign principals in the courts or similar type proceedings, so long as the attorney does not try to influence policy at the behest of his client, are exempt.
- Any agent who is engaged in lobbying activities and is registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act is exempt from registration under FARA if the representation is not on behalf of a foreign government or foreign political party.
Are filings required on a regular basis: Yes
- If so, when:
- One must register within ten days of agreeing to become an agent and before performing any activities for the foreign principal.
Specific Rules and Guidelines for Executive Agencies
Federal Communications Commission
- 3rd party sponsored travel
- OGE, Pentagon might be the exception
- taxpayer paid travel
- USAF (?) keeps records
Personal Net Worth
Senate Office of Public Records: Lobbying Disclosure Act Database
Contacts with Outside Parties
- agreements with general counsel covering
- J Steven Giles (?)
- officials to cover situations where official doesn't want to divest
- revolving door waivers
Conflict of Interest
- don't cover
- contract specific
- specific disclosures
- Federal officials under investigation
- Office of Personnel Management
- tracks employees
Fields for Entry
- people in charge
- who's responsible
- define authority
- How often do you file?
- What is the deadline for filing?
- specific dates
- date due
- date public
- who collects?
- where to get
- form of filing
- electronic or paper
- groups that does something
- CRP for data?
- how far back
- have there been changes?
- FARA 1995
- what law made it necessary
- authorizing statute
- not huge priority
- appointment logs
- only available by FOIA right now
- Ex parte-FCC meetings
- regulatory meetings
- correspondence logs
- congressional communication with executive branch
include Personal Financial Disclosure forms (for high level appointees), Ethics Waivers granted by agencies, the FACA database, grants and contracts data (including redacted copies of contracts), FEC campaign finance data, independent agencies' ethics data (like the FCC's ex parte disclosures), SF-LLL lobbying reporting forms, contractors' conflict of interest forms, the Excluded Party List System database, and the FARA database.
U.S. Government Entities with Ethics/Conduct-related Authority http://www.usoge.gov/ethics_docs/misc_docs/odrelated_96.pdf (PDF)