7 CFR 800.186 - Standards of conduct.

§ 800.186 Standards of conduct.

(a)General. Official personnel and warehouse samplers must maintain high standards of honesty, integrity, and impartiality to assure proper performance of their duties and responsibilities and to maintain public confidence in the services provided by them.

(b)Prohibited conduct; official personnel and warehouse samplers. No official personnel or warehouse sampler shall:

(1) Perform any official inspection, Class X or Class Y weighing, or equipment testing service unless licensed or authorized to do so;

(2) Engage in criminal, dishonest, or notoriously disgraceful conduct, or other conduct prejudicial to the Department or the Service;

(3) Report for duty in an intoxicated or drugged condition, or consume intoxicating beverages or incapacitating drugs while on duty;

(4) Smoke in prohibited areas in elevators or perform official services in an unsafe manner that could endanger official personnel working on or about the premises;

(5) Make unwarranted criticisms or accusations against other official personnel, warehouse samplers, or employees of the Department; and

(6) Refuse to testify or respond to questions in connection with official inquiries or investigations.

(7) Coerce or attempt to coerce any person into providing any special or undue benefit to official personnel, approved weighers, or warehouse samplers.

(c)Prohibited conduct; official personnel. In addition to the conduct prohibited by paragraph (b) of this section, no official personnel shall:

(1) Solicit contributions from other official personnel or warehouse samplers for an employee of the Service, or make such a contribution. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the occasional voluntary giving or acceptance of gifts of a nominal value on special occasions;

(2) Take any action that might (i) create the appearance of a loss of impartiality or (ii) adversely affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of the inspection, weighing, or equipment testing services performed under the Act;

(3) Except as provided in § 800.76(a), engage in any outside (unofficial) work or activity that:

(i) May impair their efficiency in performing official functions; or

(ii) Consists in whole or in part of unofficial acts of sampling, stowage examination, inspection testing, equipment testing, inspection, or weighing services similar to the official services for which the employing agency is designated; or

(iii) May result in the acquisition of property interests that could create a conflict of interest as defined in section 11 of the Act; or

(iv) May tend to bring criticism on or otherwise embarrass the Department or the Service;

(4) Issue to other official personnel, warehouse samplers, or approved weighers any instructions or directives inconsistent with the Act, the regulations, the Official U.S. Standards for Grain, or the instructions;

(5) Organize or help establish a general or specialized farm organization, or act as an officer or business agency in, recruit members for, or accept office space or contributions from such an organization;

(6) Advocate that any general or specialized farm organization better represents the interest of farmers than any other organization or individual, or recommend that the responsibilities of any government agency be carried out through a general or specialized farm organization. Nothing in paragraph (c)(5) of this section shall prevent official personnel from holding membership in a general or specialized farm organization or prohibit official personnel from participating in the operation of local groups or organizations that conduct government-authorized programs.

[ 45 FR 15810, Mar. 11, 1980, as amended at 48 FR 44454, Sept. 29, 1983; 60 FR 65235, Dec. 19, 1995; 63 FR 45677, Aug. 27, 1998]

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