5 CFR 2640.202 - Exemptions for interests in securities.

§ 2640.202 Exemptions for interests in securities.
(a) De minimis exemption for matters involving parties. An employee may participate in any particular matter involving specific parties in which the disqualifying financial interest arises from the ownership by the employee, his spouse or minor children of securities issued by one or more entities affected by the matter, if:
(1) The securities are publicly traded, or are long-term Federal Government, or are municipal securities; and
(2) The aggregate market value of the holdings of the employee, his spouse, and his minor children in the securities of all entities does not exceed $15,000.
Example 1 to paragraph (a):
An employee owns 100 shares of publicly traded stock valued at $3,000 in XYZ Corporation. As part of his official duties, the employee is evaluating bids for performing computer maintenance services at his agency and discovers that XYZ Corporation is one of the companies that has submitted a bid. The employee is not required to recuse himself from continuing to evaluate the bids.
Example 2 to paragraph (a):
In the preceding example, the employee and his spouse each own $8,000 worth of stock in XYZ Corporation, resulting in ownership of $16,000 worth of stock by the employee and his spouse. The exemption in paragraph (a) of this section would not permit the employee to participate in the evaluation of bids because the aggregate market value of the holdings of the employee, spouse and minor children in XYZ Corporation exceeds $15,000. The employee could, however, seek an individual waiver under 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1) in order to participate in the evaluation of bids.
Example 3 to paragraph (a):
An employee is assigned to monitor XYZ Corporation's performance of a contract to provide computer maintenance services at the employee's agency. At the time the employee is first assigned these duties, he owns publicly traded stock in XYZ Corporation valued at less than $15,000. During the time the contract is being performed, however, the value of the employee's stock increases to $17,500. When the employee knows that the value of his stock exceeds $15,000, he must disqualify himself from any further participation in matters affecting XYZ Corporation or seek an individual waiver under 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1). Alternatively, the employee may divest the portion of his XYZ stock that exceeds $15,000. This can be accomplished through a standing order with his broker to sell when the value of the stock exceeds $15,000.
(b) De minimis exemption for matters affecting nonparties. An employee may participate in any particular matter involving specific parties in which the disqualifying financial interest arises from the ownership by the employee, his spouse, or minor children of securities issued by one or more entities that are not parties to the matter but that are affected by the matter, if:
(1) The securities are publicly traded, or are long-term Federal Government or municipal securities; and
(2) The aggregate market value of the holdings of the employee, his spouse and minor children in the securities of all affected entities (including securities exempted under paragraph (a) of this section) does not exceed $25,000.
Example 1 to paragraph (b):
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is asked to review a new drug application from Alpha Drug Co. for a new lung cancer drug. A member of the advisory committee owns $20,000 worth of stock in Mega Drug Co., which manufactures the only similar lung cancer drug on the market. If approved, the Alpha Drug Co.'s drug would directly compete with the drug sold by the Mega Drug Co., resulting in decreased sales of its lung cancer drug. The committee member may participate in the review of the new drug.
(c) De minimis exemption for matters of general applicability.
(1) An employee may participate in any particular matter of general applicability, such as rulemaking, in which the disqualifying financial interest arises from the ownership by the employee, his spouse or minor children of securities issued by one or more entities affected by the matter, if:
(i) The securities are publicly traded, or are municipal securities, the market value of which does not exceed:
(A) $25,000 in any one such entity; and
(B) $50,000 in all affected entities; or
(ii) The securities are long-term Federal Government securities, the market value of which does not exceed $50,000.
(2) For purposes of this paragraph (b), the value of securities owned by the employee, his spouse, and minor children must be aggregated in applying the exemption.
Example 1 to paragraph (c):
The Bureau of Export Administration at the Department of Commerce is in the process of formulating a regulation concerning exportation of portable computers. The regulation will affect all domestic companies that sell portable computers. An employee of the Department who is assisting in drafting the regulation owns $17,000 worth of stock in CompAmerica and $20,000 worth of stock in XYZ Computer Inc. Even though the employee owns $37,000 worth of stock in companies that will be affected by the regulation, she may participate in drafting the regulation because the value of the securities she owns does not exceed $25,000 in any one affected company and the total value of stock owned in all affected companies does not exceed $50,000.
(d) Exemption for certain Federal Government securities. An employee may participate in any particular matter in which the disqualifying financial interest arises from the ownership of short-term Federal Government securities or from U.S. Savings bonds.
(e) Exemption for interests of tax-exempt organizations. An employee may participate in any particular matter in which the disqualifying financial interest arises from the ownership of publicly traded or municipal securities, or long-term Federal Government securities by an organization which is tax-exempt pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 501(c) (3) or (4), and of which the employee is an unpaid officer, director, or trustee, or an employee, if:
(1) The matter affects only the organization's investments, not the organization directly;
(2) The employee plays no role in making investment decisions for the organization, except for participating in the decision to invest in several different categories of investments such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds; and
(3) The organization's only relationship to the issuer, other than that which arises from routine commercial transactions, is that of investor.
Example 1:
An employee of the Federal Reserve is a director of the National Association to Save Trees (NAST), an environmental organization that is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The employee knows that NAST has an endowment fund that is partially invested in the publicly traded stock of Computer Inc. The employee's position at the Federal Reserve involves the procurement of computer software, including software marketed by Computer Inc. The employee may participate in the procurement of software from Computer Inc. provided that he is not involved in selecting NAST's investments, and that NAST has no relationship to Computer Inc. other than as an investor in the company and routine purchaser of Computer Inc. software.
(f) Exemption for certain interests of general partners. An employee may participate in any particular matter in which the disqualifying financial interest arises from:
(1) The ownership of publicly traded securities, long-term Federal Government securities, or municipal securities by the employee's general partner, provided:
(i) Ownership of the securities is not related to the partnership between the employee and his general partner, and
(ii) The value of the securities does not exceed $200,000; or
(2) Any interest of the employee's general partner if the employee's relationship to the general partner is as a limited partner in a partnership that has at least 100 limited partners.
Example 1:
An employee of the Department of Transportation is a general partner in a partnership that owns commercial property. The employee knows that one of his partners owns stock in an aviation company valued at $100,000 because the stock has been pledged as collateral for the purchase of the commercial property by the partnership. In the absence of an individual waiver under 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1), the employee may not act in a matter affecting the aviation company. Because the stock has been pledged as collateral, ownership of the securities is related to the partnership between the employee and his general partner.
Example 2:
An employee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has a limited partnership interest in Ambank Partners, a large partnership with more than 500 limited partners. The partnership assets are invested in the securities of various financial institutions. Ambank's general partner is Capital Investment Services, an investment firm whose pension plan for its own employees is being examined by the PBGC for possible unfunded liabilities. Even though the employee's general partner (Capital Investment Services) has a financial interest in PBGC's review of the pension plan, the employee may participate in the review because his relationship with his general partner is that of a limited partner in a partnership that has at least 100 limited partners.
[61 FR 66841, Dec. 18, 1996; 62 FR 1361, Jan. 9, 1997, as amended at 67 FR 12445, Mar. 19, 2002]

Title 5 published on 2014-01-01

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