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04-1 Criteria for the Identification of Public and Confidential Financial Disclosure Filers


ETHICS ISSUANCE: Number 04-1 - DATE: May 7, 2004 (Updated January 2018)


1. Purpose

This issuance provides interpretive guidance to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA or Department) supervisors/managers, human resources officials, including classification specialists, ethics professionals, and employees for the identification of positions for which either public or confidential disclosure is required. This issuance does not create new regulatory requirements for the Department or its mission areas.

2. Authority

Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA) and section 201(d) of Executive Order 12674 (as modified by Executive Order 12731) provide uniform requirements for financial disclosure. The program procedures for financial disclosure are set out in 5 CFR Part 2634.

3. General

Public and confidential financial disclosure serves to prevent conflicts of interest and to identify potential conflicts, by providing for a systematic review of the financial interests of both current and prospective officers and employees [5 CFR § 2634.104(b)]. Identifying such potential conflicts early affords agencies and employees the opportunity to remedy situations that could, if unchecked, compromise not only public confidence in the integrity of the Federal Government, but also could place employees at odds with criminal statutes and administrative regulation.

Consistent with the fundamental principle that public service is a public trust, every employee in the executive branch plays a critical role in the executive branch ethics program. As provided in the Standards of Conduct at Part 2635 of the Code of Federal Regulations, employees must endeavor to act at all times in the public's interest, avoid losing impartiality or appearing to lose impartiality in carrying out official duties, refrain from misusing their offices for private gain, serve as good stewards of public resources, and comply with the requirements of government ethics laws and regulations, including any applicable financial disclosure requirements.1 Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each employee to understand and abide by the ethics laws and rules. Agency ethics officials are available to help employees fulfill their responsibilities and understand their obligations to make decisions based on the public's interests rather than their own personal financial interests.

To bring consistency to the executive branch, Congress, through passage of the EIGA, statutorily established public financial disclosure reporting requirements for senior executive branch personnel, created the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE), and charged OGE with the development and administration of a single, uniform Ethics Program to include establishing a public financial disclosure process. Later, OGE determined certain positions with duties involving the exercise of significant discretion in certain sensitive areas were equivalent and established a uniform confidential financial disclosure process to complement the public financial disclosure process.

"Public filers" are identified by appointment (e.g., Presidential Appointees with Senate confirmation (PAS), Schedule C appointees, and Senior Executive Service (SES) appointees) as defined in the EIGA. "Confidential filers" are identified by the individual duties and authorities assigned. Critical review of OGE 450 filer designations is necessary to ensure disclosure is sought from only those employees whose duties truly meet the criteria for filing.2

OGE issued new regulations at 5 CFR § 2638.105 that explain the government ethics responsibilities of the agency's lead human resources official, including, among other things, the responsibility to notify the Designated Agency Ethics Official of all appointments to positions that require employees to file public or confidential financial disclosure reports. The USDA Office of Ethics (OE) will, upon request or upon identification of issues in audits, assist mission areas with difficult questions involving the identification of confidential filers; however, USDA agencies should consult the agency lead human resources official, or the official's designees, for assistance with classifying and designating filer positions.

4. Definitions.

The following definitions are non-technical and "plain language." Please refer to the Code of Federal Regulations for definitions of terms contained in the Code.

4.1. "Acquisition Workforce" refers to the personnel component of the Federal Acquisition system. The Acquisition Workforce includes employees in the GS-1102 series.

4.2. "Advisory Committee" is defined in 5 CFR §2634.903(c). Advisory committee members may be required to file an OGE 450 new entrant report during each year of service on an advisory committee.

4.3. "Agency" is a component organization within a USDA "mission area"; not to be confused with the term "executive agency," as defined at 5 U.S.C. § 105, which includes cabinet departments (e.g., USDA), Government corporations, and independent establishments.

4.4. "Agency head" means the USDA Secretary or his designees.

4.5. "Appearance of a Conflict of Interest"is defined in 5 CFR §2635, Subpart E.

4.6. Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official" (ADAEO) refers to the ethics official who, in the absence of the Designated Agency Ethics Official, is designated to perform any of the duties referred to in 5 CFR §2638.203, except for those functions set forth in 5 CFR §2634.605(c)(2) and referred to in §2638.203(b)(3) (certification of nominee statements). As of the date of this issuance, the USDA ADAEO is Andrew Tobin, Deputy Director, USDA Office of Ethics.

4.7. "Classification Specialist" is the employee who, through the classification and evaluation processes, advises supervisors and managers about a potential confidential filer's duties and responsibilities and the level of authority associated with the assigned position description.

4.8. "Confidential Filer" is defined in 5 CFR § 2634.904(a) and Section 5 below. A confidential filer discloses financial interests through submission, as appropriate, of either a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) or Confidential Certificate of No New Interests (OGE Optional Form 450-A). The confidential filer is required to submit a completed OGE Form 450 as a new entrant filer within 30 days of appointment to duties requiring disclosure and to disclose as an annual filer by each February 15 thereafter in the form of either the full OGE 450 or the OGE 450-A. Unlike public filers, confidential filers do not file termination reports. Filers should confirm the accuracy of their position descriptions' content and any collateral appointment duties and recommend edits to their supervisors/managers as appropriate.

4.9. "Conflict of Interest" is identified as any government action or decision, i.e., "particular matter," in which an employee is "personally and substantially" involved that will have a "direct and predictable effect" on a "financial interest" of the employee, spouse, minor child, or organization in which the employee serves as an officer, trustee, partner or employee (18 U.S.C. § 208(a)). This is a criminal code prohibition that must be interpreted in strict accordance with the language of the statute and decisions of the courts. The penalties are set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 216. The full text may be accessed on the USDA Ethics website at "Laws and Regulations."

4.10. "Contract" is defined in FAR 2.101. For purposes of identifying a "particular matter," a mutually binding legal agreement signed by a "contracting officer" that obligates the Government to an expenditure of funds. For purposes of financial disclosure on the 278 and OGE 450, it includes commitments and awards; notices of awards; job orders or task letters issued under basic ordering agreements; letter contracts; orders, such as purchase orders for any amount under which the contract becomes effective by written acceptance or performance; bilateral contract modifications; and other mutual binding legal agreements between USDA and a "person." It also includes GSA Schedule Orders. Excluded here are Economy Act purchases pursuant to interagency agreements with other Federal agencies or USDA agencies. Contracts do not include grants or agreements covered by 31 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq.

4.11. "Contracting Officer" (CO)is a person delegated authority to enter into, administer, and terminate contracts in accordance with Federal acquisition laws and regulation, and to make related determinations and findings. This employee usually holds a GS-1102, Contract Specialist, or a GS-1105, Purchasing Agent, position. Note: Appointment to a GS-1102/1105 position does not automatically confer contracting officer authority. Such authorization is granted through the issuing of a "warrant."

4.12. "Contracting Officer Representative" (COR), also referred to as Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR), is any employee, regardless of position title or pay, designated by the "CO" to assist in the technical monitoring or administration of a "contract." This designation does not include any authority to make any commitments or changes that affect price, quality, quantity, delivery, or other terms and conditions of the contract. CORs/COTRs are appointed to levels of authority requiring specific skill levels to oversee contracts.

4.13. "Dependent Child" is defined in 5 CFR §2634.105(d) and Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. § 152.

4.14. "Designated Agency Ethics Official" (DAEO) ) is defined in 5 CFR 2634.105(e). As of the date of this issuance, the DAEO for USDA is Stuart A. Bender, Director, USDA Office of Ethics.

4.15. "Direct and Predictable Effect" is defined in 5 CFR § 2635.402(b)(1)).

4.16. "Ethics Agreement" is defined in 5 CFR §2634, Subpart H, and may be required for Public or Confidential filers

4.17. "Ethics Assistant" or "Ethics Specialist" refers to the several employees within the Office of Ethics who provide technical and procedural guidance on the administration of the USDA ethics program. These individuals perform the day-to-day requirements of the USDA ethics program which include: conducting ethics training; collecting, reviewing, and certifying confidential and public financial disclosure reports; and counseling employees concerning specific ethics questions or issues.

4.18. "Financial Interest" is defined in 5 CFR §2635.403(c).

4.19. "Human Resource Specialist" is the employee, such as the designated staffing specialist as delegated within each mission area, who assists the mission area by communicating financial disclosure designations to the Office of Ethics and entering those codes in the National Finance Center database.

4.20. "Intergovernment Personnel Act" (IPA) is defined in 42 U.S.C. § 4701 et seq.

4.21. "Lead Human Resources Official" is defined in 5 CFR § 2638.603.

4.22. "Micro-Purchase Authority" means procurement authority delegated to certain employees through the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The threshold for such purchases is routinely set at $2,500/purchase or less ($2,000/purchase or less for construction).

4.23. "Mission Area" refers to one or more of the core operational areas that comprise the USDA organizational structure. Each mission area is managed by an Under Secretary.

4.24. "Modified New Entrant SF 278" refers to optional procedures approved by OGE if the number of days an employee will work is unclear. In such cases, the agency, after consultation with OE, may permit, but not require, an employee to file a modified OGE Form 278e in lieu of a confidential financial disclosure form. The modified OGE Form 278e would include only the information required by the confidential financial disclosure requirements. For example, in Parts 2, 5, and 6, the filer would report the assets that meet either the value or income reporting thresholds, but would not complete the value and income fields. Similarly, the filer would complete only the Creditor Name and Type fields in Part 8. The modified OGE Form 278e would be treated as confidential and marked "not for public release" (or "confidential"), unless and until the employee works more than 60 days in that calendar year. If the employee does work more than 60 days, the employee must update the report within 15 days of the 60th day, including all information required for a public OGE Form 278e. See Office of Government Ethics DO-03-021, dated October 23, 2003, and 5 CFR §2634.204 for additional guidance.

4.25. "Office of Ethics" (OE) is a separate office within the USDA Office of General Counsel (OGC) that is delegated responsibility, pursuant to 7 CFR §2.201, for the operation and administration of the USDA ethics program, in accordance with 5 CFR Part 2638. The Office of Ethics, pursuant to authority delegated by the Secretary through the DAEO, administers the public and confidential financial disclosure program for all of USDA, assists with the creation of alternate or short form disclosure reports, and seeks OGE approval for the re-evaluation of equivalent classifications of positions requiring financial disclosure.

4.26. "OGE Form 450, Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report" (OGE Form 450) is the standardized form created by OGE for executive branch employees who are required to file in accordance with the confidential financial disclosure process. Annual disclosure is due by February 15 of each year and covers the 12-month period ending December 31 of the previous year.

4.27. "OGE Optional Form 450-A, Confidential Certificate of No New Interests" (OGE Optional Form 450-A) is an alternate form created by the Office of Government Ethics which an incumbent confidential filer may use in lieu of the annual OGE Form 450, consistent with the conditions in 5 CFR 2634.905(b).3 In each year divisible by four, beginning in 2000, i.e., a Presidential election year, all incumbent filers must file a new OGE Form 450 rather than an Optional Form OGE 450-A, regardless of how recently they may have filed an OGE Form 450 (either as a new entrant or as an annual filer who was not eligible to use, or chose not to use, the optional certificate). SGEs may not submit the OGE 450-A.

Note: Effective January 1, 2019, the OGE Optional Form 450-A, Confidential Certificate of No New Interests, is not an accepted alternate form for the OGE-450 annual report, per US Office of Government Ethics regulation 5 CFR § 2634.905. This means USDA confidential financial disclosure filers may not file the OGE 450-A in lieu of the OGE 450. Effective January 1, 2019, all USDA annual confidential financial disclosure filers must file a complete OGE 450.

4.28. "Particular Matters" is defined in 5 CFR §2635.402(b)(3).

  • Examples of "particular matters" include: judicial or other proceedings, applications, requests for ruling, contracts, claims, controversies, charges, accusations or arrests.
  • Examples of excluded matters, i.e., matters of general applicability, include: general rulemaking, legislation, the formulation of policy, standards or objectives, or other action of general application (e.g., amending regulations setting forth claims procedures for an agency); however, rulemaking, legislation, and the formulation of policy, standards or objectives may be a particular matter when narrowly focused and likely to have a distinct impact upon a portion or sector of the public (e.g., safety standards for interstate trucking). See 5 CFR §2635.402(b)(3).

4.29. "Person" is defined in 5 CFR §2635.102(k).

4.30. "Personal and Substantial Participation"is defined in 5 CFR §2635.402(b)(4).

4.31. "Public Filer" positions are mandated by the EIGA and are defined at 5 CFR § 2634.202 and discussed in Section 6 below. For USDA, such employees may include:

  • Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees;
  • Career and non-career Senior Executive Service officials;
  • Schedule C employees who have not been exempted from public filing;
  • Senior-Level (SL) and Scientific and Professional (ST) employees paid at the above described rate;
  • Foreign Executive (FE) officials;
  • Special Government employees (SGEs) paid at the above described rate;
  • Board of Contract Appeals members; and
  • Administrative Law Judges.

Through the public process, a filer complies with the disclosure requirement by submitting an electronic OGE 278, Executive Branch Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE 278e) within 30 days of entry to a designated position; annually thereafter by each May 15; and within 30 days of departing from the last position identified for public disclosure. A filer should confirm the accuracy of his/her position description's content and/or duties of collateral appointment and recommend edits to his/her supervisor/manager as appropriate.

4.32. "Special Government Employee" (SGE) - defined in 18 U.S.C. § 202(a). Examples of SGEs are: certain Federal board members, collaborators, consultants, experts or panel members.4 SGEs must submit either a new entrant "OGE Form 450" or an "OGE 278" with each appointment. SGEs should maintain a record of the number of days employed, the rate of pay received during each one-year appointment, and share that information with the agency's human resources specialist upon each reappointment.

4.33. "Supervisor/Manager" is the employee responsible for maintaining the accuracy of designated financial disclosure filers within their supervisory authority. This individual identifies the duties and responsibilities of positions, including collateral appointments or assignments requiring confidential disclosure that are not reflected in the position description. Usually through an annual review prior to confidential disclosure, the supervisor/manager reviews duties with the agency's human resources classification specialist to ensure consistent and accurate designations for financial disclosure.

4.34. "OGE 278, Executive Branch Public Financial Disclosure Report" (OGE 278) is the form created by the "Office of Government Ethics" for public filers, which is based on the requirements of the EIGA. No alternative reporting process exists for public filers. This form is required for new entrants, annual filers, and separating employees. Annual disclosure is due by May 15 each year and covers the prior calendar year. Employees who are leaving a position designated as a public filer position must submit a final "termination" report within 30 days of leaving the position.

4.35. "USDA Confidential Conflict of Interest Certification" (AD-1202) - The AD-1202 is obsolete as of 2014 for all USDA agencies.

4.36. "U.S. Office of Government Ethics" (OGE) is an independent executive branch agency responsible for establishing executive branch-wide regulations and overseeing the administration of executive agency ethics programs.

4.37. "Warrant" is the formal Certificate of Appointment as a "contracting officer" (CO) which sets forth any limitations on the scope of authority delegated to the appointee.

  • Level I - Routine, generally low dollar procurements requiring little or no monitoring. Such contracts are entered into for commercial off-the-shelf materials, e.g., furniture, computer monitors, etc.
  • Level II - More complex procurements requiring increased monitoring or inspections and recommendations for payment of completed phases of services or the provision of goods.
  • Level III - Complex procurements requiring the oversight of major projects, e.g., facility construction or renovation, new computer systems for an Agency, or aircraft purchases.

5. Confidential Disclosure

A. A confidential filer is an employee assigned duties of such decision-making authority or sensitivity that the public must be assured of transparency between the filer's personal financial interests and assigned work and an absence of a real or apparent conflict of interest. Likewise, the filer must also avoid taking action that could be construed as an act of favoritism or loss of impartiality. A confidential filer may be required to execute an ethics agreement to resolve potential or actual conflicts of interest. An agency may require an employee to file a confidential financial disclosure report when the employee's duties entail personal and substantial involvement in making official decisions or using significant judgment relating to particular matters involving one or more of the following:

  • Contracting or procurement above the micro-purchase threshold;
  • Administering, awarding, monitoring, or making determinations regarding grants, subsidies, licenses, or other federal benefits
  • Regulating, auditing or inspecting any non-Federal entity;
  • Performing other activities in which the decision or action will have a direct and substantial economic effect on a non-Federal entity; or
  • Serving in any other position that the agency determines requires filing to avoid a conflict of interest, appearance of favoritism or loss of impartiality (i.e., a real or apparent conflict of interest).

B. Examples of USDA positions include:

  • Certain employees serving in positions compensated at pay grades GS-13 through GS-15, or their equivalent; and
  • Certain employees below pay grade GS-13, or its equivalent and who:
    • Serve as COs (See section 8, below.);
    • Serve as Level II or Level III CORs/COTRs (See section 8, below.); or
    • Provide professional or consultative services to USDA.

USDA agencies, components, and offices requiring confidential financial disclosure by employees not listed above, should provide their respective human resources classification specialists with written justification for required filing. When considering potential disclosure and to avoid over-designation, the classification specialist should consider the following: (a) the significance and level of authority afforded the employee, (b) whether the employee receives substantial supervisory review, and (c) whether the employee exercises significant judgment in performing job functions. This job aid can assist with confidential filer designations. As communicated in section 3 above, the primary purpose for disclosure is to identify potential conflicts of interest early. If the disclosure process through employee submission of the OGE Form 450 doesn't identify potential conflicts of interest, the agency, in consultation with OE, has an obligation to identify a more constructive process to identify potential conflicts of its employees.

C. Alternate/Optional Disclosure Processes for Confidential Filers

Confidential filers who are eligible may file the OGE Optional Form 450-A in lieu of the OGE 450 when the requirements in 5 CFR §2634.905(b) are met or other alternate reporting process, subject to prior written approval from OE and OGE. NOTE: SGEs are precluded from using alternate financial disclosure procedures.

D. Exclusions From Confidential Disclosure Filing Requirements

In accordance with 5 CFR § 2634.904(b), any employee or class of employees may be excluded from all or a portion of the confidential reporting requirements when the agency head or designee determines the duties of a position make remote the possibility that the incumbent filer will be involved in a real or apparent conflict of interest. Persons reviewing requests to exclude employees from the confidential filer requirements should also consider the following:

  • The employee performs duties with a substantial degree of supervision and exercises little independent decision making; or
  • Any potential conflict created would have an inconsequential effect on the integrity of the Government.

E. Review of Confidential Filer Status

Employees who believe that their positions or appointments, or those under their supervision, have been improperly identified for or omitted from confidential financial disclosure should submit a formal request for reconsideration through management to their agency's human resources specialist. With the request, each employee should include supporting evidence such as a current position description or a copy of a special appointment requiring a set of duties and responsibilities not addressed within the position description. Pursuant to 5 CFR §2634.906, the agency head or an officer designated for that purpose is the final deciding official. This process precludes administrative or negotiated grievances, arbitration procedures, and any other review or appeal, within or outside the agency.

6. Public Disclosure

A. Any employee designated to fulfill the duties of an appointment described in 4.31 above must file a public disclosure report with OE. A public filer may be required to execute an ethics agreement to resolve potential or actual conflicts of interest.

B. Alternate Disclosure Process for Public Filers

All public filers must submit the OGE 278e; there are no alternate procedures to the public filing process.

No alternate disclosure process exists for public filers.

C. Exclusions From Public Disclosure Filing Requirements

  1. General. Any individual or group of individuals, as described in 5 CFR § 2634.202(e), may be excluded from public reporting requirement when the OGE Director determines, in his or her sole discretion, that the exclusion would not adversely affect the integrity of the Government or the public's confidence in the integrity of the Government.
  2. Exclusion Determination. The OGE Director has determined certain individuals in positions classified at or below GS-15 or for which the rate of basic pay outside the General Schedule (lowest step) is below 120% of the rate of pay for GS-15-01 and have no policy-making role with respect to agency programs may be excluded from the public financial disclosure filing requirement. Examples of excluded positions include the following:
    • Chauffeurs,
    • Private secreatries and stenographers, or
    • Others holding positions of a similar nature whose exclusion would be consistent with the basic criterion in 5 CFR § 2634.203(a).
  3. Employment of 60 days or less. An individual who is not reasonably expected to perform the duties of an office or position as a nominee or public filer, as defined in 5 CFR 2634.201(c) and 5 CFR 2634.202, respectively, for more than 60 days in a calendar year is not subject to the public financial reporting requirements. An employee who has initially been excluded from public filing but ultimately serves in a public filer position for more than 60 days in a calendar year must file a New Entrant report within 15 days after the 60th day. The employee should also file any subsequent Annual reports and a Termination report when leaving the filer position. Contact OE if you believe this exclusion applies to your position.

D. Review of Public Filer Status

Contact OE if you believe your appointment or appointments under your supervision have been improperly identified for, or omitted from, public financial disclosure requirement.

7. Special Government Employees (SGE)

A. Generally, each SGE is required to submit a new entrant report within 30 days of appointment and annually, thereafter, with each reappointment. Determination of the public or confidential disclosure system is based on the level of salary received and the number of days worked.

  1. SGEs who are paid an hourly rate that is consistent with that paid an employee identified as a public filer and who work in excess of 60 days within a consecutive 365 days must file an OGE 278.
  2. SGEs who are exempted from the public filing requirement must file a New Entrant confidential financial disclosure report, regardless of the number of days served, unless they are exempted from filing by agency determination. Note: If an OGE meets pay conditions for public disclosure, but the agency is uncertain that the duties of the office will exceed 60 days in a calendar year, the SGE may file either an OGE Form 450 or a modified new entrant OGE 278. See the definition of "Modified New Entrant OGE 278" at section 4.24 above.

B. Alternate Disclosure Procedures for SGE
SGEs may not submit alternate or short forms for financial disclosure.

C. Exclusion from Disclosure Filing Requirements
SGEs are not excluded from disclosure filing requirements. They must disclose within 30 days of taking office. Under certain conditions, the Director of OGE may grant a special waiver of the public availability requirements for OGE 278 filers who are SGEs.

D. Review of SGE Filer Status
Contact your agency's human resources specialist if you believe your SGE filer status is incorrect.

8. Acquisition Workforce Personnel

Employee involvement in the Acquisition Workforce program does not automatically require disclosure. Whether disclosure is required depends primarily upon the level of personal and substantial participation granted upon appointment. Consult your agency's human resources or classifications specialist for additional guidance. The following are sample determinations:

A. Contracting Officer (CO)
All employees who are appointed as COs must file either a public or confidential financial disclosure report, based on the employee's salary, position, warrant authority, Federal service appointment and applicable filing criteria as defined in section 4 above.

B. Contracting Officer Representative and Technical Representative (COR/COTR)
Usually, Level I COR/COTR appointees do not meet criteria for disclosure. However, an agency may require disclosure upon a formal determination by the agency's human resources specialist (after notice and discussion with the appointee's supervisor/manager) that the duties and responsibilities of the "Level I" appointee require such disclosure to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest.
An agency may require either confidential or public financial disclosure for Level II and Level III COR/COTR appointees upon a formal determination by the agency's human resources specialist (after notice and discussion with the appointee's supervisor/manager) and review of the employee's salary, position, warrant authority, Federal service appointment and the applicable filing criteria as defined in section 4 above.

C. Micro Purchase Authority
Authority delegated through the USDA Purchase Card Program for micro-purchase procurement may not rise to the level of substantive authority as defined in the criteria requiring submission of the confidential financial disclosure report. However, such employees are encouraged to complete the informative "Government Purchase Card Ethics" training module in Aglearn to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest.

9. Intergovernmental Personnel Act

A. Details to the Federal Sector
IPA detailees to Federal duties/position descriptions are considered Federal employees for purposes of the EIGA. As such, criteria for confidential and public disclosure may apply. See Office of Government Ethics DO-02-029, dated December 9, 2002.

  1. Public financial disclosure applies to any IPA detailee who is assigned to an "established, classified position," with a rate of basic pay equal to or greater than 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay for a GS-15, and is reasonably expected to perform the duties of the position for more than 60 days in a calendar year.
    Note: An IPA detailee who receives the above rate of pay for the above timeframe, but is given a set of ad hoc, unclassified duties, relevant only to a specific assignment project is not required to file a public disclosure report; but normally will be required to file a confidential disclosure report (see 9.A.2. below). However, in certain instances OE may request OGE's approval to require public disclosure.
  2. Confidential financial disclosure applies to any IPA detailee who is assigned to an "established, classified position," and to any detailee who is given a set of ad hoc, unclassified duties, relevant only to a specific assignment project, if the duties and responsibilities meet the criteria for confidential disclosure described in section 5 above.

B. Details to the Private Sector

  1. Public filers. Federal employees on an IPA detail to the private sector, and for whom the definition of "public filer" applies (see section 6 above), must continue to disclose under the public disclosure system for the term of your Federal appointment.
  2. Confidential filers. Federal employees on an IPA detail to the private sector and are identified for confidential disclosure because of Federal duties assigned are not required to disclose unless you are performing those duties on February 15. For example: An employee performing official duties requiring disclosure for more than 60 days during the period January 1 - December 31 is normally required to submit an annual report by February 15. However, if that same employee is detailed to the private sector on or before February 15 and does not perform official duties requiring disclosure, no report is required.

1 5 CFR § 2638.102

2 OGE has recommended that executive branch ethics programs, including USDA, should confirm confidential filer appointments are consistent with the regulatory requirements and reduce the number of confidential filers when possible

3 An incumbent filer who wishes to file the OGE Optional Form 450-A must certify, after review of the most recently filed OGE 450, that you acquired no new reportable interests, and you have had no significant change in duties, authorities, and position description assignment. Otherwise, you must file the OGE 450.

4 Please contact OGC when addressing the employee status of non-Federal personnel serving on USDA advisory boards or commissions. A critical factor is the ultimate purpose of the board (e.g., to make decisions that commit USDA in terms of policy, fiscally, or otherwise; or merely to provide advice to USDA concerning the opinions of affected sectors of the public).