Effective January 1, 2017, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is revising the gift rules applicable to executive branch employees.
The revisions were prompted by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which requires OGE to periodically update its regulations.
For the most part, the revisions are non-substantive edits that enhance readability and remove gender references.
The OGE did, however make numerous changes that persons and organizations interacting with the federal government should be aware of to stay in compliance with ethics rules.
Notably, even if a gift qualifies for a specific exemption, the new rules “encourage” employees to decline a gift if they believe a “reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts would question the employee’s integrity or impartiality” by virtue of its acceptance.
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