Current SES employees who have begun seeking or negotiating for subsequent non-federal employment must immediately recuse themselves from participation in any official matter that involves the prospective employer as an identified party, such as a grant,contract, application, audit, investigation, or lawsuit. The recusal also must extend to any particular matter of general applicabilitythat affects the discrete industry, economic sector, or other defined class of organizations in which the prospective employeroperates, such as a legislative initiative, regulatory proposal, or policy determination that affects the prospective employer asa member of such class. See 5 CFR Part 2635, Subpart F.
Former employees are subject to the provisions described below. Former government attorneys and public officials with a lawlicense are subject to additional post-employment restrictions under State Rules of Professional Conduct. Political appointees are subject to additional pledge requirements under E.0. 13490. SF 278 filers are required to submit a termination Public Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days after departure. Certain exceptions, not discussed in this document, may apply in limited circumstances. Contact the assistant General Counsel for General Law, Office of General Counsel at (202) 586-1522.
Restrictions Applicable to All Employees
18 US Code 207(a)(1) Permanent Ban on "Switching Sides." Former employees are subject to a lifetime ban on communicating to or appearing before the Government on behalfof their new employer or anyone else regarding specific party matters in which they participated personally and substantiallyduring their entire government service.
18 US Code 207(a)(2) Two-Year Official Responsibility Provision. For two years after leaving federal employment,former employees cannot make representationalcommunications to or appearances before the Governmentregarding specific party matters that were pending under theirofficial responsibility during their last year of government service.
18 US Code 207(b) One-Year Ban on Trade or Treaty Negotiation Activities. Former employees who participatedin ongoing trade or treaty negotiations on behalf of the UnitedStates within the year preceding their departure cannot, for oneyear, represent, aid, or advise anyone based on informationexempt from disclosure to which the employees had access.
18 US Code 203 Compensation Limitation. Former employees who join a law, accounting, or government relationsfirm cannot share in any bonus, profit sharing, or similarcompensation derived from fees earned by the employee's newfirm or partnership for representational services before theGovernment that were rendered during the former employee'speriod of government service.
41 US Code 2102 Disclosure of Procurement Information. Former employees cannot knowingly disclosecontractor bid or proposal information or source selectioninformation to anyone not authorized to receive such information.
41 US Code 2104 One-Year Ban on Contractor Compensation. Employees who worked on a contract inexcess of $10 million cannot accept compensation from thatcontractor within one year after the employee: (1) served as theprocuring contracting officer, source selection authority orevaluation board member, or chief of a financial or technical evaluation team; (2) served as a program manager, deputyprogram manager, or administrative contracting officer; or (3)personally made certain decisions such as awarding a contract,subcontract, modification, task or delivery order, establishingoverhead, issuing payment, or settling a claim.
45 CFR Part 2 Testimony and Production of Documents in Proceedings where the United States is Not a Party. Former employees cannot provide testimony orproduce documents in a federal, state, local, or tribal judicial oradministrative proceeding (or a state, local, or tribal legislativehearing) concerning information acquired during the course oftheir official duties or because of their former governmentposition, unless authorized by the head of their respectiveOPDIV or, if a former employee of OS, the ASA. Thisrequirement applies to requested or subpoenaed oral statementsbefore a court or an adjudicative or investigatory body, as well asstatements made in depositions, interrogatories, declarations, affidavits, or other formal participation.
Restrictions Applicable Only to “Senior Employees”
(Executive Levels II through V; Uniformed Service Pay Grades O-7 or above; SES and Employees in other PaySystems with an Annual Rate of Basic Pay (Excluding Locality-Based Adjustments) at or above $155,441)
18 US Code 207(c) One-Year "Cooling-Off" Period.
Former employees cannot, for one year after completing servicein a “senior” position, knowingly make, with the intent toinfluence, any communication to or appearance before anyofficer or employee of their former agency on behalf of anyoneseeking official action. Except for Senate confirmed Presidential appointees, who are prohibited from contacting the entireDepartment, "former agency" means the OPDIV where theemployee worked (or OS, if employed in a STAFFDIV).
The restrictions in 18 US Code 207(c) do not apply to acts donein carrying out official duties as an employee of and on behalf of:
- A state or local government
- A college or university
- A non-profit hospital or medical research organization. Other exceptions may apply for certain types of testimony,uncompensated statements based on special knowledge, and scientific or technological information, and for certain contactsmade on behalf of international organizations or Political campaign organizations.
18 US Code 207(f) One-Year Foreign Entity Provision.
Former employees cannot, for one year after completing service in a “senior” position, knowingly represent, aid, or advise aforeign government or foreign political party with the intent toinfluence any officer or employee of the United States.
NOTE: Cabinet officers paid at Executive Level I, known as “very senior employees,” are subject to an additional two-year restriction that precludes representational contactto the appointee’s former department, as well as to anyPresidential appointee in the entire Executive