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OGE RIN: 3209-AA50 Publication ID: Fall 2021 
Title: Legal Expense Fund Regulation 
Abstract:

Currently, there is no statutory or regulatory framework in the executive branch for establishing a legal expense fund, and the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has not approved or disapproved any specific legal expense funds. OGE’s role has been limited to providing guidance to help ensure that executive branch employees who may receive distributions from a legal expense fund will be in compliance with the ethics laws and rules if they accept such a contribution. See OGE Legal Advisory LA-17-10 (2017). However, OGE’s longstanding limited approach to legal expense funds does not fully address potential appearance concerns with the creation and operation of legal expense funds for the benefit of executive branch employees. Accordingly, OGE is proposing to add a new subpart J to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees (Standards).  The new subpart contains the standards for an employee’s acceptance of payments for legal expenses through a legal expense fund and an employee’s acceptance of pro bono legal services.  OGE is also proposing to make related amendments to the portions of the Standards that govern the solicitation and acceptance of gifts from outside sources and the portions of the Executive Branch Financial Disclosure regulation that governs confidential financial disclosure reports.

 
Agency: Office of Government Ethics(OGE)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 5 CFR 2635   
Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 7301    5 U.S.C. 7351    5 U.S.C. 7353    5 U.S.C. app. Ethics in Government Act of 1978    E.O. 12674    E.O. 12731   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking--Legal Expense Fund Regulation  04/15/2019  84 FR 15146   
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Comment Period End--Legal Expense Fund Regulation  06/14/2019 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking--Legal Expense Fund Regulation  05/00/2022 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Seth Jaffe
Chief, Ethics Law and Policy Branch
Office of Government Ethics
Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20005-3917
Phone:202 482-9303
TDD Phone:800 877-8339
Fax:202 482-9237
Email: sjaffe@oge.gov