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TREASURY DIRECTIVE: 61-02

DATE:  January 19, 2017

SUBJECT:  Implementation of the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report Filing Requirements

1. PURPOSE.  This directive provides guidance concerning the distribution, submission, review, and custody of the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450).  The OGE Form 450 is required to be filed by certain officers and employees of the Executive Branch, pursuant to regulations at 5 C.F.R. Part 2634, issued by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

2. SCOPE.  This Directive applies to all bureaus, offices, and organizations in the Department of the Treasury, including the Offices of Inspectors General within the Department.  The provisions of this Directive shall not be construed to interfere with or impede the authorities or independence of the Treasury Inspector General, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or the Special Inspector General for TARP. 

3. BACKGROUND.  Treasury Order (TO) 107-04 delegates the authority to implement and manage the Department's ethics program to the Office of the General Counsel.

4. DEFINITIONS.

a. Bureau shall include the Treasury Inspector General, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Special Inspector General for TARP, for the purposes of this Directive.

b. Bureau ethics official means, for DO, the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) or designee, and for all other bureaus, the bureau's chief legal officer (Chief Counsel, Legal Counsel, Counsel, or designee).

c. Confidential filer means an employee occupying a position the duties of which are described by one or more of the criteria in 5.c., who is designated to file a new entrant or annual OGE Form 450, OGE Form 450-A, or alternate filing.

d. Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) means the Assistant General Counsel (General Law, Ethics and Regulation) (see TO 107-01).

e. OGE means the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

f. Special Government Employee (SGE) means, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 202(a) ,  an officer or employee of the Department who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, for a period not to exceed 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days, either on a full-time or intermittent basis. 


 

5. FILING DETERMINATIONS.

a. Procedures.  The bureau ethics official, or designee, shall establish and maintain procedures for:

1) designating, on the basis of the criteria in 5.c., which employees are required to file the OGE Form 450;

2) notifying new entrants and incumbents in designated positions of the filing requirement; and

3) collecting and reviewing new entrant and annual reports in a timely manner.

b. Designation and Notification.  The bureau ethics official, or designee, using the procedures established pursuant to 5.a., shall:

1) by December 15 of each year, designate which positions require the incumbents to file an annual OGE Form 450 covering the previous calendar year; and

2) by January 15 of each year, notify the incumbents in the designated positions of the filing requirement.

c. Confidential Filers.  Certain individuals are required to file an OGE Form 450 pursuant to
5 C.F.R. § 2634.904.  Most commonly, these include the following:

1) Employees with contracting and procurement responsibilities (e.g., contracting officers, contracting specialists, contracting officers' representatives (CORs), or source selection authorities);

2) SGEs who do not file a public financial disclosure report;

3) Employees occupying attorney positions at GS 14 and 15 (or equivalent rates of basic pay); and

4) Other employees, regardless of grade level, if:

(a) the duties and responsibilities of the employee's position require the employee to make policy or other significant decisions, without substantial supervision and review, regarding:

(i) contracting, procurement, licensing, or grant-making;

(ii) administration or monitoring of grants, subsidies, licenses, or other federally-conferred financial or operational benefits; or

(iii) regulation or audits of any non-federal entity or activity;

(b)the duties and responsibilities of the employee's position require the employee to participate in 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

(c) the duties and responsibilities of the employee's position otherwise could present risk of involvement in  an actual or apparent conflict of interest.
  
d. Exclusions from Filing

1) Any individual or class of individuals, including an SGE, may be excluded from all or a portion of the OGE Form 450 reporting requirements when the bureau ethics official or designee determines that the duties of the position(s) make remote the possibility that the employee(s) will be involved in an actual or apparent conflict of interest.

2) If an employee leaves a covered position prior to the date a 450 report is due to be filed, the employee is not required to file a  report.

e. Use of Alternate Filing Procedures. A bureau ethics official or designee, with concurrence from the DAEO and with OGE's prior written approval, may instruct confidential filers to use an alternate filing procedure, such as an agency-specific form, in lieu of requiring the OGE Form 450 or the OGE Form 450-A.

f. Review of Confidential Filer Designations.   If an individual contends that his or her position has been improperly designated as requiring an OGE Form 450 or equivalent form pursuant to this directive, a bureau ethics official or designee shall conduct a review.  Determinations made by the bureau ethics official or designee shall be final.

6. REPORT DUE DATES, REPORTING PERIODS, AND EXCEPTIONS.

a. New entrants.  A new entrant who serves in a designated confidential filer position shall file a new entrant report not later than 30 days after assuming the relevant position, unless he or she requests and receives a filing extension from a bureau ethics official or designee, or unless an exception below applies.  The reporting period will cover the preceding 12 months from the date of filing.  The bureau ethics official or designee may, at his or her discretion, require that a prospective employee file a new entrant OGE Form 450 before being formally offered a Department position to ensure no insurmountable ethics concerns exist. 

No report shall be required of a new entrant in the following circumstances:

  1. An employee has, within 30 days prior to assuming a confidential filer position, left another confidential filing position and has previously satisfied the reporting requirements of the former position.  A copy of the most recent OGE Form 450 filed by the individual while in the previous position shall be made available to the official responsible for reviewing the report in connection with the new position.  The employee must also comply with any bureau requirements for supplemental reporting for the new position;

 

2) An employee has already filed such a report during consideration for appointment to the position.  A bureau ethics official or designee may require that the individual update the report if a period of more than six months has expired since it was filed; or

3) An employee is not reasonably expected to perform the duties of a confidential filer position for more than 60 days in the following 12-month period, as determined by a bureau ethics official or designee.  If an individual initially excepted from the filing requirement on this basis serves in a confidential filer position, including in an acting capacity, for more than 60 days in the 12-month period, he or she must file a confidential report within 15 calendar days after the 60th day of such service in the position.

b. Special Government Employees.  An SGE shall file a new entrant report prior to the SGE's appointment.  That report shall be reviewed by the appropriate ethics official before the SGE renders any advice to the agency and no later than the first meeting or the first performance of duties as an expert or consultant or advisory committee member, whichever occurs first.  An SGE confidential filer will file a new entrant report, rather than an annual report, upon: 1) his reappointment or re-designation as an SGE or 2) upon the anniversary date of his initial appointment.   

c. Incumbents.  An incumbent (other than an SGE) who serves, including in an acting capacity, in a designated confidential filer position for more than 60 days in a calendar year shall file an annual report on or before February 15 of the following year, unless he or she requests and receives a filing extension from a bureau ethics official or designee.  The reporting period will cover the preceding calendar year, ending December 31, or any portion of that period not covered by a previously filed confidential or public financial disclosure report.  No report is required if the employee leaves federal service prior to the report due date, including any filing extensions.

d. Filing Extensions.  A bureau ethics official or designee may, for good cause shown, grant any employee or class of employees up to two filing extensions totaling not more than 90 days. Additional extensions may be granted for certain service during national emergencies, pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 2634.903(d)(2).

7. FAILURE TO SUBMIT A TIMELY AND ACCURATE OGE FORM 450 

a. A bureau ethics official or designee shall coordinate with the appropriate human resources office to take personnel or other action in accordance with applicable law and regulation against individuals failing to file an OGE Form 450, for filing such a report late, or for failing to report required information.

b. A reviewer or any other employee shall refer to an ethics official pertinent information when reasonable cause exists to believe that an employee has falsified information required to be reported on an OGE Form 450.  Unless the ethics official concludes the matter is an instance of inadvertent noncompliance, the ethics official must refer the matter to the appropriate Inspector General, who may initiate any further referral to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

8. ADDITIONAL BUREAU-SPECIFIC REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

a. Upon OGE authorization, a bureau may implement supplemental reporting requirements if such information is not required to be reported on the OGE 450 but is needed for conflicts review purposes, given a bureau's particular mission.  

1) Bureaus shall submit a written request to the Treasury DAEO that describes in detail any bureau circumstances that require reporting of supplemental information.  The DAEO will submit appropriate requests to OGE for approval.

2) Confidential filers shall be required to submit additional information on a confidential basis if written approval has been granted by OGE pursuant to this section.

9. COLLECTION AND REVIEW OF REPORTS.  

a. Electronic filing, using Personal Identity Verification (PIV) or other Department-approved electronic signatures, is preferred.  However, if electronic filing is unavailable, the OGE Form 450 in PDF or other approved format may be accessed on DO and bureau websites; the OGE Form 450 then may be submitted electronically or in hard copy. 

b. Each bureau ethics official or designee shall be responsible for the timely collection and review of OGE Form 450s submitted by their employees.

c. The report reviews may be performed by the bureau ethics official or designee, including filers' immediate supervisors or other bureau personnel as provided by bureau policy. Within 60 days of the date of receipt of the report, the review shall be completed by the appropriate reviewer.

d. If the reviewer or ethics official is unable to resolve a potential conflict of interest on an OGE Form 450, the matter shall be referred to the DAEO or to his or her designee for resolution and possible referral to the appropriate Department Inspector General.
 
10. CONFIDENTIALITY AND RETENTION OF EMPLOYEE REPORTS.  

a. OGE Form 450s are required to be withheld from the public pursuant to section 107(a) of the Ethics in Government Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 101, et seq., except pursuant to the order of a federal court or as otherwise provided under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a.  Paper reports filed by bureau employees shall be retained in locked files in a location designated by the appropriate bureau ethics official.

b. Designated officials are responsible for maintaining the reports as Controlled Unclassified Information in accordance with the Department of the Treasury Security Manual (TD P 15-71) and OGE/GOVT-2.  These designated officials shall not allow access to a report or allow information on a report to be released except to carry out the purposes of this directive and any related procedures; the regulations found at 5 C.F.R. Part 2634; or as authorized by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a.

c. Criminal penalties may be imposed on employees who willfully and knowingly disclose information from these reports to unauthorized persons as set forth in the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a.

d. OGE Form 450s are covered by General Records Schedule 2.8: Employee Ethics Records, items 070-090, and they shall be destroyed by the agency six years after agency receipt or when no longer needed for an active investigation, whichever is later. However, when an OGE Form 450 supports one or more subsequent Optional 450-As OGE Form 450s are destroyed by the agency six years after agency receipt of the last related OGE Form 450-A.

11. AUTHORITY.  Treasury Order 107-04: The Authority of the General Counsel.

12. REFERENCES.

 a. The Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 4.

 b. 5 C.F.R. Part 2634, Subpart I: Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports.

13. CANCELLATION.  Treasury Directive 61-02, "Implementation of the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) Filing Requirements," dated January 15, 2009, is superseded.

14. OFFICE OF PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY.  Office of the General Counsel, Legal Division.

 

                                                                        /s/
Priya Aiyar
Acting General Counsel

 
Last Updated: 3/23/2017 9:12 AM

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