Venable partner Larry Norton was quoted in a January 16, 2017 ,USAE article on the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) amendments to executive branch gift rules that went into effect at the beginning of the year. The article cited a recent Political Law Briefing blog post, “Major Changes in Gift Rules Greet Trump Administration,” written by Norton, Ron Jacobs, and Cristina Vessels, which examined how the rule changes will affect the way nonprofits interact with appointees and career employees.
Norton said “some of the rules have become stricter with others now clarified.” In the blog post, the authors discussed how executive branch employees must now obtain written authorization prior to attending a widely attended gathering even if they are speaking at the event. Norton noted that one of the rules clarified by OGE involved the consumption of alcohol, which is allowed as long as it falls under one of the “exceptions” of the gift rule. Norton also said the transitional period is a good time to update employee handbooks and guidelines so employees working with federal officials are less likely to violate the new rules.