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Q: Moonlighting While Employed by US Federal Government ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Moonlighting While Employed by US Federal Government
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: newhorizons123-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 02 Oct 2006 18:49 PDT
Expires: 01 Nov 2006 17:49 PST
Question ID: 770309
What restrictions, if any, are there on federal government employees
who want to run their own businesses on the side ("moonlighting") such
as a consulting business?  If possible, can you refer to written
guidance provided by the US government?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 02 Oct 2006 18:58 PDT
As a rule of thumb, outside income is often permissible, as long as
doesn't come anywhere close to creating an appearance of a conflict of

However, each agency handles this differently, and a few, like NIH,
have pretty much banned any sort of outside income for its employees,
as far as I understand things.

An agency ethics officer should be able to provide the specifics for a
given agency...are you able to contact such an individual?

Subject: Re: Moonlighting While Employed by US Federal Government
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 02 Oct 2006 20:26 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I found the actual summary from the Office of Government Ethics that
deals with outside income, and you can read it here:

As I mentioned above, outside income is generally permitted, unless
specifically prohibited by the rules of a particular agency, or unless
creating a conflict of interest situation.

Or, as the OGE puts it:


An activity conflicts with official duties --

if it is prohibited by statute or by the regulations of the employee's agency, 


if the activity would require the employee to be disqualified from
matters so central to the performance of the employee's official
duties as to materially impair the employee's ability to carry out
those duties.


That's the best general purpose answer you can get, I think.  If you
want to let me know which agency, in particular, you have in mind,
I'll see if I can dig up some agency-specific details.



search strategy -- Google search on [ outside income "conflict of
interest" site:gov ]
newhorizons123-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Moonlighting While Employed by US Federal Government
From: mathtalk-ga on 03 Oct 2006 05:45 PDT
As pafalafa-ga suggests, different federal agencies set policies in a
variety of ways "to avoid even the appearance" of a conflict of
interest.  In most cases the more responsibility and input you have to
procurement and/or regulatory decisions, the greater the limitation
and scrutiny placed on outside activities, but in some cases the
restrictions extend to personnel with no decision-making roles and to
activities that need not involve business or money.

Check to see if your agency/department branch has an Ethics Officer,
if you are already a federal employee, as they will be the best guide
to specific regulations for your situation.

regards, mathtalk-ga

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