Proposal To Further Executive Branch Employees' Acceptance Of Gifts From Lobbyists
On September 13, 2011, the Office of Government Ethics proposed amendments
to the regulation governing the acceptance of gifts by executive branch employees for the purpose of (a) implementing the lobbyist gift ban already applicable, by Executive Order of the President, to most political appointees; and (b) imposing limits on the use of gift exceptions by all
executive branch employees (not merely political appointees). The proposed rule would render existing exceptions to the gift restrictions inapplicable when the gift giver is both a prohibited source (e.g.,
a person doing business with the employee’s agency) and
a lobbyist or lobbying organization, thus limiting the use of exceptions such as the $20 de minimis
exception, the widely attended gathering exception, the social invitation exception, and the exception for meals, refreshments, and entertainment from private entities in a foreign area.
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