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What is a Statement of Economic Interest (Form 700) filing?

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.

The act requires every state and local government agency to adopt a unique conflict of interest code. The code list each position within the agency filled by individuals who make or participate in making governmental decisions that could affect their personal economic interests.

The code requires individuals holding those positions to periodically file Form 700 disclosing certain personal economic interests as determined by the code's "disclosure categories." These individuals are called "designated employees" or "code filers."

Obtain your disclosure categories from your agency – they are not contained in the Form 700. Persons with broad decision making authority must disclose more interests than those in positions with limited discretion. For example, you may be required to disclose only investments and business positions in or income (including loans, gifts, and travel payments) from businesses of the type that contract with your agency, or you may not be required to disclose real property interests.

In addition, certain consultants to public agencies may qualify as public officials because they make, participate in making, or act in a staff capacity for governmental decisions. Agencies determine who is a consultant and the level of disclosure and may use Form 805.