Executive branch employees are subject to certain restrictions on their activity after they leave government service. Two of the restrictions apply with respect to particular matters involving specific parties that were involved with while in government service. If the employee’s involvement in such a matter was personal and substantial, then the employee is permanently barred from representing anyone back to any federal department, agency, or court on that same matter. If the matter was under the employee’s official responsibility during the last year of government service, then the employee is barred for two years after leaving government service from representing anyone back to the government on that same matter.
In addition, certain high level officials are subject to a so-called “one-year cooling off period.” For a period of one year after leaving a “senior” position, these officials may not make any appearance on behalf of any person (other than the United States) before his former agency with the intent to influence the agency on any matter in which that person seeks official action.
Employees who participated personally and substantially in an ongoing trade or treaty negotiation and had access to certain information are subject to a one year restriction on representing, aiding or advising anyone concerning that ongoing trade or treaty negotiation after they leave government service.
Former very senior employees are subject to an additional restriction on the persons throughout the executive branch who may be contacted during the first year after they have left government.
Former senior and very senior employees are restricted for one year after leaving Government service from representing, aiding or advising foreign governments or foreign political parties before an agency or department of the United States.