Office of Ethics
United States Department of Agriculture

Criteria for Designating Positions/Functions for Confidential Financial Disclosure

Background

Financial disclosure is established as a mechanism to safeguard employees and their agencies. Through disclosure potential conflicts of interest are identified and avoided at an early stage. Generally, employees identified for disclosure have duties that are likely to affect non-Government entities. Identification of these employees is made by grade, duties and responsibilities outlined in a position description, or by special assignment/appointment.

Definition

COLLABORATOR (Special Government Employee):
an employee appointed to serve no more than 130 days in a period of 365 days with or without pay.

Abbreviations

  • ADODR - Authorized Departmental Officer's Designated Representative
  • CFR - Code of Federal Regulations
  • CO - Contracting Officer
  • COR - Contracting Officer's Representative

Coverage

The following chart contains criteria for identification of required filers.

EMPLOYEES WHO MUST FILE CRITERIA REASON FOR FILING
Employees paid 120% of the GS-15 pay rate Based on level of authority for action taken on behalf of the Government. Required by the Ethics in Government Act.
Certain employees paid at or below GS-15 File when activities involve making personal and substantial decisions or using significant judgment related to actions listed in the next column. Employees involved with:
- contracting or procurement;
- administering or monitoring grants, subsidies, licenses or other benefits (including ADODRs/ARS PIs* and CORs/COTRs**);
- regulating or auditing any non-Federal entity; or
- performing other activities having a direct and substantial economic effect on a non-Federal entity.
Collaborators, Consultants, Experts, Panel Managers and other Special Government Employees All must file with each new appointment and reappointment. 5 CFR 2634.904

*ADODRs/ARS PIs

ADODRs/ARS PIs should complete and upload form SEB-102 into ARIS for each new agreement.

**CORs/COTRs

CORs and COTRs should complete and submit form SEB-102 to the Science Ethics Branch Science-Ethics@oe.usda.gov for each new contract.

Volunteers

Volunteers are not required to file either the Public or Confidential Financial Disclosure Report.

Authority to Direct Disclosure & Form Required

Authority to order disclosure is limited to two offices. Employees are required to file as follows:

EMPLOYEE OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO ORDER DISCLOSURE FORM
Above GS-15 pay equivalent
Employees with Schedule C appointments (political employees serving as special/ confidential assistants)
Collaborators, Consultants, Panel Managers and other Special Government Employees paid 120% above the GS-15 rate
Alternate Agency Ethics Official, USDA Office of Ethics SF-278, Public Financial Disclosure Report
GS-15 and below or equivalent Chief, USDA Office of Ethics - Science Ethics Branch OGE Form 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report
Unpaid Collaborators, Consultants, Panel Managers and other Special Government Employees Chief, USDA Office of Ethics - Science Ethics Branch OGE Form 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report

Improper Determination

Employees who believe that they have been improperly identified for Financial Disclosure should formally request a review of their duties by their individual Ethics Advisor. A copy of the current position description must be included with the request for review.