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entitled 'Post-Government Employment Restrictions And Foreign Agent 
Registration: Additional Action Needed to Enhance Implementation of 
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Report to Congressional Requesters: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

July 2008: 

Post-Government Employment Restrictions And Foreign Agent Registration: 

Additional Action Needed to Enhance Implementation of Requirements: 

GAO-08-855: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-08-855, a report to congressional requesters. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Congress has enacted post-government employment restrictions and 
foreign agent registration requirements with the objectives of 
protecting the U.S. government against the improper use of government 
information by former federal employees and ensuring the American 
people know the identity of persons trying to influence U.S. government 
policy in the United States on behalf of foreign entities. This report 
discusses (1) the extent to which selected agencies have information on 
the post-government employment activities of former senior federal 
employees who represent foreign principals and (2) the challenges the 
agencies face in enforcing these requirements. We reviewed federal 
ethics guidance, laws, and other documents, and interviewed officials 
at the Departments of State and the Treasury, the U.S. Agency for 
International Development and the U.S. Trade Representative. 

What GAO Found: 

Executive branch agencies are not required to and do not collect and 
maintain information on the post-government employment activities of 
former senior federal employees who represent foreign principals. Post-
government employment restrictions prohibit former senior federal 
employees from engaging in certain activities, such as lobbying or 
other advocacy communications, for a specified period of time after 
leaving federal service. The agencies we reviewed undertake a variety 
of activities, including providing training and advice, to promote 
compliance with the restrictions. The Foreign Agents Registration Act 
(FARA) requires that all persons in the United States working as agents 
of a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign 
principal disclose to the Department of Justice (Justice) such 
connections as well as the activities they perform on behalf of such 
principals in the United States. Justice provides information on FARA 
registration requirements to the public. It also collects information 
on all entities that register with Justice as foreign agents. However, 
the registration information does not identify individuals who are 
former senior federal employees. Nevertheless, of the nearly 8,000 
senior federal employees who left government service between calendar 
years 2000 and 2007, we identified 29 who registered as foreign agents 
and engaged in activities that ranged from promoting tourism to 
lobbying on behalf of foreign principals such as the governments of 
Argentina and Saudi Arabia. This number may not include all former 
senior federal employees who represent foreign entities because 
individuals engaged in exempted activities under FARA, such as 
diplomatic, commercial, and legal activities, and those registered 
under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, are not required to register. 

The agencies we reviewed face information, legal, and resource 
challenges in promoting compliance with the post-government employment 
restrictions and monitoring FARA. One challenge is inconsistent 
documentation of advice provided to senior federal employees on post-
government employment restrictions. While agencies document information 
such as ethics training courses given, subject matters covered, and 
counseling services offered, they do not consistently keep records of 
what advice was given to specific employees. The Office of Government 
Ethics (OGE) has encouraged the executive branch agencies to document 
such advice. For example, a 2005 OGE memorandum to all designated 
agency ethics officials discussed the advantages of documenting advice 
and offered suggestions on when to document ethics advice. 
Documentation of advice is useful for proving intent, which can help to 
prosecute violations of the restrictions. In addition, a lack of clear 
legal authority and a lack of resources have been cited by Justice as 
barriers to increased monitoring of FARA compliance. For example, 
Justice officials said the department does not have clear legal 
authority to inspect the records of persons that it believes should be 
registered and that the department does not have the authority to 
require advance written notification from persons claiming to be exempt 
from FARA requirements. Without advance written notification, Justice 
has no way of knowing whether persons exempting themselves should in 
fact be registered. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Office of Government Ethics strongly encourage 
the agencies to implement its suggestions for documenting ethics 
advice. Also, Congress may wish to consider granting Justice the 
authority to inspect records of persons Justice believes should be 
registered as foreign agents and requiring persons claiming exemptions 
to notify Justice. OGE concurred with our recommendations. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-855]. For more 
information, contact Jess Ford at (202) 512-4128 or fordj@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Agencies Promote Compliance with Post-Government Employment 
Restrictions and Foreign Agent Registration Requirements: 

Agencies Face Information, Legal, and Resource Challenges: 

Conclusions: 

Matter for Congressional Consideration: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: FARA Exemptions: 

Appendix III: Activities Performed by Former Senior Federal Employees 
on Behalf of Foreign Entities: 

Appendix IV: Comments from the Office of Government Ethics: 

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Justice: 

GAO Comment: 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgements: 

Abbreviations: 

CPDF: Central Personnel Data File: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

FARA: Foreign Agents Registration Act: 

OGE: Office of Government Ethics: 

OPM: Office of Personnel Management: 

USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development: 

USTR: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office:
Washington, DC 20548: 

July 30, 2008: 

The Honorable Howard L. Berman: 
Chairman: 
Committee on Foreign Affairs: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Frank R. Wolf: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

Congress has enacted specific post-government employment restrictions 
[Footnote 1] designed to protect the U.S. government from the improper 
use of government information or other undue influence by former 
government employees. The restrictions prohibit federal employees from 
engaging in certain activities, such as lobbying or other advocacy 
communications, for a specified period of time after leaving federal 
service. For example, the restrictions include a ban, for 1 year, on 
all senior and very senior employees[Footnote 2] of federal agencies, 
Members of Congress, and congressional staff from performing certain 
representational or advocacy activities on behalf of a foreign 
government, before any U.S. government official, with the intent to 
influence a decision of the government official. The Office of 
Government Ethics (OGE) and executive branch agencies have implemented 
regulations and procedures to inform employees about the restrictions. 
Individuals who violate the restrictions are subject to administrative, 
civil, or criminal penalties.[Footnote 3] 

In addition to these laws and other lobbying disclosure requirements, 
such as the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 as amended,[Footnote 4] 
Congress has enacted the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) 
[Footnote 5] to ensure that the U.S. government and the American people 
are informed of the source and identity of persons engaging in 
representational activities or otherwise trying to influence U.S. 
government policy on behalf of foreign entities. FARA requires anyone-
-including all individuals, not just former federal employees-- 
representing foreign principals in certain activities to register with 
the Department of Justice (Justice) and file forms outlining their 
agreements with, income from, and expenditures on behalf of the foreign 
principal. FARA provides certain exemptions to registration, such as 
for diplomatic or humanitarian activities. Persons who engage in such 
activities on behalf of a foreign principal are not required to notify 
Justice they are claiming an exemption. 

Our past work has found problems with the U.S. government's 
implementation of these laws. For example, in 1980 Justice officials 
stated that as a result of improperly taken exemptions, Justice 
believed that there were more active agents than those registered. 
Also, according to Justice then and now, exemptions, such as those 
allowed for commercial and legal activities, were broadly written and 
fostered differing interpretations. In addition, Justice stated that 
some changes could be made to improve enforcement of FARA, such as 
providing Justice with subpoena power for use in cases of suspected 
unregistered agents. In 1990, we reported that Justice had not 
implemented a 1980 GAO recommendation to seek authority to (1) give the 
Justice Department additional enforcement measures, including 
administrative subpoena powers, and (2) require individuals to submit 
written notification of all exemption claims prior to engaging in the 
representation of a foreign principal.[Footnote 6] In 1991, Justice 
sought to obtain such authority; however, the l991 legislation was not 
passed.[Footnote 7] 

In response to your request, we examined efforts by OGE, Justice, and 
four agencies involved in international activities to enforce post- 
government employment restrictions on former senior federal employees 
who represent foreign principals. This report discusses (1) the extent 
to which these agencies collect and maintain information on the post- 
government employment activities of these officials and (2) the key 
challenges the agencies face in enforcing post-government employment 
restrictions and FARA requirements. 

To accomplish the first objective, we analyzed OGE guidance and other 
documents on post-government employment restrictions and Justice rules 
and regulations on FARA, and interviewed OGE and Justice officials. We 
also interviewed officials at selected executive branch agencies that 
work on issues directly related to bilateral relations, including the 
Departments of State (State) and the Treasury (Treasury), the U.S. 
Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Office of United 
States Trade Representative (USTR), and analyzed documents at those 
agencies to understand how the agencies notify employees of post- 
government employment restrictions. We also reviewed the procedures 
used by Justice's Registration Unit to identify and address 
unregistered agents. To identify the number of senior-level federal 
officials who registered as foreign agents after leaving government 
service between calendar years 2000 and 2007, we obtained a list from 
Justice of all individuals registered as foreign agents during those 
years, and provided these names to the Office of Personnel Management 
(OPM) to match against all executive branch senior federal employees in 
its Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). To accomplish the second 
objective, we reviewed past and proposed legislation and other 
documents describing agency regulations, policies, and procedures and 
interviewed OGE, Justice, State, Treasury, USAID, and USTR officials. 
We conducted our work from September 2007 to June 2008 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards 
require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, 
appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence 
obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions 
based on our audit objectives. 

Results in Brief: 

The agencies we reviewed are not required to and generally do not 
collect and maintain information on the post-government employment 
activities of individuals who leave federal employment, including 
former senior government employees who represent foreign entities. 
Instead the agencies primarily focus on providing training, 
information, and advice on the restrictions. OGE and the individual 
executive branch agencies, through their ethics programs, undertake a 
variety of activities to promote compliance with the post-government 
employment restrictions. Justice posts information on FARA requirements 
on its external Web site and collects and maintains information on all 
persons[Footnote 8] who register with the department as foreign agents. 
However, this information does not and is not intended to identify 
individuals who are former senior federal employees. Over 7,000 senior 
federal employees left government service between calendar year 2000 
and 2007, according to OPM data. By matching these 7,000 names against 
Justice's registrants' database, we identified 29 former senior federal 
officials (most of whom were former State employees) who registered as 
foreign agents during this time and engaged in activities that ranged 
from promoting tourism to lobbying on behalf of countries such as 
Argentina, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia. This number may not include all 
former senior federal employees who represent foreign entities because 
individuals engaged in exempted activities under FARA, such as 
diplomatic, commercial, and legal activities, and those registered 
under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, are not required to 
register.[Footnote 9] 

The agencies we reviewed face information, legal, and resource 
challenges in promoting compliance with post-government employment 
restrictions and in enforcing and monitoring the registration 
requirements of FARA. One challenge described by some agency Inspector 
General and Justice officials is the lack of consistent written 
documentation of the advice given to senior federal employees on post- 
government employment restrictions. OGE disseminated a 2005 memorandum 
to all designated agency ethics officials encouraging them to document 
ethics advice. While some agencies document information such as ethics 
training courses given, subject matters covered, and counseling 
services offered, they do not consistently document specific advice 
given to specific employees regarding post-government employment 
restrictions. Inspector General officials at State, Treasury, and 
USAID, and an official of Justice's Criminal Division, said that 
documenting such information can also assist the agencies in proving 
the intent element of the law, which is needed to prosecute violations 
of the post-government employment restrictions. In 2008, in response to 
federal employees' complaints that ethics officers were in some cases 
declining requests for written ethics advice, OGE sent a message to 
2,500 agency ethics officials reminding them to follow the suggested 
guidance presented in its 2005 memorandum. In addition, Justice cited 
barriers to increased monitoring of FARA compliance, including a lack 
of clear legal authority to inspect the records of persons that it 
believes should be registered and to require advance written exemption 
notifications. In 1991, Justice supported obtaining such authority but 
was not successful because the proposed legislation was not passed by 
Congress. Justice officials have stated that without such authority, 
Justice cannot inspect the records of persons it suspects should be 
registered as agents of foreign principals or collect information to 
help better identify persons who should be registered. 

To enhance Justice's ability to ensure that the American people know 
the identity of persons trying to influence U.S. government policy in 
the United States on behalf of foreign entities, Congress may wish to 
consider (1) granting the Department of Justice civil investigative 
demand authority to inspect the records of persons Justice believes 
should be registered as agents of foreign principals and (2) requiring 
persons claiming certain exemptions to provide advance written 
notification to Justice before engaging in the exempt activities. 

In addition, to enhance compliance with the post-government employment 
restrictions, we recommend that the Director of the Office of 
Government Ethics strongly encourage agency ethics officials to 
implement the suggested actions described in the November 2005 OGE 
memorandum and its subsequent 2008 reminder to designated agency 
officials on documenting ethics advice and also encourage agency ethics 
officials to work closely with their Inspectors General to ensure that 
this information is shared when needed. 

In responding to our draft report, OGE and Justice generally concurred 
with our findings and recommendations. OGE said that it had made 
several efforts recently to impress upon agencies' ethics officials the 
importance of documenting ethics advice when practicable. Justice said 
that the GAO report is useful; however, it could not say at this time 
whether GAO's suggested revisions to the FARA statute would be helpful 
in addressing the articulated concerns or the extent to which they 
actually might compromise FARA enforcement efforts. However, Justice 
said that the agency would look forward to working with Congress if it 
chooses to move forward with legislation. Justice, OGE, State and 
Treasury also provided technical comments, which we have incorporated 
where appropriate. We have reprinted OGE's and Justice's comments in 
appendixes IV and V, respectively. 

Background: 

In 1962, the U.S. government enacted conflict of interest laws that 
were designed to protect against the improper use of government 
information by former employees, as well as to limit the potential 
influence that a financial arrangement may have on current federal 
officials when dealing with prospective private clients or future 
employers while still in government service. Among other requirements, 
the post-government employment restrictions permanently prohibit former 
federal employees from representing a private company or organization 
before any federal agency on particular matters involving specific 
parties, which they personally and substantially handled while working 
for the federal government. The law also restricts former federal 
employees from representing anyone before the official's former agency 
for defined cooling-off periods that vary according to the former 
official's involvement and seniority. For example: 

* Former personnel may not represent their new employer before their 
former agency on matters that were pending under their official 
responsibility in their last year of service, with the intent to 
influence any communication with the agency for 2 years after leaving 
government service. 

* Former senior-level officers and employees may not contact their 
former agency with the intent to influence any matter on which the 
person seeks official action by the agency for 1 year after leaving the 
agency.[Footnote 10] 

* Former senior and very senior federal employees, as well as former 
members of Congress and their staff, are prohibited from representing, 
aiding, or advising foreign entities with the intent to influence a 
decision of an official of an agency or department, the President, the 
Vice President, or Members of Congress for 1 year after leaving the 
position. 

FARA requires all persons in the United States working as agents of a 
foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal 
to disclose to Justice such connections, as well as the activities they 
perform on behalf of such principals in the United States. FARA was 
designed to ensure that the U.S. government and the American people are 
informed of the source of representational activity in the United 
States and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public 
opinion, policy, and laws. 

Under FARA, a person is considered an agent of a foreign principal when 
the person acts in any capacity at the order or request or is under the 
control, supervision, or financing of the foreign principal, and 
engages in the following within the United States: 

* political activities for or in the interest of the foreign principal; 

* public relations, information-service employment, or political 
consulting for or in the interest of the foreign principal; 

* fundraising, collecting, or disbursing of money or things of value 
for or in the interest of the foreign principal; and: 

* representing the interests of a foreign principal before any agency 
or official of the U.S. government. 

FARA requires individuals engaged in the listed activities to file a 
registration statement, which collects detailed information on the 
registrant and the activities he or she will perform on behalf of the 
foreign principal listed. Additionally, foreign agents are required to 
file a supplemental statement every 6 months for the duration of the 
foreign principal-agent relationship, providing updated information on 
the agent's activities. According to Justice, a statement is "detailed" 
within the meaning of the Act when it has the degree of specificity 
necessary to permit meaningful public evaluation of each of the 
significant steps taken by the registrant to achieve the purposes of 
the foreign principal-agent relationship. Certain activities, such as 
humanitarian, commercial, and legal activities, are exempt from FARA. 
Individuals and organizations engaging in such activities on behalf of 
a foreign entity are not required to register with Justice. Appendix II 
provides detailed definitions of the various exemptions. For 
individuals who willfully violate FARA requirements, Justice may pursue 
criminal and civil penalties, such as imprisonment and fines. According 
to Justice, it has prosecuted one violation of FARA since 1990. 

Agencies Promote Compliance with Post-Government Employment 
Restrictions and Foreign Agent Registration Requirements: 

The agencies (State, Treasury, USAID, and USTR) we reviewed are not 
required to and generally do not collect and maintain information on 
and monitor the post-government employment activities of persons who 
leave government employment, including former senior government 
employees who represent foreign entities. The agency officials 
described a variety of activities they use to inform senior employees 
of the post-government employment restrictions. Justice collects and 
maintains information on all individuals who register with the 
department as foreign agents, but this information does not identify 
registrants who are former senior federal employees. We were able to 
identify 29 former senior federal employees who registered as foreign 
agents between 2000 and 2007. 

Agencies Are Not Required to and Do Not Collect or Maintain Information 
on Post-Government Employment Activities: 

We found that agencies do not collect or maintain information on the 
post-government employment activities of former senior employees 
because they are not required to do so. While the agencies we reviewed 
provided training and advice on the post-government employment 
restrictions, none monitored or maintained information on the post- 
government employment activities of former senior employees. OGE and 
agency officials explained that they are not required to monitor such 
activities, although such information might be useful for identifying 
potential violations. As previously mentioned, we identified 29 former 
senior employees who left government service and registered as foreign 
agents under FARA between 2000 and 2007. Our review of the registration 
information indicates that 6 former senior federal employees were 
registered as agents of foreign principals during the 1-year cooling 
off period required by the post-government employment restrictions. 
However, the scope of our review did not include assessing compliance 
with the post-government employment restrictions by any of the 29 
former senior federal employees who registered as foreign agents. 

Post-Government Employment Compliance Efforts: 

The executive branch promotes compliance with post-government 
employment restrictions through agency ethics-in-government programs, 
which are guided by OGE, a separate executive branch agency. Executive 
branch departments and agencies are required by law to have programs to 
implement provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978[Footnote 
11], including reviewing and filing financial disclosure forms, 
implementing a program to educate employees on ethics standards, 
keeping records, and taking action when the standards are violated. OGE 
is responsible for providing overall direction to executive branch 
policies related to preventing conflicts of interests on the part of 
officers and employees of any executive agency. It carries out these 
responsibilities by, among other things, providing educational 
materials and training, developing executive branch ethics program 
policies and regulations, interpreting laws and regulations, assisting 
agencies in legal and policy implementation, and recommending changes 
in conflicts of interest and ethics statutes. The individual agencies 
are responsible for the day-to-day administration of their own ethics 
programs. The agencies we met with described a variety of activities 
they use to inform senior employees of the post-government employment 
restrictions, such as conducting training programs, disseminating 
information on internal Web sites, and providing information to 
departing employees. 

* All of the agencies provide ethics orientations for new senior 
employees, which may include discussions of post-government employment 
restrictions. 

* All of the agencies offer annual ethics training for senior 
employees, although post-government employment restrictions are not 
covered annually. 

* Some agencies offered or plan to offer training on post-government 
employment restrictions in 2008 in anticipation of senior officials 
leaving government service because of the change in the administration. 
For example, Treasury began its mandatory training on the post- 
government employment restrictions to all political appointees in 2008, 
and State plans to update its internal Web site. 

In addition, officials at all of the agencies we met with stated that 
post-government employment restrictions are discussed with departing 
senior employees as part of the close-out procedures that occur when an 
employee leaves the agency. For example, departing senior employees at 
Treasury complete a checklist that certifies that they have reviewed 
the post-government employment restrictions. Finally, all of the ethics 
officials we met with said their agencies provide advice to current and 
former employees in response to specific requests. Executive agencies 
also are required by regulation to provide written notification to 
senior executives of personnel actions affecting their coverage under 
18 U.S.C.  207(c), including notification that they are subject to 
restrictions on representing, aiding, or advising foreign entities. The 
written notice must include information on the specific penalties for 
violating the post-employment laws, and must also indicate that these 
employees are subject to the restrictions on representing, aiding, or 
advising foreign entities found at 18 U.S.C. 207(f).[Footnote 12] 

Justice Collects and Maintains Information on Entities That Register as 
Foreign Agents, and Promotes Voluntary Compliance with FARA: 

Justice collects and maintains information on all entities that 
register with the department as foreign agents; however, this 
information does not identify individuals who were former senior 
federal employees, and Justice is not required to do so. FARA requires 
all persons working on behalf of a foreign principal to file a 
statement with Justice's Registration Unit. These statements collect 
information such as the individual's name, address, year of birth, 
nationality, name and address of the primary registrant they work for, 
and current occupation. Further, the statement asks registrants to list 
all foreign principals to which they will render services in support of 
the primary registrant, as well as a detailed description of services 
they will provide on behalf of the foreign principal. These statements 
do not, however, ask individuals about their previous employment 
status. 

Justice promotes voluntary compliance with FARA primarily through its 
public Web site. The Web site provides an overview of FARA, an index 
and text of the FARA statute, a link to the FARA regulations, answers 
to frequently asked questions, information on fees and related 
statutes, a public feedback portal, and downloadable FARA public 
disclosure forms. Justice's Registration Unit also offers guidance and 
assistance to prospective registrants by issuing formal advisory 
opinions on whether individuals need to register and by conducting 
private meetings with potential registrants. In addition, Justice 
officials said they answer inquiries from agency ethics officers on 
FARA requirements and provide information on FARA registration and 
reporting requirements for federal employees to ethics officers from 
every agency. Further, Justice officials said the Registration Unit 
regularly provides general guidance concerning registration 
requirements to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, other House and 
Senate committees, and various governmental agencies, including the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, 
and the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Moreover, Justice officials said the Registration Unit is proactive in 
identifying potential registrants. In an effort to do so, Justice's 
Registration Unit reviews publications such as Congressional Quarterly; 
monitors the Lobbying Disclosure Web site; and acts on tips provided 
from various sources. Justice officials estimated that, between January 
2004 and May 2008, the Registration Unit identified approximately 130 
individuals or firms it believed may have an obligation to register as 
foreign agents under FARA; the unit subsequently sent these entities 
letters requesting information that would enable the unit to determine 
whether the entities had to register. As of May 22, 2008, the 
Registration Unit had received approximately 25 registrations as a 
result of these letters; the remaining entities were either determined 
not to have an obligation to register or are still being reviewed. 

Few Former Senior Federal Employees Registered as Foreign Agents 
between 2000 and 2007: 

By matching FARA and OPM data, we identified 29 former senior federal 
officials who left U.S. government service between 2000 and 2007 and 
registered as foreign agents with Justice. However, this number may not 
include all former senior federal employees who represent foreign 
entities because individuals engaged in certain activities who may be 
exempted, including those registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, 
are not required to register with Justice. The 29 registrants we 
identified engaged in activities that included the promotion of trade, 
lobbying, policy consulting, and public relations on the behalf of 
foreign principals such as the governments of Argentina, China, 
Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iraq. For 
example, a former Treasury senior employee advised and assisted the 
government of Argentina on economic restructuring issues, and worked to 
develop U.S. government and international financial institution support 
for providing economic and financial assistance to Argentina. In 
another example, a former U.S. Department of Transportation senior 
employee provided government relations services to the Royal Embassy of 
Saudi Arabia. According to the description of services on the agent's 
statement, the agent specifically worked to defend and advance the 
country's international trade interest before the U.S. government when 
Congress and the executive branch were enacting and executing laws, 
policies, and administrative decisions that could benefit or harm the 
country's relationship with the United States. Appendix III provides a 
description of the activities performed by the 29 former senior federal 
officials on the behalf of foreign entities. 

Agencies Face Information, Legal, and Resource Challenges: 

The agencies we reviewed face information, legal, and resource 
challenges in promoting compliance with post-government employment 
restrictions and in enforcing and monitoring the registration 
requirements of FARA. For example, while the ethics officials provide 
guidance and information to employees on post-government employment 
restrictions, they do not consistently document specific advice provide 
to senior federal employees. The Inspector General officials we met 
with said that documentation of specific advice on post-government 
employment restrictions provided to senior federal employees can assist 
the agencies to prove intent to violate the post-government employment 
restrictions. In addition, Justice officials have cited a lack of clear 
legal authority and a lack of resources as barriers to monitoring 
compliance with FARA registration requirements. 

Information-Related Challenges: 

An OGE best practice described in its 2004 ethics program review 
guidelines[Footnote 13] is for agencies to establish a written policy 
defining when to keep records of advice. In addition, OGE has 
encouraged the executive branch agencies to document such advice. For 
example, a November 17, 2005, OGE memorandum to all designated agency 
ethics officials discussed the advantages of documenting advice and 
offered suggestions on when to document ethics advice. For example, it 
stated that the more senior the official, the more important it is to 
create written documentation. Several of the officials we met with 
discussed the importance of documenting advice. For example, to prevent 
conflict of interest violations between federal employees discussing 
future employment with one of its contractors, USAID entered into a 
written agreement with the contractor that requires the contractor to 
first obtain a written ethics opinion from an agency ethics official. 
In addition, some defense contractors require former senior Department 
of Defense (DOD) employees to provide ethics advice letters from their 
ethics officials to determine if their employment with a specific 
contractor is permitted under the post-government employment 
restrictions. Moreover, under a provision of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, defense contractors may not 
knowingly compensate former DOD officials who are subject to post- 
government employment restrictions without first determining that the 
official has sought and received a written ethics advice opinion from 
DOD within 30 days of seeking the opinion. DOD has to retain each 
request and written opinion provided in a central database for 5 years. 
[Footnote 14] 

The agencies document information such as ethics training courses 
given, subject matters covered, and counseling services offered to 
employees. However, despite the 2005 memorandum from OGE, we found that 
the agencies we reviewed did not consistently document specific advice 
given to specific employees regarding post-government employment 
restrictions. In response to complaints from federal employees that 
ethics officers were not providing written ethics advice, OGE sent an e-
mail to over 2,500 ethics officials in 2008 reemphasizing to them the 
importance of responding to requests for written ethics advice and 
referring them to the 2005 memorandum for additional guidance. State, 
Treasury, and USAID Inspector General officials and an official of 
Justice's Criminal Division told us that the lack of consistent 
documentation of specific advice given to departing and former senior 
federal employees on post-government employment restrictions presents a 
challenge to enforcing post-government employment restrictions and 
FARA. OGE officials also stated they receive comments from agency 
Inspectors General expressing concern about the lack of consistent 
documentation of ethics advice. The Inspector General officials we met 
with said documentation of specific advice on post-government 
employment restrictions provided to senior federal employees can assist 
the agencies to prove intent to violate the post-government employment 
restrictions; however, this advice is not consistently documented. 
Certain civil and criminal penalties available under the post- 
government employment laws require that the violation of the law be 
knowing or willful, as opposed to a lesser standard such as negligence. 
Proving intent is one of the most significant barriers to prosecuting 
cases, according to an official of Justice's Criminal Division. 
Inspector General officials at one of the agencies we reviewed 
described a situation in which a former employee engaged in activities 
that he was specifically told were prohibited. The government had 
detailed documentation of the advice provided to this individual, and 
it used the documentation to demonstrate willful intent to violate the 
law and successfully prosecute the violation. 

Legal and Resource Challenges: 

Justice officials cite a lack of clear legal authority and a lack of 
resources as barriers to increased monitoring of FARA compliance. 
First, the law does not provide Justice with specific authority to 
inspect the records of persons that it believes should be registered 
and to require advance written exemption notifications. In July 1991 
testimony, Justice's Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal 
Division stated that the department supported requiring individuals who 
use either legal or commercial exemptions to notify the Attorney 
General. In 1991, Justice sought such authority but was not successful 
because the proposed legislation was not passed by Congress. Without 
such authority, Justice states that it cannot inspect the records of 
persons it suspects should be registered as agents of foreign 
principals or collect information to help Justice better identify 
persons who should be registered as foreign agents. 

Second, Justice cited resources limitations as a barrier to monitoring 
FARA compliance, including any new requirements, such as reviewing 
exemption notifications. Specifically, the number of staff resources in 
Justice's FARA Registration Unit has significantly declined over the 
last 17 years from 13 (9 professional and 4 administrative) in 1990 to 
8 (6 professional and 2 administrative) in 2008. Nonetheless, this unit 
remains responsible for (1) identifying unregistered agents, (2) 
ensuring that agents file reports on time, (3) rendering advisory 
opinions interpreting the Act, (4) reviewing reports to ensure proper 
form and completeness, (5) requesting report corrections when errors 
are found while processing registration forms, and (6) conducting 
inspections of registrants' records. According to the Chief of the FARA 
Registration Unit, requiring advance written notification of exemptions 
would shift the focus of the unit's limited resources from those who 
are required to register to those who are not. 

Conclusions: 

While collecting and maintaining information on the post-government 
employment activities of former senior federal employees is not 
required, several agency officials have acknowledged that having 
certain information could enhance the enforcement of post-government 
employment restrictions. Establishing a written policy defining when to 
keep records of advice is an OGE best practice, and OGE has made 
efforts to emphasize to agencies the importance of documenting ethics 
advice. Documentation of specific advice on post-government employment 
restrictions provided to senior federal employees can help the agencies 
to prove the intent element needed to prosecute violations of the post- 
government employment restrictions. Additionally, such information 
could be useful to senior officials leaving federal government who seek 
employment during the transition of administrations, such as the 
upcoming 2009 change in administration. We have previously recommended 
that Justice require advance written notification of certain FARA 
exemptions before agents can begin to engage in the exempted activity. 
We continue to believe that such a requirement could improve program 
administration. For example, through other methods, such as monitoring 
news articles to identify and scrutinize potential registrants, Justice 
has identified persons engaging in nonexempt activities on behalf of 
foreign principals. However, Justice officials said the department does 
not have clear legal authority to inspect the records of persons that 
it believes should be registered or to require advance written 
notification by persons engaging in exempt activities. Without advance 
written notification, Justice has no way of knowing whether persons 
exempting themselves should in fact be registered. 

Matter for Congressional Consideration: 

To enhance Justice's ability to ensure that the American people know 
the identity of persons trying to influence U.S. government policy in 
the United States on behalf of foreign entities, Congress may wish to 
consider (1) granting the Department of Justice civil investigative 
demand authority to inspect records of persons Justice believes should 
be registered as foreign agents and (2) requiring persons claiming 
certain exemptions to provide advance written notification to Justice 
before engaging in the exempt activities. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To enhance executive branch enforcement of the post-government 
employment restrictions, we recommend that the Director of the Office 
of Government Ethics strongly encourage agency ethics officials to 
implement the suggested actions described in the November 2005 OGE 
memorandum and its subsequent 2008 reminder to designated agency 
officials on documenting ethics advice, and also encourage agency 
ethics officials to work closely with their Inspectors General to 
ensure that this information is shared when needed. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

OGE and Justice provided written comments on a draft of this report, 
which are reproduced in appendixes IV and V, respectively. OGE and 
Justice generally agreed with our findings, conclusions, and 
recommendations. OGE stated that it had made several efforts recently 
to impress upon agencies' ethics officials the importance of 
documenting ethics advice when practicable. Justice said that the GAO 
report is useful; however, it could not say at this time whether GAO's 
suggested revisions to the FARA statute would be helpful in addressing 
the articulated concerns or the extent to which they actually might 
compromise FARA enforcement efforts. Justice provided no information on 
how expanded authority might compromise FARA enforcement efforts. Also, 
Justice said that it would look forward to working with Congress if it 
chooses to move forward with legislation. Our report notes that in a 
July 1991 testimony, Justice's Deputy Assistant Attorney General for 
the Criminal Division stated that the department supported requiring 
individuals who use either legal or commercial exemptions to notify the 
Attorney General to achieve greater compliance with registration 
requirements. In addition, in 1991, Justice sought such authority but 
was not successful because the proposed legislation was not passed by 
Congress. We maintain that Congress consider the proposed legislative 
changes to enhance Justice's ability to ensure that the American people 
know the identity of persons trying to influence U.S. government 
policy. Justice, State, Treasury, USAID, and USTR also reviewed a draft 
of this report for technical accuracy. OGE, Justice, State, and 
Treasury provided technical comments, which we incorporated into the 
report as appropriate. 

We are sending this report to other interested Members of Congress and 
to the Secretaries of State and the Treasury, the Attorney General, the 
Directors of the Office of Government Ethics and the U.S. Agency for 
International Development, and the U.S. Trade Representative. We will 
also make copies available o others upon request. In addition, the 
report will be available at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-4128 or fordj@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made contributions to this 
report are listed in appendix VI. 

Signed by: 

Jess T. Ford: 
Director, International Affairs and Trade: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To determine the extent to which the U.S. government collects and 
maintains information on the post-government employment activities of 
former senior federal employees who represent foreign entities, we 
analyzed Office of Government Ethics (OGE) guidance and other documents 
on post-government employment restrictions. We analyzed Justice 
Department (Justice) rules, regulations, and procedures for 
administering, monitoring, and enforcing the Foreign Agents 
Registration Act (FARA) and interviewed officials in Justice's 
Registration Unit. We also interviewed officials at OGE, the 
Departments of State (State) and the Treasury (Treasury), the U.S. 
Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Office of United 
States Trade Representative (USTR) and examined documents at those 
agencies to understand how the agencies notify employees of post- 
government employment restrictions. We analyzed documents related to 
violations of the post-government employment restrictions and 
interviewed Office of Inspector General officials at State, Treasury, 
and USAID to determine how the agencies enforce the restrictions. We 
initially included State, Treasury, USAID, and USTR in our scope 
because these agencies work on issues directly related to country 
bilateral relations and were thus likely to have former senior 
employees registered as foreign agents. We subsequently analyzed 
employment information on the 29 foreign agents that we identified who 
were former senior federal employees to determine if any additional 
executive branch agencies had large numbers of former employees 
registered as foreign agents. Most of the agencies had 1 or 2 such 
individuals. Therefore, we did not include any additional agencies in 
our review. 

To identify the number of senior-level federal officials who registered 
as foreign agents after leaving government service between calendar 
years 2000 and 2007, we obtained a list from Justice, which contained 
4,113 names, of all individuals registered as foreign agents during 
those years. We provided these names to the Office of Personnel 
Management (OPM) to match against all executive branch senior federal 
employees in its Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). As computerized 
name matching can be difficult because of inconsistent use or spelling 
of titles, first names, middle names and initials, hyphenated names, 
and suffixes between different data sets, we asked OPM to make their 
initial match as broad as possible, so that we could manually check a 
broad range of potential or near matches. OPM provided us with a list 
of 183 individuals (of the nearly 8,000 senior employees who left 
government service between 2000 and 2007) containing both exact and 
near matches. In addition, we received descriptive information on each 
of the 183 individuals, including date of birth, year of departure from 
federal service, and former federal agency. We manually reviewed the 
183 names and eliminated 139 of them that clearly were not matches, for 
example, ones where the last name was spelt differently, or the first 
name was completely different. This procedure narrowed the list to 44 
individuals. Finally, we obtained the registration statements for all 
44 individuals from the FARA Registration Unit and matched birth dates. 
From this process, we identified 29 former senior federal officials 
that registered as foreign agents between calendar years 2000 and 2007. 
In addition, we compared the dates the former senior level officials 
had registered with FARA against the dates on which they had officially 
separated from the federal government, and identified those officials 
whose registrations occurred less than 1 year after their separations. 
The scope of our review did not include assessing compliance with the 
post-government employment restrictions by any of the former 29 former 
senior federal level employees who registered as foreign agents. 

We defined former senior federal officials as (1) federal employees 
paid on the Executive Schedule and (2) federal employees whose pay was 
86.5 percent of level II of the Executive Schedule. 

To identify the key challenges the U.S. government faces in enforcing 
post-government employment restrictions and FARA requirements, we 
reviewed past GAO reports and analyzed past legislation and other 
documents on the issue. We also interviewed OGE, State, Treasury, 
USAID, and USTR ethics officials; State, Treasury, and USAID Inspector 
General officials; and officials of Justice's FARA Registration Unit 
and its Criminal Division to obtain their views on the challenges. We 
conducted our work from September 2007 to June 2008 in accordance with 
generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards 
require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, 
appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence 
obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions 
based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: FARA Exemptions: 

FARA exemption category: Diplomatic or consular offices; 
Definition: A duly accredited diplomatic or consular officer of a 
foreign government who is so recognized by the Department of State, 
while said officer is engaged exclusively in activities that are 
recognized by the Department of State as being within the scope of the 
functions of such officer. 

FARA exemption category: Officials of foreign governments; 
Definition: Any official of a foreign government, if such government is 
recognized by the United States, who is not a public-relations counsel, 
publicity agent, information-service employee, or a citizen of the 
United States, whose name and status and the character of whose duties 
as such official are of public record in the Department of State, while 
said official is engaged exclusively in activities that are recognized 
by the Department of State as being within the scope of the functions 
of such official. 

FARA exemption category: Staff members of diplomatic or consular 
offices; 
Definition: Any member of the staff of, or any person employed by, a 
duly accredited diplomatic or consular officer of a foreign government 
who is so recognized by the Department of State, other than a public-
relations counsel, publicity agent, or information-service employee, 
whose name and status and the character of whose duties as such member 
or employee are of public record in the Department of State, while said 
member or employee is engaged exclusively in the performance of 
activities that are recognized by the Department of State as being 
within the scope of the functions of such member or employee. 

FARA exemption category: Private and nonpolitical activities; 
solicitation of funds; 
Definition: Any person engaging or agreeing to engage only (1) in 
private and nonpolitical activities in furtherance of the bona fide 
trade or commerce of such foreign principal; or (2) in other activities 
not serving predominantly a foreign interest; or (3) in the soliciting 
or collecting of funds and contributions within the United States to be 
used only for medical aid and assistance, or for food and clothing to 
relieve human suffering, if such solicitation or collection of funds 
and contributions is in accordance with and subject to the provisions 
of subchapter II of chapter 9 of this title, and such rules and 
regulations as may be prescribed thereunder. 

FARA exemption category: Religious, scholastic, or scientific pursuits; 
Definition: Any person engaging or agreeing to engage only in 
activities in furtherance of bona fide religious, scholastic, academic, 
or scientific pursuits or of the fine arts. 

FARA exemption category: Defense of foreign government vital to the 
defense of the United States; 
Definition: Any person, or employee of such person, whose foreign 
principal is a government of a foreign country the defense of which the 
President deems vital to the defense of the United States while (1) 
such person or employee engages only in activities that are in 
furtherance of the policies, public interest, or national defense both 
of such government and of the government of the United States and are 
not intended to conflict with any of the domestic or foreign policies 
of the government of the United States; (2) each communication or 
expression by such person or employee that he intends to, or has reason 
to believe will, be published, disseminated, or circulated among any 
section of the public, or portion thereof, within the United States, is 
a part of such activities, and is believed by such person to be 
truthful and accurate and the identity of such person as an agent of 
such foreign principal is disclosed therein; and (3) such government of 
a foreign country furnishes to the Secretary of State for transmittal 
to, and retention for the duration of this subchapter by, the Attorney 
General such information as to the identity and activities of such 
person or employee at such times as the Attorney General may require. 
Upon notice to the government of which such person is an agent or to 
such person or employee, the Attorney General, having due regard for 
the public interest and national defense, may, with the approval of the 
Secretary of State, and shall, at the request of the Secretary of 
State, terminate in whole or in part the exemption herein of any such 
person or employee. 

FARA exemption category: Persons qualified to practice law; 
Definition: Any person qualified to practice law, insofar as he engages 
or agrees to engage in the legal representation of a disclosed foreign 
principal before any court of law or any agency of the government of 
the United States: provided, that for the purposes of this subsection, 
legal representation does not include attempts to influence or persuade 
agency personnel or officials other than in the course of judicial 
proceedings, criminal or civil law enforcement inquiries, 
investigations, or proceedings, or agency proceedings required by 
statute or regulation to be conducted on the record. 

FARA exemption category: Agents of foreign principals; 
Definition: Any agent of a person described in section 611(b)(2) of 
this title or an entity described in section 611(b)(3) of this title if 
the agent has engaged in lobbying activities and has registered under 
the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 [2 U.S.C.A.  1601 et seq.] in 
connection with the agent's representation of such person or entity. 

Source: 22 U. S. C. 611, et seq. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Activities Performed by Former Senior Federal Employees 
on Behalf of Foreign Entities: 

Foreign agent: 1; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Republic of China (Taiwan); government of India; 
state of Qatar; Kurdish Democratic Party-Iraq; 
Nature of services: U.S. policy consultant; legal and other 
services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Engaged in political activities, 
as well as monitoring and advising foreign principals on U.S. policy-
making process with regard to the Republic of China, government of 
India, state of Qatar and the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iraq. 
Arranged meetings between officials from the foreign principals and 
U.S. officials. 

Foreign agent: 2; 
Former federal agency: Federal Aviation Administration; 
Foreign principal: Republic of Korea; 
Nature of services: Legal and other services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Assisted in presenting 
information and educational materials to U.S. government policy-makers 
in order to maintain and strengthen U.S.-Republic of Korea bilateral 
relations. 

Foreign agent: 3; 
Former federal agency: Department of Energy; 
Foreign principal: Kurdish regional government; 
Nature of services: Not yet reported; 
Additional description of activities: Engaged in political activities 
relating to monitoring and advising on U.S. policy-making process with 
regard to Kurdistan, and arranging meetings between Kurdish and U.S. 
officials. 

Foreign agent: 4; 
Former federal agency: Department of Veteran Affairs; 
Foreign principal: King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in 
Saudi Arabia; 
Nature of services: Public relations; 
Additional description of activities: Provided general media relations 
to promote university to a worldwide audience. 

Foreign agent: 5; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Embassy of the government of India; 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Promoted dialogue between the 
United States and India on key issues of democracy and peace. 

Foreign agent: 6; 
Former federal agency: Department of Treasury; 
Foreign principal: Government of Argentina; 
Nature of services: Legal and other services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Advised and assisted the 
government of Argentina on economic restructuring issues and worked to 
develop U.S. government and international financial institution support 
for providing economic and financial assistance to Argentina. 

Foreign agent: 7; 
Former federal agency: Department of Commerce; 
Foreign principal: Government of Haiti; 
Nature of services: Public relations; 
Additional description of activities: Provided advice and assistance in 
connection with maintaining and strengthening Haiti's relations with 
the U.S. government. 

Foreign agent: 8; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Republic of India; 
Nature of services: Legal and other services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Advised the embassy of India on 
U.S. government policies and communicated with U.S. government 
officials regarding U.S. policy toward India. 

Foreign agent: 9; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Taiwan Studies Institute; 
Nature of services: Public relations; 
Additional description of activities: Worked with the Taiwan Studies 
Institute on advancing an appreciation of Taiwan's history, cultural 
uniqueness, democratic political development and its socioeconomic 
position in the world. 

Foreign agent: 10; 
Former federal agency: Department of Transportation; 
Foreign principal: Hong Kong Trade Development Council; 
Nature of services: Legal and other services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Worked to improve the climate of 
opinion towards Hong Kong's specific international trade and other 
interests when Congress and the executive branch were planning, 
drafting, enacting and executing laws, policies and administrative 
decisions that could benefit or harm Hong Kong's trade relations with 
the United States. 

Foreign agent: 10; 
Former federal agency: Department of Transportation; 
Foreign principal: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia; 
Nature of services: Legal and other services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Provided government relations 
services to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. The purpose of the 
government service was to defend and advance the Royal Embassy of Saudi 
Arabia's international trade and other interests before the government 
of the United States, including both Congress and the executive branch. 
Additionally, the registrant worked to improve the climate of opinion 
towards the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia's specific international 
trade and other interests when Congress and the executive branch were 
planning, drafting, enacting and executing laws, policies, and 
administrative decisions that could benefit or harm the Royal Embassy 
of Saudi Arabia's trade relations with the United States. 

Foreign agent: 11; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Government of the Kingdom of Morocco; 
Nature of services: Public relations/consultant; 
Additional description of activities: Provided, on an informal basis, 
advice to the foreign principal regarding U.S. - Moroccan relations and 
Morocco's business and cultural interests in the United States. 

Foreign agent: 12; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Province of Manitoba; Province of Quebec; Province 
of New Brunswick; Province of Ontario; 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Engaged in government relations 
activities with U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies on the 
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. 

Foreign agent: 13; 
Former federal agency: Department of Defense; 
Foreign principal: Giat Industries; 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Provided lobbying, consulting and 
business development services in support of Giat products. 

Foreign agent: 14; 
Former federal agency: Department of Energy; 
Foreign principal: Government of Senegal; 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Encouraged U.S. government 
officials to increase their direct and indirect support of development 
assistance to a key ally in the war on terrorism, the Republic of 
Senegal. 

Foreign agent: 15; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Government of Tanzania; government of Kaduna State, 
Nigeria; 
Nature of services: Lobbying; promotion of trade; 
Additional description of activities: Assisted the President and other 
senior decision-makers of Tanzania, and the Governor of Kaduna and his 
staff, during their visits to the United States by introducing them to 
appropriately senior U.S. officials at the federal, state, or local 
levels to discuss U.S. trade with, and investment in, their countries. 

Foreign agent: 16; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: None listed; 
Nature of services: Not yet reported; 
Additional description of activities: Advised clients and provided 
government relations and strategic communications services including, 
contacting public officials and representatives of the media, the 
executive branch of the federal government, and other organizations on 
behalf of foreign principals. 

Foreign agent: 17; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Republic of the Philippines; 
Nature of services: Not yet reported; 
Additional description of activities: Assisted in the representation of 
the Philippines government in enhancing its relations with the U.S. 
government and the U.S. private sector. 

Foreign agent: 18; 
Former federal agency: U.S.-China Economic & Security Commission; 
Foreign principal: Denis Sassou-Nguesso; 
Nature of services: Legal and other services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Provided advice concerning 
allegations of misconduct directed at President Sassou-Nguesso by 
creditors of the Republic of Congo. Provided advocacy concerning the 
activities of the creditors of the Republic of Congo and issues of debt 
relief for the Republic of Congo before international organizations and 
departments of the U.S. government. 

Foreign agent: 19; 
Former federal agency: Federal Maritime Commission; 
Foreign principal: Bank of the Netherlands Antilles; 
Nature of services: Not yet reported; 
Additional description of activities: Provided assistance to the 
Livingston Group in the representation of the Bank of the Netherlands 
Antilles before the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies. 

Foreign agent: 20; 
Former federal agency: Department of Transportation; 
Foreign principal: Republic of Cyprus; 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Provided U.S. government 
relations representation to the Republic of Cyprus, particularly in 
relation to the Annan Plan for the "Comprehensive Settlement of Cyprus 
Problem" and the future political status of Cyprus following the 
referendum on the Annan Plan. 

Foreign agent: 21; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Bayelsa state government (Nigeria); 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Represented Bayelsa State in the 
U.S. with the executive branch of the U.S. government and the U.S. 
Congress. The goal of this representation is to gain support for 
Bayelsa and the Niger Delta from the U.S. government. 

Foreign agent: 22; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: The Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation; 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Arranged for and accompanied 
representatives of the Begin Center to meetings with U.S. officials, 
Members of Congress, and their staffs; provided briefings; and served 
in a general capacity as a liaison between the Begin Center and the 
U.S. government. 

Foreign agent: 22; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: State intelligence Agency of the Republic of 
Indonesia; 
Nature of services: Not reported; 
Additional description of activities: Provided advice, expertise, and 
assistance to aid the State Intelligence Agency of the Republic of 
Indonesia. Assisted in initiating a campaign of outreach and 
information dissemination about Indonesia's political, economic, and 
social development. Focused outreach efforts on the U.S. Congress and 
identified congressional member concerns relating to Indonesia to 
develop tactics to approach and engage selected Members and their 
staffs. 

Foreign agent: 22; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (government of 
Nicaragua); Ministry of Development, Industry, and Commerce (government 
of Nicaragua); 
Nature of services: Promotion of trade; legal and other 
services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Worked on behalf of the 
Nicaraguan government to expand support in the U.S. Congress for the 
Dominican-Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2005. Specific 
activities included, researching existing congressional support and 
opposition to the trade agreement, advising the ministry on how best to 
approach meetings with executive and legislative branch officials, and 
coordinating meetings for the Nicaraguan ambassador, and other 
Nicaraguan government officials. 

Foreign agent: 23; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Emin Abufele; 
Nature of services: U.S. policy consultant; 
Additional description of activities: Provided advice with regard to 
immigration application, granting of visa application for the client, 
and facilitating admission into the United States. 

Foreign agent: 23; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Moroccan American Center for Policy; 
Nature of services: Public relations; 
Additional description of activities: Provided advice on U.S.-Moroccan 
relations as well as contacted U.S. government officials and 
participated in Moroccan delegation visits to the United States. 

Foreign agent: 23; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Ernesto Perez Balladrares Gonzalez Revilla; 
Nature of services: Not reported; 
Additional description of activities: Provided federal government 
affairs assistance and strategic counsel with regard to immigration 
matters, specifically in seeking approval of a nonimmigrant visa 
application for the client and facilitating admission into the United 
States. 

Foreign agent: 24; Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Equatorial Guinea; 
Nature of services: Not reported; 
Additional description of activities: Kept the government of Equatorial 
Guinea apprised of U.S. programs that could help the government in 
areas such as defense, malaria eradication, trafficking in persons, 
democratic reform, human rights, environmental and wildlife 
protections, and police training. Assisted Guinean government in 
developing and maintaining a Web site and advised them on other matters 
related to communication so that U.S. audiences--government and the 
general population--could gain a better understanding of the country, 
decision-making policies, and programs. 

Foreign agent: 24; Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Equatorial Guinea; 
Foreign principal: Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; 
Nature of services: Not reported; 
Additional description of activities: Performed a comprehensive 
assessment of the embassy's needs and capabilities and provided a 
series of recommended actions to address various high-priority issues. 
Provided an analysis of options that the embassy could pursue to 
effectively deliver messages regarding the role Pakistan plays as an 
important strategic partner of the United States. Promoted the 
enhancement of the Embassy's dialogue with U.S. leaders and government 
officials in order to promote a better understanding of the country's 
recent political, social, and economic developments, clarifying 
Pakistan's role as a key partner for the United States in efforts to 
enhance security and stability in a region of broad strategic 
importance. Devised and implemented a comprehensive strategy to 
communicate and promote a more accurate and balanced message regarding 
common U.S.-Pakistan interests. 

Foreign agent: 25; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Republic of Guatemala; 
Nature of services: Legal and other services/lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Advised the government of 
Guatemala on effective measures to fight corruption, drug trafficking, 
and related criminal activities. The advisory work involved meeting 
with U.S. embassy officials in Guatemala, State Department officials, 
and as appropriate other members of the administration and U.S. 
Congress, to discuss the government of Guatemala's counter narcotics 
and anticorruption programs. 

Foreign agent: 26; 
Former federal agency: Department of Transportation; 
Foreign principal: Corporate Fund, Kazakhstan; 
Nature of services: Media relations; 
Additional description of activities: Assisted Kazakhstan in its 
relations with the U.S. government. Advised the foreign principal on 
its relationship with the U.S. government, including preparation of 
legal, policy, economic and other materials for presentation before the 
executive branch and the Congress, and attendance at meetings with U.S. 
government and congressional officials. 

Foreign agent: 26; 
Former federal agency: Department of Transportation; 
Foreign principal: Ministry of Finance (government of Bermuda); Nature 
of services: Not reported; Additional description of activities: 
Advised the Ministry of Finance on U.S. government policy, legislative, 
tax, and regulatory issues. 

Foreign agent: 27; 
Former federal agency: Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Government of Greece; 
Nature of services: U.S. policy consultant; 
Additional description of activities: Advised and counseled on public 
policy issues. Monitoring and information gathering related to 
bilateral issues. House and Senate advocacy, including Member and 
Senator meetings. Executive branch monitoring, liaison, and advocacy. 

Foreign agent: 28; 
Former federal agency: Department of Army; 
Foreign principal: State government of Sonora, Mexico; 
Nature of services: U.S. policy consultant; 
Additional description of activities: Worked with members of the Sonora 
state government to develop and implement a plan to improve exchange of 
information and coordination between the State of Sonora and U.S. 
government agencies in an effort to eliminate organized criminal 
activities and terrorists along the border. This assistance included 
arranging meetings with key members of the U.S. government; assisted in 
preparation and plans; prepared briefings and documents; and attended 
meetings between Sonora government officials and U.S. officials. 

Foreign agent: 29; Former federal agency: 
Department of State; 
Foreign principal: Colombia (Embassy of); 
Nature of services: Lobbying; 
Additional description of activities: Educated members of the U.S. 
Congress and other audiences regarding the Free Trade Agreement and 
Plan Colombia. 

Source: GAO analysis of FARA data. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: Comments from the Office of Government Ethics: 

United States: 
Office of Government Ethics: 
1201 New York Avenue, NW., Suite 500: 
Washington, DC 20005-3917: 

July 21, 2008: 

Jess Ford: 
Director: 
International Affairs and Trade: 
Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, NW, Room 4440C: 
Washington, DC	20548: 

Dear Mr. Ford: 

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the draft 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, "Post-Government 
Employment Restrictions and Foreign Agents Registration." 

As the draft report points out, the United States Office of Government 
Ethics (OGE) has made several efforts recently to impress upon agency 
ethics officials the importance of documenting ethics advice where 
practicable. See, e.g., OGE List Serve Message to Agency Ethics 
Contacts No. 279 (January 17, 2008); OGE Memorandum DO-05-019 (November 
17, 2005). OGE, therefore, agrees with GAO's recommendation to provide 
strong encouragement to agency ethics officials to implement the 
actions suggested in prior OGE issuances on this subject. OGE also 
agrees with the related recommendation to encourage agency ethics 
officials to work closely with their Inspectors General to share 
information about ethics advice as needed. 

If you have any questions concerning these comments, please contact 
Richard Thomas, Associate General Counsel, at 202-482-9278. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Robert I. Cusick: 
Director: 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Justice: 

Note: GAO comments supplementing those in the report text appear at the 
end of this appendix. 

U.S. Department of Justice: 
National Security Division: 
Office of the Assistant Attorney General: 
Washington, D.C. 20530: 

July 16, 2008: 

Jess T. Ford: 
Director, International Affairs and Trade: 
U. S. Governmental Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, NW, Room 4938: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Re: Response to Draft GAO Report, GAO-08-855: 

Dear Mr. Ford: 

I am responding to your July 1, 2008, request to Mr. Lee Lofthus that 
the Department of Justice review and comment on the draft report "Post-
Government Employment Restrictions and Foreign Agents Registration: 
Additional Action Needed to Enhance Implementation of Requirements" 
(GAO-08-855). 

The Department found the report useful. The Foreign Agents Registration 
Act (FARA) was enacted to ensure that both the American people and the 
Government are aware of persons who are acting within this country as 
agents of foreign principals. To that end, FARA requires that persons 
acting as agents of foreign principals (within the meaning of the 
statute) make periodic public disclosure of their agency relationship, 
their activities, and their receipts and disbursements in support of 
their activities. Thus, FARA is a disclosure statute; it does not 
prohibit or regulate any activity. 

The draft report suggests that Congress consider adding a requirement 
to FARA that all those who believe themselves exempt from registration 
under the Act must provide advance written notification to the Attorney 
General before engaging in the exempt activities. Implementation of 
this suggestion could create an additional category of registrants from 
among those whom Congress has previously chosen to exempt from 
registration. 

We cannot say at this time that GAO's suggested revisions to the FARA 
statute would be helpful in addressing the articulated concerns or, 
indeed, the extent to which they actually might compromise FARA 
enforcement efforts. The Department would look forward to working with
Congress if it chooses to move forward with legislation. We appreciate 
the opportunity to review the report in draft and supply these 
comments. We understand that the foregoing comments will be reflected 
in the final report. [See comment 1] 

If you want more information, contact Richard Theis, Audit Liaison 
Group, Justice Management Division, at (202) 514-0469. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Charles M. Steele: 
Chief of Staff 

The following is GAO's comment on DOJ's letter dated July 16, 2008. 

GAO Comment: 

Justice said that the GAO report is useful, however, it could not say 
at this time whether GAO's suggested revisions to the FARA statute 
would be helpful in addressing the articulated concerns or the extent 
to which they actually might compromise FARA enforcement efforts. 
Justice provided no information on how expanded authority might 
compromise FARA enforcement efforts. Also, Justice said that it would 
look forward to working with Congress if it chooses to move forward 
with legislation. Our report notes that in a July 1991 testimony, 
Justice's Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division 
stated that the department supported requiring individuals who use 
either legal or commercial exemptions to notify the Attorney General to 
achieve greater compliance with registration requirements. In addition, 
in 1991, Justice sought such authority but was not successful because 
the proposed legislation was not passed by Congress. We maintain that 
Congress consider the proposed legislative changes to enhance Justice's 
ability to ensure that the American people know the identity of persons 
trying to influence U.S. government policy. 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgements: 

GAO Contact: 

Jess Ford(202) 512-4128 or fordj@gao.gov. 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, Zina Merritt (Assistant 
Director); Ashley Alley, Joseph Carney, Martin de Alteriis, Cardell 
Johnson, La Verne Tharpes, and Greg Wilmoth made key contributions to 
this report. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] For this report, the term post-government employment restrictions 
refers to the laws codified at 18 U.S.C.  207, which contains 
restrictions on former officers, employees, and elected officials of 
the executive and legislative branches. Other ethics laws applicable to 
government employees, such as personal financial interest laws, are not 
addressed here. 

[2] Senior-level officials include officers or employees of the 
executive branch paid on the Executive Schedule, and those who are paid 
at a rate under other authority that is equal to or greater than 86.5 
percent of the basic rate of pay for level II of the Executive 
Schedule; military officers in a pay grade of 0-7 or above; and certain 
staff of the President and Vice President. Very senior level officials 
include those of the executive branch, including the Vice President, 
who are compensated at level I of the Executive Schedule, as well as 
employees of the Executive Office of the President and certain White 
House employees compensated at level II of the Executive Schedule. 

[3] Agencies are required to report to the Attorney General any 
information, allegations, or complaints relating to ethics violations, 
including possible violations of the post-government restrictions. 
Executive agencies generally are required to inform OGE of such 
referrals. According to OGE's annual report on referrals to the 
Department of Justice (Justice), the agencies reported making about 88 
referrals related to post-government restrictions from 2000 to 2007, 
which include all prohibitions contained in 18 U.S.C.  207. 

[4] 2 U.S.C. 1601, et seq. 

[5] 22 U.S.C. 611, et seq. 

[6] GAO, Foreign Agent Registration: Justice Needs to Improve 
Administration, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO/NSIAD-
90-250] (Washington, D.C.: July 30, 1990). 

[7] To Strengthen the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as 
amended, H.R.3597 102nd Congress. 

[8] For FARA purposes, the term "person" includes an individual, 
partnership, association, corporation, organization, or any other 
combination of individuals. 22 U.S.C.  611(a). 

[9] This number would also not include any persons representing foreign 
principals who attempt to evade FARA by not registering. 

[10] Under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, the 
bar is now 2 years for very senior employees, and such employees are 
barred for 2 years from contacting any Executive Schedule personnel 
anywhere in the executive branch. 

[11] Pub. L. No. 95-521, 92 Stat. 1824 (Oct. 26, 1978). 

[12] 5 C.F.R. 730.104(a). 

[13] OGE conducts periodic reviews of selected agencies' ethics 
programs to assess agency compliance with the minimal ethics 
requirements found in the various statutes, regulations, and policies 
and to measures the effectiveness of the program in terms of the 
systems, processes, procedures, and other practices that an agency has 
established, beyond the minimal requirements, to prevent ethics 
violations from occurring. Accordingly, OGE includes "best practices" 
with its compliance review steps. Depending on the circumstances, OGE 
might suggest certain best practices in the narrative of a report. 

[14] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Pub. L. 
No. 110-181 847, (Jan. 28, 2008). 

[End of section] 

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