Informal Advice

Seeking informal advice from the FPPC offers you an opportunity to have simple questions answered by experienced staff, either by emailing or by calling 1-866-ASK-FPPC (1-866-275-3772). Telephone advice is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.   

Informal advice can provide guidance if you have questions such as where to file campaign statements, filing schedules, or your basic responsibilities under the Act. Unlike formal advice, informal advice does not provide immunity from prosecutions by the FPPC and does not qualify as legal advice.

Required Information for Advice Request

You will need to provide the FPPC with all of the information below to get an answer to your question. Please read these instructions carefully.

  • State your name, telephone number, and position.
  • List the public official, agency, candidate or committee that is related to your question.
  • If asking a question on behalf of another, state the capacity in which you are authorized to represent the official, agency, committee or other organization (e.g., city attorney, candidate's attorney, committee officer, campaign consultant).
  • Articulate your question with as much specificity as possible.
  • If you have a question about Form 700 disclosure, include your disclosure category.

Gift & Travel Questions

For questions about gifts and travel, also include the following information:

  • Identify the source of gift or travel and whether the source is a governmental agency or a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • If the source of the gift or travel is reimbursed, provide details on who is making the reimbursement.
  • Date(s) gift received or date(s) of travel. 
  • Describe gift (i.e., meal, sports or entertainment event tickets) or travel (i.e. airfare, other transportation, meals, lodging).
  • Include whether or not the public official is making a speech or performing a ceremonial role.
  • Describe how the travel is reasonably related to a legislative or governmental purpose, or to an issue of state, national, or international public policy

Helpful Hints for Requesting Advice

Campaign Questions: Different types of committees have different filing deadlines and reporting obligations. Identify the committee's juridisctional status (e.g., candidate, general purpose, ballot measure). The committee ID number is also helpful.

Form 700 Disclosure: Identify your position, agency and disclosure category, if any. The disclosure category is in your agency's conflict of interest code. See your supervisor for assistance. The FPPC has information for state agencies and certain multi-county agencies, but does not have the disclosure categories for most local officials and employees.

If you are any other individual or organization with obligations under the Political Reform Act: Provide your name or the name of the organization, and the capacity in which you or the organization are regulated under the Act (e.g., lobbyist, campaign contributor, major donor). If you are a representative, provide your name and the capacity in which you are authorized to represent the individual or organization (e.g., attorney for the organization, employee of lobbyist employer).