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Use of Appropriations to Pay Travel Expenses of International Trade Administration Fellows

The payment of travel expenses for International Trade Administration fellows is barred by 31 U.S.C. § 1345 because the proposed ITA fellowship program that would bring representatives from various countries to the United States would constitute a “meeting” within the meaning of section 1345.


Legality of EEOC’s Class Action Regulations

The Office of Legal Counsel has the authority to resolve the legal questions the Postal Service raised with respect to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s class action regulations.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s class action regulations applicable to administrative complaints against federal government agencies are not contrary to Title VII in the manners suggested by the United States Postal Service: the regulations do not purport to prevent claimants from filing actions in federal court; they do not frustrate the statutory exhaustion requirement; and they do not forestall the running of the limitations period.


Authority of HUD’s Chief Financial Officer to Submit Final Reports on Violations of Appropriations Laws

The Consolidated Appropriations Resolution for Fiscal Year 2003 requires the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to report to the President and Congress on violations by the agency of the Anti-Deficiency Act and other appropriations laws concerning expenditures, but the CFO must first submit his reports to the Secretary of HUD for review and approval.


Ethical Issues Raised by Retention and Use of Flight Privileges by FAA Employees

Although flight privileges generally do not require disqualification under 18 U.S.C. § 208 from all matters involving the relevant air carrier, a Federal Aviation Administration employee who holds such flight privileges must disqualify him or herself from particular matters where FAA action may have a direct and predictable effect on the relevant air carrier’s ability to honor the employee’s flight privileges.

An employee with flight privileges and the airline that provided them have a “covered relationship” that must be analyzed under an Office of Government Ethics regulation (5 C.F.R. § 2635.502) to determine whether the employee’s participating in a matter involving that airline would create an “appearance problem.”  The regulation entrusts the agency and the employee to make that determination based on the facts of a particular case.

Although flight privileges could constitute a “payment” within the meaning of another OGE regulation (5 C.F.R. § 2635.503), and therefore must be analyzed under the regulation, they do not constitute an “extraordinary payment” under the described circumstances.

Flight privileges are not a type of interest that would qualify as “stock” or “any other securities interest” under a Department of Transportation regulation (5 C.F.R. § 6001.104(b)) that supplements the OGE impartiality regulations.


Requirement That “Private Citizens” Be Appointed From “Private Life” to the National Council for the Humanities

Because state and local public officials, including a county commissioner, are not “private citizens” who would be appointed “from private life” within the ordinary meaning of those terms in 20 U.S.C. § 957(b), such officials are disqualified from appointment to the National Council for the Humanities.


Whether the Second Amendment Secures an Individual Right

The Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of states or a right restricted to persons serving in militias.


Expenditure of Appropriated Funds for Informational Video News Releases

Informational video news releases produced by the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 do not constitute impermissible “covert propaganda” in violation of the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003, which forbids the expenditure of appropriated funds for “publicity or propaganda purposes.”


Authority to Prescribe Regulations Limiting the Partisan Political Activities of the Commissioned Officers Corps in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Department of Commerce may prescribe regulations limiting the partisan political activities of the Commissioned Officers Corps in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Applicability of Anti-Discrimination Statutes to the Presidio Trust

The issue the Presidio Trust has presented is of the sort that Executive Order 12146 calls upon the Attorney General, and hence the Office of Legal Counsel, to resolve.

The Presidio Trust is exempt from section 717 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 15 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to the extent that these statutes apply to the appointment, compensation, duties, or termination of Trust employees, but not otherwise.


Application of 18 U.S.C. § 207(f) to a Former Senior Employee

Title 18, section 207(f) of the U.S. Code prohibits a former senior employee of an executive branch department from representing a foreign entity before members of Congress within one year of the termination of his employment.

Updated: April 2014