The California Political Reform Act requires certain state and local government officials to publicly disclose their private economic interests on the Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests. Additionally, it requires that all government (University) employees disqualify themselves from participating in decisions in which they have a personal financial interest.
The University of California has established a list of Designated Positions which are required to file a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest upon assuming and leaving a Designated Position, as well as once annually while in the Designated Position. Holders of a Designated Position need only report the financial interests that are designated by the “Disclosure Categories” that relate to their Designated Position.
The Fair Political Practices Commission has published a Reference Pamphlet to assist Designated Persons in filling out the Form 700. If you are a Form 700 filer and you have any questions about what Disclosure Categories you are required to report on your Form 700 or have any questions about filling out the Form 700, please contact the Conflict of Interest Coordinator for assistance.
Form 700: 10 Common Errors
How to avoid ten common errors in filing conflict of interest statements:
- Sign your statement. An unsigned statement is not considered filed and could subject you to late filing penalties.
- Submit the original. The statement must contain an original signature. The University cannot accept a photocopy of the verification section in which you certified your statement as true and correct under penalty of perjury.
- Know your jurisdiction. The jurisdiction for University Officials is the State.
- Check your disclosure categories. You may need to report only certain types of interests. Be sure to check your Disclosure Categories (See, Designated Positions and Assigned Disclosure Categories) that describe the specific types of interests you must report.
- Report your spouse’s interests. Your spouse’s investments and interests in real property are reportable. Fifty percent of your spouse’s income is considered your income and must be disclosed.
- University salary or reimbursements. You are not required to report the salary or reimbursements for expenses, including travel expenses, that you receive from the University.
- Don’t report personal residences. You need only report the portion of a personal residence that is used as a place of business for tax purposes.
- Diversified mutual funds are not reportable. Neither are bank accounts, savings accounts, insurance policies, or government bonds.
- Use the schedules. Do not attach brokerage statements of other extraneous information.
- Annual Form 700 is due April 1st of each calendar year. There is no provision in the law for extensions of filing deadlines.
For more information about the Form 700, the Fair Political Practices Commission website is an excellent reference.