Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Modernization of the Committee’s Website, Ethics Manual Updates, Revised Travel Regulations, and Revised Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act Regulations
The Committee on Ethics is pleased to announce its mobile-friendly website, updated travel and gifts sections to the House Ethics Manual, revised Travel Regulations, and revised Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (FGDA) Regulations.
The Committee has been working to update its website and the Travel and Gifts sections of the Ethics Manual in a mobile-friendly format. The Committee’s website is https://ethics.house.gov. The Travel and Gifts sections of the Ethics Manual are available at https://ethics.house.gov/house-ethics-manual. The Travel and Gifts sections supersede the corresponding chapters in the 2008 House Ethics Manual.
As part of the Committee’s review of the Ethics Manual, the Committee also undertook reviews of the current Travel Regulations and FGDA Regulations.
Pursuant to House Rule 25, clause 5(i), on December 9, 2020, the Committee voted unanimously to adopt revised Travel Regulations. These new Travel Regulations will be effective for all trips starting on or after April 1, 2021. The revised Travel Regulations seek to provide a greater level of clarity into the requirements and conditions for receiving the Committee’s approval to accept privately sponsored travel. In particular, the revised Travel Regulations 1) streamline the process for grantmaking and non-grantmaking trip sponsors; 2) add new exceptional circumstances for the Committee to accept late travel requests; and 3) provide specific instances when the Committee may deny future travel requests, including failure to file post-travel disclosures. The revised Travel Regulations are available at https://ethics.house.gov/travel-regulations.
Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 7342(g)(1), on December 9, 2020, the Committee also voted unanimously to adopt revised FGDA Regulations. These new FGDA Regulations are effective immediately. The revised FGDA Regulations also seek to provide a greater level of clarity into the acceptance of certain foreign gifts. In particular, the revised FGDA Regulations 1) require certain gifts be reported on annual Financial Disclosure Statements; 2) provide specific requirements to accept decorations of more than minimal value; and 3) provide greater clarity on accepting medical treatment and educational scholarships. The revised FGDA Regulations are available at https://ethics.house.gov/foreign-gifts-and-decorations-act-fgda-regulations.
The Committee wishes to thank its Members and Committee staff for all their hard work and service to the House community.