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Office of the City Clerk

Fundamentals of the Statement of Economic Interests

What is a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI)?

The Statement of Economic Interests (Fair Political Practices Commission Form 700) is a public document which public officials and certain government employees, including consultants and even volunteer board members, use to disclose financial interests.

Why do I have to file an SEI?

Public officials and designated employees file SEIs. Public officials are statutory filers specified in Government Code §87200. They include Mayors, Councilmembers, City Attorneys, City Managers, Planning Commissioners, and persons who manage public investments. Designated employees hold designated positions, positions which involve making or participating in the making of decisions which may foreseeably have a material effect on the holder's financial interests. Such positions are listed in the agency's Conflict of Interest Code; people in these positions must file SEIs pursuant to the disclosure categories specified in that code. (Agency includes a City business center, department, corporation, board or commission.)

The Conflict of Interest Code

A Conflict of Interest Code is a set of rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Political Reform Act. As mentioned above, it designates certain positions whose holders must file disclosure statements. It also specifies appropriate levels of disclosure. The disclosure provisions may require the reporting of investments, interests in real property, income and other financial interests. A code also contains specific provisions setting forth the circumstances under which employees must disqualify themselves from making or participating in the making of a decision.

It often happens that what your code requires you to disclose is quite different from what another filer in your department has to disclose. Remember: The types of financial interests you must disclose depend upon the responsibilities of your job.

Codes are reviewed biennially to keep them current. Codes and code revisions are adopted by Council resolution.

When do I have to file?

Essentially, there are four times to file Form 700.

An "initial" statement is required within 30 days of the date when an office or position has been added to a newly-adopted or newly-amended conflict of interest code.

An "assuming office" statement is required within 30 days of the date when you take a position already designated in a conflict of interest code.

"Annual" statements are required before April 1 of each year, covering the preceding calendar year. (Good news if you assumed office after September: no "annual" required until next April!)

A "leaving office" statement is required within 30 days of the date you leave a designated position.

Where do I have to file?

Electronic filing is mandatory, and no paper is filed with the City Clerk.  When you use the City Clerk's electroninc filing system, eFile-SD, to file your SEI, you will automatically have a copy of your filing available for use at the next filing deadline. This will make next year's filing even easier. 

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What else should I know?

FILE ON TIME! Late filers face a fine of $10 per day, up to a maximum of $100. Sometimes the fine may be waived, but often it may not. Don't risk it!

State law imposes a GIFT LIMIT and HONORARIA BAN on filers. Contact the Clerk's Office to find out the current gift limit per calendar year from any one source who is a reportable source of income.

Where do I go for help?

Call the Clerk's Office at 619-533-4025 for help with technical questions regarding Form 700. However, we are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.

If you have questions related to reporting your interests, you may wish to contact the Ethics Commission for assistance.

You may also contact the Fair Political Practices Commission at 866-275-3772 (toll-free).