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NASA Ball NASA
Policy
Directive
NPD 1388.1
Effective Date: May 21, 2012
Expiration Date: May 21, 2027
COMPLIANCE IS MANDATORY FOR NASA EMPLOYEES
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Employee Participation in NASA Education and Communications Activities (w/Change 2)

Responsible Office: Office of STEM Engagement and Office of Communications


CHANGE HISTORY

Chg#
Date
Description/Comments
1
12/16/2017
Update to comply with 1400 Compliance, with administrative changes, corrected applicability statements in P.2, and updated P.4, Applicable Documents and Forms.
2
06/14/2022
Updated with administrative edits to correct office title and applicable statements, update definitions, add references, and to comply.

1. POLICY


It is NASA's policy to support and encourage employee participation in optional education and communications activities related to the Agency's mission as part of official duty activities. This includes NASA programs, projects, events, and activities that seek employee volunteers to engage, educate, or inspire audiences using technical or non-technical components of NASA's mission. This also includes select mission-related education and communications activities administered by NASA partners, collaborators, grantees, or other organizations. br>

2. APPLICABILITY

a. This directive is applicable to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers.

b. In this directive, all mandatory actions (i.e., requirements) are denoted by statements containing the term "shall." The terms: "may" or "can" denote discretionary privilege or permission, "should" denotes a good practice and is recommended, but not required, "will" denotes expected outcome, and "are/is" denotes descriptive material.

c. In this directive, all document citations are assumed to be the latest version unless otherwise noted.


3. AUTHORITY

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, 51 U.S.C. § 20113.


4. APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS AND FORMS

a. Acceptance of Travel and Related Expenses from Non- Federal Sources, 31 U.S.C. §1353.

b. Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR pt. 2635.

c. Release of Information to News and Information Media, 14 CFR pt. 1213.


5. RESPONSIBILITY

a. The Associate Administrator for Education and the Associate Administrator for Communications have joint oversight for and shall collaborate on the implementation of this policy directive.

(1) The Associate Administrator for Education will ensure education activities support NASA's strategic goals for education.

(2) The Associate Administrator for Communications will ensure communications activities support NASA's strategic goals for communications.

b. The Associate Administrator for Education and the Associate Administrator for Communications will collaborate with the Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity and the Assistant Administrator for Human Capital Management to ensure employee participation in education and communications activities supports NASA's strategic goals for diversity and inclusion in accordance with the NASA Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Implementation Plan.

c. The Headquarters Office of the General Counsel, in collaboration with the Centers' Office of Chief Counsel, is available to counsel participants who have legal questions regarding their participation in these activities, that may include, but are not limited to conflict of interest laws, ethics regulations, or Hatch Act restrictions.

d. Officials-In-Charge (OICs) of Headquarters Offices and Center Directors, or designees, may:

(1) Authorize a reasonable amount of official duty time for employees to participate in optional mission-related education and communications activities.

Note: Civil service time charges for employee participation in education and communications activities can be assigned to the labor charge code the employee uses normally. However, Centers' local procedures apply.

(2) Assign employees to participate in education and communications activities that are appropriately related to their official duties.

e. OICs of Headquarters Offices and Center Directors, or designees, will:

(1) Encourage and support employee participation in mission-related education and communications activities.

(2) Ensure that employees participating in education and communications activities comply with the provisions of this NPD.

(3) Jointly with the employee, ensure that employee participation in education and communications activities does not interfere with employees' primary job duties by discussing potential conflicts with the employee beforehand. Approval of employee participation denotes understanding/acceptance of potential conflicts identified by the employee (if any).

f. All employees are encouraged to participate in optional mission- related education and communications activities, based on an employee's interest in such activities in accordance with this NPD. Employees shall:

(1) Obtain advance supervisory approval to participate in education and communications activities; this includes identifying and notifying the supervisor of all potential conflicts created by participation.

(2) Conduct themselves in a manner that represents NASA favorably.

(3) Not engage in partisan political activities while participating in NASA education and communications activities or violate conflict of interest laws and ethics regulations.

(4) Interact with the media in accordance with Release of Information to News and Information Media, 14 CFR pt. 1213.

(5) Not share non-public information as a result of their participation in these activities.

(6) Not accept additional compensation from an outside organization.

Note 1: Reimbursable travel that is properly accepted in accordance with Acceptance of Travel and Related Expenses from Non- Federal Sources, 31 U.S.C. § 1353, does not constitute compensation.

Note 2: Employees are reminded that they are subject to the rules for acceptance of gifts such as meals, tokens of appreciation, entertainment, or any item having monetary value, in accordance with Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR pt. 2635. Employees are encouraged to contact an ethics attorney at their Center for any questions related to the acceptance of gifts from outside sources.

g. Employees will:

(1) Possess sufficient knowledge of the subject matter they will be sharing with external audiences.

(2) Possess sufficient knowledge of how to appropriately interact with and engage target audiences.

(3) Jointly with the supervisor, ensure that participation in education and communications activities does not interfere with the performance of their primary job duties by communicating any potential conflicts to the supervisor beforehand. Optional education and communications activities are in addition to the employee's regular job duties and are not a substitute for completing assigned work. Participation in such activities is not intended to have an adverse impact on work operations or employee performance.


6. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

None.


7. MEASUREMENT/VERIFICATION

Headquarters Offices of Education and Communications will assess compliance with this NPD by conducting qualitative assessments of employee participation in mission-related education and communications activities with Headquarters OICs and Center Directors on a rotational basis every three years.


8. CANCELLATION

None.



REVALIDATED 06/14/22, ORIGINAL SIGNED BY:

/s/ Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
Administrator



ATTACHMENT A: DEFINITIONS

Communications. Comprises those activities and functions designed to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information about NASA, its activities, and the results thereof, other than activities for scientific and technical interchange.

Equity. The consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

STEM Engagement. Comprises those activities designed to enhance learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content areas using NASA's unique capabilities.

Underserved/Underrepresented Communities. Refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of "Equity."

ATTACHMENT B: REFERENCES

a. Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, E.O. 13985.

b. NASA Equity Action Plan.

c. NASA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan.

d. NASA Tribal Consultation Plan of Action.

DISTRIBUTION:
NODIS


This document does not bind the public, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract. This document is uncontrolled when printed. Check the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) Library to verify that this is the correct version before use: https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov.