"You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who cannot repay you." -- Ruth Smeltzer
May I continue to be involved in outside activities, including outside employment, after I enter Government service?
Many people who come to work for the Government are involved in
outside activities, including charitable, religious, and
community service work. Many employees may continue to
participate in those outside activities, subject to some
You may not engage in outside activities or employment that
conflict with your official duties. In addition, there may be
restrictions on your receiving compensation for your outside
activities. For example, a full-time Presidential appointee may
not receive any outside earned income, no matter what the
source. Certain other political appointees are limited as to the
amount of outside earned income they may receive. Remember that
this rule applies to earned income (income received in exchange
for personal services) but not to passive investment income.
There are also restrictions that apply if you practice a
profession involving a fiduciary relationship, such as medicine
or accounting. You may not be paid for such services and you may
not allow your name to be used by an entity that provides such
services. For example, if you are leaving a law firm that uses
your name in its title, the firm must change its name when you
come to the Government.
You also may need prior approval from your agency for outside
May I be paid for outside teaching, speaking or writing?
For those Presidential appointees who are not subject to the
total ban on outside earned income, there are rules relating to
paid teaching, speaking, and writing. Subject to certain
exceptions, outside compensation is prohibited for teaching,
speaking, or writing that relates to your official duties.
Usually, teaching, speaking, or writing relates to your duties
if you are invited to participate because of your official
position rather than your expertise, or if the subject of your
activity deals with your agency's programs, operations, or
policies. It is best to speak with your agency ethics official
to determine how these rules apply to you.
What about fundraising for a nonprofit organization?
If you are fundraising for a nonprofit organization in your
personal capacity, there are certain guidelines you need to
follow. You may not solicit funds from a subordinate or a
prohibited source and you may not use your official title to
further your fundraising efforts.
Is it all right for me to represent someone in a matter before the Government?
There are Federal criminal statutes that prohibit you from
representing someone else in a matter before the Government,
whether or not you are paid, if the United States is a party or
has a substantial interest in the matter. In addition, you may
not receive compensation for assisting in a claim against the
United States. These laws also prohibit you from sharing in
compensation for representations made before the Government
while you are a Government employee, even if they are made by
There are important exceptions to these prohibitions, one of
which permits you to represent yourself and certain of your
Guidance From The Office of Government Ethics: