These two subsections are also aimed at avoiding divided loyalties. Note that there is no mention
that the government employee's duties would be a violation if a government attorney (whose duties
dealt solely with tax questions) agreed to represent someone in a contract dispute with the government.
These subsections do require that the matter be one in which the government is a party, or one in
which the government has a direct and substantial interest. Notice that these subsections include the
offer, promise to give, solicitation, and receipt of compensation. So, like section 201b, the offenses can
be complete without an exchange actually taking place.
G. 18 USC 205 - Activities of Officers and Employees in Claims Against and Other Matters Affecting
Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States in the executive, legislative, or
judicial branch of the Government or in any agency of the United, States, including the District of
Columbia, otherwise than in the proper discharge of his official duties--
1. acts as agent or attorney for prosecuting any claim against the United States, or receives
any gratuity, or share of, or interest in any such claim in consideration of assistance in the
prosecution of such claims, or
2. acts as agent or attorney for anyone before any department, agency, court, court-martial,
officer, or any civil, military, or naval commission in connection with any proceeding,
application, request for ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, charge,
accusation, arrest, or other particular matter in which the United States is a party or has a
direct and substantial interest--
"Shall be fined not more than ,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, unless the
act was willful in which event the imprisonment is not more than five years, or a fine and imprisonment."
This section strives for undivided loyalty on the part of government employees. In this sense it is
like Section 209. It is, however, aimed at government employees who act in a representational
Another reason for enforcing this section is that the public's confidence will be undermined if officials
are seen switching sides whenever they want. Eventually, the perception becomes one of getting the
result you want by hiring a member of the agency (an indirect bribe) or by getting in with a member of
the agency and letting an "old boy network" take its course.
The word "claim" is important. This is a broad term which includes any interest which is being
pursued against the government. In Bachman v. Pertachuk, 437 F.Sup 973 (D.D.C. 1977), the plaintiffs
brought a class action suit against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for racial discrimination in
awarding promotions. The court held that such a suit did involve a claim against the United States and
that an employee of the FTC could not accept any compensation for his legal services on behalf of the