DATE: June 27, 2002

SUBJECT: Office of Government Ethics; Review of Criminal Conflict of Interest Statutes

SOURCE: Federal Register, June 27, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 124, page 43321

AGENCIES: Office of Government Ethics (OGE)

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: OGE is conducting a review of the criminal conflict of interest statutes in Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Sections 202 through 209 (18 U.S.C. 202-209). OGE is providing the public and agencies an opportunity to comment on the statutes.

DATES: Comments should be submitted no later than July 29, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to the Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005-3917, Attention: Stuart D. Rick, or by e-mail to: usoge@oge.gov (the subject line should state "Comments Regarding Criminal Conflict of Interest Law Review."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stuart D. Rick, Deputy General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics; 202-208-8000; TDD: 202-208-8025; fax: 202-208-8037.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The conflict of interest statutes at 18 U.S.C. 202-209 have existed, for the most part, in their current form for nearly 40 years, and the last comprehensive examination of the conflict of interest statutes occurred in 1989. Since then, a number of developments have occurred which bring into question whether the statutes are adequately tailored to their legislative purposes, in light of the realities of modern government -- whether they are too broad or not broad enough. Among the developments are: the sustained government efforts toward privatization of certain functions (such as the Federal Activities Inventory Report (FAIR) Act and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities); a growing emphasis on commercialization of government-developed products; ever-increasing reliance on personnel with scientific and technological expertise; and a series of decisions by the courts that have called into question the appropriate scope of certain restrictions on the outside activities of federal employees, for example, Van Ee v. EPA, 202 F.3d 296 (D.C. Cir. 2000).

OGE will examine whether the criminal conflict of interest laws in 18 U.S.C. 202-209 could be simplified or improved without sacrificing the necessary protection they provide for a fair and impartial government process. As part of its review, OGE is inviting members of the public and the federal government to express their views concerning the need for change to the criminal conflict of interest statutes.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2002 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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