5 CFR § 2638.104 - Government ethics responsibilities of agency ethics officials.
(a) Appointment of a Designated Agency Ethics Official. Each agency head must appoint a Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO). The DAEO is the employee with primary responsibility for directing the daily activities of the agency's ethics program and coordinating with the Office of Government Ethics.
(b) Qualifications necessary to serve as DAEO. The following are necessary qualifications of an agency's DAEO:
(1) The DAEO must be an employee at an appropriate level in the organization, such that the DAEO is able to coordinate effectively with officials in relevant agency components and gain access to the agency head when necessary to discuss important matters related to the agency's ethics program.
(2) The DAEO must be an employee who has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to manage a significant agency program, to understand and apply complex legal requirements, and to generate support for building and sustaining an ethical culture in the organization.
(3) On an ongoing basis, the DAEO must demonstrate the capacity to serve as an effective advocate for the executive branch ethics program, show support for the mission of the executive branch ethics program, prove responsive to the Director's requests for documents and information related to the ethics program, and serve as an effective liaison with the Office of Government Ethics.
(4) In any agency with 1,000 or more employees, any DAEO appointed after the effective date of this regulation must be an employee at the senior executive level or higher, unless the agency has fewer than 10 positions at that level.
(c) Responsibilities of the DAEO. Acting directly or through other officials, the DAEO is responsible for taking actions authorized or required under this subchapter, including the following:
(1) Serving as an effective liaison to the Office of Government Ethics;
(2) Maintaining records of agency ethics program activities;
(3) Promptly and timely furnishing the Office of Government Ethics with all documents and information requested or required under subpart B of this part;
(4) Providing advice and counseling to prospective and current employees regarding government ethics laws and regulations, and providing former employees with advice and counseling regarding post-employment restrictions applicable to them;
(5) Carrying out an effective government ethics education program under subpart C of this part;
(6) Taking appropriate action to resolve conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest, through recusals, directed divestitures, waivers, authorizations, reassignments, and other appropriate means;
(7) Consistent with § 2640.303 of this chapter, consulting with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the issuance of waivers pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b);
(8) Carrying out an effective financial disclosure program, by:
(i) Establishing such written procedures as are appropriate relative to the size and complexity of the agency's financial disclosure program for the filing, review, and, when applicable, public availability of financial disclosure reports;
(ii) Requiring public and confidential filers to comply with deadlines and requirements for financial disclosure reports under part 2634 of this chapter and, in the event of noncompliance, taking appropriate action to address such noncompliance;
(iii) Imposing late fees in appropriate cases involving untimely filing of public financial disclosure reports;
(iv) Making referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice in appropriate cases involving knowing and willful falsification of financial disclosure reports or knowing and willful failure to file financial disclosure reports;
(v) Reviewing financial disclosure reports, with an emphasis on preventing conflicts of interest;
(vi) Consulting, when necessary, with financial disclosure filers and their supervisors to evaluate potential conflicts of interest;
(vii) Timely certifying financial disclosure reports and taking appropriate action with regard to financial disclosure reports that cannot be certified; and
(viii) Using the information disclosed in financial disclosure reports to prevent and resolve potential conflicts of interest.
(9) Assisting the agency in its enforcement of ethics laws and regulations when agency officials:
(i) Make appropriate referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice;
(ii) Take disciplinary or corrective action; and
(iii) Employ other means available to them.
(10) Upon request of the Office of Inspector General, providing that office with ready and active assistance with regard to the interpretation and application of government ethics laws and regulations, as well as the procedural requirements of the ethics program;
(11) Ensuring that the agency has a process for notifying the Office of Government Ethics upon referral, made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 535, to the Department of Justice regarding a potential violation of a conflict of interest law, unless such notification would be prohibited by law;
(12) Providing agency officials with advice on the applicability of government ethics laws and regulations to special Government employees;
(13) Requiring timely compliance with ethics agreements, pursuant to part 2634, subpart H of this chapter;
(14) Conducting ethics briefings for certain agency leaders, pursuant to § 2638.305;
(15) Prior to any Presidential election, preparing the agency's ethics program for a potential Presidential transition; and
(16) Periodically evaluating the agency's ethics program and making recommendations to the agency regarding the resources available to the ethics program.
(d) Appointment of an Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official. Each agency head must appoint an Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official (ADAEO). The ADAEO serves as the primary deputy to the DAEO in the administration of the agency's ethics program. Together, the DAEO and the ADAEO direct the daily activities of an agency's ethics program and coordinate with the Office of Government Ethics. The ADAEO must be an employee who has demonstrated the skills necessary to assist the DAEO in the administration of the agency's ethics program.
(e) Program support by additional ethics officials and other individuals. Subject to approval by the DAEO or the agency head, an agency may designate additional ethics officials and other employees to assist the DAEO in carrying out the responsibilities of the ethics program, some of whom may be designated “deputy ethics officials” for purposes of parts 2635 and 2636 of this chapter. The agency is responsible for ensuring that these employees have the skills and expertise needed to perform their assigned duties related to the ethics program and must provide appropriate training to them for this purpose. Although the agency may appoint such officials as are necessary to assist in carrying out functions of the agency's ethics program, they will be subject to the direction of the DAEO with respect to the functions of the agency's ethics program described in this chapter. The DAEO retains authority to make final decisions regarding the agency's ethics program and its functions, subject only to the authority of the agency head and the Office of Government Ethics.
(f) Ethics responsibilities that may be performed only by the DAEO or ADAEO. In addition to any items reserved for action by the DAEO or ADAEO in other parts of this chapter, only the DAEO or ADAEO may carry out the following responsibilities:
(1) Request approval of supplemental agency regulations, pursuant to § 2635.105 of this chapter;
(2) Recommend a separate component designation, pursuant to § 2641.302(e) of this chapter;
(3) Request approval of an alternative means for collecting certain public financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2638.204(c);
(4) Request determinations regarding public reporting requirements, pursuant to §§ 2634.202(c), 2634.203, 2634.205, and 2634.304(f) of this chapter;
(5) Make determinations, other than exceptions in individual cases, regarding the means the agency will use to collect public or confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to §§ 2638.204 and 2638.205;
(6) Request an alternative procedure for filing confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2634.905(a) of this chapter;
(7) Request a formal advisory opinion on behalf of the agency or a prospective, current, or former employee of that agency, pursuant to § 2638.209(d); and
(8) Request a certificate of divestiture, pursuant to § 2634.1005(b) of this chapter.