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

FPCD-78-38: Published: Aug 28, 1978. Publicly Released: Aug 28, 1978.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

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.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should remedy the shortcomings of 18 U.S.C. 207 and specify to the executive agencies their responsibilities and authorities in post-federal employment matters and address issues, including: (1) requiring executive agencies to determine the extent to which post-federal employment may be a problem; (2) establishing specific agency responsibility and authority for enforcement in this area; (3) defining terms in existing legislation which are subject to interpretation; (4) encouraging dissemination of advisory information by assigning responsibility to a single agency; (5) supplementing existing criminal sanctions with civil remedies; and (6) requiring agencies to develop and implement information programs to ensure employee awareness of responsibilities.


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Feb 8, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Dec 21, 2017

Dec 7, 2017

Nov 20, 2017

Oct 26, 2017

Oct 23, 2017

Jun 22, 2017

May 30, 2017

May 18, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here