Office of State Ethics today released its Audit Report for "Statements of
This was the body of the press release (scroll down to read the report):
as well as certain other public officials and designated state employees, must
file SFIs with the OSE by May 1 each year. These statements describe
associated businesses, all sources of income over $1,000, securities in excess
of $5,000; real estate holdings; and leases or contracts with the state.
A confidential portion of the statement requires disclosure of sources of any
debts over $10,000.
of Financial Interests (“SFIs”) serve as a tool to maximize public confidence
in governmental decision making. The policy underlying this requirement
has been in effect since the enactment of the Ethics Codes in 1977. An
SFI provides a checklist or reminder to the official/employee to be mindful of
potential conflicts of interest, and it provides a baseline of information
which can be compared to subsequent years for the purpose of determining
potential misuse of office for financial gain.
Audit Report, based on randomly-selected reports of 10% of required filers,
revealed that the vast majority of required filers did so in a timely manner
and fully disclosed the appropriate information. Overall, 89% of the
audited forms presented no errors or omissions and were timely filed. For
forms that were not in complete compliance, the highest occurring examples of
errors or non-compliance were: (1) failure to disclose the filer’s state income
(5.5% of audited forms); (2) failure to adequately identify the name of
securities held in excess of $5,000 (3% of audited forms); and, (3) failure to
timely file the form (2.1% of all forms).
full report is attached to this release and is also available on the OSE’s Web
the audit notes, there was a continued rise in accuracy and completeness of the
SFI forms to previous years audits,” said OSE Executive Director, Carol
Carson. “I am very proud of OSE staff, for doing more with less.
During difficult fiscal times, we increased education, advice and training,
improved our online filing system and worked with ethics liaisons at Executive
Branch agencies to encourage online filing, because online filings have a lower
percentage of errors than paper filings and provide the public with greater