Contact the Departmental Ethics Office:
Email Address: DOI_Ethics@ios.doi.gov
Phone: (202) 208-7960
Opinion on Attendance of Events in Skyboxes
The Office of Government Ethics has recently provided guidance to
Designated Agency Ethics Officials on the valuation of gifts of attendance to an event in a skybox or private suite. As the ethics
regulations state, employees generally may not accept any gifts from a prohibited source (that is anyone who does business with your agency, seeks to do business with your agency, is regulated by your agency, or could be affected by the performance or non-performance of your official duties) or if the gift is given to the employee due to their official duties. However, if an employee were to pay fair market value for the gift, the employee may accept it. The Office of Government Ethics notice states that fair market value for attendance at an event in a skybox or private suite would be the sum value of all incidentals offered (food, parking, etc.) as well at the price of the most expensive ticket to the event available to the general public. In this case, if an employee is offered attendance to an event in a skybox or private suite from a prohibited source or because of the employee’s official position, in order to accept the gift the employee would have to pay whoever offers the gift, the equivalent cost of all incidentals as well as the value of the most expensive ticket to the event open to the general public. Additionally, if you receive a gift that is not from a prohibited source or offered to you due to your official position, you may have reporting requirements for the gift on your financial disclosure form. If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact your relevant ethics counselor. http://www.usoge.gov/pages/daeograms/dgr_files/2007/do07003.html
Melinda Loftin new DAEO
Secretary Kempthorne Announces Selection of Melinda Loftin
As New Director of Interior Ethics Office Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced
the selection of Melinda J. Loftin as the new Designated
Agency Ethics Official for the U.S. Department of the
Before her selection for this Senior Executive Service
position at Interior, Loftin worked at the Department of the
Air Force as an Associate General Counsel, a Deputy
Designated Agency Ethics Official and Director of the Ethics
Office. "I am committed to promoting an ethical culture at the
Department of the Interior," Kempthorne said. "Ms. Loftin
brings extensive expertise and a fresh perspective to our
ethics office." Secretary Kempthorne has asked the government-wide Office of
Government Ethics for the best ethical practices and
procedures at other government agencies. The Secretary has
directed Loftin to make sure Interior incorporates these
best practices into its decision-making process.
Loftin's previous experience included an assignment in 2001
to the Office of Counsel to the President at the White
House, where she worked on nominations and ethics documents
for White House appointees. Before coming to the Air Force
in 1996, Loftin worked for the Department of the Army for 16
years in a broad range of legal disciplines.
She also served as a congressional fellow on the United
States Senate Oversight of Government Management
Subcommittee from 1989-1990.
Loftin was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Kennedy School
of Government and is a graduate of the Federal Executive
Institute. She received a B.A. in Business Administration
and Political Science from Adrian College and a law degree
from Michigan State University College of Law, which
selected her for its 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Loftin replaces Shayla Simmons, who was recently tapped to
serve as Interior's first Senior Counsel for Collaborative
Action and Dispute Resolution. Before serving as Designated
Agency Ethics Official beginning in Oct. 2001, Simmons
served as Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs. She has
been at Interior since 1994.
Matt Parsons, Attorney Advisor for Ethics, Denver, CO
The Departmental Ethics Office has a branch satellite office located in Denver, Colorado, which is available to serve our clients in the western U.S.. Matt Parsons serves as an Attorney Advisor for Ethics and is co-located with the Rocky Mountain Regional Solicitor’s office in Denver.
Matt was raised in the Rocky Mountain west and attended the University of Colorado as an undergraduate. He attended the University of Iowa, College of Law and is licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa.
Matt is a former career Army Judge Advocate. As a Judge Advocate he served as a trial defense counsel, prosecutor, operational law attorney, and in a series of administrative and civil law positions. He served as the senior supervisory attorney at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin and later as the Chief of Administrative Law, and then Chief of Criminal Law for the U.S. Army Reserve. His last assignment before retiring as a Colonel was as the Inspector General for the U.S. Army Reserve. He has worked in the area of government ethics in various capacities for the past 17 years. Please take advantage of Matt as a resource for assistance, advice, and support on ethics issues and training. He can be reached at (303) 231-5353, Ext. 445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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