A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Question: Due to recent terrorist threats, my wife pulled an office emergency pack together for me. Since I've brought it to work several employees have expressed interest with her assembling similar packs for them. She's not currently employed and the possibility of marketing and selling such packs for employees and others appeals to her. Will this create any ethics problems for me?
Answer: Her sale of such products should pose no ethics problems for you as long as you have nothing to do with marketing or selling of them in the workplace. However, your involvement could be viewed as misusing your official position. In other words, don't bring them to the office to sell them to employees, and don't advertise their sale using government computers and other recourses, including your time and equipment. Suggestion: If she would like to sell products in a Federal facility, suggest that she contact the property manager for space in the Bistro Café.
Finally, if she's feeling charitable, she might supply you with a list of items in your pack, and you in turn, could make that list available to your coworkers at no cost. In such an environment, no cautionary measures relating to ethics apply. See 5 CFR 2635.702; 704; 705
Use of non-public information
Question: You are completing your doctoral degree and need to use information from your Agency. The information is your work product. What do you need to do to be able to use the information?
Answer: You may use the information if it is publicly available. Regulation 5 C.F.R. § 2635.703 provides the criteria for deciding what information is publicly available. If you are unsure that it is publicly available, you should request authorization to use the information from an official in your Agency with Ethics program responsibility for giving such authorization.
Question: You have earned your doctorate using information from you Agency. May you copyright it?
Answer: Yes. The information you used must be publicly available, or you must have received authorization for the disclosure. However, you must have written the dissertation on your own time. See Section 5 CFR § 2635.703
Question: I'm involved in a professional association that practices within my area of expertise. I think they'd be very interested in some long-range plans that we haven't made public yet.
Answer: No doubt they would. Don't tell them. Employees are not to use or allow the improper use of non-public information to further a private interest, either their own or another's. We all have access to non-public information, and we have an obligation to prevent unauthorized releases.