Fines and Waivers - Policy for Late Form 700 Filing - San Benito County C-A-R-E

County of San Benito Clerk, Auditor & Recorder

Fines and Waivers – Policy for Late Form 700 Filing

Overview

Every elected official and public employee who makes or influences governmental decisions is required to submit a Statement of Economic Interest, also known as the Form 700. The Form 700 provides transparency and ensures accountability in two ways:

  1. It provides necessary information to the public about an official’s personal financial interests to ensure that officials are making decisions in the best interest of the public and not enhancing their personal finances.
  2. It serves as a reminder to the public official of potential conflicts of interest so the official can abstain from making or participating in governmental decisions that are deemed conflicts of interest.

 

Deadlines

Filing deadlines are set by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

Statements are due:

  • Annual – Filed annually and due April 1 of each calendar year.  The reporting period is January 1 through December 31 of the previous year, or the date the filer assumed office through December 31, whichever is later
  • Assuming – Filed when a filer begins in a designated position.  Filing is due within 30 days of the date the position was assumed.  The reporting period is the immediate 12 months prior to beginning the position.
  • Leaving – Filed when a filer ends filling a designated position.  Filing is due within 30 days of the date the filer left the position.  The reporting period is the period from the last annual filing through the date the position ended.

Filing

Filers are encouraged to file Form 700s electronically, using our eDisclosure website.  Form 700s filed by paper will be accepted by all filers other than San Benito County Employees (San Benito County Board of Supervisors Resolution 2016-1).

Late Filing Penalties / Fines

Any person who files a Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) after the deadline imposed by the Political Reform Act is liable for a late fine pursuant to Government Code Section 91013.  Fines issued pursuant to this section shall not exceed $10 per day up to a maximum of $100.

Additionally, per Government Code Section 91013, “no liability shall be waived if a statement or report is not filed within 30 days for a statement of economic interest”.

The San Benito County Clerk’s division will consider a request to waive the payment of a late fine if the request is based on “good cause.”

Good cause for receiving a partial or full waiver of fine for filing late

In order to obtain a partial or full waiver of a fine for a late filing, a filer must provide a timely written request to the San Benito County Clerk’s Division, providing details which show good cause for why the statement is being filed late.   A stricter standard may be applied to persons who filed late statements in prior years.

“Good cause” may include:

  • Incapacitation for Medical Reasons *
  • Hospitalization *
  • Accident Involvement *
  • Loss or Unavailability of Records *

* May need to show documentation if requested.

Late Fines will not be waived

Per the FPPC, reasons not allowing a waiving of a late filing fine:

  • Vacation
  • Filer’s busy season
  • Spouse/assistant failed to file the form on behalf of the filer
  • Filer needed additional time to gather information in order to file
  • Filer is waiting for professional assistance from financial advisor/CPA/FPPC before
    filing
  • Filer asserts that he or she has not been late before, but promises to file on time in the
    future
  • Form was accidentally misplaced on desk, home or in vehicle
  • Filer did not receive a reminder to file his/her annual statement

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