New Report Puts FPPC Transparency Measures Among the Nation’s Best
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2022
For More Information Contact:
Jay Wierenga (916) 322-7761
A new report by the Campaign Legal Center lists innovations implemented by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) as among the top “best practices” for local and State governments to follow for transparency and efficiency in political and campaign ethics.
The non-partisan Campaign Legal Center (CLC) today released its “Top Ten Enforcement Upgrades for Ethics Commissions” report: (https://campaignlegal.org/document/top-ten-enforcement-upgrades-ethics-commissions).
The CLC report highlights two FPPC transparency programs as best in the nation with explanations and recommendations for all ethics agencies to implement.
One of the Top Ten practices which is highlighted is the FPPC’s “Heat Map”. The FPPC website “Heat Map” shows a graphic outline of the state and counties and includes easily accessible information about how many enforcement actions originate in each jurisdiction, including the type of action, those involved in each case, and results of each action (https://www.fppc.ca.gov/transparency/heat-map1.html).
The CLC report recommends: “Ethics commissions should aim to include the information that the public seeks most often when creating their heat map, including enforcement action data.”
“This is the latest in a series of national, non-partisan organizations recognizing the efforts of our agency in recent years of providing the transparency and accountability the public deserves,” said FPPC Chair Richard C. Miadich. “The Campaign Legal Center report highlights the great work and constant efforts of our staff to find ways to ensure the public can see the actions taken and hold their public officials accountable.”
The second Top Ten practice implemented by the FPPC and the CLC encourages all other ethics agencies to implement is the FPPC’s public Complaint and Case Information Portal (https://www.fppc.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint-and-case-information-portal.html), listed by the CLC as “Instant Case Updates”. The portal contains the status of any complaint or case and contains numerous ways to search for the information, including by name, complaint or case number, and jurisdiction.
The CLC report points out the benefits: “The portal has significantly reduced public records requests associated with complaints and cases because those who are seeking information now have access to those documents,
saving FPPC staff significant time in processing those requests. The portal also facilitates engagement with the enforcement process, as the public can access more specific information faster.”
“We thank the CLC for acknowledging our efforts and encourage everyone to read the report and implement its recommendations,” said Chair Miadich. “Our Commission and staff are always looking for ways to improve, modernize, and use technology to make us more open and efficient to provide Californians a fair and open political process.”
The CLC states the purpose of its analysis is to provide state and local ethics commissions with innovative enforcement upgrades to improve how they effectively implement their ethics programs. Specifically, the project highlights 10 proven enforcement features that ethics commissions have used to increase accountability for ethics violations, to deter non-compliance, and improve the public’s trust in government.
The Campaign Legal Center is (CLC) is a nonpartisan organization that advocates for every eligible voter to meaningfully participate in the democratic process. The report is a follow up to CLC's Top Ten Transparency Upgrades for Ethics Commissions report from 2021 in which the FPPC is also featured: (https://campaignlegal.org/document/top-10-transparency-upgrades-ethics-commissions).
The FPPC is California’s governmental ethics and campaign disclosure agency.
The new, CLC Top Ten report can be found here: (https://campaignlegal.org/document/top-ten-enforcement-upgrades-ethics-commissions).