Employee Participation in Non-Federal Organizations by 79b9d9e9fc60e297

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									                                   2006 SEA Training


                      Caryl J. Butcher
                      NRCS Ethics Officer



                      Telephone: (301) 504-2207
                           Fax: (301) 504-6183


                      TARGET Audience
                      State Ethics Advisors



Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 1
                                   2006 SEA Training

           NRCS Ethics Office (301) 504-2202

           Caryl Butcher……………. NRCS Ethics Officer
            (301) 504-2207

           Markci Metcalf…………… Ethics Specialist
            (301) 504-0385

           Debbie Griffin…………….. Ethics Assistant
           (301) 504-2202

           Ginae Barnett…………….. Student Intern
           (301) 504-2204

                                               * BJ Scruggs is on extended detail.

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                   Slide 2
                                     2006 SEA Training
         Discussion Focus
                Relations with Non-Federal Organizations
                  How to Avoid Conflicting Interests
                          Participation With Non-Federal Organizations
                                               COI
                                               Prohibited Representation
                                               Misuse of Position
                                          How to Continue Appropriate Support for Partners
         Other Areas you must know:
                 Accepting Stuff
                    Outside Gifts
                    Non-Federal Travel Assistance
                    Awards
                 Fundraising
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                       Slide 3
                                   2006 SEA Training
  Statutory Authority -- What NRCS may do

  Ethics Laws and Regulations -- What employees may/may not do
                Criminal Statutes [18 USC 201-209]
                Standards of Ethical Conduct [5 CFR Part 2635]
                USDA Supplemental Ethics Regulation [5 CFR 8301]
                Employee Responsibilities & Conduct Regulation [5 CFR 735]
                Hatch Act and Anti-Lobbying Provisions
                Fundraising [5 CFR Part 950]
                Post Employment Restrictions [5 CFR 2641]
                USDA EI 00-1, Participation in Non-Federal Organizations
                USDA EI 04-2, Adjunct Professors

   Benefits to Employee Organizations– What may be allowed
                   DR-4020-251 [January 24, 2006]
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006            Slide 4
                                   2006 SEA Training

Warm Up             Can an employee be the NRCS liaison to an organization if:
                     Officer or member of the board of directors?                     No*
                     Committee or subcommittee chairperson?                           No
                     Leading an activity for the organization?                        No
                     Member?                                                          Yes**

                    A Board Members asks the Liaison if she might
                    consider working for them when she retires --
                     Does this have any affect now?                                   Yes

                    NRCS employee handles district or Council funds?
                     Problem?                                   Yes

                        * Except for SARE and Rural Development Councils
                        ** Except if member of Conservation District or association.
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                             Slide 5
                                   2006 SEA Training
         Assessment to the Under Secretary

         B.          FACTORS
                  1. Risk Assessment
                     NRCS:
                        Initial Assessment                           “High”
                        Current Assessment                           “Moderately High”
                  In NRCS “. . . ethics risks are much higher than in
                  most mission areas.”
                  “One area of particular concern has been the involvement of
                  NRCS employees in partnering agreements. Traditionally,
                  there has been a risk (not just in terms of NRCS partnerships)
                  for agency employees to become so active in supporting the
                  partnership that they become, essentially, agents of the
                  partners. NRCS is an agency that partners aggressively.
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                       Slide 6
                                   2006 SEA Training

         “Grade for “Risk Assessment” downgraded to
         “Moderately High.” (continued)

         “Based upon our assessment, Chief Knight requested
         that OE review all new and renewed NRCS partnership
         agreements to ensure that the document makes clear
         both to participating employees and to partnering
         organizations where the lines of loyalty run. Other
         discussions with Chief Knight have concerned the
         relationships between NRCS... and… universities… .




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 7
                                   2006 SEA Training

         “Grade for “Risk Assessment” downgraded to
         “Moderately High.” (continued)

           The Chief is quite open to whatever reasonable means
           are devised to ensure that these activities do not result in
           inordinate ethics risks. To that end, OE and OGC are
           working on issuances designed to provide practical
           guidance to employees on those issues. Accordingly,
           given the Chief’s assertive involvement, we believe that
           the NRCS Risk Assessment can be lowered to
           “Moderately High”.”




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006        Slide 8
                                   2006 SEA Training

           There are restrictions on:
                    Who can be the NRCS Liaison
                    What an NRCS Liaison can do
                         Partner
                         For-profit or Non-profit
                         University or Other non-Federal organization
                         Agreement or MOU
                         State or local government
                         Tribe
                         IPA
                         Etc.


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006       Slide 9
                                   2006 SEA Training

        Safeguards:
                 Liaison Designation
                 Cooperative Agreements



        See:
                 USDA Ethics Issuance 00-1
                 GM Title 110 Part 405.15(b)(1) and (d)
                 Other NRCS directives




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 10
                                   2006 SEA Training

         Liaison Designation Form (Workbook)

               For Liaison* to a non-Federal Entity

                          Issued by a senior official**
                          Protects NRCS
                        Assists          the Liaison to understand key do’s and don’ts



                       * Includes all RC&D Coordinators (NRCS employees).
                         Generally does not include DC’s.
                       **Division Directors and Above, RAC or STC


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                   Slide 11
                                   2006 SEA Training

        Communicates Restrictions and Where Lines of
        Loyalty Must Run
        “During your service as Agency Liaison, you are, at all times, to act
        as a representative solely of the interests of the Agency and the
        United States; you shall not (1) serve as an officer, board member,
        or employee, or (2) act as agent or representative, of the
        Association. Your service as Agency Liaison is to conform to the
        requirements of 18 U.S.C. 201-209 and to the Standards of Ethical
        Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 C.F.R. part 2635.
        …”
                                 Liaisons must:
                                         Avoid conflicting interests
                                           Be clear about lines of loyal
                                         Avoid       prohibited activity

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006          Slide 12
                                   2006 SEA Training

                Official business must NEVER include:
                        Lobbying
                        Political Activity
                        Fundraising
                        Internal business of the organization



                           The list of rules that restrict relations and
                           activities with non-Federals is actually
                           much longer.




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006         Slide 13
Ethics Rules Affect Relations with Non-Federal Organizations

         Conflicts of Interests                                    Outside  Employment
         Impartiality                                              Seeking Employment
         Misuse of Position                                        Gifts from Outside Sources
         Prohibited                                                Agency Gifts

         Representation                                             Door Prizes at Conferences
         Dual Compensation                                         Teaching, Speaking and Writing
          Lobbying                                                  Appropriations Law
          Hatch Act                                                 Outsourcing
          Fundraising                                               Emoluments Provision
         Adjunct Professors
          Outside Awards
          Travel Assistance


                      * Time permitting, or take on AgLearn.
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                                 Slide 14
                                   2006 SEA Training
        The NRCS Liaison must not:

          Vote on matters before the Association Board of
             Directors*;

          Serve on committees or task groups unrelated to the
             “purpose statement” for your service as Agency Liaison
             in the Liaison Assignment letter.

          Participate in issues related solely to the business or
             internal interests of the Association (e.g., finances,
             fundraising, membership, etc.);




                        * Except for SARE and Rural Development Councils


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006         Slide 15
                                   2006 SEA Training
     The NRCS Liaison must not: (continued)

     Engage in lobbying efforts or representation of the
     Association’s interests before the Federal Government
     [This does not preclude presenting to the Agency the positions or views
     of the Association on matters directly related to the interests of the
     Agency being served through your service as Agency Liaison];

     Actively participate in Association activities in your personal
     capacity unless you receive written ethics clearance to do so
     [Does not preclude membership; however, refrain from active
     participation (e.g., fundraising, holding office or board membership,
     employment, committee activities, lobbying, etc.)].
     Supervise their employees


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006           Slide 16
                                   2006 SEA Training
        What should you do?

        1. A Deputy Chief asks you to be the Liaison to the Society
           for Range Management. You have always been interested
           in that organization. Since your spouse became a
           member of its Board of Directors last year, you have
           learned a lot more about its mission and role in TSP.


             Answer:
             Disqualify. [You can not be the Liaison.]
             Or if spouse will resign from the Board, still
             disqualify. At some point, NRCS may determine you
             can begin serving as the Liaison.


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006    Slide 17
                                   2006 SEA Training
      What should you do?

      2. You have been a member of SWCS for years. You used to
         be more active, even serving as Chair of the Conference
         Committee in past years. In recent years, however, you
         have been willing to serve on a few committees but not
         accepted the responsibility of being a committee or
         subcommittee chairperson. The STC asks you to work
         with SWCS to coordinate matters dealing with the
         Agency’s involvement with their upcoming training
         conference, including the list of employees to be
         approved to attend.
            Answer:
            You can accept the assignment.


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 18
                                   2006 SEA Training

     Ethics Provision for Agreements                                 Handout

            Relationship to Liaison Issue:

                    1. Required in all MOUs and Agreements where
                       money or personnel are exchanged.

                    2. A Liaison Assignment letter must also be issued
                       to any employee named in an Agreement or MOU


                                 Required for Ethics Clearance




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006             Slide 19
                                   2006 SEA Training
     Cooperative Agreement Provision


         Example: Employees of NRCS shall participate in efforts
         under this agreement solely as representatives of the United
         States. To this end, they shall not participate as directors, officers,
         employees, or otherwise serve or hold themselves out as
         representatives of, NARC&DC, or any member RC&DCs. They
         also shall not assist NARC&DC, or any member RC&DCs with
         efforts to lobby Congress, or to raise money through fundraising
         efforts. Further, NRCS employees shall report to their immediate
         supervisor any negotiations with NARC&DC, or any member
         RC&DC, concerning future employment and shall refrain from
         participation in efforts regarding such party until approved
         by the agency.

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006            Slide 20
                                   2006 SEA Training
        Part 2 – How to Avoid Conflicting Interests
                                    Participation in Non-Federal Organizations
                                    Employee Interest in NRCS Programs


                      Conflicting Interests Include:
                                 Actual conflicts of interests
                                 Loss of impartiality *
                                 Prohibited representation
                                 Misuse of position*
                                         Endorsement
                                         Use of non-public information
                                         Unauthorized use of Government equipment

                                  *Actual or apparent
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                Slide 21
                                   2006 SEA Training

    Conflicting Interests

     Employee may not, as part of Government job,

          work on any particular matter
          involving specific parties
          in which the employee* has a financial interest
            If the matter affects** that interest*

           *Prohibition also applies if someone with whom the
           employee has certain personal or business relations has
           an interest in the matter.

           ** See slide 23
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 22
                                   2006 SEA Training
            Interests that Trigger Disqualification Requirement

        Employee
        Spouse or minor child
        General partner
        Outside employer or prospective employer
        Non-Federal organization in which employee is an officer,
         director, trustee, or general partner
        Person with whom employee has or seeks a business,
         contractual or other financial relationship
        Member of household or close relative
        Employer of spouse, parent or dependent child
        Non-Fed employer within past 1 year;
        Non-Fed organizations in which the employee is active; or
        Person or Org for whom the spouse, parent or dependent
         child is an employee, officer, director, consultant,
         contractor, agent, etc
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 23
                                   2006 SEA Training

     Disqualification is required
            Under COI provision

                   If the particular matter will have a direct and
                        predictable effect on that interest.
            Under Impartiality provision
                   If the particular matter is likely to have a direct and
                        predictable effect on that interest; and
                   If relationship would cause a reasonable person with
                         knowledge of relevant facts to question
                         employee’s impartiality

                                       Reputation is not a valid consideration

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006               Slide 24
                                    2006 SEA Training

You may not:                                  Therefore

Work for NRCS on                              Can you be the Liaison if:
a particular matter                   N        an officer, board member*, trustee?
involving a                           N        committee or subcommittee chairperson?
specific party if
                                      N        spouse of an employee or officer?
you have an
outside interest …                    N        parent of employee?
                                      N        general partner of an officer or employee?
                                      N        have an easement or other contract?
                                      Y        member**
                                                 … unless written waiver from DCH MGT

                  * Except for SARE and Rural Development Councils.
                 ** Except member of a conservation district or association.
 Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                     Slide 25
                                   2006 SEA Training
      Disqualification
                                                                         Not required
              Required to avoid conflicting interests                 if clerical work
              Responsibility of the employee
              Responsibility of STC if he/she knows of COI*
              Impact is on NRCS duties, not outside activity


        Employee must:
           1. Disqualify
                 2.      Notify supervisor
                 3.      Notify coworkers also are working on matter

                 Not required in writing, but should document


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006               Slide 26
                                   2006 SEA Training

        When Liaison Must Disqualify

        Management Options
          Appoint different employee to serve as Liaison
          If employee elects to divest:
              Allow employee to continue as Liaison after divesture
              Or, continue disqualification up to one-year.
          If the appointing official thinks disqualification is not
             required or should be waived, request a determination
             from the DCH Mgt.
          Substantial Conflict Determination, as appropriate

                                            *See 5 CFR 2635.403(b)
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006     Slide 27
                                   2006 SEA Training
     NRCS Options
                                Substantial Conflict Determination
            Allows NRCS to prohibit an individual employee from having
            a financial interest under limited circumstances.

           Use only if:

           1.       Employee’s ability to perform the duties of the position
                    would be materially impaired, or
           2.       It adversely affects efficient accomplishment of the
                    agency’s mission because another employee cannot be
                    readily assigned to perform the work

                                         See 5 CFR 2635.403(b)

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006             Slide 28
                                   2006 SEA Training

     Substantial Conflict Determination (continued)
                    Impact is on outside interest

                     Employee                                Spouse    Minor child



            Delegated Authority

                DCH MGT
                Exception: STC has authority if interest is
                   due to participation in an NRCS programs




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                      Slide 29
                                   2006 SEA Training
      Situation: Spouse is on board of non-Federal entity

      Employee               must disqualify from Liaison duties.

      Example 1 -- RC&D Coordinator must disqualify and not
      work on particular matter in which the Council has an
      interest if the spouse works for the Council.

                    STC can request a substantial conflict of interest
                     determination from the DCH MGT.

      Example 2 -- State Agronomist must disqualify from being
      Liaison to the American Society of Agronomy because her
      father works for them.
                    Not possible to issue a substantial conflict of
                     interest determination in this case.

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006        Slide 30
                                   2006 SEA Training

     STC Authority and Options (continued)

                                Substantial Conflict Determination

              Must meet criteria at 5 CFR 2635.403(b).
              No blanket determinations
              Use on a case-by-case basis only
              Consult with the NRCS Ethics Officer prior to issuance
              Provide copy to the NRCS Ethics Officer




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006      Slide 31
                                    2006 SEA Training

covered               Conflicting Interests Requiring Disqualification

                                           Actual conflicts of interests
                                           Loss of impartiality


next                     Other Rules Against Conflicting Interests
                                           Misuse of position
                                           Prohibited representation
                                           Dual Compensation




 Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006         Slide 32
                                    2006 SEA Training

                     Misuse of Position

5 CFR 2635                        Employees may not use office for private gain
Subpart G                          Prohibits
                                          Endorsements
                                                   Use of non-public information
                                                   Unauthorized use of Government
                                                    equipment
                                                   Misuse of title, time, authority or
                                                    position
                                           and more...



 Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                       Slide 33
                                               Title 110 – General Manual

     405.135 Personal v. Official Participation in Non-Federal Organizations - Quick Reference Flowchart

                                                            Use NRCS
                                     No                     Title
           Personal                                         Travel                          Yes             Official
                                                            Time
                                                            Equipment

                            Yes                                                              No                Yes
                                                               No


                                                           Board Member                  No               NRCS Liaison


                                                              NA                      Yes



                                                 Use Liaison Designation Template
                                           Designation by State Conservationist or Higher
                                           Does Not Vote
                                           No Lobbying
                                           No Involvement in Internal Business (finances,
                                          fundraising, membership, elections, etc.)
                                           Membership Okay Provided Not “Active”




.                                               (110-GM, Amend.
    Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006 2,   November 2003)         Next                    405.N.135-1
                                                                                                                             Slide 34
                                                                                                                        November 2003
                                   2006 SEA Training
           Yes or No?
                    May Federal employees:
               N        1.       Perform the duties as an officer of a non-
                                 Federal organization as official business?
               N        2.       Perform the duties as an officer of a non-
                                 Federal organization on official time?
                        3.       Perform the duties of committee
               N                 chairperson of a non-Federal organization
                                 on official time?
               N        4.       Help with a partnership auction in an official
                                 capacity?
               N        5.       Conduct personal business on official time?


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                Slide 35
                                   2006 SEA Training
            Prohibited Representation


                                          18 USC 203 and 205

           Prohibit a current Federal employee from engaging in
           representational-type activities on behalf of others in
           their dealings with the Federal Government.

            Prohibits representation of another person
              or legal entity with intent to influence;
            Does not prohibit representation of oneself.




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 36
                                   2006 SEA Training

Prohibited Representation

18 USC 203                    Employees may not represent another* to the
                              Government for compensation… .

                                     Prohibits communication on behalf of
                                      another* on a matter in which Government
                                      has an interest
                                     Prohibits behind-the-scenes assistance for
                                      compensation



                                               * with intent to influence

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                 Slide 37
                                   2006 SEA Training

Prohibited Representation (continued)

18 USC 205                    Employees may not represent another* to the
                              Government without compensation… .

                                     Prohibits communication on behalf of
                                      another with intent to influence on matter in
                                      which Government has an interest
                                     Does not prohibit behind the scenes
                                      assistance provided no compensation is
                                      received




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                    Slide 38
                                   2006 SEA Training

           Prohibited Representation                                 Simplified…

           Employees must not communicate with a Federal
           Agency on behalf of another person or non-Federal
           organization on a matter in which the Government
           has an interest
                              Not personally [18 USC 203 & 205]
                              Not officially [18 USC 208]


       Can assist “behind-the-scenes” provided NO compensation




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                 Slide 39
                                      2006 SEA Training

         Prohibition Against Representation (continued)

                Applies          to all employees

                Applies          whether serving under:

                                  Agreement
                                  MOU
                                  IPA (detail or LWOP)




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 40
                                   2006 SEA Training
        Prohibited Representation

        Examples of Permissible “behind the scenes” assistance

        Official         –
        RC&D Coordinator assists the Council to write a
        proposal the Council will submit for an EPA grant.
        Coordinator must not present proposal, or be representative or POC

        Personal             –
        Sitting at the kitchen table, an employee advises a
        professional organization seeking a meeting,
        agreement, conference support, etc., who to contact at
        NRCS. (without compensation.)


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006           Slide 41
                                   2006 SEA Training
        Prohibited Representation

           Limited Exceptions* . . . provided no compensation

               •   Not-for-profit union, cooperative, or professional or
                   recreational association provided a majority of the members
                   are current employees*
               •   Employee grievance or complaint
               •   Tribal Liaison on IPA (must satisfy notification requirement)


             *No exceptions when dealing with contracts,
             agreements, grants, etc., that would provide
             Federal funds to these organizations.


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006             Slide 42
                                   2006 SEA Training
        Prohibited Representation
                                                                     No exceptions
                                                                     when dealing
                                                                     with contracts,
                                                                     etc. …
            Example:

            The State Office wants to use a room the Organization
            has at the hotel to provide it’s own training. Who
            must not sign for the Organization?
             Organization President (employee)                      Must not
             Organization Treasurer (employee)                      Must not
             Organization Secretary (retired)                       May


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                     Slide 43
                                   2006 SEA Training
         Prohibited Representation

            Representation of Indian Tribes

            Exception: A limited exception from the restrictions
              on uncompensated representation to a Federal
              agency is available to employees who are
              assigned to Indian tribes. The employee must
              satisfy the notification requirements. [See the
              Indian Self-Determination Act (25 U.S.C. 450i(f)).]




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 44
                                   2006 SEA Training
        Prohibited Representation

           Limited Exceptions* . . . provided no compensation
      Indian Self-Determination & Educational Assistance Act
      Notification requirement: Federal employees may act as
      agents or attorneys for, or appear on behalf of, such tribes in
      connection with any matter pending before any department,
      agency, court, or commission, including any matter in which
      the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial
      interest. The Federal assignee must advise, in writing, the
      head of the department, agency, court, or commission with
      which he or she is dealing or appearing on behalf of the tribal
      government, of any personal and substantial involvement he
      or she may have had as a Federal employee in connection
      with the matter involved.

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006      Slide 45
                                   2006 SEA Training

           Prohibited Representation (continued)


             Possible waiver
               In limited circumstances if the Agreement, MOU
                or IPA with NRCS specifically provides that the
                employee’s duties will include representation
                back to the Federal Government.

               Contact the NRCS Ethics Office for guidance.




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 46
                                   2006 SEA Training
            Dual Compensation

           18 USC 209
           Prohibits an employee from receiving salary or any
           contribution to or supplementation of salary from any
           source other the Federal government as compensation for
           services performed as an employee of the Federal
           government.

           Example:

                No         Can an employee accept a monetary
                           award from a Council or District for TA
                           provided by the Field Office?


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 47
                                   2006 SEA Training

                                        How Can We Work
                                               Effectively
                         With Partners While Working
                          Within These Constraints?




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 48
                                   2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners

                                        Meeting the Challenge…
    An employee may not:
      Provide Administrative  Support for a non-Federal organization. Applies
        to all non-Federal organizations absent specific statutory authority.
                                                 (including NRCS partners)

    NRCS must continue appropriate support for partnership
    activities
       Provide appropriate support in terms of accomplishing
        mission-related activities (in which NRCS is properly
        engaged) versus stating what we do in terms of support for
        the partner organization itself (with which we work to
        accomplish the activity.)

Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006           Slide 49
                                   2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners


                                        Meeting the Challenge…

    An employee may not:
        Appear to endorse a non-Federal organization, service or enterprise

                    * Except for SARE and Rural Development Councils



    NRCS must continue appropriate support for partnership
    activities
    Focus support of mission related activity, not organizations.

     Provide support for mission related programs & activities
     provided they meet agency established criteria.



Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006       Slide 50
                                   2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners


                                        Meeting the Challenge…

    An employee may not:
      Establish an agenda or conduct a meeting of one of a partner
     organization.
                      * Except for SARE and Rural Development Councils


    NRCS must continue appropriate support for partnership
    activities
     NRCS employees should work with the District Chair or the
    RC&D Council Chair to see the agenda addresses
    conservation concerns of NRCS but the final agenda is the
    responsibility of the outside organization.


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006       Slide 51
                                   2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners

                                            Meeting the Challenge…
        You may not:
                Serve as officer of a non-Federal organization in official capacity*

        Result
          Employees may not use official time* to:
              – Serve as an officer of a non-Fed Org
              – Attend Board meetings as officer
              – Conduct the internal business of a non-Fed Org
          Employees may not use official funds* to
              – Travel to Board meetings

                             * Except for SARE and Rural Development Councils


Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006               Slide 52
                                   2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners


                                         Meeting the Challenge…
                                          Service on Boards …

      Options include:

           Serve in a personal capacity
              –Can not travel at Gov’t expense
              –Take AL
              –[RAC or DCH Mgt may allow Admin. Leave, as appropriate]
              –n/a if your Conservation District or association.
           Serve as the NRCS Liaison to the non-Fed Organization’s
            Board Travel is on Gov’t time & expense
              – Requires designation by NRCS
              – Not a member of the Board
              – Can not vote
Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006    Slide 53
                                    2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners


Providing             appropriate support for partnership activities (cont’d)

           Proper Roles with Conservation Districts

          Resources
           Ethics Rules and Training
          Program Manuals
                    GM Title 180 Part 401-Subpart D, Relationship of NRCS
                   Personnel to District Affairs
                    RC&D Program Manual
                    TSP Guidance
          April 3, 2006 Reminder of the Proper Roles with Respect to
           Conservation Districts [Dana D. York, Associate Chief, NRCS; Robert K.
           Dobbs, Jr., President, NCDEA; Krysta Harden, Chief Executive Officer, NACD]
 Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006                 Slide 54
                                    2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners


Proper       Roles with Districts (cont’d)

      Official capacity -- April 3, 2006 reminder makes clear
       employees may not, in their official capacity:

          make decisions regarding, or manage the funds of any
             conservation district or association employee;
          be a member of any conservation district or association;

          supervise or have supervisory authority over any
             conservation district or association employee, or
          otherwise get involved in administrative activities of any
             conservation district or association.
      Personal capacity – If employee is member, discuss options
      (substantial conflict determination, etc.) with NRCS Ethics Officer.
 Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006     Slide 55
                                    2006 SEA Training
                                         Working With Partners


Providing             appropriate support for partnership activities (cont’d)

     Proper Roles with RC&D Councils

     Special Training for RC&D Coordinators if provided in the
     RC&D Concepts Course.

              Technical leadership vs. supervision
              Technical leadership for grants vs. prohibited representation
              Grant facilitation vs. prohibited fundraising
              Etc.



 Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006     Slide 56
                                   2006 SEA Training
                                        Working With Employee Organizations


DR    4020-251

        The policy provides that

        Support to recognized Supervisory/Managerial
        Associations, Employee Organizations and
        Professional Associations will be specifically limited
        to the activities listed as authorized by the agency.

        Lists What is allowed.

        Agency option vs. Organization’s right.



Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006            Slide 57
                                   2006 SEA Training


                                        A Few Words About –

                        Accepting Free Stuff
                        Fundraising
                        Political Activity & Lobbying




Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 58
                                   2006 SEA Training




                                              Questions?



                Reminders:
                See training courses on AgLearn
                Document Liaison Assignments



Presented by the NRCS Ethics Office – Net-Conference, May 17, 2006   Slide 59

								
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