Ethics Rules During a Shutdown

As federal employees--furloughed or not--you’re still governed by the provisions set forth in the Standards of Ethical Conduct as well as the Hatch Act and other federal laws.

Things to Know

  • When seeking outside employment, no prior approval is required if not intending to work for a prohibited source. If you’re seeking outside employment with a prohibited source, you must receive prior written approval.
  • If you are substantially involved in the acquisition/disposal of real estate at GSA, please see GSA Supplemental Standards Of Ethical Conduct (5 C.F.R. 6701.104).
  • You cannot receive compensation for teaching, speaking, or writing that relates to your official duties.
  • You cannot represent another person before any federal agency, department or court except for yourself, spouse, parents and children (18 U.S.C. 205).
  • You cannot receive compensation from anyone else for their representational services before any federal agency, department, or court that is provided by another, including an employer (18 U.S.C. 203).
  • You cannot use your official title to imply the government sanctions or endorses your personal activity.
  • All gift rules still apply.
  • The Hatch Act rules still apply. Visit the Hatch Act Update GSA InSite page for an overview and more information regarding the Hatch Act.
  • Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, GSA Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct, as well as the conflict of interest statutes still apply.

All media inquiries regarding your professional capacity, or GSA business, including speaking engagements, must be referred to the GSA Media Affairs team by emailing or your Regional Public Affairs Officer if you're located in a regional office.

If you have any questions about your ethical obligations during the government shutdown, please contact GSA Ethics Law Staff at 202-501-0765 or your Regional Counsel. Find general furlough information in the OPM's Pay & Leave Furlough Guidance.

Last Reviewed: 2020-10-31