Office of Ethics
United States Department of Agriculture

Acceptance for Accompanying Spouse


When the employee is attending a meeting or similar function in an official capacity, there are occasions where the Agency may accept payment from a non-Federal source for the travel of an accompanying spouse.


In order for the Agency to accept payment, the following conditions must be met:

Number Condition
1 The spouse must travel to the same event as the employee.
2 The spouse must travel pursuant to an official travel authorization.
3 Prior to issuing a travel authorization, the Deciding Official must make the following determinations:

a. The presence of the spouse will support agency mission or will substantially assist the employee in carrying out his/her official duties.

Acceptable Example: Attendance by a spouse is expected for reasons of international protocol.

Unacceptable Examples: Invitation is extended to the spouse.

Others in attendance will be accompanied by their spouses.

b. The spouse is invited to attend an awards ceremony where the employee will receive an award or honorary degree.

c. The spouse will participate in substantive programs related to USDA policies, programs, or operations.