Financial Interest Statements Due May 1
As required by the state Ethics Act, all elected and most appointed public officials must file an annual financial interests statement for 2016 with their township by May 1.
“Public officials” include anyone who has the authority to spend public funds, other than reimbursement for personal expenses, or to otherwise exercise the power of the state or any political subdivision.
Public officials and public employees must also file a statement the year after they leave public office for their final year in office. Statements of financial interests must be filed on a form provided by the State Ethics Commission.
Those required to file must provide all requested information to the best of their knowledge and sign the form under oath. Disclosure requires identifying sources of income, not amounts.
Townships are required to keep the statements on file for five years and make them available to the public on request during regular business hours.
The commission mails 10 to 20 forms to township secretaries in late December. Additional forms may be obtained from the commission any time, from the county board of elections during election years, or by visiting www.ethics.pa.gov, which also features information about the commission and updates on the Ethics Act.
Public officials may file online at the Ethics Commission’s website; however, they must submit a copy or a paper version of the form to the township.
Township officials with questions or comments on filing statements should call the State Ethics Commission toll-free at (800) 932-0936.
For more information about filing requirements and other aspects of the law, turn to PSATS’ new Ethics Act Manual. This compliance guide covers everything township officials and staff need to know about complying with the law and also contains the latest court decisions and Ethics Commission advisories and opinions. To order, click here.