New regs for Friday: Ethics and air conditioners


Thursday is a federal holiday, so Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for Friday. Here’s a look at what’s happening.

Gifts: The Office of Government Ethics is planning to revise the portions of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch that govern the solicitation and acceptance of gifts from outside sources.

The agency said the proposed amendments are to modify the existing regulations, which were created in 1992, to more effectively advance public confidence in the integrity of federal officials.

The multitude of changes and clarifications includes the addition of standards encouraging employees to consider declining a gift they would otherwise be permitted to accept. The standards ask employees to consider the potential that a “reasonable person” would question their integrity if they were to accept the gift.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed changes.

Air conditioners: The Energy Department is planning to modify its test procedure proposals for portable air conditioners first proposed in February. The modifications include making minor revisions to the indoor and outdoor cooling mode test conditions; adding an additional test condition for cooling mode testing; and updating infiltration air and capacity calculations to account for the second cooling mode test condition.

The agency is also removing the measurement of case heat transfer and heating mode testing.

The public will have 30 days to comment.