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A Conflict of Interest Code is a set of rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Political Reform Act. The Act requires all California cities to adopt and implement a Conflict of Interest Code.
Each Conflict of Interest Code designates positions required to file a Statement of Economic Interests - Form 700, and assigns disclosure categories specifying the types of interests to be reported. The Form 700 is a public document. In the City of El Cerrito, disclosure requirements for positions and commissions designated in the City’s Conflict of Interest Code are identified in Appendix A. Disclosure requirements are stated in Appendix B. City Councilmembers, the City Manager, City Attorney, City Treasurer and Planning Commissioners are required by state law to file at the highest level. The types of interests that must be disclosed depend upon the responsibilities of the designated position. The disclosure requirements may include the reporting of investments, business positions, interests in real property, income and other financial interests. The Political Reform Act contains specific provisions setting forth the circumstances under which employees and commissioners must disqualify themselves from making, participating in or influencing a governmental decision. The City Clerk administers the Conflict of Interest Code at the local level and notifies elected officials and each designated employee and commissioner of his or her filing obligation. State law requires cities to conduct a biennial review of the Conflict of Interest Code to ensure that designated positions and disclosure requirements are kept current. Codes and code revisions are adopted by City Council resolution.
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The essential terms of a Conflict of Interest Code are found in the Code's main body, which includes such provisions as the manner of reporting financial interests, disqualification procedures, and other information. The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) recommends that agencies incorporate FPPC Regulation 18730 by reference because the information required to be in a code's main body is complex and may change over time. Regulation 18730 contains all the necessary provisions. The FPPC periodically amends this regulation to include legislative and regulatory changes. By incorporating FPPC Regulation 18730 by reference, the body of the code automatically stays in compliance with Political Reform Act Regulations.
B. Designated PositionsA Conflict of Interest Code must specifically list positions that make or participate in making decisions. Typically, positions that involve voting on matters, negotiating contracts, or making recommendations on purchases without substantive review must be included in the Code. Persons holding positions listed in Government Code Section 87200 are considered "statutory filers." Such persons, include the Mayor, City Councilmembers, the City Manager, the City Attorney, the City Treasurer, Planning Commissioners and persons who manage public investments.
C. Disclosure CategoriesThe primary purpose of the Conflict of Interest Code is the requirement to disclose types of financial interests, business positions and property that may be affected by the decision-making of persons holding designated positions. Each position designated in the Conflict of Interest Code is assigned a unique disclosure requirement.
For more information on this subject please review resources provided on the City’s website and the FPPC’s website.
An individual hired for a position not yet covered under an agency’s conflict-of-interest code must file the Form 700 if the individual serves in a position that makes or participates in making governmental decisions. These individuals must file under the agency’s broadest disclosure category until the code is amended to include the new position unless the agency has provided in writing a limited disclosure requirement.
By law, original Form 700s filed by the Mayor and City Council, City Manager, City Attorney, City Treasurer and Planning Commissioners are sent to the FPPC and copies are kept on file by the City Clerk. All other original forms are retained by the City Clerk.
El Cerrito City Clerk
Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) - http://www.fppc.ca.gov/ Information available from the FPPC website:
Other Resources California Attorney General's Pamphlet on Conflict of Interest Law.