Conflict of Interest Statements
Designated County officials and employees, members of County boards and commissions, and officials of other local public entities are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests/California Form 700 when assuming/leaving office and on an annual basis.
Types of Statements
Conflict of Interest Code
In addition, the Political Reform Act requires every government agency to review its conflict of interest code biennially to determine whether it should be amended. The County Clerk oversees this biennial review process for designated agencies within Modoc County.
Under the California Political Reform Act, all public agencies are required to adopt a conflict of interest code. Each agency conflict-of-interest code must designate, or include, the employee positions within that agency "which involve the making or participation in the making of decisions which may foreseeably have a material effect on any financial interest" of the employee, and assign disclosure categories specifying the types of financial interests to be reported. (Gov. Code section 87302(a).) Individuals holding designated positions are required to file Statements of Economic Interests (Form 700s). Form 700 is a public document intended to alert public officials and members of the public to the types of financial interests that may create conflicts of interest.
The Three Components of a Conflict of Interest Code
- Incorporation Section (Terms of the Code) - This section designates where the Form 700s are filed and retained (i.e., the agency or the FPPC). This section also must reference Regulation 18730, which provides the rules for disqualification procedures, reporting financial interests, and references the current gift limit.
- List of Designated Positions - The code must list all agency positions that involve the making or participation in making decisions that “may foreseeably have a material effect on any financial interest.” This covers agency members, officers, and employees, and it may include volunteers on a committee if the members make or participate in making government decisions.
- Detailed Disclosure Categories - A disclosure category is a description of the types of financial interests officials in one or more job classifications must disclose on their Form 700s. The categories must be tailored to the financial interests affected, and must not require public officials to disclose private financial information that does not relate to their public employment.
Sample Conflict of Interest Code
For the assistance of those developing or reviewing their Conflict of Interest Code, a Sample Conflict of Interest Code is available below, which may be used as a model:
- Sample Conflict of Interest Code
- Sample Exhibit B - Designated Positions
- Sample Exhibit C - Disclosure Categories
Biennial Review of Conflict of Interest Codes
To ensure conflict of interest codes remain current and accurate, each local agency is required to review its code at least every even-numbered year. The agency should receive a Biennial Notice as a reminder of this obligation from its code reviewing body.
The County Board of Supervisors is the code reviewing body for county agencies.
When determining whether to amend, an agency should carefully review its current conflict of interest code and consider the following:
- Is the current code more than five years old?
- Have there been any substantial changes to the agency's organizational structure since the current code was adopted?
- Have any positions been eliminated or renamed since the current code was adopted?
- Have any new positions been added since the current code was adopted?
- Have there been any substantial changes in duties or responsibilities for any positions since the current code was adopted?
If an agency answers “yes” to any of the above questions, most likely its conflict of interest code will need to be amended.