A proposed rule from the Office of Government Ethics would clarify that federal financial disclosure rules, including a law signed in 2012 that imposed additional disclosure requirements on federal workers in policy-making positions, are focused on high-level employees.
The proposed rule to implement the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, published by the OGE on Oct. 5, would make changes “to establish consistency” between the STOCK Act and an older law, the Ethics in Government Act, which was signed in 1978.
Significantly for federal workers in the executive branch, the proposed rule would modify existing OGE regulations on financial filings under the EIGA “to exclude, as a group, certain GS-13 employees and below” from being required to file public financial disclosure statements. Current regulations require “a case-by-case determination by the Director [of the OGE] regarding whether an employee can be excluded from filing a financial disclosure statement by OGE without regard to grade level,” the agency said.
The OGE director under the proposed rule would continue to make that determination for federal employees at the GS-14 and GS-15 levels, the OGE said. The 15-level General Schedule system generally determines salaries for white-collar federal employees in the executive branch.
It was estimated when the STOCK Act was passed that about 28,000 federal employees would be covered.
‘Public Filers' Covered.
The STOCK Act increased financial disclosure requirements for “public filers”—including the president, vice president, federal executives in the Senior Executive Service, some types of administrative law judges and others in the executive branch whose jobs are “of a confidential or policy-making character.”
According to the OGE, the law “imposed additional reporting requirements on public financial disclosure filers, including transaction reporting throughout the year and the reporting of mortgages on personal residences for some filers.”
The 2012 law also originally required that details about high-level government employees’ assets, debts and financial transactions be posted on the internet. Filing of reports containing this information already was required under previous ethics laws, but the information often was available to the public only through a written request.
However, President Barack Obama in April 2013 signed legislation to eliminate requirements in the STOCK Act for online financial disclosure by most high-level federal employees. The STOCK Act as modified by the 2013 law continues to require online posting of financial disclosure forms for the president, vice president and members of—and candidates for—Congress, along with specified presidentially nominated and Senate-confirmed agency officials.
Comments on the proposed rule are due no later than Dec. 5, the OGE said.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)