The criminal law (18 USC 207) prohibits all former employees from ever representing, with intent to influence, a non-Federal party to a Federal agency or court on any "particular matter involving specific parties" in which the former employee personally and substantially participated as a Government employee. (A "particular matter involving parties" includes a Government contract, grant, litigation, license application or amendment, investigation, inspection claim, or enforcement action. It does not include general rulemaking, legislation, or the formulation of general policy, objectives, or standards.)
Example: A former NRC employee who was directly involved in an enforcement action while at the agency could not later, after leaving Government service, appear before the agency on behalf of the licensee on that specific enforcement action.
Former employees who were NRC supervisors are prohibited for two years after leaving the agency from representing, with intent to influence, a non-Federal party to a Federal agency or court on any "particular matter involving specific parties" that was pending under their official responsibility during the last year of Government service.
Example: Within a year of retirement, a supervisor assigns to a subordinate a proposed license amendment for review. That supervisor cannot represent the licensee before the NRC on that amendment for two years after retirement even though the supervisor had no substantive involvement with the amendment while at the agency.
Former senior employees (i.e., paid at a rate of basic pay equal to or greater than 86.5% of the rate of basic pay for level II of the Executive Schedule) cannot represent, with intent to influence, for one year after termination of Federal service a non-Federal party before the NRC on any matter on which official action is sought, even on matters that were not under the former official's responsibility. These former senior employees also cannot represent or aid or advise a foreign government or foreign political party on influencing a Federal employee for one year after termination of Federal service.
Employees and former employees are encouraged to contact an NRC ethics counselor if they have any questions or concerns about the post-employment restrictions. Employees who are interested in future employment should contact an ethics counselor about rules on seeking employment if they have any questions. Violations of these laws could result in criminal as well as civil penalties.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 12, 2020