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Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) - Form 700
 
 

Top SEI Questions

Program Basics

1. What is the SEI requirement?
2. Who is affected by this requirement?
3. How does this requirement work?
4. Are employees in other school districts affected by this?
5. How can I stay updated on news related to this requirement?

About Annual Filing

6. How do I file a Form 700?
7. How long does it take to fill out a Form 700?
8. How personal is the information I have to share on the Form 700?
9. What happens to the Form 700 after it is filed?
10. What is the most important thing I need to remember as a filer?
11. How often do I have to file?
12. What if I forgot to report something or need to make a change?
13. Am I required to file, if I’m in an “Acting” position?
14. Are there penalties for missing the deadline?
15. How can I get help with my filing?

About Filing during the Year

16. How long do I have before I have to file after taking office?
17. How long do I have before I have to file after leaving office?

Program Basics

1. What is the SEI Requirement? (back to top)

Filing a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI), also known more commonly as a “Form 700,” is a requirement of state law. This annual requirement was enacted as part of the 1974 Political Reform Act which was passed by California voters to promote integrity in state and local government. The law seeks to help those who participate in decision-making on behalf of their agencies be aware of conflicts, so that they can avoid inappropriate personal gain. All elected officials and designated agency decision-makers are required to make public their financial interests in their Form 700.

2. Who is affected by this requirement?(back to top)

Any official, employee, or consultant holding a position which involves them in influencing financial decisions on behalf of their agency may be subject to the SEI Form 700 filing requirement.

Specifically, an individual is required to file a Form 700 if the position they hold has been designated in the agency’s Conflict of Interest (COI) Code.

State regulation specifies how an agency and county must make the determination for identifying designated employees and the corresponding types of disclosure required of those employee positions.

As context, examples of positions statewide which are required to file a Form 700 include: elected officials, commissioners, judges, attorneys, directors, financial managers, contracts monitors, project specialists, et cetera.

At LAUSD, board members, superintendents, principals, directors, deputies, coordinators, buyers, attorneys and other decision-makers are among the positions required to file. For the full list of LAUSD filers, please review our most current Conflict of Interest Code.

3. How does this requirement work? (back to top)

Using strict guidelines and definitions set by the state, local agencies like LAUSD are required to keep the positions designated in their Conflict of Interest Code updated.

Every two years at minimum, LAUSD is required to identify and review all our positions and add, modify, or delete positions from our Code as responsibilities or titles change. Internally, our review is conducted with the support of local divisions, Human Resources and the Personnel Commission. The review process is overseen by the County of Los Angeles which is the ultimate authority on deciding which positions and reporting categories are required to be included in our COI Code for LAUSD to be in compliance of state law.

4. Are employees in other school districts affected by this? (back to top)

Yes. State law (Gov. Code 87300) requires every state and local government agency to adopt a Conflict of Interest Code. While different school districts may be at varying levels of compliance with this state law, every school district must comply or face sanctions and penalties.

5. How can I stay updated on news related to this requirement? (back to top)

To stay current on changes to state law, county rules, LAUSD’s Conflict of Interest Code, or any other news affecting the SEI requirement, you can join the Ethics Office’s SEI I e-mail list. You can also check with your division’s liaison to the Ethics Office since they are the ones to help us coordinate all Form 700 filings.

About Annual Filing

6. How do I file a Form 700? (back to top)

Form 700 statements can be filled out electronically, or by hand. An interactive version of the form can be downloaded from California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (www.fppc.ca.gov), or from the Ethics Office. Once a statement is completed, it must be signed and returned to the Ethics Office by the appropriate deadline to be considered filed. (By law, e-mailed or faxed forms are not allowed).

7. How long does it take to fill out a Form 700? (back to top)

Looking at the Form 700, many first-time filers think that it will take them days to complete. However, for most filers, filing is fairly simple — with just one sheet in the lengthy, intimidating packet to complete.

Individuals who don’t have many financial interests or investments probably need about 30 minutes their first time and no more than 10 minutes in the years after that while those with more complicated finances may need more time.

8. How personal is the information I have to share on the Form 700? (back to top)

Given the nature of the law’s intent, some of the information that has to be disclosed may seem very personal. However, filers are not required to report information about their primary personal residence, bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage and car loans, or any salary payments from government agencies.

9. What happens to the Form 700 after it is filed? (back to top)

Filed Form 700 Statements are retained by an agency's filing office where they must be made available to the public upon request in accordance with state law. For LAUSD, the filing office that maintains these statements is the Ethics Office.

10. What is the most important thing I need to remember as a filer?(back to top)

As a filer, you must remember to disqualify yourself if you have a potential conflict. Avoid participating in LAUSD matters if you have a financial interest and there is a potential conflict! Remember, disclosing a conflict is not the same as permission to participate in the matter. In fact, a good general rule of thumb is that you should NOT participate on issues relating to sources you’ve disclosed in your Form 700. If you are not sure about a potential conflict, please seek guidance from the Ethics Office.

11. How often do I have to file? (back to top)

Everyone in a position that is listed in LAUSD’s COI Code must file a Form 700 annually by April 1 each year. Anyone who is leaving a position or newly taking on a position that has been designated has 30 days to file their Leaving Office or Assuming Office statement, respectively.

12. What if I forgot to report something or need to make a change? (back to top)

State law allows you to file amendments and corrections whenever necessary. Contact the Ethics Office for information on how to do this.

13. Am I required to file, if I'm in an "Acting" position? (back to top)

Yes. By state law, you must file if you are in a designated position – regardless of whether or not the position is temporary.

14. Are there penalties for missing the deadline? (back to top)

Yes. State law mandates penalties and sanctions for individuals who do not comply. A $10 fine must be assessed for each day that a filing is late. Unfortunately, there is no provision in the law for extending the filing deadline.

Also by law, those who fail to comply have to be referred to the Fair Political Practices Commission which can impose fines of up to $5,000 per violation.

15. How can I get help with my filing? (back to top)

The Ethics Office is here to support all LAUSD affiliated filers in meeting the requirements of this state law.

Our office coordinates the process for providing designees with notifications, reminders, and forms. We have a number of reference guides, support materials, and online training tools (all of which are available on our website) to assist filers. We can also help you with general questions on completing your Form 700 Statement. For more technical reporting questions, please contact California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) at 1-688-ASK-FPPC.

About Filing during the Year

16. How long do I have before I have to file after taking office? (back to top)

If you are being hired or promoted into a position that is designated in LAUSD’s Conflict of Interest Code, you have 30 days (from your start date or promotion date) to file an Assuming Office Statement. Remember, you must also file within 30 days when you are serving in the acting position.

17. How long do I have before I have to file after leaving office? (back to top)

If you are leaving a designated position, you must file a Leaving Office Statement within 30 days of your departure.

 
LAUSD Ethics Office
333 S. Beaudry Ave., 20th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Ask Ethics Helpline
T: 213-241-3330
F: 213-241-3319
Last Updated: 2/18/2011