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pose from an officer or employee of the Government. Whatever the employee may not do directly, he or she may not do indirectly or through an agent, officer, or employee chosen by him or her or subject to his or her control.

8 0.735-20 Use, protection, and release of

information. (a) An employee is prohibited from using or giving information acquired through his or her official position, prior to its release to the general public, to advance the interests of himself or herself, his or her family, associates, or friends, or any other person or enterprise.

(b) Classified defense information and restricted information shall be safeguarded and released in accordance with the provisions of applicable directives, statutes, or regulations. For further information consult the USDA Regulations for Classification, Declassification, and Safeguarding Classified Information.

(c) “For Official Use Only” material shall not be examined by, released to, nor discussed with any person except in the performance of official duties or as required by the Freedom of Information Act.

(d) Unauthorized, premature disclosure of information which might influence or affect the market value of any product of the soil grown within the United States, or of information which by law or rule of the Department is required to be withheld from publication until a fixed time is punishable by fine and imprisonment unless such release is determined to be required by the Freedom of Information Act.

(e) The subject matter of public hearings with respect to the proposed issuance of an order, regulation, or other administrative determination, after the close of the hearing and prior to issuance by the Secretary of the order, regulation, or other administrative determination shall not be discussed with any interested person or with any representative of an interested person without written permission of the Secretary. However, this shall not preclude an employee who has been assigned to or has supervision over a proceeding from discussing

with interested persons or their representatives matters of procedure in connection with such proceeding.

(f) Official mail shall be safeguarded from indiscriminate publication. It is prohibited to use or to quote in whole or in part any letters from the White House to this Department.

(g) Information concerning inventions and patent applications may be revealed only for official purposes. Employee inventors and employees who handle or obtain information concerning inventions of employee inventors or concerning any other inventions in which the Department may have an interest shall not reveal such information prior to the issuance of the patent, except for official purposes, unless such release is determined to be required by the Freedom of Information Act.

(h) Lists of names of farmers, business people, or employees that may be available in the Department shall not be released to anyone unless it is determined that such release is required by the Freedom of Information Act. Lists of manufacturers, dealers, breeders, etc., should not be furnished so as to imply that the Department endorses certain firms to the possible detriment of others, or that the lists necessarily include all dealers of a certain line.

$ 0.735-21 Activities with regard to farm

organizations. (a) Department employees shall refrain from participating actively in meetings and in other activities concerned with the establishment of general or specialized farm organizations, or with recruiting members for existing organizations such as the National Grange, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Organization, the Farmers' Union, the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and Breed and Commodity Organizations. This is a necessary corollary of the equally long-established policy of the Department that it shall deal fairly with all organizations and deal with each upon the same basis. As a

an

(3) Prohibit employees from participating in the organization of groups that are needed in carrying out federally authorized programs, for example,

REA cooperative and similar groups determined by the appropriate Agency Head to be essential in effectuating federally authorized programs.

(c) If any violations of any of the provisions of this section should occur, full information with reference thereto should at once be submitted to the Office of the Inspector General by the Head of the Agency in which the person violating any of these provisions is employed. [43 FR 43431, Sept. 26, 1978, as amended at 46 FR 22559, Apr. 20, 1981)

continuation of this policy, it should be understood by employees of the Department that it is not permissible for any of them to:

(1) Participate in establishing any general or specialized farm organization;

(2) Act as organizer for any such organization, or hold any other functional office therein;

(3) Act as financial or business agent for any such organization;

(4) Participate in any way in any membership campaign or other activity designed to recruit members for any such organization;

(5) Accept the use of free office space or contributions for salary or traveling expense from any such organization;

(6) Advocate that any particular general or specialized organization of farmers is better adapted for carrying out the work of this Department than any individual citizen, group of citizens, or organizations;

(7) Advocate that the responsibilities of any Agency of this Department or any other Federal agency should be carried out through any particular general or specialized organization of farmers;

(8) Advocate or recommend that any State or local agency should carry out its responsibilities through any particular general or specialized organization of farmers; or

(9) Approve contracts for the Department with any cooperative or other commercial organization whenever such cooperative or other commercial organization deducts or checks off from payments due farmers, membership dues of such farmers to any general or specialized organization of farmers, except as it is determined that current authorization for such deduction has been knowingly filed by such individual farmers with the cooperative or other commercial organization.

(b) The restrictions set forth in paragraph (a) of this section do not:

(1) Apply to members of an FmHA County Committee;

(2) Apply to specialized organizations of farmers such as cow testing associations and similar groups; or

8 0.735-22 Prohibitions upon employees

serving abroad. An employee on foreign assignment may not:

(a) Violate Department of State regulations governing the post to which he or she is assigned;

(b) Receive a "profit" from the sale of his or her personal car or other property when such "profit" accrues from import privileges granted him or her by reason of his or her official status. “Profit” for the purposes of this paragraph is as defined in the Department of State regulations or directives governing the post of assignment;

(c) Engage in political activities in the country of assignment;

(d) Violate the laws of the country in which he or she is assigned;

(e) Have an interest in any business enterprise or engage in any profession in any country to which assigned; or

(f) Speculate in any foreign real estate, bonds, shares, stocks, and currencies.

$ 0.735-23 Miscellaneous provisions.

(a) Any money, property, or other thing of value received by or coming into custody of an employee in connection with the discharge of his or her duties must be accounted for, deposited or otherwise disposed of in accordance with established procedures.

(b) Employees are required under § 5.3 of Civil Service Rule V (5 CFR 5.3) to give the Civil Service Commission and its authorized representatives all information and testimony in regard to matters arising under laws, rules, and regulations administered by the Commission.

(c) Employees are obligated to give information to authorized representatives of the Department when called upon if the inquiry relates to official matters and the information is obtained in the course of employment or as a result of relationships incident to such employment. This shall include the furnishing of a signed statement. Failure to respond to requests for information or to appear as a witness in an official proceeding may result in disciplinary penalty. (Nothing herein shall be deemed to infringe upon an employee's right to invoke the protection of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution with respect to self-incrimination.)

(d) Agency officials have the authority to transfer and reassign employees within their respective jurisdictions whenever necessary to meet operational needs. Employees have an obligation to the Department to accept transfers and changes in assignment. Failure to accept a transfer or reassignment may result in the separation of the employee.

(e) Employees shall not purchase products or receive services directly or indirectly from persons, firms, or establishments for which such employees conduct inspection, grading, or similar regulatory activities without express approval. Each Agency shall establish the approval level and shall advise each employee. Agencies shall utilize the following criteria in granting such approvals:

(1) Proximity of the employee to other retail outlets;

(2) The number of retail outlets in the commuting area;

(3) Whether the outlet is a sole source;

(4) Whether the firm is selling the item or service at the prevailing price to the general public as well as the employee; and

(5) Whether the outlet is open to the general public.

$ 0.735-24 Miscellaneous statutory provi

sions. (a) Each employee has a positive duty to acquaint himself or herself with each statute that relates to his or her ethical and other conduct as an employee of his or her Agency, of the Department, and of the Government. The attention of each employee is directed to the following statutory provisions:

(1) House Concurrent Resolution 175, 85th Congress, second session, 72 Stat. B12, the “Code of Ethics for Government Service;"

(2) Chapter 11 of Title 18, United States Code, relating to bribery, graft, and conflicts-of-interest;

(3) The prohibition against wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable informations or wrongful maintenance of a system of records (5 U.S.C. 552a(i));

(4) The prohibition against a public official appointing or promoting a relative, or advocating such an appointment or promotion (5 U.S.C. 3110);

(5) The prohibitions against disloyalty and striking (Executive Order 10450, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 7311, 18 U.S.C. 1918);

(6) The prohibition against the employment of a person convicted of a felony for participating in or promoting a riot or civil disorder (5 U.S.C. 7313);

(7) The prohibitions against proscribed political activities (5 U.S.C. 7324, and 18 U.S.C. 602, 603, 607, and 608);

(8) The provisions relating to the receipt and disposition of foreign gifts and decorations ( 5 U.S.C. 7342);

(9) The prohibition against gifts to superiors by employees (5 U.S.C. 7351);

(10) The provision relating to the habitual use of intoxicants to excess (5 U.S.C. 7352);

(11) The prohibition against person licensed or authorized to perform any official function under the U.S. Grain Standards Act, or employed by the Department to carry out the provisions of the Grain Standards Act being financially or otherwise interested in an entity owning or operating a grain elevator or warehouse or

a

are

engaging in the merchandising of grain, or be employed by or accept gratuities from any such entity (7 U.S.C. 87(a));

(12) The prohibition against the unauthorized release of information, in the Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. 222);

(13) The prohibition against the release of information in an employee's possession concerning cotton standards, estimates, tests, and analyses unless authorized by the Secretary (7 U.S.C. 472);

(14) The prohibitions against the release of information acquired from parties to any marketing agreement, and handlers subject to marketing agreement orders, except as authorized by the Secretary for the purposes of suit or administrative hearings (7 U.S.C. 6080(2));

(15) The prohibition against persons administering activities concerned with cotton option contracts and commodity benefits as provided by the Agricultural Adjustment Act, speculating in agricultural commodities or products to which such contracts or benefits apply, or in contracts relating thereto, or in the stock or memberships interest of any association or corporation handling such commodities or products (7 U.S.C. 610(g));

(16) Limitations on the use or availability of information furnished in connection with marketing agreements and orders (7 U.S.C. 610(i));

(17) The availability of information furnished in connection with marketing agreements and orders, and applicable to marketing agreements for anti-hog-cholera serum and hog-cholera virus is restricted (7 U.S.C. 855);

(18) Information furnished in connection with collection of peanut statistics shall be used only for statistical purposes for which supplied. No publication shall be made where the data furnished by any establishment can be identified (7 U.S.C. 955);

(19) Information furnished in connection with the establishment and adjustment of farm marketing quotas shall be disclosed only as authorized by the Secretary for the purpose of suit or administrative hearing (7 U.S.C. 1373(c));

(20) The prohibition against an officer or employee being the beneficiary of or receiving any fee, commission or gift for or in connection with any transaction or business under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, other than such salary, fee or compensation as he or she may receive as an officer or employee. In addition, members of an FmHA County Committee

prohibited from making any certification with respect to a loan to purchase any land in which they or any person related to them have any financial interest (7 U.S.C. 1986);

(21) The prohibition against unauthorized release of information relating to the production and marketing of cotton (7 U.S.C. 2105(c));

(22) The prohibition against unauthorized release of information relating to plant variety protection (7 U.S.C. 2426);

(23) The prohibition against unauthorized release of information relating to the production and marketing of eggs (7 U.S.C. 2706(c));

(24) The prohibition against the unauthorized prediction as to cotton prices in a Governmental publication (12 U.S.C. 1141j(d));

(25) The prohibition against the making of false statements in connection with activities of the Commodity Credit Corporation or embezzlement or conversion of anything of value belonging or pledged to the Corporation, or conspiring to commit such acts (15 U.S.C. 714m);

(26) The prohibition against the acceptance of any fee, gift, or other consideration for compromise, adjustment, or cancellation of farm indebtedness (18 U.S.C. 217);

(27) The prohibition against an employee acting as an agent of a foreign principal registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (18 U.S.C. 219);

(28) The prohibition against unauthorized use of documents relating to claims from or by the Government (18 U.S.C. 285);

(29) The prohibition against an employee contracting with a Member of Congress (18 U.S.C. 432);

(30) The prohibition against paying a larger sum than appropriated for

or

as

erection, repair, or furnishing of any public building or improvement thereof (18 U.S.C. 435);

(31) The prohibition against contracting for convict labor (18 U.S.C. 436);

(32) The prohibition against counterfeiting and forging transportation requests (18 U.S.C. 508);

(33) The prohibition against acceptance of excessive honorariums (18 U.S.C. 616 repealed, now 2 U.S.C. 441i);

(34) The prohibition against embezzlement of Government money property (18 U.S.C. 641);

(35) The prohibition against failing to account for public money (18 U.S.C. 643);

(36) The prohibition against misuse of public funds by custodian (18 U.S.C. 648);

(37) The prohibition against custodian failing to deposit money in his or her possession (18 U.S.C. 649);

(38) The prohibition against disbursing officers falsely certifying full payment (18 U.S.C. 651);

(39) The prohibition against disbursing officers paying less than lawful amount (18 U.S.C. 652);

(40) The prohibition against disbursing officers misusing public funds (18 U.S.C. 653);

(41) The prohibition against embezzlement of the money or property of another person in the possession of an employee by reason of his or her employment (18 U.S.C. 654);

(42) The prohibition against the embezzlement of money or property of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and the Farmers Home Administration, and of pledged or entrusted property (18 U.S.C. 657);

(43) The prohibition against the conversion of property mortgaged pledged to the Farmers Home Administration and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, with intent to defraud (18 U.S.C. 658);

(44) The prohibitions against the disclosure of classified information (18 U.S.C. 798, 50 U.S.C. 783);

(45) The prohibition against extortion by Government employees (18 U.S.C. 872);

(46) The prohibition against fraud or false statements in a Government matter (18 U.S.C. 1001);

(47) The prohibition against the making of false entries, or participation in any benefit through any transaction in connection with Departmental activities concerned with agricultural loans (18 U.S.C. 1006);

(48) The prohibition against the making of false statements or reports, or wilfully overvaluing land, property or security to influence action in connection with agricultural loans (18 U.S.C. 1014);

(49) The prohibition against depredation of Government property (18 U.S.C. 1361);

(50) The prohibition against the misuse of the franking privilege (18 U.S.C. 1719);

(51) The prohibition against the wilful disclosure of official information which might influence or affect the market value of crops prior to authorized publication. An employee acquiring by reason of his or her employment, information to the market value of agricultural crops, which information is required to be withheld, is prohibited from speculating in such product (18 U.S.C. 1902);

(52) The prohibition against the disclosure of confidential information (18 U.S.C. 1905);

(53) The prohibition against speculation in agricultural commodities to which the Federal Crop Insurance Act applies or to contracts relating thereto, or stock or membership interests of corporations or associations handling such commodities by any person administering such law (18 U.S.C. 1903);

(54) The prohibition against lobbying with appropriated funds (18 U.S.C. 1913);

(55) The prohibition against the use of deceit in an examination or personnel action in connection with Government employment (18 U.S.C. 1917);

(56) The prohibition against mutilating or destroying a public record (18 U.S.C. 2071);

(57) The prohibition against the compilation of issuance of false crop reports (18 U.S.C. 2072);

(58) The prohibition against employee making false or fictitious entry or

or

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