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Special General Memorandum 90-02

SGM No. 90-02

FEB 8, 1990

From: Director

Subject: IHS Policy:  Prohibition Against Using Appropriated Funds by Employees for Lobbying to Influence Congressional Legislation

To: Associate Directors
Area Directors

The purpose of this memorandum is to remind Indian Health Service and tribal government employees of the IHS policy concerning lobbying activities.  Federal law prohibits the use of federal funds by federal employees for the purpose of engaging in lobbying to influence Congressional legislation.

The prohibition on the use of funds to influence Congressional action applies to all funds available for use by the Indian Health Service, to include contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.

In particular, no part of the appropriated money may be used to pay for the mailing of material to a Congressional member.  Per 18 U.S.C. 1913 (62 Stat.792), Lobbying with Appropriated Money, this would include any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or any other device intended to influence legislation.  IHS employees, contractors, and tribal members are prohibited from using letterhead stationary, envelopes, or postage to pay for lobbying activities.  In addition, government equipment such as typewriters, computers, or xerox machines may not be used for lobbying activities.

The penalties imposed for violation of this statute include a fine of $500 and/or imprisonment of one year, and removal from employment or office.

It is also IHS policy that the Director, IHS, shall be notified immediately in writing of all requests received from or communicated to Congressional Committees and their staff, individual Congressmen and their staff, tribal representatives, and any other interested parties that solicit an increase or decrease in appropriations affecting the Indian people or Indian Health Service programs.

Further policy guidance may be obtained in IHS Circulars # 80-3, Lobbying, and # 71-2, Appearances Before Congressional Committees.  Should you have questions, please contact Mr. Edgar Caster, Director, Division of Management Policy, FTS 443-2546.

/Everett R. Rhoades, M.D./
Everett R. Rhoades, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General