5 CFR 3501.103 - Prohibited interests in Federal lands.
(a) Cross-references to statutory prohibitions -
(1) Prohibited purchases of public land by Bureau of Land Management employees. As set forth in 43 CFR 20.401, the officers, clerks, and employees in the Bureau of Land Management are prohibited by 43 U.S.C. 11 from directly or indirectly purchasing or becoming interested in the purchase of any of the public lands.
(2) Prohibited interests in the lands or mineral wealth of the region under survey for U.S. Geological Survey employees. As set forth in 43 CFR 20.401, the Director and members of the U.S. Geological Survey are prohibited by 43 U.S.C. 31(a) from having any personal or private interests in the lands or mineral wealth of the region under survey.
(b) Prohibited financial interests in Federal lands for Minerals Management Service employees and for the Secretary and employees of the Office of the Secretary and other Departmental offices reporting directly to a Secretarial officer who are in positions classified at GS-15 and above.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the following employees may not acquire or hold any direct or indirect financial interest in Federal lands or resources administered or controlled by the Department:
(i) All employees of the Minerals Management Service; and
(ii) The Secretary and employees of the Office of the Secretary and other Departmental offices reporting directly to a Secretarial officer who are in positions classified at GS-15 and above. As used in this section, “Office of the Secretary and other Departmental Offices reporting directly to a Secretarial officer” means the Immediate Office of the Secretary; Office of the Solicitor; Office of the Inspector General; Office of Communications; Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs; all Assistant Secretaries, their immediate Office staff and heads of bureaus which are subordinate to an Assistant Secretary. This includes the following offices under the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Policy, Management and Budget: Office of Budget, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Office of Acquisition & Property Management, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, Office of Policy Analysis, Office of Financial Management, and Office of Information Resources Management.
(2) Exceptions. The prohibition in paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not apply to:
(i) An individual employed on an intermittent or seasonal basis for a period not exceeding 180 working days in each calendar year; or
(ii) A special Government employee engaged in field work relating to land, range, forest, and mineral conservation and management activities.
(c) Prohibition as to Department-granted rights in Federal lands.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, employees and their spouses and their minor children are prohibited from acquiring or retaining any claim, permit, lease, small tract entries, or other rights that are granted by the Department in Federal lands.
(i) Nothing in paragraph (c)(1) of this section prohibits the recreational or other personal and noncommercial use of Federal lands by an employee, or the employee's spouse or minor child, on the same terms as use of Federal lands is available to the general public.
(ii) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, employees in the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, or in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the spouses and minor children of such employees, are not prohibited by paragraph (c)(1) of this section from acquiring or retaining rights in Federal lands controlled by the Department for the benefit of Indians or Alaska Natives.
(d) Divestiture. The Designated Agency Ethics Official may require an employee to divest an interest the employee is otherwise authorized to retain under an exception listed in this section, based on a determination of substantial conflict under § 2635.403(b) of this title.
(e) Waivers. The Designated Agency Ethics Official may grant a written waiver from the prohibitions contained in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, based on a determination that the waiver is not inconsistent with 5 CFR part 2635 or otherwise prohibited by law and that, under the particular circumstances, application of the prohibition is not necessary to avoid the appearance of misuse of position or loss of impartially, or otherwise to ensure confidence in the impartiality and objectivity with which Department programs are administered. A waiver under this paragraph may be accompanied by appropriate conditions, such as acquiring execution of a written statement of disqualification. Notwithstanding the grant of any waiver, an employee remains subject to the disqualification requirements of 5 CFR 2635.402 and 2635.502.
(f) Pre-existing interests. An employee may retain a financial interest otherwise prohibited by paragraph (b) or (c) of this section which was approved in writing under criteria and procedures in effect before November 2, 1996, unless the approval is withdrawn by the Designated Agency Ethics Official, subject to the standards for waivers in paragraph (e) of this section.