SGEs and Ethics Requirements

The special Government employee (SGE) category was created by Congress as a way to apply an important, but limited, set of conflict of interest requirements to a group of individuals who provide important, but limited, services to the Government. SGEs are Government employees for purposes of the conflict of interest laws. SGEs should consult with the Departmental Ethics Office and, if applicable, the Designated Federal Official responsible for their board, committee, commission, or council if they have questions.

SGEs are required to complete ethics training upon their initial appointment and annually thereafter. After appointment, an ethics official from the Departmental Ethics Office will provide the required ethics training.

Agency ethics officials regularly deal with several conflict of interest statutes found in the United States Code: 18 U.S.C. §§ 201, 203, 205, 207, 208, and 209. Each of these criminal statutes makes at least some special provision for the treatment of SGEs, sometimes limiting application of the statute for SGEs. Those special provisions often make distinctions between the different types of matters that arise in Government service and apply the statute to a specific type of matter for SGEs.

These requirements are explained in more detail in the Department of the Interior's Sge Guide For Doi Ethics Rules Final 09 15 20-1 [pdf]

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