Engaging the Federal Government

As a leading research university with impacts across the country, many Texas A&M faculty, staff and students interact with federal government officials in several different capacities, such as:

  • Inviting federal officials to campus (e.g., tours or speaking as part of a conference or panel);
  • Traveling to Washington D.C. to testify or serve as a witness at congressional hearings;
  • Visiting with Members of Congress and Agency Officials or their staff in their offices; or
  • Attending “fly-in” days in Washington with associations/organizations.

If engaging with the federal government and using university resources to do so (airfare, hotel, meals, vehicle, mileage, etc.), Texas A&M may be required to disclose that under The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. Although not common, both the institution and the individual are subject to civil penalties of up to $200,000 per violation, and the individual can be subject to imprisonment up to five years.

As Texas A&M’s interface with the federal government, the Office of Government Relations (GR), Vice President Norman R. Garza, Jr. and Assistant Vice President Michael J. Hardy, are available to help faculty, staff and students with any federal (and state) questions or concerns regarding lobbying disclosure requirements.

As noted in the September 1, 2020 memo by Texas A&M President, Michael K. Young, if notified in advance, the GR team can help make trips and engagements more effective. Our office can also ensure you are well-briefed on pertinent university issues and that interactions are in compliance with legal and ethical requirements.

To assist with these efforts, the GR team has created a brief Texas A&M DC Engagement Form to capture applicable information about faculty, staff and student visits to DC, and allow our office to schedule a time to visit prior to planned trips.

For reference, links are included below about the HLOGA Policy and a HLOGA decision tree regarding interaction with Federal Government Officials. Please contact us with any questions at 979-458-0282 or email GR@tamu.edu.