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(d) Such teaching, lecturing, or writing is not otherwise incompatible with the provisions of the regulations in this part. (31 F.R. 8528, June 18, 1966, as amended at 33 F.R. 12083, Aug. 27, 1968] $ 0.735–18 Activities of Department em
ployees with relation to general or
specialized 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, regional, State, and local organizations of the National nge, the American Farm Bureau Federation, 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 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 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.
(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 FHA County Committeemen.
(2) Apply to specialized organizations of farmers such as cow testing associations and similar groups.
(3) Prohibit employees from participating in the organization of groups that are needed in carrying out Federally authorized programs, for example, an 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. $ 0.735–19 Indebtedness.
(a) Employees who fail to pay their just financial obligations in a timely and proper manner without adequate reason, will be subject to such disciplinary action as the head of the agency or his designee considers appropriate. For the purpose of this section, “just financial obligations” are those acknowledged by the employee or reduced to judgment by a court. A “proper and timely manner" means in a manner which the head of the agency or his designee determines does not, under the circumstances, reflect adversely on the Department as his employer.
(b) In cases where a legal judgment exists against the employee, the employee i concerned will be required to satisfy the judgment within a reasonable period of time unless he can arrange to have it modified or set aside.
(c) When an employee is the subject of a complaint for failure to pay taxes or other debts that are the subject of a final administrative determination by a unit of the Federal, State or local government, he shall be advised of the complaint and told to make payment arrangements satisfactory with that unit of government.
(d) When an employee is the subject of a letter of complaint from a creditor who does not hold a legal judgment, the Agency Head or his designee shall determine whether the employee acknowledges the debt and call the provisions of his section to the employee's attention. Subsequent action, if any, will be taken in accord with the facts of the case and the provisions of this section. $ 0.735–20 Political activity.
(a) A Federal employee other than an officer exempted by 5 U.S.C. 7324 (d) may not take an active part in political management or in a political campaign. He may not solicit or receive any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any political purpose from an officer or employee of the Government. Whatever the employee may not do directly, he may not do indirectly or through an agent, officer, or employee chosen by him or subject to his control. The Civil Service Commission exercises jurisdiction and investigates cases of alleged prohibited political activities by employees in the competitive service. The Department has comparable jurisdiction in cases affecting employees in the excepted service. Generally speaking, special Government employees are prohibited from engaging in the aforementioned activities only on those days when they are in a pay status. If in doubt of the propriety of a contemplated political activity consult your supervisor or refer the question with a full statement of facts to the Office of Personnel for advice.
(b) Allegations, of, or evidence relating to prohibited political activity, shall be reported to the Director of Personnel. (31 F.R. 8528, June 18, 1966, as amended at 33 F.R. 953, Jan. 26, 1968] $ 0.735–21 Requirement to furnish in
formation. (a) 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.
(b) 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. Failure to respond to requests for information or to appear as a witness in an official proceeding may result in disciplinary penalty. $ 0.735-22 Safeguarding information.
(a) 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 Records Security Regulations, USDA.
(b) 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.
(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 and as prescribed by Title 1, Chapter 9, Administrative Regulations, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
(d) The subject matter of public hearings with respect to the proposed issuance of an order, regulation or other administrative determination 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.
(e) Official mail shall be safeguarded from indiscriminate publication. It is prohibited to use or to quote in whole or in part any letters referred from the White House to this Department.
(f) 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.
(g) The release of any list of names of employees of the Department for political purposes or for purposes of commercial solicitation is prohibited.
(h) It is prohibited to release lists of names of farmers, businessmen, persons, organizations, or firms that may be available in the Department directly or indirectly to any person, firm or association if such lists will be used for solicitation purposes, or such lists directly or indirectly provide information which customarily would not be released to the public by the person from whom the Department obtained it. Exceptions shall not be made unless authorized by the Director of Information, and it is clear that the public interest will be served and there will be negligible public expense or interruption of work. A request for a Department list must state the purpose for which the list will be used. 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. (31 F.R. 8528, June 18, 1966, as amended at 33 F.R. 953, Jan. 26, 1968] $ 0.735-23 Use of vehicles.
(a) An employee who wilfully uses or authorizes the use of a Governmentowned or leased passenger motor vehicle or aircraft for other than official purposes is subject to suspension for 30 days or removal from office in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 638a(c) (2).
(b) An employee who wilfully uses or authorizes the use of a Governmentowned or leased motor vehicle other than passenger carrying for other than official purposes is subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal.
(c) Employees shall not store Government-owned or leased motor vehicles in or near their private residences or use such vehicles for transportation between their residences and places of employment unless such storage or use shall
have been specifically authorized by the Secretary or another official to whom such authority has been delegated. (31 F.R. 8528, June 18, 1966, as amended at 31 F.R. 9544, July 14, 1966; 33 F.R. 954, Jan. 26, 1968) $ 0.735–24 Financial interests.
(a) An employee may not have a direct or indirect financial interest that conflicts substantially, or appears to conflict substantially, with his responsibilities and duties as a Federal employee.
(b) An employee may not engage in, directly or indirectly, a financial transaction relying upon information obtained through his employment.
(c) This section does not preclude an employee from having a financial interest or engaging in financial transactions to the same extent as a private citizen not employed by the Government provided it is not prohibited by law, Executive Order 11222, 5 CFR Part 735, or this part. $ 0.735–25 Miscellaneous provisions.
(a) Employees must observe designated duty hours and be punctual in reporting for work and returning from lunch periods. Tardiness can result in employees being placed in a nonpay status or in a charge against annual or compensatory leave in multiples of 1 hour or remedial action.
(b) Employees normally must obtain advance authorization for absence from duty. Where absence from duty results from illness or an emergency, employees are required to notify their supervisor or other appropriate person as soon as possible. When an employee fails to properly notify his supervisor absence may be charged as an unauthorized absence. It also may result in remedial action.
(c) Sick leave is to be used by employees only when they are incapacitated from duty because of sickness or injury, when they need to obtain medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment, when they are subject to quarantine imposed by local health authorities, or when they are required to give care to a member of their immediate family who has a contagious disease.
(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) Any money, property, or other thing of value received by or coming into custody of an employee in connection with the discharge of his duties must be accounted for, deposited or otherwise disposed of in accordance with established procedures.
(f) Personal property offered for sale by the Department may be purchased by employees only when the sale of such property is based upon competitive bids, provided that no purchase may be made, either directly or indirectly, by the employee who was formerly accountable for the property, who formerly used the property, or who was in any way connected with its condemnation, declaration as excess, or sale, except:
(1) Surplus perishable products may be sold to employees at the best price obtainable in quantities not exceeding the needs of their immediate households.
(2) Special clothing and other articles of personal equipment purchased for the exclusive use of and fitted to an individual employee may, when not otherwise usable by the Department and in all respects surplus to the needs of the Government, be sold to such employee at the best price obtainable in the event of his separation from the Service or permanent assignment to duties not requiring such clothing or equipment.
(g) An employee shall not take any action which might prejudice the Government's interest in a criminal or civil case.
(h) Except as authorized by the Director of Personnel en oyees may not solicit, make collections or canvass for the sale of any article or distribute literature or advertising matter in any space occupied by the Department. Employees may not solicit money nor sell tickets to persons outside the Government for the benefit of any organization of the Department of Agriculture. No publication of any such organization shall contain any commercial advertising whatsoever and the cost of such publications must be fully paid by the organization or association.
(i) An employee shall not at any time conduct himself in a manner that might cause embarrassment to or criticism of the Department or interfere with the efficient performance of his duties.
(j) An employee concerned in any way with the administration of acts regulating trading in commodities for future delivery, programs for the purchase or sale of commodities, price support programs, commodity loan programs, or other programs which directly affect market prices of agricultural commodities shall not, directly or indirectly, speculate in any agricultural commodity.
(k) No employee of the Department shall participate directly or indirectly in any transaction concerning the purchase or sale of corporate stocks or bonds, commodities, or other property for speculative purposes if such action might tend to interfere with the proper and impartial performance of his duties or bring discredit upon the Department. Employees are not prohibited by this paragraph from making bona fide investments. $ 0.735–26 Miscellaneous statutory pro
visions. The attention of each employee is directed to the following statutory provisions:
(a) House Concurrent Resolution 175, 85th Congress, 2d Session, 72 Stat. B12, the “Code of Ethics for Government Service."
(b) Chapter 11 of Title 18, United States Code, relating to bribery, graft, and conflicts of interest.
(c) The prohibition against lobbying with appropriated funds (18 U.S.C. 1913).
(d) The prohibitions against disloyalty and striking (5 U.S.C. 7311, 18 U.S.C. 1918).
(e) The prohibition against the employment of a member of a Communist organization (50 U.S.C. 784).
(f) The prohibitions against:
(1) The disclosure of classified information (18 U.S.C. 798, 50 U.S.C. 783); and
(2) The disclosure of confidential information (18 U.S.C. 1905).
(g) The provision relating to the habitual use of intoxicants to excess (5 U.S.C. 7352).
(h) The prohibition against the misuse of a Government vehicle (31 U.S.C. 638a).
(i) The prohibition against the misuse of the franking privilege (18 U.S.C. 1719).
(j) The prohibition against the use of deceit in an examination or personnel action in connection with Government employment (18 U.S.C. 1917).
(k) The prohibition against fraud or false statements in a Government matter (18 U.S.C. 1001).
(1) The prohibition against mutilating or destroying a public record (18 U.S.C. 2071).
(m) The prohibition against counterfeiting and forging transportation requests (18 U.S.C. 508).
(n) The prohibitions against:
(1) Embezzlement of Government money or property (18 U.S.C. 641);
(2) Failing to account for public money (18 U.S.C. 643); and
(3) Embezzlement of the money or property of another person in the possession of an employee by reason of his employment (18 U.S.C. 654).
(0) The prohibition against unauthorized use of documents relating to claims from or by the Government (18 U.S.C. 285).
(p) The prohibition against proscribed political activities—(5 U.S.C. 7324), and 18 U.S.C. 602, 603, 607, and 608.
(q) The provision relating to the denial of right to petition Congress (5 U.S.C. 7102).
(r) The prohibitions against:
(1) The publication of data and information obtained pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act which would disclose the business transactions of any person, trade secrets or customer names (7 U.S.C. 12).
(2) The use of or revealing information relative to formulas of products acquired by the Secretary incident to the registration of economic poisons, with intent to defraud (7 U.S.C. 135f(c)).
(3) The unauthorized release of information, in the Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. 222).
(4) 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).
(5) 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 S.C. 6080 (2)).
he unauthorized prediction as to
property or security to influence action in connection with agricultural loans (18 U.S.C. 1014).
(8) The wilfull disclosure of official information which might influence of affect the market value of crops prior to authorized publication. An employee acquiring by reason of his employment, information as 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).
(s) Limitations on the use or availability of information furnished in connection with marketing agreements and orders (7 U.S.C. 610(i)).
(t) The availability of information furnished in connection with marketing agreements and orders, applicable to marketing agreements for anti-hogcholera serum and hog-cholera virus is restricted (7 U.S.C. 855).
(u) 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).
(v) Information with respect to individual operations of processor, producer, or laborer will not be made public in connection with recommendations with respect to producer-processor and producer-labor contracts (7 U.S.C. 1159).
(w) 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)).
(x) Prohibitions against:
(1) A person licensed to inspect or grade grain, or employed by the Department to carry out the provisions of the Grain Standards Act being financially or otherwise interested in a grain elevator or employed by a grain elevator or warehouse (7 U.S.C. 81).
(2) Persons administering the Sugar Act of 1948, from investing or speculating in sugar or liquid sugar, contracts relating thereto, or stock or membership interests of any association or corporation engaged in sugar production (7 U.S.C. 1157).
(3) Persons administering activities concerned with cotton option contracts and commodity benefits as provided by the Agriculture Adjustment Act speculating in agricultural commodities or