What Rules Should Apply to Post-Federal Employment and How Should They Be Enforced?

Gao ID: FPCD-78-38 August 28, 1978

The movement of employees from government service to private industry may involve conflict-of-interest situations or appearances of such conflicts. Post-federal employment is controlled by various statutes and regulations which are applicable either throughout the executive branch or to certain agencies.

Executive branch and federal agency efforts to enforce existing post-federal employment laws and regulations have been limited. There is no single agency with adequate responsibility in this area, and enforcement is hampered by: (1) agencies' uncertainty over their authority; (2) vague statutory language; (3) loopholes in laws and regulations; and (4) the lack of penalties for noncompliance. Governmentwide data are not available to determine the extent of violations or other problems which may result from post-federal employment practices. Also, prosecutions have been limited; employees are not adequately advised of post-Federal employment responsibilities; and monitoring by agencies is informal. Pending legislation contains provision for establishing an executive branch Office of Ethics. Such an office could provide the necessary monitoring, leadership, enforcement, and information necessary for more effective control of post-federal employment.


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