[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 126 (Friday, July 1, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-16094]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: July 1, 1994]




Submission for OMB Approval of a Proposed Information Collection 
Report Form Concerning Payments to Charitable Organizations in Lieu of 

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics has submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval, in accordance with 
the Paperwork Reduction Act a proposed OGE form entitled ``Executive 
Branch Personnel Confidential Report of Payments to Charitable 
Organizations in Lieu of Honoraria'' that will collect information from 
certain current and former employees of the executive branch of the 
Federal Government. The new form will collect the information 
identified in an OGE interim rule, which is not yet effective (and the 
renewal of whose paperwork clearance likewise is being sought), 
promulgated under the Ethics in Government Act.

DATES: Comments on this proposal should be received by August 1, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to Joseph F. Lackey, Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 
New Executive Office Building, Room 10236, Washington, DC 20503; 
telephone: 202-395-7316.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William E. Gressman or Robert W. Cobb, 
Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20005-3917; telephone 202-523-5757, FAX 202- 523-6325. A 
copy of OGE's request for approval from OMB, including the proposed new 
form, may be obtained by contacting Mr. Gressman or Mr. Cobb.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Government Ethics proposes to 
sponsor a new OGE Form 205 entitled ``Executive Branch Personnel 
Confidential Report of Payments to Charitable Organizations in Lieu of 
Honoraria'' and is seeking Paperwork Reduction Act approval from the 
Office of Management and Budget for it. The new form will collect 
pertinent financial information from current officers and employees in 
the executive branch (other than special Government employees) who are 
required to file annual public financial disclosure reports (SF 278s) 
under title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (the Ethics Act), 
as amended, and the OGE regulations at 5 CFR part 2634 as well as from 
departing and former such filers on whose behalf payments in lieu of 
honoraria are donated to charitable organizations during or based on 
the period of their Government service. This is necessary in order to 
provide a form to collect certain information required by the financial 
disclosure provisions of section 102(a)(1)(A) of the Ethics Act, as 
amended by the 1989 Ethics Reform Act, 5 U.S.C. app.
    Under 5 U.S.C. app. 501(c), an honorarium that could otherwise be 
accepted by a Government employee is deemed not to be received by the 
employee if instead it is paid on the employee's behalf to a charitable 
organization described in 26 U.S.C. 170(c). (The related honorarium 
prohibition at 5 U.S.C. app. 501(b) has been held in abeyance pending 
the outcome of ongoing litigation, see U.S. v. National Treasury 
Employees Union, No. 93-1170, Supreme Court petition for certiorari 
granted April 18, 1994 from 990 F.2d 1271 (D.C. Cir. 1993).) See also 5 
CFR part 2636 of the OGE executive branch-wide regulations, as 
published at 56 FR 1721-1730 (January 17, 1991) and amended at 57 FR 
601-602 (January 8, 1992). For purposes of a qualifying in lieu of 
honoraria payment, an employee is not permitted, however, to first 
receive the payment and then pass it along or donate it to an eligible 
charitable organization. Further, no such payment may exceed $2,000, be 
made to a charitable organization from which the employee or his or her 
parent, sibling, spouse, child, or dependent relative derives a 
financial benefit, or be taken as a tax deduction. See 5 CFR 2636.204. 
In addition, the OGE executive branch Standards of Ethical Conduct 
generally prohibit any payment for an appearance, speech or article 
that relates to an employee's official duties. See 5 CFR 2635.807.
    Officers and employees who file the executive branch Standard Form 
(SF) 278 ``Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure 
Report'' under title I of the Ethics Act, which report requires 
information on the amount, date and source of any payments to 
charitable organizations in lieu of honoraria from a source totaling 
more than $200, will also have to file pursuant to the final part of 5 
U.S.C. app. 102(a)(1)(A) a supplemental confidential report containing 
additional information concerning such payments, including the name of 
the recipient of the payment. This separate confidential reporting 
requirement of public financial disclosure report (SF 278) filers is 
not yet effective as to the executive branch pending issuance by OGE of 
an OMB-approved supplemental report form to collect the information. 
See 56 FR 21589 (May 10, 1991), 56 FR 51319 (October 11, 1991), and 57 
FR 5369 (February 14, 1992) (since then, OGE has decided to make the 
new report an OGE, not a standard, form; thus, General Services 
Administration clearance will not be needed). Moreover, OGE has now 
determined that filers of the confidential financial disclosure report 
forms (Standard Form 450s) should not be included in this supplemental 
in lieu of honoraria reporting requirement; 5 CFR 2636.205 will be 
amended accordingly prior to its effective date.
    Once this new form is approved and OGE makes the underlying 
regulatory provision, as modified, effective, public annual and 
termination SF 278 filers will have to separately file the confidential 
payments in lieu of honoraria form, but only if they have any such 
payments to report. In other words, negative (or ``None'') reports of 
charitable payments in lieu of honoraria are not required. Furthermore, 
new entrants and nominees are not subject to reporting under the OGE 
rule as the statutory provisions only apply to employees during their 
term of Government service.
    The reporting period for an annual report for payments in lieu of 
honoraria will be the preceding calendar year or, in the case of a 
filer who entered Government during the prior year, that portion of the 
preceding calendar year beginning with the filer's date of entry on 
duty (if the filer's Government service exceeded 60 days in the 
previous year). The reporting period for a termination report of a 
public SF 278 filer will be the portion of the calendar year of 
termination to the date the filer left the Government and, if the filer 
has not already filed an annual report covering the period, the 
preceding calendar year or other period required for that report.
    The Office of Government Ethics anticipates that this supplemental 
reporting requirement will become effective around January 1995 
covering both terminees and annual filers (the first annual reports 
will cover calendar year 1994, the regular due date for which is May 
15, 1995). Further, if a public SF 278 filer leaves Government service 
(or a reportable position) before the future effective date of this new 
supplemental reporting requirement, no supplemental in lieu of 
honoraria charitable payments report will be due when this new 
requirement finally does take effect. Once OMB approval is obtained for 
the new form, OGE will distribute it to all executive branch 
departments and agencies for local reproduction.
    The information to be reported on the OGE Form 205 will consist of, 
in addition to the amount of the payment(s) in lieu of an honorarium 
totaling more than $200 from any one source and the name and status (or 
charitable purpose) of the charitable organization(s) to which the 
payment(s) was donated on the employee's behalf, the date of the 
payment(s), the date on which the employee made an underlying 
appearance or speech or on which an underlying article was submitted 
for publication, the name of the entity making the payment to the 
charitable recipient, and the subject matter of the speech or article 
or the reason for the appearance. Terminee SF 278 filers will also have 
to separately report any such charitable payments contemplated, but not 
yet made, for appearances, speeches, or articles made before 
termination of their Government service.
    These reports are to be filed with the employing executive branch 
departments and agencies which, under the law and regulation, are to 
transmit them each year to OGE (which in turn reviews the reports of 
Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees.) This information will be 
reviewed by Government officials at the employing agencies and OGE to 
determine compliance with applicable laws and regulations. This 
confidential report will not be disclosed to any requesting person 
unless otherwise authorized by law. See also the form notice and the 
OGE/GOVT-2 Privacy Act Government-wide executive branch system of 
records (which will be revised to additionally cover these new reports) 
for an explanation of the routine uses of this information on the form.
    As this is a new reporting requirement with no prior data as to the 
number of forms being filed annually, the total number of forms to be 
filed annually and those to be filed by terminees who have already left 
the Government by the time they fill out their reports (i.e., private 
citizens) must of necessity be very approximate estimates.
    Given a potential estimated reporting population of about 19,300 
annual and terminee public SF 278 filers each year in the executive 
branch (based on an OGE 1993 agency survey) and based on a 1993 
sampling of some 200 SF 278 reports (which failed to reveal any in lieu 
of honoraria charitable payments), OGE currently contemplates that less 
than 0.5% of SF 278 filers will have payments on their behalf to 
charitable organizations in lieu of honoraria to report. This means 
that no more than 97 such reports are expected to be filed annually. Of 
those 97 report forms, OGE believes that approximately 8%, a total of 
some eight each year, will be filed by non-Government employee filers 
(public SF 278 filer terminees having in lieu of honoraria payments to 
report who are no longer Federal employees when they file). Normally, 
OMB Paperwork Reduction Act approval is required for a nonstatistical 
collection of information only if it affects 10 or more private persons 
each year (not counting Federal employees for information collections 
within the scope of their employment). However, pursuant to 5 CFR 
1320.7(s)(1), an information collection contained in a rule of general 
applicability such as 5 CFR 2636.205 of OGE's regulations is deemed to 
affect 10 or more such persons annually. Thus, OGE is submitting this 
new form for OMB paperwork approval (and is seeking paperwork renewal 
for the as-yet not effective underlying regulation, which was initially 
approved under the Paperwork Reduction Act by OMB on April 10, 1991).
    The average response time for completion of the proposed report 
form is estimated to be one-half hour. Thus, the estimated actual 
reporting burden on the public will be four hours, eight report forms 
(just counting those filed by private citizens) times one-half hour per 
form. However, using the Sec. 1320.7(s)(1) regulatory minimum of 10 
private citizen filers, the estimated burden will come to five hours. 
This is a significant reduction in the estimated burden from 1991 (200 
hours) when OGE submitted the underlying regulation (again, not yet 
effective) for OMB paperwork clearance. As noted, this reduction 
results primarily from OGE's recent decision to exclude the large body 
of confidential SF 450 filers from this future supplemental reporting 
requirement as well as the lowered estimate of the percentage of public 
SF 278 filers who will have in lieu of honoraria charitable payments to 

    Approved: June 24, 1994.
Stephen D. Potts,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.
[FR Doc. 94-16094 Filed 6-30-94; 8:45 am]