Training and Outreach for Public Officials
Many public officials are required to take an ethics training course to educate them on the ethical standards required of any individual who works in state or local government. Public officials may utilize free online courses available to satisfy this requirement. Please note that the state officials ethics course will not satisfy the local officials ethics course requirement and vice versa.
Ethics Training for State Officials
California law requires state officials to complete an ethics training course within six months of being hired. If your service is ongoing, you must complete the course once during each two-year period. The two-year period begins with an odd-numbered year, for example, 2017-18, 2019-20, etc. To help state officials meet this requirement, the Attorney General's Office and the Fair Political Practices Commission have developed an online training course. State officials who wish to use this course to satisfy their mandatory ethics training requirement should check with their agency to ensure additional training is not required.
Ethics Training for Local Officials
Cities, counties and special districts in California are required by law (AB 1234, Chapter 700, Stats. of 2005) to provide ethics training to their local officials.
The law also provides that if an entity develops criteria for the ethics training required by AB 1234, the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Attorney General must be consulted regarding any proposed course content.
Several training options are available to your agency, including training conducted by commercial organizations, nonprofits, or an agency's own legal counsel. In addition, an online training program has been established that allows local officials to satisfy the requirements of AB 1234 at no cost. The course can be accessed via the link below. When the training is finished, you must print the Certification of Completion provided at the end.
The FPPC cannot advise on the legal requirements of AB 1234 because the FPPC does not have jurisdiction to do so. For questions pertaining to legal interpretation and application of AB 1234, please consult your local agency counsel.
If you have questions, concerns, or technical issues related to the online training program offered on our website only, please contact us at email@example.com.
Behested Payment (Form 803) Training
The Political Reform Act requires an elected state official, elected local official or Public Utilities Commission (PUC) member to disclose certain information about payments made for a charitable, legislative, or governmental purpose when the official is involved in making the request for payment. These types of payments are known as “behested payments” and must be reported by the official whenever a single source (payor) makes payments that add up to $5,000 in a calendar year, within 30 days of the payment date.
The FPPC also offers workshops and webinars on behested payments. The training explains the filing and reporting requirements for behested payments. Topics include reporting requirements of the Form 803, when a public official is featured in a solicitation, and newly required disclosure on Donor Advised Funds (DAF)/sponsoring organizations, estimates and written requests for information, and the public official’s role at nonprofit organization or proceeding before their agency.
How to Request Advice
If you have questions about your obligations under the Act you can request advice directly from FPPC staff