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Outside Activities

Executive branch employees are may not have outside employment or be involved in an outside activity that conflicts with the official duties of the employee's position. An activity conflicts with official duties —

  • if it is prohibited by statute or by the regulations of the employee's agency, or
  • if the activity would require the employee to be disqualified from matters central to their performance; as to materially impair the employee's ability to carry out those duties.


  • Employees of some agencies may be required to obtain prior approval before engaging in outside employment or activities.
  • Employees may not be paid for outside teaching, speaking and writing, if the activity relates to the employee's official duties.
  • An employee may be paid for teaching courses at accredited educational institutions
  • Employees may not use their official title or position (except as part of a biography or for identification as the author of an article with an appropriate disclaimer) to promote a book, seminar, course, program or similar undertaking.


Employees may engage in fundraising in a personal capacity subject to several restrictions.

  • An employee cannot solicit funds from subordinates.
  • An employee cannot solicit funds from persons who have interests that may be affected by their agency such as those who are regulated by, seeking official action from, or doing business with the agency.
  • An employee cannot use or permit the use of the employee's official title, position or authority to promote the fundraising effort.
  • Employees cannot fundraise on federal property. Combined Federal Campaign is the only fundraising allowed on federal property.


Reference: 5 C.F.R. § § 2635.801-809.

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  • Page last reviewed: December 18, 2015
  • Page last updated: December 18, 2015
  • Content source: CDC and ATSDR Ethics Program
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