[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 5, Volume 3, Parts 1200 to end]
[Revised as of January 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 5CFR2634.905]

[Page 530-531]
                         CHAPTER XVI--OFFICE OF
                            GOVERNMENT ETHICS
          Subpart I--Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports
Sec. 2634.905  Exclusions from filing requirements.

    Any individual or class of individuals described in Sec. 2634.904 of 
this subpart, including special Government employees unless otherwise 
noted, may be excluded from all or a portion of the confidential 
reporting requirements of this subpart, when the agency head or designee 
determines that:
    (a) The duties of a position make remote the possibility that the 
incumbent will be involved in a real or apparent conflict of interest;
    (b) The duties of a position involve such a low level of 
responsibility that the submission of a confidential financial 
disclosure report is unnecessary because of:
    (1) The substantial degree of supervision and review over the 
position; or
    (2) The inconsequential effect of any potential conflict on the 
integrity of the Government;
    (c) The use of an alternative procedure approved in writing by the 
Office of Government Ethics is adequate to prevent possible conflicts of 
interest; or
    (d) The use of OGE Optional Form 450-A (Confidential Certificate of 
No New Interests) is adequate to prevent possible conflicts of interest. 
This form may be used by eligible filers, as described in this 
paragraph, who can certify, after reexamining their most recent previous 
OGE Form 450, that they (and their spouse and dependent children) have 
acquired no new interests required to be reported on OGE Form 450, and 
that they have not changed jobs (no new position description or other 
significant change in duties) at their agency since filing that previous 
report. OGE Optional Form 450-A will be used under the following 
    (1) OGE Optional Form 450-A will only be made available for use by 
current employees who are not special Government employees.
    (2) OGE Optional Form 450-A will only be used by incumbent filers, 
as described in Sec. 2634.903(a) of this subpart, in lieu of filing an 
annual OGE Form 450, who have a previous OGE Form 450 on file with their 
agency for the position they currently hold. Its due date is as 
specified in Sec. 2634.903(a), unless extended under Sec. 2634.903(d).
    (3) As indicated on the OGE Optional Form 450-A, eligible filers may 
use OGE Optional Form 450-A, if applicable to their circumstances, or 
they may file a new OGE Form 450, at their option. Therefore, a blank 
OGE Form 450 and its accompanying written instructions should ordinarily 
be distributed to them, along with the blank OGE Optional Form 450-A. 
The instructions to OGE Form 450 will also provide guidance on what is 
meant by ``reportable'' interests on OGE Optional Form 450-A. In lieu of 
distributing a blank OGE Form 450 and its instructions, agencies may 
choose to develop separate guidance on the meaning of ``reportable'' 
interests, or they may refer certificate users to guidance contained in 
any available source, such as the Office of Government Ethics' Web site 
on the Internet or agency-approved electronic software for OGE Form 450. 
Filers would then also have to be advised of where to obtain a blank OGE 
Form 450, if needed.
    (4) OGE Optional Form 450-A may be used by eligible filers for a 
maximum of three consecutive years before they are required to complete 
a new OGE Form 450 every fourth year, on a uniform basis for all 
incumbent (annual) filers, as provided in paragraph (d)(5) of this 
section. Agencies may, however, elect to permit use of the OGE Optional 
Form 450-A for only one year (or two years), and to require a new OGE 
Form 450 every second (or third) year, on a uniform basis for all 
incumbent filers, as provided in paragraph (d)(5) of this section.
    (5) In each year divisible by four, beginning in 2000 (or divisible 
by two or three, beginning in 1998, for agencies that choose one of the 
more frequent options described in the second sentence of paragraph 
(d)(4) of this section), all incumbent filers, as described in 
Sec. 2634.903(a) of this subpart, must file a new OGE Form 450 rather 
than OGE Optional Form 450-A, regardless of how recently they may have 
filed an OGE Form 450 (either as a new entrant or as

[[Page 531]]

an annual filer who was not eligible to use, or chose not to use, the 
optional certificate).
    (6) When submitting OGE Optional Form 450-A, filers are not required 
to attach a copy of their previous OGE Form 450, unless their agency 
determines that it is necessary. Filers should be encouraged, however, 
to retain a copy of their previous OGE Form 450, so that it will be 
readily available for their examination prior to completing an OGE 
Optional Form 450-A.

    Example 1. An agency special Government employee who is a draftsman 
prepares the drawings to be used by an agency in soliciting bids for 
construction work on a bridge. Because he is not involved in the 
contracting process associated with the construction, the likelihood 
that his actions will create a conflict of interest is remote. The 
draftsman need not be required by the agency to file a confidential 
financial disclosure report.
    Example 2. An investigator is principally assigned as the field 
agent to investigate alleged violations of conflict of interest laws. 
The investigator works under the direct supervision of an agent-in-
charge. The agent-in-charge reviews all of the investigator's work 
product and then uses those materials to prepare the agency's report 
which is submitted under his own name. The agency may decide not to 
require the investigator to file a confidential disclosure report.
    Example 3. A nonsupervisory auditor at an agency is regularly 
assigned to cases involving possible loan improprieties by financial 
institutions. Prior to undertaking each enforcement review, the auditor 
reviews the file to determine if she, her spouse, minor or dependent 
child, or any general partner, organization in which she serves as an 
officer, director, trustee, employee, or general partner, or 
organization with which she is negotiating or has an agreement or an 
arrangement for future employment, or a close friend or relative is a 
subject of the investigation, or will be in any way affected by the 
investigation. Once she determines that there is no such relationship, 
she signs and dates a certification which verifies that she has reviewed 
the file and has determined that no conflict of interest exists. She 
then files the certification with the head of her auditing division at 
the agency. On the other hand, if she cannot execute the certification, 
she informs the head of her auditing division. In response, the division 
will either reassign the case or review the conflicting interest to 
determine whether a waiver would be appropriate. This alternate 
procedure, if approved by the Office of Government Ethics in writing, 
will suffice for a conflict of interest review. Therefore, the agency 
may exclude the auditor from filing a confidential disclosure report 
under this subpart.

[57 FR 11826, Apr. 7, 1992; 57 FR 21855, May 22, 1992; 62 FR 33976, June 
24, 1997]