Oge advisory and backdating

Proposed § 2635.203(b)(8) is new as an exclusion, and excludes from the definition of “gift” certain offers of free attendance to an event provided to a speaker on the day of his or her presentation.Such offers of free attendance are currently treated as gifts that employees are permitted to accept pursuant to an exception set out in current § 2635.204(g)(1).

oge advisory and backdating-5

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When you get a notice telling you about your benefit, you can ask for:-We do not advise you to do so at this stage as it is better to have the details checked first, and be given reasons for the decision if it cannot be altered.

Employees are not, however, required to consider these factors in every case; these factors are merely intended to be illustrative of the types of considerations that are relevant to this determination.

In addition, because the regulatory exceptions represent OGE’s determination that, in most cases, acceptance of a gift under the relevant exception will not adversely affect public confidence, and because the factors are inherently subjective, the proposed rule clarifies that an employee has not violated the subpart by accepting a gift under an exception found in § 2635.204.

OGE proposes to amend current § 2635.203(b)(2), which excludes from the definition of the term “gift” certain presentation items with little intrinsic value, to permit employees to accept items that are “primarily” for presentation as opposed to only those that are “solely” for presentation.

OGE believes distinguishing between items intended for presentation based on whether the item hypothetically could have some independent use is not intuitive or necessary, so long as the presentation item is truly of “little intrinsic value.” Items such as watches, artwork, items containing precious metals or gemstones, fine crystal, or that otherwise have significant independent value would not qualify for this exclusion, even if they were inscribed or otherwise adorned with personalized information (such as the name of the donor, the date of an event, or the name of the recipient).As described in current § 2635.204(g)(1), OGE views the employee’s attendance in these circumstances as customary and necessary to allow the employee to carry out his or her assignment, and therefore views such offers of free attendance as not constituting a gift to either the agency or the employee.Moving the exception at § 2635.204(g)(1) to the exclusion section at § 2635.203(b)(8) reflects that long-time understanding. The proposed regulation is consistent with this advice.Advice OGE has previously provided on the application of current § 2635.204(g)(1) would continue to be applicable to proposed § 2635.203(b)(8). Current § 2635.204(g)(1) provides that an employee may accept an offer of free attendance to an event when he or she is assigned to participate as a speaker or panel participant or otherwise to present information on behalf of the agency. OGE proposes to include ten examples to § 2635.203(b) to provide clarification to the regulatory exclusions to the definition of “gift.” These examples are not intended to be comprehensive.OGE has also provided that an offer of free attendance provided to an employee’s spouse or another accompanying guest on the day the employee is presenting is also excluded from the gift rules in certain circumstances, which accords with the current exception for such attendees under § 2635.204(g)(6). an employee who is assigned to present information on behalf of the agency . Proposed Example 1 to paragraph (b)(1) clarifies that the exclusion for “modest items of food and refreshment” would not cover alcoholic beverages served at a Government contractor’s holiday party. which are intended primarily for presentation.” Proposed Example 1 and Example 2 to paragraph (b)(5) both clarify the exclusion for rewards and prizes given to participants in contests or events open to the public.To counter this tendency, OGE is proposing to add § 2635.201(b)(1), which sets out a flexible, non-binding standard that employees are encouraged to use when deciding whether to accept a gift that would otherwise be permitted by this subpart.

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