Title 5

SECTION 1304.4608

1304.4608 Administrative Enforcement Procedures (18 U.S.C. 207(j); 5 CFR 737.27).

§ 1304.4608 Administrative Enforcement Procedures (18 U.S.C. 207(j); 5 CFR 737.27).

(a) Whenever an allegation is made that a former Government employee has violated 18 U.S.C. 207(a), (b) or (c) or any of the regulations promulgated thereunder by the Office of Government Ethics or by OMB, the allegation and any supporting evidence shall be transmitted through the Office of General Counsel to the Deputy Director, OMB.

(b) Allegations and evidence shall be safeguarded so as to protect the privacy of former employees prior to a determination of sufficient cause to initiate an administrative disciplinary proceeding.

(c) If review by the Office of General Counsel, OMB, shows that the information concerning a possible violation does not appear to be frivolous, the Deputy Director, OMB, shall expeditiously provide all relevant evidence, any appropriate comments, and copies of applicable agency regulations to the director, Office of Government Ethics, and to the Criminal Division, Department of Justice. Unless the Department of Justice informs OMB that it does not intend to initiate criminal prosecution, OMB shall coordinate any investigation or administrative action with the Department of Justice in order to avoid prejudicing criminal proceedings.

(d) After appropriate review and recommendation by the Office of General Counsel, if the Deputy Director, OMB, determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that there has been a violation, the Deputy Director may direct the Office of General Counsel to initiate an administrative disciplinary proceeding and may designate an individual to represent OMB in the proceeding.

(e) Notice. The Office of General Counsel shall provide the former Government employee with adequate notice of its intention to institute a proceeding and with an opportunity for a hearing. The notice must include a statement of allegations, and the basis thereof, in sufficient detail to enable the former Government employee to prepare an adequate defense; notification of the right to a hearing; and an explanation of the method by which a hearing may be requested.

(f) Hearing. A hearing may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Office of General Counsel.

(g) Examiner. The presiding official at the proceedings shall be the hearing examiner, who is delegated authority by the Director, OMB, to make an initial decision. The hearing examiner shall be an attorney in the Office of General Counsel designated by the General Counsel. The hearing examiner shall be impartial and shall not have participated in any manner in the decision to initiate the proceedings.

(h) Time, date and place. The hearing shall be conducted at a reasonable time, date, and place. The hearing examiner shall give due regard in setting the hearing date to the former Government employee's need for adequate time to properly prepare a defense and for an expeditious resolution of allegations that may be damaging to his reputation.

(i) Hearing rights. The hearing shall include, as a minimum, the right to represent oneself or to be represented by counsel; the right to introduce and examine witnesses and to submit physical evidence; the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses; the right to present oral argument; and, on request, the right to have a transcript or recording of the proceedings.

(j) Burden of proof. OMB has the burden of proof and must establish substantial evidence of a violation.

(k) Decision. The hearing examiner shall make a decision based exclusively on matters of record in the proceedings. All findings of fact and conclusions of law relevant to the matters at issue shall be set forth in the decision.

(l) Appeal within OMB. Within 30 days of the date of the hearing examiner's decision, either party may appeal the decision to the Director. The Director shall make a decision on the appeal based solely on the record of the proceedings or on those portions of the record agreed to by the parties to limit the issues. If the Director modifies or reverses the hearing examiner's decision, he shall specify the findings of fact and conclusions of law that are different from those of the hearing examiner.

(m) Administrative sanctions. Administrative sanctions may be taken if the former Government employee fails to request a hearing after receipt of adequate notice or if a final administrative determination of a violation of 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c) or regulations promulgated thereunder has been made. The Director may prohibit the former Government employee from appearance or communication with OMB on behalf of another for a period not to exceed five years (5 CFR 737.27(a)(9)(i)) or take other appropriate disciplinary action (5 CFR 737.27(a)(9)(ii)).

(n) Judicial review. Any person found by an OMB administrative decision to have participated in a violation of 18 U.S.C. 207 (a), (b) or (c) or regulations promulgated thereunder may seek judicial review of the administrative decision.