Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Fill Form 2220 Individuals

Instructions and Help about Fill Form 2220 Individuals

Hello and welcome to another of several presentations about ethics I'm your host Danielle barrett and this series is brought to you by the USDA office of ethics where we're happy to answer all of your questions at the end of this presentation today will showcase eight tips for how to fill out your OGE form for 50 but first let's take a moment to learn about why this form is important to the work we do at USDA the OTV form for 50 confidential financial disclosure report is a tool that allows us to take a prospective look at certain ploys financial interests we need to have our federal work be free of conflicts with our personal interests the moral principle is one should not use federal work for self enrichment further there's a criminal statute against a conflict of interest here the 450 form is a tool that allows us to screen employees for conflicts of interests in a prospective fashion it allows ethics officials to analyze employees holdings on an annual basis and ensure that USDA employees are not violating federal law namely 18 USC 208 so quickly what is a conflict of interest a conflicts of interest occurs when there's a link between something you're working on in your official capacity and your personal financial interest if you are to work on that matter there would be a potential that you could be enriching yourself so that's the why of financial disclosure if you're wondering who has to file there are guidelines to help managers determine who needs to file each year typically though not always filers will be more senior level individuals for those who work on contracts procurement inspections and so on and now eight quick tips to help you file your report first file in a timely manner it's due every year on February 15th you can begin filing on January 1st the sooner you get it done the better protected you'll be the officials will review your report and get back to you there quickly if they see something problematic if you're a new filer is especially important that you complete the report quickly without the guidance from an ethics official you're at risk of violating the law without knowing it usually you get 30 days to complete the form as a new filer Oh II strongly recommends you make completing your 450 form a first week priority second what should you do if you're unsure whether an asset should go on in the report or not this can be hard sometimes because of the diversity of financial instruments if you're not sure go ahead and put it on the report only you and the ethics office and sometimes their supervisor depending on where you work at USDA ever see the report it's not publicly releasable and is considered to be as private as your personnel file since no one else can see it it's okay to over report your ethics official will advise you if you over recorded something so you know you don't need to avoid it going forward tip number three deals with the reporting of government benefits benefits you receive from the federal government are not reportable for example your salary TSP first VA benefits and others are not required to be on the report the reason is you already work for the government since you work for the government you can't have a conflict of interest with the government the fourth tip is to remember to report the holdings of your spouse dependent child and general partner under the conflicts of interest law the financial interest of these people are imputed to you in other words their holdings are treated as if they were yours consequently you need to report the holdings of these people the fifth tip is to respond to questions from your ethics official they are not trying to play gotcha with these reports instead they use the 450 form as a way to help protect you from criminal liability and protect the integrity of our agencies programs and procedures the faster respond to the questions about your report the better support you and your agency will receive the next tip is to break out the underlying assets in any retirement plan you brought from the private sector for example if you have a defined contribution plan like a 401 K from a company you used to work for we need to know what is contained in that 401 K the same goes for 403 B plans and any kind of IRA the reason we need this information is we can't make a conflict analysis just based on the fact that you hold these kinds of financial instruments the individual assets within these accounts are where the potential conflicts may lie if you break these out before you submit your report you will save yourself and your ethics official a lot of times speaking of breaking things out another area that often causes headaches for everyone is a 529 college savings plan if you have children and have invested in a 529 plan you need to report which underlying investments you picked if you fail to do this there will be unnecessary email traffic between you and your ethics official tip number 7 concerns system passwords and password resetting if you forget your password it takes a few minutes for the system to update your new information when you request a new password if your ethics official or if your ethics official send you one wait for 15 minutes after you receive it before you try to log in the server updates every 10 minutes if you try to log in before it updates you'll only lock yourself out again the last tip is to ask questions when you are stuck our ethics officials are very happy to help if you're not sure what to do the ethics office will help you resolve