The holiday season is upon us, and these are the times of holiday parties, and of giving and receiving gifts. The season can cause challenges for District of Columbia employees who are subject to the District's strict gift regulations. Please be mindful of them during this holiday season.
As a general rule, a District employee may not solicit or accept a gift from a subordinate employee, or prohibited source. Remember, gifts include invitations to holiday parties hosted by vendors or contractors!
If you have any questions about these or other government ethics gifting matters, contact the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability at 202-481-3411 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or your agency’s Ethics Counselor.
December 2018 | Volume 5 Issue 2
As our new e-Filing system for the Lobbyist program is being launched, OCTO and BEGA will be conducting four live webinars to educate Lobbying registrants and prepare them to use the new system during the January 2019 filing season. Lobbying registrants will receive calendar invitations to attend training during one of the following sessions:
Thursday December 20, 2018 (10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
Thursday December 20, 2018 (2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
Friday December 21, 2018 (10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
Friday December 21, 2018 (2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
We urge all Lobbying registrants to take advantage of this opportunity to see the new system in action and ask questions before the filing season begins on January 1, 2019. For more information, feel free to contact us at (202) 481-3411.
The Board of Ethics and Government Accountability is pleased to announce a new addition to our team. Rochelle Ford joins us as our new Senior Attorney Advisor. She comes to us with over a decade of government ethics experience. Ms. Ford began her career as a litigator and enforcement attorney at WilmerHale in D.C. Ms. Ford also worked for the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics in 2008, where she served as non-partisan Counsel to the Committee. At the Senate, she provided Senate Members and staff with advice and training on compliance with federal ethics rules and laws, and conducted investigations into any alleged ethical violations. In 2016, Ms. Ford joined the Departmental Ethics Office of the Department of Justice where she provided ethics advice to senior management, designed and provided ethics training, and ensured that DOJ employs complied with government ethics rules and federal laws. Ms. Ford is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Washington D.C.
This month BEGA will bid farewell to Waddah Kittab, our in house Information Technology specialist. On December 14th, we will send him off to join the Office of the DC Auditor. Since joining our agency in June 2015, he has been a dedicated, passionate and team-oriented employee. He will be missed! We wish him continued success in this next endeavor.
2017 Financial Disclosure Statements (“FDS”) were due on May 15, 2018, over six months ago. There are currently 195 FDS non-filers remaining. We have attempted to contact all non-compliant FDS filers by sending notifications to the personal addresses and email addresses we have on file. We are aggressively pursuing 100% filing compliance and the collection of fines, and we are continuing to review fine waiver requests.
A District of Columbia Public Schools employee entered into a Negotiated Disposition, agreeing to pay a fine of $5,000 after using District time and resources, and his official title to benefit his personal event planning company. The Respondent also contracted with his District agency on at least five separate occasions, and failed to submit a full and complete financial disclosure of the outside business activity. Read the full disposition
December 9 -12, 2018 @ the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown – The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) – Learn what’s new in the fields of campaign finance, governmental ethics, elections, lobbying, and freedom of information. For the full schedule of events visit here.
December 19, 2018 @10 a.m. – BEGA Monthly Board Meeting 441 4th St. NW, Suite 540 South
The Office of Special Counsel (the federal agency charged with enforcing the Hatch Act) recently issued new guidance for the political activity of federal government workers. Civil servants are advised to avoid workplace discussion about impeachment until after Election 2020. Read the full memo here.
Early last year, the District joined the State of Maryland in a lawsuit against President Trump alleging the President is profiting from the presidency. Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte gave the green light for the case to proceed. Read the Court’s opinion here.