Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct, 50319-50321 [2017-23576]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 209 / Tuesday, October 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways. 39 CFR Part 3000 [Docket No. RM2017–4; Order No. 4178] Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows: Postal Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05–1, 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 2. Add § 165.T08–0891 to read as follows: ■ § 165.T08–0891 Safety Zone: Monongahela River, Monongahela, PA. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Monongahela River from mile marker (MM) 31.5 to MM 32.5. (b) Effective date. This rule is effective from 8:30 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. on November 17, 2017. (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh (COTP) or a designated representative. (2) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage through the zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The designated representative may be contacted at 412–221–0807. (3) All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or a designated representative. Designated representatives include United States Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, and petty officers. (d) Information broadcasts. The Captain COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the planned schedule. Dated: October 26, 2017. L. McClain, Jr., Commander, Captain of the Port, U.S. Coast Guard. [FR Doc. 2017–23652 Filed 10–30–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Oct 30, 2017 Jkt 244001 The Commission revises its existing ethics rules to replace those duplicative rules with rules that reflect the Commission’s current regulatory role under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. DATES: Effective date: November 30, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Comments IV. Commission Analysis V. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction On May 24, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the Commission’s ethics rules, 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000.1 On the same day, with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), the Commission also issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the supplemental standards of ethical conduct, 5 CFR part 5601, applicable to Commission employees.2 Executive branch employees are subject to multiple federal ethics laws, regulations issued by OGE, and executive orders. Because existing 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000 contains several rules that are duplicative of rules contained in 5 CFR part 2638 and 5 CFR part 5601, as amended, the Commission will revise existing 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000. The Commission will replace those duplicative rules with rules that reflect the Commission’s current regulatory role under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), Public Law 109–435, 120 Stat. 1 82 FR 23766 (May 24, 2017). The Commission posted this document on its Web site on May 19, 2017. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Ethics Rules, May 19, 2017 (Order No. 3907). 2 82 FR 23758 (May 24, 2017). The Commission posted this document on its Web site on May 19, 2017. Order No. 3906, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission, May 19, 2017. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50319 3198 (2006). The revised rules will treat employees’ and former employees’ interactions with the Postal Service substantially the same as if those interactions were with entities that are not part of the federal government. II. Background The ethics rules contained in 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000 were adopted in a 1971 rulemaking, in which the Civil Service Commission promulgated employee conduct regulations on the Commission’s behalf. 36 FR 5412 (Mar. 23, 1971). In 1993, the Commission collaborated with OGE to revise the Commission’s ethics rules in 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000. 58 FR 42873, 42874 (Aug. 12, 1993). The Commission amended the ethics rules in 2001 to eliminate a redundant provision. 66 FR 32544, 32545 (Jun. 15, 2001). In 2006, the PAEA changed the agency’s name from the Postal Rate Commission to the Postal Regulatory Commission and made several changes to the Commission’s regulatory role. In 2007, the Commission amended its ethics rules to correct the statutory authority and the agency’s name, both of which were changed by the PAEA. 72 FR 33164, 33165 (Jun. 15, 2007). In 2016, the Commission amended its ethics rules to redesignate the numbering to be consistent with the Federal Register Document Drafting Handbook and to correct the listed authority. 81 FR 42534, 42540 (Jun. 30, 2016). Neither amendment modernized the Commission’s ethics rules to reflect the PAEA’s enhancements to the Commission’s responsibilities. Because the ethics rules in existing 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000 are redundant to rules contained in title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the Commission undertook this rulemaking to streamline its regulations. Order No. 3907 at 4–5. Further, the PAEA’s changes to the Commission’s responsibilities drive the need to modernize the ethics rules to ensure that consistent rules will apply to employees’ and former employees’ interactions with entities outside the federal government and with the Postal Service. III. Comments The Commission received two sets of comments pertaining to the proposed revisions to the supplemental standards of ethical conduct and the Commission’s ethics rules. Sum Comments. The Commission received the following comment through the www.federalregister.gov Web site: ‘‘Any deletion of ethical conduct would not be in the best E:\FR\FM\31OCR1.SGM 31OCR1 50320 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 209 / Tuesday, October 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations interest of the American people due to transparency.’’ 3 PR Comments. The Public Representative supports the proposed revisions.4 He deems it ‘‘critical that the Commission’s ethics rules accurately reflect its role as a regulator and are reflective of the agency’s procedures.’’ PR Comments at 2. He concludes that the proposed revisions serve the public interest, reinforce public perception of the Commission’s integrity, and increase accessibility and transparency. Id. He states that ‘‘the Commission’s judgment that the standards applied to private firms should apply to the Postal Service is reasonable.’’ Id. at 2–3. He also states that the proposed revisions help to ‘‘maintain the public’s confidence that Commission staff are fulfilling their roles impartially.’’ Id. at 2. He observes that the proposed deletions are primarily editorial revisions made to delete duplicative and outdated sections. Id. at 3. He notes that the proposed deletions will not limit the ethical obligations of Commission employees. Id. IV. Commission Analysis Neither commenter suggested changes to the proposed rules. The Public Representative supports the proposed rules. Id. at 2–3. In response to the concern expressed in the Sum Comments, the Commission reiterates its commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards. As executive branch employees, Commission employees remain subject to several statutes governing conflicts of interests (see, e.g., 18 U.S.C. 201–219); the standards of ethical conduct appearing in Executive Order 12674, as amended by Executive Order 12731; 5 and regulations promulgated by OGE relating to several issues, including financial disclosure, the standards of ethical conduct, and post-employment conflicts of interest (see, e.g., 5 CFR parts 2634, 2635, and 2641). Commission employees are also subject to the supplemental standards of ethical conduct, 5 CFR part 5601, which are also being revised to reflect the Commission’s modern regulatory role under the PAEA and to remove duplicative and outdated provisions.6 Existing subpart A of part 3000 Description of the existing rule § 3000.5 ................. Cross-reference to employee ethical conduct standards and financial disclosure regulations. Memorializing the duties of the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) for the Commission. Memorializing the prohibition against financial conflicts of interest. Prohibited outside employment, prior approval to engage in outside employment, and disqualification when seeking non-federal employment. § 3000.10 ............... § 3000.15 ............... ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES § 3000.20 ............... The regulations at issue in this Order, the ethics rules applicable to Commission employees only, concern restrictions imposed upon Commission employees in addition to these laws and standards. The proposed revisions remain consistent with these laws and do not abrogate their application in any way. Streamlining the Commission’s ethics rules supports OGE’s mission to establish a single, comprehensive, and clear set of executive branch standards of ethical conduct in accordance with Executive Order 12731. The proposed revisions will not lead to any reduction in the ethical obligations of Commission employees. Ultimately, the proposed revisions will enhance the Commission’s adherence to ethical conduct by more accurately reflecting the Commission’s modern regulatory role under the PAEA. Specifically, the Commission deletes the four rules in existing 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000, which are redundant to provisions contained in title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as displayed in the following table: Duplicative provision contained in title 5 5 CFR 5601.101(a), as amended by Order No. 4177. 5 CFR part 2638. 5 CFR 5601.102, as amended by Order No. 4177. 5 CFR 5601.104(a) and (b) and 5601.103(a), as amended by Order No. 4177. Further, as detailed in Order No. 3907, the Commission issues replacement rules that will improve transparency and the ability of Commission employees to adhere to the highest ethical standards. Specifically, these rules treat employees’ and former employees’ interactions with the Postal Service substantially the same as if those interactions were with entities that are not part of the federal government. As noted by the Public Representative, this will serve the public interest and reinforce public perception of the Commission’s integrity with respect to the oversight of the Postal Service. See PR Comments at 2. The Commission makes two editorial revisions. First, the Commission corrects the format of the crossreferences to title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations in proposed §§ 3000.10 and 3000.15. Second, the Commission clarifies the text of proposed § 3000.10(a), relating to the obligation of Commission employees seeking employment with the Postal Service to provide written notice of disqualification to the DAEO. The Commission adds a cross-reference to reflect that this obligation supplements the requirement that Commission employees seeking non-federal employment provide written notice of disqualification to the DAEO. Also, the Commission adds a procedural sentence memorializing that the DAEO will inform the employee and the employee’s supervisor in writing of each matter from which the employee is disqualified from participating. This clarifying revision will better ensure that the employee is disqualified from all applicable matters. For these reasons and those reasons detailed in Order No. 3907, the Commission adopts the proposed rules without substantial changes. 3 Comment Received from Beth Sum, June 19, 2017 (Sum Comments). For transparency, this comment was posted to the Commission’s Web site and associated with this docket. 4 Public Representative Comments on Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Ethics Rules and Amendments to Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission, June 26, 2017 (PR Comments). The Public Representative also filed a motion for late acceptance of his comments. Motion of Public Representative for Late Acceptance of Comments, June 26, 2017 (Motion). The Motion is granted. 5 See Executive Order No. 12674, 54 FR 15159 (Apr. 12, 1989); Executive Order No. 12731, 55 FR 42547 (Oct. 17, 1990). 6 Order No. 4177, Order Amending Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission, October 25, 2017. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Oct 30, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 V. Ordering Paragraphs It is ordered: 1. Subpart A of part 3000 of title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, is E:\FR\FM\31OCR1.SGM 31OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 209 / Tuesday, October 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations amended as set forth below the signature of this Order effective 30 days after the date of publication of this Order in the Federal Register. 2. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register. List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 3000 Conflict of interests. By the Commission. Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission amends chapter III of title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: CHAPTER III—POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 1. Under the authority of 39 U.S.C. 503, remove the heading of subchapter A. ■ PART 3000—STANDARDS OF CONDUCT 2. The authority citation for part 3000 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 39 U.S.C. 503; 504, 3603; E.O. 12674; 54 FR 15159; 3 CFR,1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 56 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 396, 5 CFR parts 2634 and 2635. with any proceeding or matter before the Commission that was under the official responsibility of such individual, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 202(b), while in the service of the Commission. § 3000.10 Additional required notification of disqualification when seeking employment. (a) Notwithstanding 5 CFR 2635.603(a), an employee that seeks employment with the Postal Service must provide written notice of disqualification to the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) consistent with 5 CFR 5601.103(a). The DAEO will inform the employee and the employee’s supervisor in writing of each matter from which the employee is disqualified from participating. (b) An employee may withdraw written notice under paragraph (a) of this section consistent with 5 CFR 5601.103(b). § 3000.15 Additional limitation on acceptance of anything of value. Regardless of 5 CFR 2635.203(b)(7), a Commission employee may not accept a gift from the Postal Service, unless another exception or exclusion to 5 CFR 2635.203 applies or a waiver is granted by the DAEO. 3. Revise subpart A of part 3000 to read as follows: § 3000.20 Subpart A—General Provisions BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P ■ [FR Doc. 2017–23576 Filed 10–30–17; 8:45 am] Sec. 3000.5 Post-employment restrictions. 3000.10 Additional required notification of disqualification when seeking employment. 3000.15 Additional restriction on acceptance of anything of value. 3000.20 [Reserved] ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES § 3000.5 Post-employment restrictions. All former employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) are subject to the following restrictions on appearance and practice before the Commission on behalf of any participant, including the United States Postal Service (Postal Service): (a) No former employee of the Commission may practice or act as an attorney, expert witness, or representative in connection with any proceeding or matter before the Commission that the former employee has handled, advised, or participated in the consideration of while in the service of the Commission. (b) No former employee of the Commission may within 1 year after his or her employment has ceased, practice before or act as an attorney, expert witness, or representative in connection VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:53 Oct 30, 2017 Jkt 244001 [Reserved] FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 61 [WC Docket Nos. 16–143, 05–25, GN Docket No. 13–5, RM–10593; FCC 17–43] Business Data Services in an Internet Protocol Environment; Technology Transitions; Special Access for Price Cap Local Exchange Carriers; AT&T Corporation Petition for Rulemaking Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Final rule; announcement of effective date. AGENCY: In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, an information collection associated with the Commission’s Business Data Services Report and Order, FCC 17–43, which, among other things, adopted an X-factor of two percent and required price cap ILECs to make a one-time filing to revise their Tariff Review Plans SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50321 (TRPs) to implement the new X-factor to become effective on December 1, 2017. In particular, the Commission amended its rules to state that the X-factor shall equal 2 percent effective December 1, 2017. This document is consistent with the Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of this rule. DATES: The amendment to 47 CFR 61.45(b)(1)(iv), published at June 2, 2017, 82 FR 25660, is effective October 31, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Kehoe, Pricing Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418–7122, or email: william.kehoe@ fcc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document announces that, on October 13, 2017, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the information collection requirement relating to § 61.45(b)(1)(iv) of the Commission’s rules, as contained in the Commission’s Business Data Services Report and Order, FCC 17–43, published at 82 FR 25660, June 2, 2017. The OMB Control Number is 3060– 0400. The Commission publishes this document as an announcement of the effective date of the rules. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Nicole Ongele, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1–A620, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060–0400, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via email at PRA@fcc.gov. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@ fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418–0530 (voice), (202) 418–0432 (TTY). Synopsis As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received final OMB approval on October 13, 2017, for the information collection requirements contained in the modifications to the Commission’s rules in 47 CFR part 61. Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a E:\FR\FM\31OCR1.SGM 31OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 209 (Tuesday, October 31, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 50319-50321]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-23576]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

39 CFR Part 3000

[Docket No. RM2017-4; Order No. 4178]


Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct

AGENCY: Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Commission revises its existing ethics rules to replace 
those duplicative rules with rules that reflect the Commission's 
current regulatory role under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement 
Act.

DATES: Effective date: November 30, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 
202-789-6820.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Background
III. Comments
IV. Commission Analysis
V. Ordering Paragraphs

I. Introduction

    On May 24, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) 
issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the Commission's ethics 
rules, 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000.\1\ On the same day, with the 
concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), the Commission 
also issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the supplemental 
standards of ethical conduct, 5 CFR part 5601, applicable to Commission 
employees.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 82 FR 23766 (May 24, 2017). The Commission posted this 
document on its Web site on May 19, 2017. Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking on Amendments to Ethics Rules, May 19, 2017 (Order No. 
3907).
    \2\ 82 FR 23758 (May 24, 2017). The Commission posted this 
document on its Web site on May 19, 2017. Order No. 3906, Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Supplemental Standards of 
Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission, 
May 19, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Executive branch employees are subject to multiple federal ethics 
laws, regulations issued by OGE, and executive orders. Because existing 
39 CFR subpart A of part 3000 contains several rules that are 
duplicative of rules contained in 5 CFR part 2638 and 5 CFR part 5601, 
as amended, the Commission will revise existing 39 CFR subpart A of 
part 3000. The Commission will replace those duplicative rules with 
rules that reflect the Commission's current regulatory role under the 
Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), Public Law 109-435, 
120 Stat. 3198 (2006). The revised rules will treat employees' and 
former employees' interactions with the Postal Service substantially 
the same as if those interactions were with entities that are not part 
of the federal government.

II. Background

    The ethics rules contained in 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000 were 
adopted in a 1971 rulemaking, in which the Civil Service Commission 
promulgated employee conduct regulations on the Commission's behalf. 36 
FR 5412 (Mar. 23, 1971). In 1993, the Commission collaborated with OGE 
to revise the Commission's ethics rules in 39 CFR subpart A of part 
3000. 58 FR 42873, 42874 (Aug. 12, 1993). The Commission amended the 
ethics rules in 2001 to eliminate a redundant provision. 66 FR 32544, 
32545 (Jun. 15, 2001).
    In 2006, the PAEA changed the agency's name from the Postal Rate 
Commission to the Postal Regulatory Commission and made several changes 
to the Commission's regulatory role. In 2007, the Commission amended 
its ethics rules to correct the statutory authority and the agency's 
name, both of which were changed by the PAEA. 72 FR 33164, 33165 (Jun. 
15, 2007). In 2016, the Commission amended its ethics rules to 
redesignate the numbering to be consistent with the Federal Register 
Document Drafting Handbook and to correct the listed authority. 81 FR 
42534, 42540 (Jun. 30, 2016). Neither amendment modernized the 
Commission's ethics rules to reflect the PAEA's enhancements to the 
Commission's responsibilities.
    Because the ethics rules in existing 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000 
are redundant to rules contained in title 5 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, the Commission undertook this rulemaking to streamline its 
regulations. Order No. 3907 at 4-5. Further, the PAEA's changes to the 
Commission's responsibilities drive the need to modernize the ethics 
rules to ensure that consistent rules will apply to employees' and 
former employees' interactions with entities outside the federal 
government and with the Postal Service.

III. Comments

    The Commission received two sets of comments pertaining to the 
proposed revisions to the supplemental standards of ethical conduct and 
the Commission's ethics rules.
    Sum Comments. The Commission received the following comment through 
the www.federalregister.gov Web site: ``Any deletion of ethical conduct 
would not be in the best

[[Page 50320]]

interest of the American people due to transparency.'' \3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Comment Received from Beth Sum, June 19, 2017 (Sum 
Comments). For transparency, this comment was posted to the 
Commission's Web site and associated with this docket.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PR Comments. The Public Representative supports the proposed 
revisions.\4\ He deems it ``critical that the Commission's ethics rules 
accurately reflect its role as a regulator and are reflective of the 
agency's procedures.'' PR Comments at 2. He concludes that the proposed 
revisions serve the public interest, reinforce public perception of the 
Commission's integrity, and increase accessibility and transparency. 
Id. He states that ``the Commission's judgment that the standards 
applied to private firms should apply to the Postal Service is 
reasonable.'' Id. at 2-3. He also states that the proposed revisions 
help to ``maintain the public's confidence that Commission staff are 
fulfilling their roles impartially.'' Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Public Representative Comments on Notices of Proposed 
Rulemaking on Amendments to Ethics Rules and Amendments to 
Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
Postal Regulatory Commission, June 26, 2017 (PR Comments). The 
Public Representative also filed a motion for late acceptance of his 
comments. Motion of Public Representative for Late Acceptance of 
Comments, June 26, 2017 (Motion). The Motion is granted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    He observes that the proposed deletions are primarily editorial 
revisions made to delete duplicative and outdated sections. Id. at 3. 
He notes that the proposed deletions will not limit the ethical 
obligations of Commission employees. Id.

IV. Commission Analysis

    Neither commenter suggested changes to the proposed rules. The 
Public Representative supports the proposed rules. Id. at 2-3. In 
response to the concern expressed in the Sum Comments, the Commission 
reiterates its commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards. 
As executive branch employees, Commission employees remain subject to 
several statutes governing conflicts of interests (see, e.g., 18 U.S.C. 
201-219); the standards of ethical conduct appearing in Executive Order 
12674, as amended by Executive Order 12731; \5\ and regulations 
promulgated by OGE relating to several issues, including financial 
disclosure, the standards of ethical conduct, and post-employment 
conflicts of interest (see, e.g., 5 CFR parts 2634, 2635, and 2641). 
Commission employees are also subject to the supplemental standards of 
ethical conduct, 5 CFR part 5601, which are also being revised to 
reflect the Commission's modern regulatory role under the PAEA and to 
remove duplicative and outdated provisions.\6\ The regulations at issue 
in this Order, the ethics rules applicable to Commission employees 
only, concern restrictions imposed upon Commission employees in 
addition to these laws and standards. The proposed revisions remain 
consistent with these laws and do not abrogate their application in any 
way. Streamlining the Commission's ethics rules supports OGE's mission 
to establish a single, comprehensive, and clear set of executive branch 
standards of ethical conduct in accordance with Executive Order 12731. 
The proposed revisions will not lead to any reduction in the ethical 
obligations of Commission employees. Ultimately, the proposed revisions 
will enhance the Commission's adherence to ethical conduct by more 
accurately reflecting the Commission's modern regulatory role under the 
PAEA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See Executive Order No. 12674, 54 FR 15159 (Apr. 12, 1989); 
Executive Order No. 12731, 55 FR 42547 (Oct. 17, 1990).
    \6\ Order No. 4177, Order Amending Supplemental Standards of 
Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission, 
October 25, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Specifically, the Commission deletes the four rules in existing 39 
CFR subpart A of part 3000, which are redundant to provisions contained 
in title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as displayed in the 
following table:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Existing subpart A of      Description of the    Duplicative provision
        part 3000               existing rule       contained in title 5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec.   3000.5............  Cross-reference to      5 CFR 5601.101(a), as
                            employee ethical        amended by Order No.
                            conduct standards and   4177.
                            financial disclosure
                            regulations.
Sec.   3000.10...........  Memorializing the       5 CFR part 2638.
                            duties of the
                            Designated Agency
                            Ethics Official
                            (DAEO) for the
                            Commission.
Sec.   3000.15...........  Memorializing the       5 CFR 5601.102, as
                            prohibition against     amended by Order No.
                            financial conflicts     4177.
                            of interest.
Sec.   3000.20...........  Prohibited outside      5 CFR 5601.104(a) and
                            employment, prior       (b) and 5601.103(a),
                            approval to engage in   as amended by Order
                            outside employment,     No. 4177.
                            and disqualification
                            when seeking non-
                            federal employment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Further, as detailed in Order No. 3907, the Commission issues 
replacement rules that will improve transparency and the ability of 
Commission employees to adhere to the highest ethical standards. 
Specifically, these rules treat employees' and former employees' 
interactions with the Postal Service substantially the same as if those 
interactions were with entities that are not part of the federal 
government. As noted by the Public Representative, this will serve the 
public interest and reinforce public perception of the Commission's 
integrity with respect to the oversight of the Postal Service. See PR 
Comments at 2.
    The Commission makes two editorial revisions. First, the Commission 
corrects the format of the cross-references to title 5 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations in proposed Sec. Sec.  3000.10 and 3000.15.
    Second, the Commission clarifies the text of proposed Sec.  
3000.10(a), relating to the obligation of Commission employees seeking 
employment with the Postal Service to provide written notice of 
disqualification to the DAEO. The Commission adds a cross-reference to 
reflect that this obligation supplements the requirement that 
Commission employees seeking non-federal employment provide written 
notice of disqualification to the DAEO. Also, the Commission adds a 
procedural sentence memorializing that the DAEO will inform the 
employee and the employee's supervisor in writing of each matter from 
which the employee is disqualified from participating. This clarifying 
revision will better ensure that the employee is disqualified from all 
applicable matters. For these reasons and those reasons detailed in 
Order No. 3907, the Commission adopts the proposed rules without 
substantial changes.

V. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:
    1. Subpart A of part 3000 of title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, 
is

[[Page 50321]]

amended as set forth below the signature of this Order effective 30 
days after the date of publication of this Order in the Federal 
Register.
    2. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the 
Federal Register.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 3000

    Conflict of interests.

    By the Commission.
Stacy L. Ruble,
Secretary.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission amends 
chapter III of title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

CHAPTER III--POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

0
1. Under the authority of 39 U.S.C. 503, remove the heading of 
subchapter A.

PART 3000--STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

0
2. The authority citation for part 3000 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  39 U.S.C. 503; 504, 3603; E.O. 12674; 54 FR 15159; 3 
CFR,1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 56 FR 42547, 3 
CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 396, 5 CFR parts 2634 and 2635.

0
3. Revise subpart A of part 3000 to read as follows:

Subpart A--General Provisions

Sec.
3000.5 Post-employment restrictions.
3000.10 Additional required notification of disqualification when 
seeking employment.
3000.15 Additional restriction on acceptance of anything of value.
3000.20 [Reserved]


Sec.  3000.5   Post-employment restrictions.

    All former employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission 
(Commission) are subject to the following restrictions on appearance 
and practice before the Commission on behalf of any participant, 
including the United States Postal Service (Postal Service):
    (a) No former employee of the Commission may practice or act as an 
attorney, expert witness, or representative in connection with any 
proceeding or matter before the Commission that the former employee has 
handled, advised, or participated in the consideration of while in the 
service of the Commission.
    (b) No former employee of the Commission may within 1 year after 
his or her employment has ceased, practice before or act as an 
attorney, expert witness, or representative in connection with any 
proceeding or matter before the Commission that was under the official 
responsibility of such individual, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 202(b), 
while in the service of the Commission.


Sec.  3000.10   Additional required notification of disqualification 
when seeking employment.

    (a) Notwithstanding 5 CFR 2635.603(a), an employee that seeks 
employment with the Postal Service must provide written notice of 
disqualification to the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) 
consistent with 5 CFR 5601.103(a). The DAEO will inform the employee 
and the employee's supervisor in writing of each matter from which the 
employee is disqualified from participating.
    (b) An employee may withdraw written notice under paragraph (a) of 
this section consistent with 5 CFR 5601.103(b).


Sec.  3000.15   Additional limitation on acceptance of anything of 
value.

    Regardless of 5 CFR 2635.203(b)(7), a Commission employee may not 
accept a gift from the Postal Service, unless another exception or 
exclusion to 5 CFR 2635.203 applies or a waiver is granted by the DAEO.


Sec.  3000.20   [Reserved]

[FR Doc. 2017-23576 Filed 10-30-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P