(a) The Ethics Counsel is responsible for administering the Commission's Ethics Program and for interpreting subpart M of this part and 5 CFR part 2635. He or she serves as Counselor to the Commission and its staff with regard to ethical and conflicts of interest questions and acts as the Commission's liaison on such matters with the Office of Administrative and Personnel Management, the Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Justice. When appropriate and subject to the authority of, and in consultation with, the Inspector General, the Ethics Counsel shall inquire into alleged violations of subparts C, F, and M of this part, and 5 CFR part 2635.
(b) The Ethics Counsel shall:
(1) Receive and review allegations of misconduct by a Commission employee.
(2) Refer matters involving management questions to Division Directors, Office Heads, or Regional Directors, and matters involving alleged or apparent employee misconduct to the Office of the Inspector General, except for matters involving alleged professional misconduct ultimately referable to state professional boards or societies.
(3) Refer complaints that appear to involve a violation of Federal criminal statutes, and do not appear to be frivolous, to the Inspector General for referral to the Department of Justice under 28 U.S.C. 535.
(4) Act as liaison with the Office of the Inspector General on matters that the Ethics Counsel has referred to that Office, and with state or local authorities on matters that, on occasion, the Ethics Counsel may refer to them.
(5) Arrange for the review of proposed publications and prepared speeches under § 200.735-4(e).
(6) Provide advice, counseling, interpretations, and opinions with respect to subparts C, F, and M of this part, and 5 CFR part 2635.
(7) Oversee investigations and refer findings of professional misconduct to state professional boards or societies.
(8) Draft rules and regulations as necessary to implement the Commission's Ethics Program.