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Awards From Outside Organizations

Outstanding contributions of CDC/ATSDR employees are frequently recognized by outside organizations in the form of awards. Employees may accept these awards subject to the following guidelines.

  • An award may be accepted for meritorious public service or achievement, including work performed at CDC or ATSDR. An employee may receive a cash award.
  • Awards may not be accepted from entities that have interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's official duties.

    Example: An employee who is working on a grant to a state agency would be prohibited from receiving an award from that state agency. In this situation, the state agency would be considered an entity with interests that would be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.

    If the award is presented by an association or organization, it may not be accepted if the association or organization has a majority of members who would be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.

  • Awards may be accepted from most sources, even otherwise prohibited ones.

    Example: An employee works in an office that has no contracts with IBM. Nevertheless, different offices in the employee's agency do have such contracts with IBM. In this situation, the employee could accept an award from IBM because IBM is not an entity with interests that would be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.

    An award that is not a cash award, and has a market value of less than or equal to $200, may be accepted without a prior written determination if it is a bona fide award, or incident to a bona fide award, that is given for meritorious public service or achievement.

    An award that is either a cash award or investment interest, or which has a market value of more than $200, requires a prior written determination by the Deputy Ethics Counselor that the award is made as part of an established program of recognition. Specifically, the written determination must verify that:

    • The award has been made on a regular basis or, in the case of a newly created award program, is funded in such a way that continuation is ensured; and
    • The selection of the award recipients is made pursuant to written standards or by an established selection committee.
  • All awards must be reviewed (or approved in writing if required) in advance by the Deputy Ethics Counselor.

For further information, consult Subpart B of the Office of Government Ethics Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, specifically 5 C.F.R. § 2635.204(d).

To obtain approval

  1. submit a request (memo) through organizational approval channels to Carlton Duncan, Deputy Ethics Counselor, CDC/ATSDR;
  2. attach the completed review/approval formAdobe Acrobat print-friendly PDF file (61KB, 3 pages)
  3. attach the notification of the award from the awarding organization; and
  4. mail the package to Teresa Walker-Mason, Ethics Program Activity, Mailstop D27.
  • Page last reviewed: May 12, 2009
  • Page last updated: May 12, 2009
  • Content source: CDC and ATSDR Ethics Program
  • Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS, CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.
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