Amendments To Incorporate a Statement Regarding the “Sole and Exclusive” Nature of the Authority That the Regulations of the Office of Government Ethics Confer on Executive Branch Departments and Agencies, 56241-56242 [E7-19470]

Download as PDF 56241 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 191 Wednesday, October 3, 2007 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS 5 CFR Parts 2634 and 2638 RINs 3209–AA00 and 3209–AA07 Amendments To Incorporate a Statement Regarding the ‘‘Sole and Exclusive’’ Nature of the Authority That the Regulations of the Office of Government Ethics Confer on Executive Branch Departments and Agencies AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE). Final rule, clarifying amendments. ACTION: SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics is amending its regulations to clarify the sole and exclusive nature of the authority it has conferred on executive branch departments and agencies and to remove certain language that this clarification makes redundant. DATES: Effective Date: November 2, 2007. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with RULES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William E. Gressman, Senior Associate General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics, telephone: 202–482–9300; TDD: 202–482–9293; FAX: 202–482–9237. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As the supervising ethics office for the executive branch, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has promulgated, at subchapter B of chapter XVI of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, regulations that, among other things, confer on executive branch departments and agencies (‘‘agencies’’) the authority to carry out various functions of the executive branchwide ethics program. Agencies exercise this authority solely and exclusively, in order to ensure consistent and uniform application of the various statutory and regulatory authorities constituting the framework for ethics in the executive branch. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:16 Oct 02, 2007 Jkt 214001 OGE previously amended one section of subchapter B, 5 CFR 2634.906, in order to add language emphasizing the sole and exclusive nature of the authority OGE has conferred on executive branch agencies. 63 FR 15273–15274 (March 31, 1998). In a branchwide issuance to designated agency ethics officials, DAEOgram DO– 99–014 (April 12, 1999), available on OGE’s Web site (http://www.usoge.gov), OGE similarly explained that the provisions of subchapter B that confer authority on executive branch agencies confer sole and exclusive authority. In January 2002, OGE reiterated this longstanding interpretation of subchapter B in connection with a matter pending before another administrative body, which in turn published the following decision taking note of the sole and exclusive authority OGE has conferred on executive branch agencies: 59 FLRA No. 50 (2003). In order to ensure consistent and uniform application of subchapter B, OGE is issuing these final rule technical clarifying amendments, effective November 2, 2007, which incorporate in subchapter B an express regulatory statement regarding the sole and exclusive nature of the authority that subchapter B confers on executive branch agencies. Because this statement is applicable to all regulatory provisions in subchapter B, the language OGE added to 5 CFR 2634.906 in its 1998 amendment is now redundant. Accordingly, OGE is also removing that amended language from § 2634.906, including the note thereto, and reissuing that section as previously worded. Finally, in accordance with section 402(b) of the Ethics in Government Act and section 201 of E.O. 12674 as modified, OGE has consulted with the Department of Justice and the Office of Personnel Management on these final rule clarifying amendments. ethics determinations as to their employees. These amendments do not substantively change any existing responsibilities. Regulatory Flexibility Act As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I certify under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it primarily affects Federal executive branch agencies and their employees. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply because this amendatory rulemaking does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act For purposes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. chapter 25, subchapter II), this final rule, once finalized, will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments and will not result in increased expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (as adjusted for inflation) in any one year. Matters of Regulatory Procedure Congressional Review Act The Office of Government Ethics has determined that this rulemaking involves a nonmajor rule under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 8) and will submit a report thereon to the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and Government Accountability Office in accordance with that law at the same time this rulemaking document is sent to the Office of the Federal Register for publication in the Federal Register. Administrative Procedure Act These clarifying amendments to OGE’s executive branchwide regulations constitute interpretative rules that are exempt, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), from the general procedures for notice of proposed rulemaking and opportunity for public comment. The purpose of the amendments is to clarify that the agencies concerned have sole and exclusive authority to make specific Executive Order 12866 In promulgating these technical amendments to its regulations, OGE has adhered to the regulatory philosophy and the applicable principles of regulation set forth in section 1 of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. These amendments have also been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under that Executive Order. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\03OCR1.SGM 03OCR1 56242 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 191 / Wednesday, October 3, 2007 / Rules and Regulations Moreover, in accordance with section 6(a)(3)(B) of E.O. 12866, the preamble to these revisions notes the legal basis and benefits of, as well as the need for, the regulatory action. There should be no appreciable increase in costs to OGE or the executive branch of the federal government in administering these regulatory amendments, since the provisions only clarify OGE’s original intent regarding sole and exclusive agency authority under the executive branchwide government ethics regulations. Finally, this rulemaking is not economically significant under the Executive Order and will not interfere with State, local or tribal governments. Executive Order 12988 As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I have reviewed this final amendatory rulemaking in light of section 3 of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, and certify that it meets the applicable standards provided therein. List of Subjects 5 CFR Part 2634 Certificates of divestiture, Conflict of interests, Government employees, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trusts and trustees. 5 CFR Part 2638 Conflict of interests, Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: September 21, 2007. Robert I. Cusick, Director, Office of Government Ethics. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306. Agricultural Marketing Service Subpart I—Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports 2. Section 2634.906 is amended by removing the note and revising the regulatory text of the section to read as follows: I § 2634.906 status. Review of confidential filer PART 2638—OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS AND EXECUTIVE AGENCY ETHICS PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES 3. The authority citation for part 2638 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306. 4. Section 2638.101 is amended by adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows: I For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Office of Government Ethics is amending parts 2634 and 2638 of subchapter B of chapter XVI of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: Title 5—Administrative Personnel CHAPTER XVI—OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS SUBCHAPTER B—GOVERNMENT ETHICS PART 2634—EXECUTIVE BRANCH FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE, QUALIFIED TRUSTS, AND CERTIFICATES OF DIVESTITURE § 2638.101 Authority and purpose. * * * * * (c) Agency authority. Subject only to the authority of the Office of Government Ethics as the supervising ethics office for the executive branch, all authority conferred on agencies in this subchapter B of chapter XVI of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations is sole and exclusive authority. [FR Doc. E7–19470 Filed 10–2–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6345–02–P 1. The authority citation for part 2634 continues to read as follows: ebenthall on PRODPC61 with RULES I Authority: 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); 26 U.S.C. 1043; Pub. L. 101–410, 104 Stat. 890, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990), as amended by Sec. 31001, Pub. L. 104–134, 110 Stat. 1321 (Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996); E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:16 Oct 02, 2007 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 7 CFR Part 28 [Docket Number: AMS–CN–07–0060; CN– 07–003B] RIN 0581–AC75 2007 Crop Cotton Classification Services and User Fees to Growers Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Interim final rule. AGENCY: The head of each agency, or an officer designated by the head of the agency for that purpose, shall review any complaint by an individual that his position has been improperly determined by the agency to be one which requires the submission of a confidential financial disclosure report pursuant to this subpart. A decision by the agency head or designee regarding the complaint shall be final. Subpart A—General Provisions I DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SUMMARY: The Smith-Doxey Amendment of 1937 (7 U.S.C. 473a) to the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act of 1927 (7 U.S.C. 471–476) provided authority for the USDA to perform cotton classification and market news services to producers at no cost. Prior to that time, authorization for classing services was provided through the Cotton Standards Act of 1923 (7 U.S.C. 51–65) and for statistical purposes through the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act of 1927. Costs for classing services under the Smith-Doxey Amendment were supplied through appropriated funds until 1981 at which time the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (Pub. L. 97– 35) authorized the USDA to begin collecting user fees for their services and the classing fee structure was implemented through the Smith-Doxey Amendment. The statutory authority for the delivery of classing services and collection of applicable fees under the Smith-Doxey Amendment will lapse on September 30, 2007. This rulemaking is necessary to re-establish the regulatory authority for the program’s continued operation and incorporate the current fee structure for the 2007 crop year, which was published in the June 1, 2007, Federal Register (72 FR 30457), under the authority of the Cotton Standards Act of 1923. DATES: Effective Date: October 1, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Darryl Earnest, Deputy Administrator, Cotton Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2639–S, STOP 0224, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250– 0224. Telephone (202) 720–2145, facsimile (202) 690–1718, or e-mail darryl.earnest@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866 This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866; and, therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\03OCR1.SGM 03OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 191 (Wednesday, October 3, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56241-56242]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-19470]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 191 / Wednesday, October 3, 2007 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 56241]]



OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS

5 CFR Parts 2634 and 2638

RINs 3209-AA00 and 3209-AA07


Amendments To Incorporate a Statement Regarding the ``Sole and 
Exclusive'' Nature of the Authority That the Regulations of the Office 
of Government Ethics Confer on Executive Branch Departments and 
Agencies

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Final rule, clarifying amendments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics is amending its regulations to 
clarify the sole and exclusive nature of the authority it has conferred 
on executive branch departments and agencies and to remove certain 
language that this clarification makes redundant.

DATES: Effective Date: November 2, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William E. Gressman, Senior Associate 
General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics, telephone: 202-482-9300; 
TDD: 202-482-9293; FAX: 202-482-9237.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As the supervising ethics office for the 
executive branch, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has 
promulgated, at subchapter B of chapter XVI of title 5 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations, regulations that, among other things, confer on 
executive branch departments and agencies (``agencies'') the authority 
to carry out various functions of the executive branchwide ethics 
program. Agencies exercise this authority solely and exclusively, in 
order to ensure consistent and uniform application of the various 
statutory and regulatory authorities constituting the framework for 
ethics in the executive branch.
    OGE previously amended one section of subchapter B, 5 CFR 2634.906, 
in order to add language emphasizing the sole and exclusive nature of 
the authority OGE has conferred on executive branch agencies. 63 FR 
15273-15274 (March 31, 1998). In a branchwide issuance to designated 
agency ethics officials, DAEOgram DO-99-014 (April 12, 1999), available 
on OGE's Web site (http://www.usoge.gov), OGE similarly explained that 
the provisions of subchapter B that confer authority on executive 
branch agencies confer sole and exclusive authority. In January 2002, 
OGE reiterated this longstanding interpretation of subchapter B in 
connection with a matter pending before another administrative body, 
which in turn published the following decision taking note of the sole 
and exclusive authority OGE has conferred on executive branch agencies: 
59 FLRA No. 50 (2003).
    In order to ensure consistent and uniform application of subchapter 
B, OGE is issuing these final rule technical clarifying amendments, 
effective November 2, 2007, which incorporate in subchapter B an 
express regulatory statement regarding the sole and exclusive nature of 
the authority that subchapter B confers on executive branch agencies. 
Because this statement is applicable to all regulatory provisions in 
subchapter B, the language OGE added to 5 CFR 2634.906 in its 1998 
amendment is now redundant. Accordingly, OGE is also removing that 
amended language from Sec.  2634.906, including the note thereto, and 
reissuing that section as previously worded.
    Finally, in accordance with section 402(b) of the Ethics in 
Government Act and section 201 of E.O. 12674 as modified, OGE has 
consulted with the Department of Justice and the Office of Personnel 
Management on these final rule clarifying amendments.\

Matters of Regulatory Procedure

Administrative Procedure Act

    These clarifying amendments to OGE's executive branchwide 
regulations constitute interpretative rules that are exempt, pursuant 
to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), from the general procedures for notice of 
proposed rulemaking and opportunity for public comment. The purpose of 
the amendments is to clarify that the agencies concerned have sole and 
exclusive authority to make specific ethics determinations as to their 
employees. These amendments do not substantively change any existing 
responsibilities.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I certify under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this rulemaking 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities because it primarily affects Federal executive branch 
agencies and their employees.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply 
because this amendatory rulemaking does not contain any information 
collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of 
Management and Budget.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    For purposes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 
chapter 25, subchapter II), this final rule, once finalized, will not 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments and will not result 
in increased expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (as 
adjusted for inflation) in any one year.

Congressional Review Act

    The Office of Government Ethics has determined that this rulemaking 
involves a nonmajor rule under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 
chapter 8) and will submit a report thereon to the U.S. Senate, House 
of Representatives and Government Accountability Office in accordance 
with that law at the same time this rulemaking document is sent to the 
Office of the Federal Register for publication in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866

    In promulgating these technical amendments to its regulations, OGE 
has adhered to the regulatory philosophy and the applicable principles 
of regulation set forth in section 1 of Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review. These amendments have also been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under that Executive 
Order.

[[Page 56242]]

Moreover, in accordance with section 6(a)(3)(B) of E.O. 12866, the 
preamble to these revisions notes the legal basis and benefits of, as 
well as the need for, the regulatory action. There should be no 
appreciable increase in costs to OGE or the executive branch of the 
federal government in administering these regulatory amendments, since 
the provisions only clarify OGE's original intent regarding sole and 
exclusive agency authority under the executive branchwide government 
ethics regulations. Finally, this rulemaking is not economically 
significant under the Executive Order and will not interfere with 
State, local or tribal governments.

Executive Order 12988

    As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I have reviewed 
this final amendatory rulemaking in light of section 3 of Executive 
Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, and certify that it meets the 
applicable standards provided therein.

List of Subjects

5 CFR Part 2634

    Certificates of divestiture, Conflict of interests, Government 
employees, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trusts 
and trustees.

5 CFR Part 2638

    Conflict of interests, Government employees, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: September 21, 2007.
Robert I. Cusick,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.

0
For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Office of Government 
Ethics is amending parts 2634 and 2638 of subchapter B of chapter XVI 
of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

Title 5--Administrative Personnel

CHAPTER XVI--OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS

SUBCHAPTER B--GOVERNMENT ETHICS

PART 2634--EXECUTIVE BRANCH FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE, QUALIFIED TRUSTS, 
AND CERTIFICATES OF DIVESTITURE

0
1. The authority citation for part 2634 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); 26 
U.S.C. 1043; Pub. L. 101-410, 104 Stat. 890, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note 
(Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990), as 
amended by Sec. 31001, Pub. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (Debt 
Collection Improvement Act of 1996); E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 
1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 
1990 Comp., p. 306.

Subpart I--Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports

0
2. Section 2634.906 is amended by removing the note and revising the 
regulatory text of the section to read as follows:


Sec.  2634.906  Review of confidential filer status.

    The head of each agency, or an officer designated by the head of 
the agency for that purpose, shall review any complaint by an 
individual that his position has been improperly determined by the 
agency to be one which requires the submission of a confidential 
financial disclosure report pursuant to this subpart. A decision by the 
agency head or designee regarding the complaint shall be final.

PART 2638--OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS AND EXECUTIVE AGENCY ETHICS 
PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES

0
3. The authority citation for part 2638 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); 
E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by 
E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306.

Subpart A--General Provisions

0
4. Section 2638.101 is amended by adding a new paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  2638.101  Authority and purpose.

* * * * *
    (c) Agency authority. Subject only to the authority of the Office 
of Government Ethics as the supervising ethics office for the executive 
branch, all authority conferred on agencies in this subchapter B of 
chapter XVI of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations is sole and 
exclusive authority.

[FR Doc. E7-19470 Filed 10-2-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6345-02-P