Effective Date: December 07, 2020
Expiration Date: December 07, 2025
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Financial Disclosure Reports are part of a disclosure process intended to help employees identify and avoid real and potential conflicts between their financial interests and their governmental duties. There are two different types of Reports: Public Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 278e, and Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 450.
4.1.2 Positions Subject to Filing of Public Financial Disclosure Reports
188.8.131.52 Individuals holding the following positions shall be subject to the filing of Public Financial Disclosure Reports, pursuant to NPD 1900.9:
a. Presidential nominees to positions requiring the advice and consent of the Senate (PAS).
b. Senior Executive Service (SES), scientist/professional (ST), and senior level (SL) employees.
c. Employees designated to officially act in an SES, ST, or SL position that is expected to exceed 14 days.
d. Officers and employees in a NASA Excepted appointment and SGEs "whose positions are classified above GS-15 of the General Schedule,... or whose rate of basic pay under other pay schedules is fixed at a rate equal to or greater than 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay for GS-15; each member of a uniformed service whose pay is at or in excess of O-7...; and each officer or employee in any other position determined by the Director of the Office of Government Ethics to be of equal classification." 5 CFR § 2634.202(c).
e. Employees in positions that are excepted from the competitive service by reason of being of a confidential or policymaking character (Schedule C regardless of pay), unless the Director of the Office of Government Ethics has excluded their positions.
f. The Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO).
g. Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) detailees who are assigned to established positions at NASA that are classified above GS-15 of the General Schedule (i.e., established SES positions), who are paid at a rate of pay equal to or greater than 120% of the minimum rate of basic pay for a GS-15, or who are in any other position determined by the Director of the Office of Government Ethics to be of equal classification. Prospective IPA detailees shall file a financial disclosure report in advance of entry on duty.
4.1.3 Positions Subject to Filing of Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports
a. Filing Based on Position.
(1) Individuals holding the following positions shall be subject to the filing of an OGE Form 450, pursuant to NPD 1900.9:
(a) Employees classified at the GS-15 level or below under The General Schedule, 5 U.S.C. § 5332, or at comparable pay levels under other authority, regardless of grade, and military personnel serving in pay grades below O-7, whose duties and responsibilities require that the employee participates personally and substantially through decision or the exercise of significant judgment in making a Government decision or taking Government action regarding the following:
(i) Contracting or procuring, including the evaluation or selection of contractors; the negotiation, approval, or award of contracts; the oversight of activities performed by contractors, including administering, monitoring, auditing, and inspecting of contractors and contract activities; and the initiation or approval of requests to procure supplies, equipment, or services, other than those common items from NASA or General Services Administration sources.
(ii) Evaluating or selecting grant proposals; administering or monitoring grants or subsidies or agreements, including Space Act Agreements and other non-procurement partnership agreements, and including those with educational institutions and other non-Federal organizations.
(iii) Regulating or auditing any non-Federal entity.
(iv) Using or disposing of excess property.
(v) Establishing or enforcing safety standards and procedures.
(b) Employees classified at the GS-15 level or below under 5 U.S.C. § 5332, or at comparable pay levels under other authority, and who are identified by the supervisor as holding positions requiring the incumbent thereof to exercise judgment in making Government decisions or taking actions in which such decisions or actions may have a direct and substantial economic impact on the interest of any non-Federal entity; or whose positions are otherwise identified as requiring the employee to file a report to avoid a real or apparent conflict of interest, and to carry out the purposes behind any statute, Executive Order, rule, or regulation applicable to or administered by that employee (e.g., employees whose duties involve investigating violations of criminal or civil law).
(c) All SGEs.
(d) Intergovernmental Personnel Act detailees, other than those individuals who must file an OGE Form 278e under 184.108.40.206g.
b. Filing Based on Assignment.
All employees, regardless of grade, serving as members, evaluators, or advisers to the following boards or committees must file an OGE Form 450:
(1) Source Evaluation Boards or Committees.
(2) Inventions and Contributions Boards.
(3) Contract Adjustment Board.
(4) Board of Contract Appeals.
(5) Site Selection Boards.
(6) Performance Evaluation Boards or Committees administering the award fee of a contract.
(1) The employees described in subsections a. and b. above may be excluded from filing OGE Form 450s, under the following circumstances:
(a) An employee required to file an OGE Form 278e may elect to file a current copy of his OGE Form 278e in lieu of the OGE Form 450 required under this chapter.
(b) The ADAEO may make a determination to exempt an employee, or class of employees, from the requirement to file an OGE Form 450 when the supervisor determines that the employee's duties are of such a nature as to make remote the possibility that the incumbent will be involved in a real or apparent conflict of interest, or the duties of the position involve such a low level of responsibility that the submission of an OGE Form 450 is unnecessary because of (1) the substantial degree of supervision and review over the position, or (2) the inconsequential effect of any potential conflict on the integrity of the Government. Supervisors shall forward exemption requests from, or on behalf of, employees to the ADAEO.
(c) The ADAEO may authorize the use of an Alternative Financial Disclosure report for certain filing situation. Such form is required to be coordinated with and approved by OGE before use.
4.2.1 Public Financial Disclosure
a. With regard to new entrants, Human Resources Directors shall identify employees required to file Public Financial Disclosure Reports (OGE 278es). NSSC will ensure the Federal Personnel System (FPPS) financial disclosure statement field reflects the requirement to file.
b. NSSC will notify filers of the May 15 annual filing deadline by March 15 of each year. In coordination with the Center ethics officials, the NSSC will send reminder notices to all filers by April 15 and May 14.
c. NSSC will notify filers once a month of their obligation under the STOCK Act to file a periodic transaction report (OGE Form 278-T) to report transactions over $1,000 involving securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, and commodities, but not mutual funds which are optional to report) within 30 days of notification, but no later than 45 days after the transaction. This OGE Form 278-T reporting requirement also extends to spouse’s and dependent children’s securities transactions.
d. Human Resources Directors shall identify employees who are terminating their tenure in a position requiring an OGE Form 278e, and in coordination with the NSSC, ensure all OGE 278e filers are notified of the requirement to file a termination report.
4.2.2 Confidential Financial Disclosure
a. Supervisors shall identify employees required to file an OGE Form 450 based on determination of position. The supervisors, with the assistance of their Administrative Officers, will update the list of employees identified as filers in EPTS at least annually.
b. Centers will update the list of filers in the EPTS by the second Friday of December of each year. The NSSC will notify each Center of the requirement to update the list of filers by November 15th. The NSSC will notify employees of the February 15 annual filing deadline by December 15 of each year. In coordination with Center ethics officials, the NSSC will send reminder notices to all filers by January 15 and February 14 of each year.
c. With regard to new entrants, Human Resources Directors shall identify employees required to file OGE Form 450s based on position. Following notification from Human Resources Directors, NSSC will update employee position descriptions to reflect the requirement to file a financial disclosure form. The NSSC will identify new entrants on a weekly basis and notify new entrant filers to file their financial disclosure forms within 30 days of appointment.
4.2.3 Complaints of Filer Status
a. The DAEO shall review any complaint by a NASA Headquarters employee that his or her position has been improperly determined to be one that requires public or confidential financial disclosure. A decision by the DAEO is final.
b. The Chief Counsel of a NASA Center shall review any complaint by a NASA Center employee that his or her position has been improperly determined to be one that requires public or confidential financial disclosure. The employee may not further appeal a final decision by the Chief Counsel.
c. Notwithstanding the appeals limitations of the foregoing paragraph, the DAEO may, in his or her judgment, determine that an employee is or is not required to file a financial disclosure.
4.3.1. Public Financial Disclosure Reports:
a. New Entrant and Nominee Reports
(1) New entrants shall file within 30 days of assuming a position that requires Public Financial Disclosure reporting. No report is required if the employee:
(a) Left a position requiring the filing of an OGE 278e within 30 days prior to assuming the new position; or
(b) Has already filled out a report as a nominee.
(2) Nominees shall file between nomination and within five days after transmission of the nomination to the Senate.
(3) If a new entrant or nominee is not expected to work in excess of 60 days in a calendar year as determined by the ADAEO, the employee is not required to file an OGE Form 278e. If the employee eventually does work in excess of 60 days, the employee shall file an OGE Form 278e within 15 days after the 60th day of duty and will have to file a termination report after leaving the position.
(4) Certain individuals require pre-clearance and are required to file their forms in advance of starting, including but not limited to:
(a) SGEs serving on NASA Advisory Committees in an OGE Form 278e position (other SGEs will file an advance OGE Form 450).
(b) IPAs who will be serving in a position that is designated as an SES, SL, or ST position.
(c) Individuals identified by the DAEO, ADAEO, or Center Chief Counsel as requiring pre-clearance prior to entry on duty based on relevant circumstances.
b. Incumbent Filers: Incumbent employees shall file their annual OGE Form 278e by May 15 each year. (If May 15 falls on a weekend, the due date will be the next workday.)
c. Termination Filers: Employees leaving positions subject to public financial disclosure requirements shall file a termination report within 30 days of leaving the position, unless the filer is entering another public filing position within 30 days. Departing public filers are authorized to file these reports up to 15 days before their termination date, provided they update these reports in the event there are changes before they leave.
d. Periodic Transaction Report Filers: The STOCK Act requires OGE Form 278e filers to file a 278-T for all transactions of theirs, their spouses, and dependent children over $1,000 involving securities (i.e., stocks, bonds, and commodities) within 30 days of notification, but no later than 45 days after the transaction. The NSSC notifies filers once a month of this filing obligation.
4.3.2 Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports:
a. New Entrant Filers: Employees entering into filing positions are required to file an OGE Form 450 within 30 days of assuming the position, unless the employee is coming from another OGE Form 450 filing position and has already satisfied the filing requirement.
(1) This applies to all employees who file OGE Form 450s except for prospective IPA detailees and SGEs on advisory committees who are required to file their new entrant financial disclosure forms and have them reviewed and certified prior to appointment.
(2) If an employee performs a job requiring an OGE Form 450 for more than 60 days during the reporting period, the employee shall file an OGE Form 450 as an incumbent (i.e., an annual filer), in addition to the new entrant report. Employees responsible for filing OGE Form 450s are required to file their reports for the previous calendar year with the Agency no later than February 15.
(3) If employees start a covered position between November 1 and December 31, they do not need to file an annual report the following calendar year, because they did not work more than 60 days in the preceding reporting period. Instead, only a new entrant report will be collected.
(4) With the exception of SGEs on Advisory Committees, if an employee is not expected to work in excess of 60 days in a calendar year, the employee is not required to file an OGE Form 450. If the employee, however, does work in excess of 60 days, the employee shall file an OGE Form 450 within 15 days after the 60th day of duty.
b. Incumbent Filers: Employees shall file their OGE Form 450s by February 15th each year. (If February 15 falls on a weekend, the due date will be the next workday.)
4.4.1. Filers shall request an initial extension of up to 45 days from an ethics official no later than 30 days after the filing due date. A filer’s request should provide sufficient detail for the ethics official to determine if there is “good cause” for the extension.
4.4.2. Ethics officials may grant up to 45-day filing extensions for “good cause” to employees who file financial disclosure forms at their Center. Ethics officials may also approve requests for a second 45-day extension for “good cause.” For OGE 278e Forms, an extension that extends the total time for filing by 46-90 days requires a written request by the filer and written approval by the agency.
4.4.3 Ethics officials will record in EPTS whether the extension has been granted or denied, the reason for the extension, and the number of additional days. EPTS will establish a new filing due date. If the extension is granted, ethics officials will notify the filer of the new filing date. If the extension is not granted, ethics officials will notify the filer, and if the filer is an OGE Form 278e filer that a $200 fine will be imposed if the report is filed more than thirty (30) days after that deadline, unless a waiver is granted.
4.5.1 When a Report is Considered Overdue
a. A financial disclosure report is overdue if it has not been filed by the filing due date or extension deadline. Once the filing due date or extension deadline has passed, as allowed by regulation, the filer may submit the overdue report within the 30-day grace period without penalty.
b. For public financial disclosure reports, the $200 late fee is imposed when a report is submitted after the grace period, unless the filer obtains a late fee waiver.
c. If an employee fails or refuses to file a report, the DAEO or the ADAEO may take appropriate action to ensure the report is filed.
4.5.2 Late Filing Fee Waivers for Public Financial Disclosure Reports
a. Public financial disclosure form filers whose forms are in an overdue status may submit to the ADAEO a written request for a waiver of the late filing fee.
b. Public financial disclosure form filers requesting a fee waiver shall include: a clear, concise statement of the facts that led to the delayed filing; their position; whether the report is a new entrant, transaction, annual, or termination; any extensions received; and the date that the OGE 278e was eventually filed.
c. Upon written request from a late public financial disclosure form filer, the DAEO or the ADAEO may determine the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances and waive the late filing fee. Factors to be considered include:
(1) The position of the filer;
(2) Whether the filer made a good faith effort to file timely, such as requesting extensions to file;
(3) The filing history of the employee (chronic lateness may indicate lack of good-faith effort to file timely); and
(4) The reason the employee filed late. Some examples of situations in which fee waivers were granted include: family emergency; serious illness; an unusual and severely heavy workload or travel schedule; employee not aware of the filing requirements of position into which he or she recently transferred; or agency administrative error which prevented timely filing such as lack of notification. Fee waivers will normally be denied if the employee was just busy with normal agency business and mistook or forgot the due date.
d. The ADAEO will notify the public financial disclosure report filer directly if the late fee waiver is granted or denied, with a copy to the Chief Counsel where the employee is located. If the late fee waiver is denied, the ADAEO will notify the employee that the $200 late fee is owed and to coordinate the payment with the Chief Counsel’s Office at the Center where the employee is located.
4.5.3 Process for Receiving Late Fees
a. To ensure proper accounting, checks or money orders for payment of the fee are required to be made payable to the United States Treasury. In accordance with Failure to file or filing false reports, 5 U.S.C. App. § 104(d), all funds from such late fees are deposited in the miscellaneous receipts of the U.S. Treasury.
b. Employees should provide checks to their local Chief Counsel’s office, which will forward the payment to the Accounts Payable Division of the NSSC.
4.6.1 Collection and Tracking
a. NASA Electronic Filing and Tracking System. The EPTS is an electronic filing system that is the Agency’s primary method of managing financial disclosure filing and review. The EPTS notifies employees to file, collects and archives filed and reviewed reports, and provides notification and tracking and reports for timely filing. The EPTS also tracks the annual ethics training for financial disclosure filers in the system. The NSSC is responsible for the management, in coordination with the ADAEO, of the EPTS system and for the storage and retention of all financial disclosure forms in accordance with NPR 1441.1.
b. OGE Integrity System. The DAEO and all Senate confirmed NASA officials shall file their public financial disclosure forms in Integrity, which is OGE’s electronic financial disclosure system for public filers. All other NASA public and confidential financial disclosure filers shall file their forms in the EPTS.
a. The NSSC, as part of its management of the EPTS, shall retain a copy of the signed OGE Form 278es (including Termination forms), OGE Form 278-Ts, OGE Form 450s, and any approved alternate forms administered by NSSC in accordance with NPR 1441.1.
b. The NSSC shall handle the destruction of financial disclosure forms after six years in coordination with the ADAEO and in accordance with NPR 1441.1, and start the review process for financial disclosure forms that will be over six years old in December of each year.
4.7.1 Review responsibilities
a. Chief Counsel at all Centers and the ADAEO shall ensure the timely review by ethics officials of reports for employees at those Centers.
b. The Counsel to the Inspector General shall ensure timely review by ethics officials of reports from OIG employees.
c. Reviewing officials at NASA Headquarters and the Centers may incorporate a supervisory review step into the review process.
d. For Center Directors, Deputy Center Directors, and Chief Counsel, a local ethics official shall perform an intermediate review, followed by a Headquarters ethics official’s final review and certification.
e. Reports for all Senate-confirmed NASA officials, NASA Headquarters officials in the line of succession to the Office of Administrator, and Associate Administrators and Officials-in-Charge shall be reviewed by two Headquarters ethics officials. Reports for Senate-confirmed NASA officials and the DAEO will be reviewed in the OGE Integrity filing system.
4.7.2 Reviewer Requirements
a. Reviewers shall complete the review and certification of reports within 60 days from the filing date. For forms that require two reviews, intermediate reviewers should complete their portion of the review within the first 30 days.
b. Reviewers shall examine each financial disclosure form for completeness and for conflicts of interest and other related violations of law, regulation, or Executive Order.
c. If the report is not sufficient to make a meaningful conflicts analysis or is otherwise deficient, the reviewer shall contact the filer to request any necessary information and, with the filer’s permission, annotate the information on the form. Reviewers should annotate the request for additional information in the filer’s record in the EPTS. Reviewers should annotate changed or additional information from the filer on the financial disclosure form. Any additional notes should be annotated in the notes section of the employee’s EPTS record.
d. Reviewers shall send filers “cautionary letters” through the EPTS system, notifying them of any potential conflicts that could arise between their financial interests and their official duties, and the requirement to recuse themselves and seek guidance from an ethics official.
e. If a reviewing official concludes that remedial action is required to resolve conflicts of interest or violations of law, regulations, or Executive Orders, he/she should forward it to the ADAEO for coordination on appropriate action.
a. The provisions in Section 4.8 only apply to SGEs who are members of advisory committees. Procedures for financial disclosure filing for SGEs serving in other roles such as consultants or members of Source Evaluation Boards will be handled in accordance with the provisions for regular OGE Form 450 filers.
b. NASA advisory committees are those entities which are composed in whole or in part of non-Federal officials and which are formed for the purpose of giving advice or recommendations to a Federal official. It is therefore important to ensure SGE members do not have conflicts of interest between their personal financial interests and their official duties on the Committee to advise the government. SGEs shall therefore file financial disclosure reports before appointment and then on an annual basis thereafter, and also take ethics training before or at the beginning of their first meeting and on an annual basis thereafter.
a. Pre-Appointment Clearance
(1) Prospective advisory committee SGEs are required to file financial disclosure reports (new entrant reports) prior to appointment or reappointment. These forms will also be reviewed by the Executive Director or Secretary first, and then reviewed and certified by an ethics official before appointment.
(2) Prospective SGEs who fail to timely file a financial disclosure report will be disqualified from appointment as committee members until the report is reviewed and certified.
b. Multiple Appointments
When an SGE with a current appointment to a NASA Advisory Committee is assigned to another NASA Advisory Committee, the most recent form is required to be reviewed by the Executive Director or Secretary of the Committee and OGC prior to the first meeting at which the SGE will be in attendance. SGEs need not file a new report for any additional committees to which they are appointed during the same calendar year.
4.8.3 Annual Filing by SGEs
a. For ease of administration, all annual reports for SGEs will be due on September 30 of each year. SGEs will be notified to file approximately 45 days in advance of the due date. SGEs who filed a new entrant report before August 1 are required to file an annual report. SGEs who filed a new entrant report after August 1 do not have to file again during that same calendar year.
b. SGEs who fail to timely file their annual financial disclosure reports in accordance with this NPR or instructions from the ADAEO are disqualified from participating in committee activities until an ethics official certifies that the member is in compliance. An SGE who doesn’t meet the annual financial disclosure filing or ethics training requirements by the end of the calendar year may be removed from membership on the Committee.
4.8.4 Reviewing SGE Reports
a. Committee Executive Directors and Secretaries shall perform intermediate review of SGE reports.
b. An ethics official shall perform final review and certification of all SGE reports.
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