Governor Signs Landmark FPPC Bill Establishing Statewide Disclosure System
Contact: Jay Wierenga, (916) 322-7761
Sacramento - Governor Jerry Brown today signed Assembly Bill 409 (Quirk-Silva), which establishes a statewide, electronic public official disclosure system for the first time in California history. The bill, sponsored by the FPPC, authorizes the FPPC to develop an electronic filing system for the disclosure of income and economic interests of public officials at all levels of State and local government, covering hundreds of thousands of public officials.
"The current system of disclosure for public officials is scattershot and doesn't provide the public the information it deserves on the economic interests of public officials," said FPPC Chair Ann Ravel. "This landmark bill will revolutionize the ability to hold public officials accountable across the State."
Currently, all public officials involved in governmental decision making are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) with either the FPPC, their State agency or their local agency. These forms detail the officials' economic interests so the public can ensure that the official is not making or participating in any decision involving their finances. The SEI (also known as a Form 700) also details any gifts over $50 given to the public official in a calendar year.
The SEIs are currently filed with hundreds of different agencies across the State, with virtually no electronic access to them, and no centralized online location to conduct searches or view data. Most are filed in paper copy currently, which requires valuable government resources to process them, and makes them only available in person at the filer's agency.
"The new filing system will be vastly more efficient for the person reporting, as well as for those accessing the data," said Chair Ravel. "My focus at the FPPC has been to leverage technology to provide the public with more information about campaign and governmental disclosure. This is a major landmark in that effort."
The FPPC has already begun development of the new system. The development plan calls for a phased rollout building up towards full statewide coverage.