Timeline of Postmaster General DeJoy’s Compliance with Ethics Provisions:
- The Ethics in Government Act requires the Postmaster General to file an OGE Form 278 public financial disclosure form within thirty days of appointment. 5 C.F.R. § 2634.202. Although Mr. DeJoy had thirty days to file an OGE Form 278 public financial disclosure form, he filed it on his first day of work as Postmaster General on June 15, 2020.
- The ethics regulations state that “all reports shall be reviewed within 60 days after the date of filing” and “final certification . . . may . . . occur later, where additional information is being sought or remedial action is being taken . . .” 5 C.F.R. § 2634.605.
- The USPS Ethics Office had sixty days to review the Postmaster General’s report, which would have been August 14, 2020, and even longer to seek additional information and determine the appropriate remedial action. Please note that divestiture is NOT required, unless an agency needs an employee to participate in a particular matter involving specific parties. Divestiture is one of several options available to avoid a financial conflict of interest. Other options include a blind trust or a screening and recusal agreement.
- The Ethics Office reviewed the Postmaster General’s financial disclosure form, worked with other Postal Service departments to determine whether postal contracts or agreements with certain business entities existed, and then worked with the Postmaster General’s Office to determine the best option to ensure that the Postmaster General avoided a financial conflict of interest.
- As a result, the Postmaster General signed a screening and recusal memorandum recusing himself from participating in any postal matter involving a list of business entities (including XPO Logistics) on July 21, 2020. Although the screening and recusal agreement would have been sufficient for resolving the financial conflict of interest concern, it was decided that divestiture would resolve any appearance concerns as it relates to XPO Logistics (even though divestiture was not required because the screening and recusal agreement was in place).
- On August 14, 2020, the Ethics Office sent the certificate of divestiture request to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. The Office of Government Ethics is charged with approving all certificate of divestiture requests for executive branch agencies. In this instance, the Office of Government Ethics asked for additional information and then took several weeks to approve the certificate of divestiture request for XPO Logistics on October 9, 2020.