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Financial Disclosure

Public Financial Disclosure | Confidential Financial Disclosure

Public Financial Disclosure

Certain government employees are required to file a public financial disclosure report (SF-278). They are:

  • Employees, including special government employees, whose positions are classified above GS-15;

  • Employees whose rate of basic pay is fixed, other than under the General Schedule, at a rate equal to or greater than 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay for a GS-15;

  • Employees in positions which are excepted from the competitive service by reason of being a confidential or policy-making character (Schedule C); and

  • Administrative Law Judges.

Public financial disclosure reports must be filed within 30 days of entering or terminating a covered position and annually by May 15th. An employee may request an extension of time to file his report from his Component Head who may grant an extension of up to 45 days. An additional 45 days may be requested, with good cause, from the Component Head. Extensions must be requested before the due date. There is a $200 late filing fee for reports filed more than 30 days past the due date. A waiver of the late filing fee may be requested, with good cause, from the Designated Agency Ethics Official. All requests for waivers must be made through the Departmental Ethics Office.

5 C.F.R. § 2634.101-805 (see Subparts A-H)

Financial disclosure reports are used to identify potential or actual conflicts of interest. If the person charged with reviewing an employee's report finds a conflict, he should impose a remedy immediately. The employee's supervisor, with his ethics official, should decide on the remedy. Possible remedies include disqualification, divestiture or a waiver of the disqualification under 18 U.S.C. § 208 or 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502. Before an employee divests, he should find out if he is eligible for a Certificate of Divestiture from OGE which will allow him to receive favorable tax treatment on the sale of his asset. 5 C.F.R. § 2634.1001-1004 (see Subpart J - Certificates of Divestiture). Here is a sample request for a Certificate of Divestiture.

In addition to the financial disclosure regulations, the Departmental Ethics Office has created Procedures for Public Financial Disclosure System to assist ethics officials in managing their disclosure systems. OGE’s website contains reference materials to assist both filers and reviewers of public financial disclosure reports.

The public financial disclosure reports of DOJ officials may be requested by submitting a completed OGE Form 201 to: USDOJ/Departmental Ethics Office, Two Constitution Square, Suite 8E.310, 145 N Street NE Washington DC 20530, Fax: 202-514-3117.

The public financial disclosure report is electronically available for completion through the Office of Government Ethics' (OGE) website using Adobe Acrobat Reader software, or through the National Finance Center’s website using an online program. The Adobe software* downloads the form to your home or office computer for completion, and allows retention of your report for future revisions. With NFC's version of the form, a Personal Identification Number (PIN) is required to log on to NFC. You can sign up for a PIN on the website and one will be mailed to you in approximately two weeks. The National Finance Center's system may have an advantage over the Adobe version of the report in that your data is very securely hosted and saved by NFC, and the program leads you through completion of the report with a step-by-step, fill-in-the-blanks format, which may prove easier for some filers than the Adobe version. At this time, electronic filing of financial disclosure reports is not authorized. Regardless of which method is used for completing the report, it must be printed, signed and filed with an ethics official bearing the filer's original signature.

* Version 6 or higher required; available for free download at Adobe's website.

Confidential Financial Disclosure

Employees who occupy positions classified at GS-15 or below and whose duties require them to participate personally and substantially through decision or the exercise of significant judgment in a matter which could have an economic impact on a non-Federal entity are required to file a confidential financial disclosure report (OGE-450). This includes any employee involved in contracting or procurement, administering or monitoring grants, regulating or auditing any non-Federal entity and in some instances, investigating or prosecuting a case.

Confidential financial disclosure reports must be filed within 30 days of entering a covered position and annually by February 15th. An employee may request an extension of time to file his report from his Component Head who may grant an extension of up to 90 days.

If the person charged with reviewing an employee's report finds a conflict, he should impose a remedy immediately. The employee's supervisor, with his ethics official, should decide on the remedy. Possible remedies include disqualification, divestiture or a waiver. Before an employee divests, he should find out if he is eligible for a Certificate of Divestiture from OGE which will allow him to receive favorable tax treatment on the sale of his asset. 5 C.F.R. § 2634.1001-1004 (see Subpart J - Certificates of Divestiture). Here is a sample request for a Certificate of Divestiture.

5 C.F.R. § 2634.901-909 (see Subpart I - Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports)

In lieu of completing an annual confidential report, certain employees complete a conflict of interest certification each time they are assigned a new matter. Some litigating attorneys complete certifications and employees who occasionally serve as a Contracting Officer's Technical Representative also complete them.

In addition to the financial disclosure regulations, the Departmental Ethics Office has created Procedures for Confidential Financial Disclosure System to assist ethics officials in managing their disclosure systems. OGE’s website contains reference materials to assist both filers and reviewers of confidential financial disclosure reports.

An employee may complete his financial disclosure report electronically through the Office of Governmental Ethics' (OGE) website using Adobe Acrobat. At this time, electronic filing is not authorized. The form must be printed, signed and mailed to an ethics official.

Updated: April 2013