law attempts to prevent honest government agents from succumbing to temptation by making it illegal
for them to enter into relationships which are fraught with temptation. Congress intended the statute to
be both broad and rigid, not a case by case exercise.
Remember, the violation of the statute does not depend upon harm to the government; the violation
occurs when the government's agent enters into a relationship which makes it difficult for him or her to
represent only the government's interest. U.S. v. Mississippi Valley Generation Co, 5 Led 2d 268
If you investigate a possible 208 violation, remember to check for a possible waiver under 208b. If
the employee made a full disclosure and a waiver was granted, there is no liability. This waiver
involves disclosure to the installation Ethics Counselor and approval by the chain of command.
I. The Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch
1. General Principles
a. The "Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch" are based on
the following fourteen general principles, contained in Executive Order 12674.
(1) Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution,
the laws and ethical principles above private gain.
(2) Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious
performance of duty.
(3) Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government
information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.
(4) An employee shall not, except as permitted by regulation, solicit or accept any gift or
other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with,
or conducting activities regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially
affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.
(5) Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
(6) Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind
purporting to bind the Government.
(7) Employees shall not use public office for private gain.