Office of Ethics
United States Department of Agriculture

Special Government Employees: ARS Collaborators and NIFA Panel Managers

Routinely, the Agricultural Research Service uses the Special Government Employee (SGE) appointment to hire Collaborators for specific projects. Additionally, the National Institute of Food & Agriculture uses the SGE appointment to hire Experts and Panel Managers for specific projects.

Although there is some supervision, SGEs generally work in an unstructured environment. They are appointed to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, for no more than 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days. SGEs confer or engage in discussions and special projects and are involved in other issues of mutual interest to the agencies of REE.

While serving in this capacity, SGEs must comply with the same Ethics rules as other Government employees. Ethics rules are often complex and require some analysis in applying them to specific situations. However, given the length of the SGEs employment, these rules are not as restrictive as those governing other employees.

As part of your SGE appointment, you are required to complete ethics training which consists of taking an online training module and reviewing the guides listed below. Once you have completed this review, please complete the survey found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VZWHPNW

ONLINE TRAINING MODULE

AGENCY ETHICS CONTACTS

SPECIAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE GUIDE FOR COLLABORATORS, EXPERTS & PANEL MANAGERS
The goal in providing this guide is to increase awareness of Ethics rules and regulations. Each SGE's commitment to upholding these rules is essential to ensure the propriety of the SGE (Collaborator, Expert, and Panel Manager) program.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE SPECIAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE
Office of Government Ethics’ Summary of Ethical Requirements Applicable to SGEs

TO SERVE WITH HONOR: A Guide on the Ethics Rules that Apply to Advisory Committee Members Serving as Special Government Employees
This booklet highlights some of the ethics rules that are most likely to affect these committee members, in addition to providing them with a game plan of eight general principles that will help promote peak ethical performance.

Agency Ethics Contacts