Foreign Representation:

Former High-Level Federal Officials Representing Foreign Interests

NSIAD-86-175BR: Published: Jul 11, 1986. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent to which high-level federal officials, members of Congress, and senior congressional staff who leave government service take positions representing foreign interests before the U.S. government.

GAO noted that: (1) Congress introduced a bill, H.R. 3733, that amended the Criminal Code to prohibit former high-level federal government officials from representing or advising a foreign interest in connection with any transaction with the U.S. government for at least 10 years after leaving public service; and (2) neither the bill nor existing laws related to employment following government service cover former congressional members or staff. GAO found that: (1) 76 former high-level federal officials, including former members of Congress and senior congressional staff represented foreign interests before the U.S. government after leaving office during fiscal years 1980 through 1985; (2) these former officials had diverse federal service and included 6 Senators, 9 members of the House of Representatives, 17 senior congressional staff, 4 generals, 18 White House officials, and 22 other executive branch officials; and (3) they carried out representational activities on behalf of interests from 52 countries.

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