The Office of Government Ethics recently published in the Federal Register a final rule amendment relating to extensions of filing dates for certain filers of Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports (OGE Form 450). The amendment allows agencies to extend the filing date for the annual submission of confidential reports for active duty members of the Armed Forces, civilian employees and others who are in a combat zone or otherwise supporting the Armed Forces or other governmental entities following a Presidential declaration of national emergency. We believe this change will aid filers who have been assigned temporarily to work away from their duty stations in support of the war on terrorism.
The amendment provides for a discretionary extension of the filing date to last no longer than 90 days after the period of active duty service, return to the employee's normal duty station, or a resultant hospitalization. This extension authority is intended to provide relief where it is impractical for the confidential filer to obtain access to personal financial records. Our expectation is that an extension will not be granted unless the confidential filer is required to perform services outside the vicinity of her local commuting area (as defined by the agency).
Agencies may exercise their extension authority on a case-by-case basis or by class designation. Agencies should appropriately document in their records the duration and circumstances of any case in which the extension is utilized, including for example the last date of service in a combat zone (if known), date of return to a permanent duty station, or the dates of any resultant hospitalization.
The regulation appears at 66 Fed. Reg. 55871 (Nov. 5, 2001)