Office of Ethics
United States Department of Agriculture

Tips for Completing the Financial Disclosure Report




Part I: Assets and Income

  • Spouses' income(s)
  • Rental property managed by you or spouse
  • Complete names of Sector Mutual funds and stocks (include a parent company name & ticker symbol, if known)
  • Income from interest-bearing loans
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Treasury bonds, bills, notes and savings bonds
  • Life insurance policy
  • Government securities
  • Money market mutual funds and accounts from banks (not self-directed)
  • Mutual funds – (only Sector funds need to be reported)
  • Your own Federal income
  • Rental property managed by a third party
  • Social security benefits

Part II: Liabilities

  • Mortgage on rental property
  • Business loans
  • Single debt over $10,000
  • Mortgage on primary residence
  • Automobile loans
  • Loans owed by family members

Part III: Outside Positions

  • Adjunct Professor position
  • Board of Director position
  • Landlord
  • Farm Manager
  • Paid position outside of USDA position
  • Positions with religious, political, fraternal or honorary nature
  • Position held by spouse or dependent child

Part IV: Agreements or Arrangements

  • Post-employment plans
  • Severance pay
  • Activities for spouse and dependent children

Part V: Gifts and Travel

  • Travel paid by another organization that is not official travel (such as Board of Director's meeting not connected with official duties)
  • Anything valued at $350 or more
  • Official travel (including in-kind travel)
  • Anything received from relatives, U.S. Government, DC, State or local governments
  • Bequest's & other forms of inheritance
  • If you are a first-time filer or an SGE, you do not need to complete this section of the 450


  • Only original copies completed and signed in pen and ink will be accepted; no pencil copies. Please type or write legibly.
  • Please read the instructions. All the blanks on the form must be completed. If you don't check off the box marked "NONE," which indicates there is nothing to report, then someone from the USDA Office of Ethics will have to call you for an answer.
  • Be specific -- put the exact fund name. For example, "Fidelity Select Biotechnology" instead of just “Fidelity.” All fund names are checked against financial industry listings, and if you did not specifically name the fund, someone from the USDA Office of Ethics - Science Ethics Branch will have to call and ask you to supply the information. Please include the ticker symbol if you know it.
  • Show all changes from your last filing. If you had an income-producing source listed on last year's filing that you no longer hold, or from which you are no longer receiving income, then you must show this by marking “X” in the box "No longer held." Otherwise, if you have it listed in last year's filing and it does not appear on this year's filing, we must call you to determine whether or not you still have the asset. Do not report mortgage debt, except for investment property (e.g., rental units).
  • Special Government Employees (SGE) must complete an OGE Form 450 upon appointment or reappointment. We can never accept the OGE Form 450A for any SGE appointment.
  • Employees must sign their forms and include all necessary pages. Supervisory review and/or signature is not necessary.
  • Employees are responsible for returning the completed form in an envelope marked “To be Opened by Addressee Only” to the USDA Office of Ethics – Science Ethics Branch NO LATER THAN February 15.
  • Once a record has been established by completing an OGE Form 450, and there are no changes from the previous year's confidential financial disclosure report, filers may complete the OGE Form 450A, other than this year or years divisible by 4. One cannot file the OGE Form 450A for more than 3 consecutive years. During a Presidential Election year (2012, 2016, etc.), only form OGE-450 can be accepted.

Thanks in advance!
Your care in completing the Financial Disclosure form will save time for you, your Ethics Advisors and Ethics Assistants.