Ethics Answers | March 2019

Ethics Answers

Question: I am nearing retirement and am considering enrolling as a reemployed annuitant (WAE/REA) to do part-time work for a bureau. Would the ethics rules apply to me? If so, how?  

Answer: As soon as you are placed on a bureau’s rolls and appointed as a WAE/REA, you are subject to the ethics rules, just like any other Department employee. Accordingly, you need to comply with all federal ethics laws and regulations, such as avoiding financial conflicts of interest and matters that would call into question your impartiality; refraining from representing or communicating on behalf of another entity to the United States government; and not using your office for private gain or accepting prohibited gifts. These rules make it difficult to be both a WAE/REA and a federal contractor employee at the same time. Therefore, employees who are considering both options are encouraged to seek ethics advice. Notably, the Hatch Act and the Department’s political activities policies apply differently from the ethics rules. If you are a WAE/REA and posted domestically, the Hatch Act and the political activities policies apply only when you are on duty.

Ethics Answers presents hypothetical ethical scenarios Department employees might face. For help with real ethics questions, email

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