2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES When Employees

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2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES When Employees Have Interest In NRCS Programs Agenda

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES When Employees Have Interest In NRCS Programs Agenda l. Disqualification due to employee interest in NRCS programs l. Differentiation between disqualification requirements for different NRCS Programs June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 1

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Conflicting Interests Review… Employee must not, as part

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Conflicting Interests Review… Employee must not, as part of Government job § work on any particular matter § involving specific parties § in which the employee has a financial interest * § If the matter affects that interest *The prohibition also applies if someone with whom the employee has certain personal or business relations has an interest in the matter. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 2

Interests that Trigger Disqualification Requirement 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES n n n

Interests that Trigger Disqualification Requirement 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES n n n Employee Spouse or minor child General partner Outside employer or prospective employer Non-Federal organization in which employee is an officer, director, trustee, or general partner n Person with whom employee has or seeks a business, contractual or other financial relationship n Member of household or close relative n Employer of spouse, parent or dependent child n Non-Fed employer within past 1 year n Non-Fed organizations in which the employee is active, or n Person or Org for whom spouse, parent or dependent child is a consultant, officer, contractor, agent, general partner, etc. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 3

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Interests that trigger disqualification §No difference: § Employee’s

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Interests that trigger disqualification §No difference: § Employee’s interest § Person with whom employee has imputed or covered interest, or § Person represented by such person June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 4

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification is required § Under COI provision If

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification is required § Under COI provision If the particular matter will have a direct and predictable effect on that interest. § Under Impartiality provision If the particular matter is likely to have a direct and predictable effect on that interest; and If relationship would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of relevant facts to question employee’s impartiality Reputation is not a valid consideration June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 5

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification § Required to avoid conflicting interests §

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification § Required to avoid conflicting interests § Responsibility of the employee § Impact is on NRCS duties, not outside activity Example 1. A DC who applies for an NRCS program or NRCS assisted program must not work on: l Employee’s own* application or l Application of competing operation June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 6

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification due to Interest in NRCS Programs Question:

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification due to Interest in NRCS Programs Question: Is disqualification requirement only triggered when an employee applies: Yes or No? Answer: No. Question: What else triggers disqualification due to interest in an NRCS program? Answer: § Application by person with imputed interest or covered relationship; § Competing operations. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 7

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Conflicting Interests A Violation Occurs When the employee

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Conflicting Interests A Violation Occurs When the employee fails to disqualify and performs the NRCS duties anyway Example 2: An employee performs official duties of significance to the administrative handling of his own or competing applications to participate in an NRCS program or NRCS-assisted programs. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 8

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Actual Conflicts of Interests Example 3: Required Disqualification

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Actual Conflicts of Interests Example 3: Required Disqualification Due to Program Interests n If Jones, a DC, signs up for EQIP, then § Jones must not work on his own application § Jones must not work on any EQIP applications with which Jones is competing for program dollars. n Disqualification is from pre-contract functions. n Failure to disqualify is criminal violation. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 9

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Loss of Impartiality* Example 4 Taylor, a DC,

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Loss of Impartiality* Example 4 Taylor, a DC, owns a farm that is enrolled under FRPP. The Fairfax Conservancy (TFC) is the easement holder. n Taylor cannot conduct the HEL compliance review on Taylor’s own farm. n. Taylor is also prohibited from conducting HEL compliance reviews on other farms that TFC manages. WHY? . Because Taylor has a contract with TFC. (covered relationship) June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 10

GM Title 110, Part 405 EMPLOYEE PERFORM WORK ON OWN PARTICIPATING OPERATION(S) EMPLOYEE PERFORM

GM Title 110, Part 405 EMPLOYEE PERFORM WORK ON OWN PARTICIPATING OPERATION(S) EMPLOYEE PERFORM WORK WITHIN OWN SERVICE AREA(S) Required Disqualification If an employee must not perform an NRCS function on the employee’s own property, then the employee also must not perform that function on property of the employee’s: Employee Participation in Programs 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES PROGRAM FUNCTIONS I) National Program Development I) State Program Development I) Application II) Eligibility Determination III) Ranking IV) Fund Obligation V) Contract Approval Do not perform if will participate Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties in competing area I) CNMP Plan Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties Perform Work I) Practice Design Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties Perform Work I) Practice Installation Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties Perform Work I) Practice Certification (including Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties Perform Work I) Self Certification Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties I) Status Reviews Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Or, on property of an organization in which the employee is: has served within the last year as, an employee, officer, trustee, AFTER A CONTRACT IS APPROVED payment approval) Spouse or child; Relative with whom the employee has a close relationship; Member of the employee’s household; Business partner; Employer or perspective employer; and Spouse’s, parent’s or minor child’s employer. general partner, contractor, director, or agent; or Is a committee or subcommittee chairperson. Examples I) Jones, an NRCS employee, applies for Jones’ farm to participate in EQIP in Carroll County. Perform Work Jones must not perform program NRCS functions 1 or 2, or 3 -7 for Jones’ farm or any of the other farms that are competing during the same EQIP signup in Carroll County. After the decision is made to approve or disapprove a contract on Jones’ farm, Jones may be permitted to perform NRCS duties for functions 8 -13 on other properties. Jones may never perform substantive NRCS duties on Jones’ own property. Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 11

GM Title 110, Part 405 Minimum Level of Disqualification Matrix (1) 2006 ETHICS TRAINING

GM Title 110, Part 405 Minimum Level of Disqualification Matrix (1) 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES PROGRAM FUNCTIONS i. Nat. Program Development ii. State Program Development iii. iv. v. vii. Application Eligibility Determination Ranking Fund Obligation Contract Approval EMPLOYEE PERFORMS WORK ON OWN PARTICIPATING OPERATION Do Not Perform If Plan To Participate Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties AFTER A CONTRACT IS APPROVED viii. CNMP Plan Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties viii. Practice Design Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties viii. Practice Installation Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties viii. Practice Certification (including payment approval) Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties viii. Self Certification Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties viii. Status Reviews Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 12

GM Title 110, Part 405 Minimum Level of Disqualification Matrix (2) 2006 ETHICS TRAINING

GM Title 110, Part 405 Minimum Level of Disqualification Matrix (2) 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES PROGRAM FUNCTIONS i. Nat. Program Development ii. State Program Development iii. iv. v. vii. Application Eligibility Determination Ranking Fund Obligation Contract Approval EMPLOYEE PERFORMS WORK WITHIN OWN SERVICE AREA(S) Do Not Perform If Plan to Participate Not Allowed to Perform NRCS Duties in competing area AFTER A CONTRACT IS APPROVED viii. CNMP Plan Perform Work viii. Practice Design Perform Work viii. Practice Installation Perform Work viii. Practice Certification (including payment approval) Perform Work viii. Self Certification viii. Status Reviews June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Perform Work Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 13

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification Due to Program interest Title 110, Part

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification Due to Program interest Title 110, Part 405 63(b) (6) The geographic scope from which an NRCS employee who applies to participate in an NRCS program must be disqualified varies by NRCS program. It is based on whether the particular matter will have a direct and predictable effect on the interest of the employee-applicant. *** The extent of disqualification in the same State may vary by program, based on how the various program dollars are set aside for competition by competing operations. The extent of disqualification required in the case of a [HQ or state office] employee who applies to participate in an NRCS program might necessarily be different from that for a field office employee. [Emphasis added. ] June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 14

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification § Required to avoid COI § Responsibility

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification § Required to avoid COI § Responsibility of the employee § Impacts NRCS duties* Example 5: A DC who applies for an NRCS program tells supervisor she cannot work on: l Employee’s own* application l Applications of competing* operations Example 6: Sarah, a soil con, knows she cannot do NRCS work on her Dad’s operation. Now, Dad will apply for an NRCS program. Sarah tell the AC she cannot work on: l Dad’s operation l Applications of competing operations June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 15

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 7: An STC who farms in the

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 7: An STC who farms in the same state applies to participate in EQIP. The STC must disqualify from work on: l National program development l State program development l Pre-contract work on competing* applications: §Application §Eligibility Determination §Ranking §Fund Obligation §Contract Approval June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 16

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification – Example 8 The employer of a

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification – Example 8 The employer of a DC’s spouse* farms in her county and applies for an NRCS Program. Disqualification? DC’s Disqualification from pre-contract work is: STATEWIDE ? § § COUNTYWIDE ? AREA-WIDE ? Depends on the Program Depends on the State *or parent, brother, dependent child, etc. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 17

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification from pre-contract work is: l. STATEWIDE* where

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification from pre-contract work is: l. STATEWIDE* where applicants compete for funding on a statewide basis; l. AREA-WIDE where applicants compete for funding by area; ME = Field Office PA = Field Team TX = Zone etc. l. COUNTYWIDE where the competition for funding is within each county. **Guidance is different for CSP and CRP * Large states can contact the NHQ Ethics Office to request a smaller area than statewide disqualification. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 18

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification – Example 9 [Kansas 2004] State where

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualification – Example 9 [Kansas 2004] State where competition varies by program and resource concern Competition for program dollars: n EQIP – n Countywide for 3 resource concerns 1. 2. 3. n n Grazing land health Water quality [nutrients, pesticides, sedimentation] Soil erosion--wind Area-wide for all other resource concerns CSP - - Nationwide Continuous CRP- - No competition Other NRCS Programs - - Statewide June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 19

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Kansas Example (continued) Grace, ASTC, is part owner

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Kansas Example (continued) Grace, ASTC, is part owner of an operation in Wallace County that applies to participate in an NRCS program. n Do not participate in national or state program development n Do not perform pre-contract functions during that signup: If EQIP. . …………. Countywide If limited to those 3 resource concerns. …………… Area-wide if other resource concern If other Program Statewide Except CRP and CSP June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 20

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Kansas (continued) Example 10 -- Bob, a DC

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Kansas (continued) Example 10 -- Bob, a DC in Kansas, has a great family. His Dad owns an operation in a neighboring county (outside of his field office’s service area). The Dad will apply in the next EQIP signup to address concerns due to soil erosion due to wind. n. Bob cannot participate in national or state program development n. Bob can perform his normal duties for his own field office. If, however, the resource concern was competed for by area, then Bob would have to disqualify and not perform pre-contract functions area-wide during that signup. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 21

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES STC PGMS or SRC UT 2005 June 20,

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES STC PGMS or SRC UT 2005 June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Give SEA the state’s funding arrangements Program Receive correct ethics guidance Competition for Funds CSP Nationwide AMA Countywide CRP continuous n/a Other Programs Statewide Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 22

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES SEA receives state funding arrangements SEA can make

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES SEA receives state funding arrangements SEA can make it simple for employees Test Your Understanding. . Example 11 -- Jones, a DC in the West Region, signs up for EQIP. Yes or No? Can Jones work on other EQIP applications June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM n in the same county? No n In the state? Depends Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 23

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 11 (continued) - - Jones, a DC,

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 11 (continued) - - Jones, a DC, signs up for EQIP Can Jones work on other EQIP applications? In Utah in 2005? n in the same county? No n In the state? No UT 2005 CSP Nationwide AMA Countywide CRP continuous No competition for funds Other Programs* Statewide *Follow separate guidance on regular CRP June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 24

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 12 You* will sign up for AMA

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 12 You* will sign up for AMA UT Yes or No? 2005 Can you perform work* on: n National Program Development n Pre-contract functions for applicants outside your home county No n State Program Development No n Your own operation No n Pre-contract functions for others No in the county Would the answers be different if it was a family member? Yes No *A non-clerical employee June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 25

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Jim Caudle, SRC, AR AR – 2005 funds

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Jim Caudle, SRC, AR AR – 2005 funds competition l. Whip – statewide l. GRP – statewide Arkansas 2005 l. WRP -- statewide plus minimum of 1 easement for highest ranked in each of 5 zones l. EQIP – – 70 % allocated by counties – 30% to 9 special needs categories (specific locations) – Initial competition for county allocation. – 2 nd round by special need categories. l. CRP (continuous) – no competition l. CRP (regular) – See separate guidance June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 26

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualify from work on competing applications? Program AR

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Disqualify from work on competing applications? Program AR – 2005 funds competition 1 st round – Yes 2 nd round – STC says “yes” Initial Competition Disqualify CSP Nationwide No* Continuous CRP No competition No EQIP Countywide Yes - Countywide Other Programs Statewide Yes - Statewide *always disqualify from TA on own or others with covered relationship Follow separate guidance on regular CRP ** June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 27

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 13 AR 2005 If you or a

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 13 AR 2005 If you or a family member, etc. * will sign up for EQIP Yes or No? Can you perform work* on: n National Program Development n State Program Development n Your own** operation n Other EQIP applicants No No countywide *pre-contract June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 28

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 14 AR 2005 If you or a

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 14 AR 2005 If you or a family member, etc. * will sign up for GRP Yes or No? Can you perform work* on: n National Program Development n State Program Development n Your own** operation n Other GRP applicants No No statewide *pre-contract June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 29

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 15 CSP - - Nationwide If employee,

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 15 CSP - - Nationwide If employee, family member, etc. will sign up Yes or No? Can employee work* on: n. National Program Development No n. State Program Development No n. Own** operation (or family members, etc. ) No n. Other applicants for CSP Yes *pre-contract June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 30

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 16 Continuous CRP- - Nationwide If employee,

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 16 Continuous CRP- - Nationwide If employee, family member, etc. * will sign up Yes or No? Can employee work* on: n National Program Development No n State Program Development No n Your own** operation No n Other applicants for continuous CRP Yes *pre-contract June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 31

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES NRCS continues to perform the following pre-contract activities

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES NRCS continues to perform the following pre-contract activities for regular CRP: Discussions; pre-planning activities such as reviewing the specifications with the potential participant; talking with participants about the expected results of the practices; responding to questions about the program; and generally "selling" conservation. NRCS employees must disqualify and not perform precontract functions for operations applying for regular CRP if they would do so either (1) working alone or (2) as the Team Leader responsible for performing those functions. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 32

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Whether DC can perform pre-contract functions on competing

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Whether DC can perform pre-contract functions on competing operations If Employee works Alone Team Leader Yes No June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Team Member x x Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office x Slide 33

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example - - DC applies for regular CRP

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example - - DC applies for regular CRP 1. Employees must never provide conservation technical assistance on their own operation (or that of another with whom there is a covered relationship. ) 2. The DC (not working as a team member) is disqualified from performing pre-contract functions on other operations that also apply for regular CRP in the same county; 3. The DC is also disqualified from performing precontract functions area-wide if working alone (versus as part of a Team). June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 34

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example, - - DC applies for regular CRP

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example, - - DC applies for regular CRP (continued) 4. If working as a Team member (versus Team Leader), the DC can perform the limited pre-contract functions that are still performed by NRCS on other operations applying for regular CRP. 5. However, the DC can not work as Team Leader to perform pre-contract functions for competing operations. Note: Examples 1 – 5 of required disqualification due to the employee’s own application also apply if an applicant is a family member or has another covered relationship. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 35

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Employee Interest in Programs -- Summary Disqualification requirements

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Employee Interest in Programs -- Summary Disqualification requirements from performing NRCS pre-contract functions on other’s operations l There are fewer restrictions when the program is regular CRP versus EQIP, WRP, AMA, etc. l The least restrictions occur with CSP and continuous CRP. l The differences in the extent of disqualification required by program are due to differences in how our programs operate. l Each SEA & Asst STC (or SRC) must work together to correctly determine specific requirements in each state. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 36

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES WA – 2006 funds

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES WA – 2006 funds competition SEA and ASTC Pgms n EQIP n n Teams - 11 multi-county teams - 90% of available funds Statewide for Tribal - 10% of available funds n 2 nd Round n Unobligated Team and Tribal - Distributed to n Washington 2006 1 st Round unfunded Team applications n n CSP - - Nationwide WHIP - - 3 Administrative Areas Continuous CRP- - No competition WRP, GRP - - Statewide June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 37

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Washington 2006 Disqualification Requirement

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Washington 2006 Disqualification Requirement 1. Do not work on program development 2. Do not work on own (pre or post contract) 3. Do not work on person’s with covered relationship (pre or post contract) 4. Extent of disqualification from pre-contract work on others Program Competition Disqualification CSP Nationwide � Can process competing applications EQIP 11 Field Teams � Team-wide WHIP 3 Areas �Area-wide Other Programs Statewide �Statewide except: June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Not required for continuous CRP Follow separate guidance for regular CRP Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 38

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Washington n Question: 2006

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Washington n Question: 2006 n How to deal with staff between the local team and the state office. For example, an area office staff member that has land they wish to contract. Should they be restricted from the team where the land is located? The area? State? n Answer n Matters they can not work on are: (1) there own, (2) family members’, and (3) those with which employee or family (& other covered relationships) are competing (precontract functions). n Area of disqualification is based on where LAND is located versus where they work n Extent of disqualification is based on the geographic scope of the competition for funds. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 39

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Washington n Question: How

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Washington n Question: How to deal with staff between the local team and 2006 the state office. For example, an area office staff member that has land they wish to contract. Should they be restricted from the team where the land is located? The area? State? n Answer re Area Staff (continued) When competition is _______ = disqualification is ____. Competition Ø Area-wide area Ø Statewide Ø Field Team June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Disqualification Area where the land it located Statewide Field team's area where land is Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 40

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES 2006 funds competition New

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES 2006 funds competition New Mexico Program Competition Right? CSP Nationwide ? EQIP reg. FO/District ? EQIP-FL State ? Other Programs Statewide ? June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 41

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES New Mexico 2006 Disqualification

Not Included in Handouts 2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES New Mexico 2006 Disqualification Requirement 1. Do not work on program development 2. Do not work on own (pre or post contract) 3. Do not work on person’s with covered relationship (pre or post contract) 4. Extent of disqualification from pre-contract work on others Program Competition Disqualification CSP Nationwide � Can process competing applications EQIP reg. FO/District � FO/District area EQIP-FL State �Statewide Other Programs Statewide �Statewide except: June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Not required for continuous CRP Follow separate guidance for regular CRP Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 42

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Employee Interest in NRCS Initiatives Employee* must not

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Employee Interest in NRCS Initiatives Employee* must not work on a particular matter if a close relative or other person with an imputed or covered relationship has an interest in the matter. Example 17: Employee w/ relationship to TSP Disqualification § Required to avoid COI § Responsibility of the employee § Impacts NRCS duties § Normally does not impact outside interest But. it can! *non-clerical June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 43

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES When Employee Must Disqualify Management Options § Employee

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES When Employee Must Disqualify Management Options § Employee disqualifies - notifies supervisor; § Supervisor notifies state office; § If the state thinks disqualification is not required or should be waived, the STC should request a determination from the DCH Mgt. § Substantial Conflict Determination in limited circumstances. *See 5 CFR 2635. 403(b) June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 44

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Substantial Conflict Determination Effect: To prohibit employee from

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Substantial Conflict Determination Effect: To prohibit employee from having financial interest Criteria: 1. Employee’s ability to perform the duties of the position would be materially impaired, or 2. It adversely affects efficient accomplishment of the agency’s mission because another employee cannot be readily assigned to perform the work Example: To prohibit an individual employee from having interest* in an NRCS program or TSP in the same area the employee serves. * Through self, spouse or minor child. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 45

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Substantial Conflict Determination Who has authority to make

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Substantial Conflict Determination Who has authority to make determination? Depends on Matter l STC if NRCS Program l STC if TSP l DCH MGT for ALL other Can STC delegate? l No June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 46

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES STC Authority § STC has authority to make

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES STC Authority § STC has authority to make a substantial conflict determination, after consultation with NRCS Ethics Officer, that limits employee’s participation in NRCS programs or TSP. § Includes participation by § § Employee employee’s spouse minor child Does not apply to participation of other family members § Authority to make any other type of substantial conflict determination is reserved to the DCH MGT. See 5 CFR 2635. 403(b) June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 47

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 18 Impact on outside interest Situation: Spouse

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 18 Impact on outside interest Situation: Spouse is TSP in same area AND either 1. Employee must disqualify from matters so central to the employee’s position that the employee essentially cannot perform his/her position, or 2. Another employee cannot readily be assigned to do that work. Then The STC may make substantial conflict determination to prohibit employee from having TSP interest in same area Result ü Spouse could not be TSP in same area. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 48

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 19: Impact on outside interest Situation: Spouse’s

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Example 19: Impact on outside interest Situation: Spouse’s employer is TSP in same area AND either 1. Employee must disqualify from matters so central to the employee’s position that the employee essentially cannot perform his/her position, or 2. Another employee cannot readily be assigned to do that work. Then The STC may make a substantial conflict determination to prohibit employee from having that TSP interest. Result ü Spouse could not work for that company. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 49

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES STC Authority and Options (continued) Substantial Conflict Determination

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES STC Authority and Options (continued) Substantial Conflict Determination § Must meet criteria at 5 CFR 2635. 403(b). § No blanket determinations § Use on a case-by-case basis only § Consult with the Director, NRCS Ethics Office, prior to issuance § Provide copy to the Director, NRCS Ethics Office June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 50

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Prohibitions Against Representation Employee’s favorite Cousin applies for

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Prohibitions Against Representation Employee’s favorite Cousin applies for EQIP. l Officially or Personally – Can not ask the DC to meet with his Cousin, or attend an NRCS meeting with his Cousin. l Officially – Can not look up the status of the Cousin’s application. l Personally – Can help Cousin with application (behind the scenes) Can not sit at the kitchen table and help Cousin with application if compensated. June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 51

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Re: Misuse of Position See 5 CFR 2635

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Re: Misuse of Position See 5 CFR 2635 Subpart G No favoritism Do not ask another employee to: l Look out for the application of a friend or family member; l Keep you informed; l Etc. No endorsement Except: 1. SARE Advisory Councils 2. Rural Development Councils June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 52

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Questions? June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by

2006 ETHICS TRAINING FOR NRCS EMPLOYEES Questions? June 20, 2006 –Albuquerque, NM Presented by The NRCS Ethics Office Slide 53