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Ethics Tutorial - Colorado General Assembly

- Public official disclosure and reporting requirements - 3 of 25

Background

Part 2 of article 6 of title 24, C.R.S., otherwise known as the "Public Official Disclosure Law", outlines requirements for the disclosure and reporting by public officials, including members of the General Assembly, of certain types of information. Section 24-6-202, C.R.S., largely concerns the disclosure of financial information, such as sources of income, businesses in which the legislator holds a financial interest, interest in property, the identification of all offices, directorships, and fiduciary relationships held by the legislator, and significant creditors of the legislator. Disclosure extends to the legislator's immediate family. Financial disclosure must be made within 30 days after the legislator's election or reelection, and each legislator must file an amended statement on or before January 10 of each calendar year.

The reporting of gifts, honoraria, and other benefits that an incumbent in or candidate elected to public office receives in connection with his or her public service is the subject of section 24-6-203, C.R.S. Section 24-6-203 (3), C.R.S., lists certain items that are required to be reported, and section 24-6-203 (4), C.R.S., lists other items that the legislator need not include in his or her report. Gift and honoraria reporting is to be made quarterly. If a legislator does not receive any of the covered items, he or she need not file a report. Reports under both statutory sections must be filed with the secretary of state's office.

Hypothetical

Disclosure of gifts given in connection with your public service 

You are a member of the General Assembly. Following a very stressful session of the General Assembly, you had to endure painful foot surgery, which you postponed during the session. Your doctor has instructed you to stay off your feet for 3 weeks to let your foot properly heal. A longtime friend who has known you since long before you commenced your political career has offered the use of her condominium in a resort community in the mountains for your extended use. The offer comes with the assistance of a housekeeper who will prepare your meals. The relationship you enjoy with the donor is strictly personal and the donor has never expressed any interest in the public business that you address as a legislator.

Question

Are you required to disclose the gift of the use of the condominium?
Select NO. There is no need for disclosure because you cannot accept your friend’s offer. Now that you are elected to the General Assembly, you should never accept a gift from anyone at any time for any purpose.
Select NO. Since you probably can't accept the gift under Amendment 41, there is no gift to accept and, therefore, to disclose under the Public Official Disclosure Law ("PODL"). 
Select NO. Since the donor is a long-time friend, no one would think anything improper about receiving a gift from that person and therefore there is no need to disclose such gift.
Select NO. A gift from a long-time friend of the use of a condominium to assist in one's recovery from surgery is not given in connection with the member's public service. Accordingly, the member is not required to disclose the gift.


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Last updated: 09 OCT 2015


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