STATE BUSINESS TRANSACTION, DISCLOSURE REPORT
The 1983 Georgia General Assembly enacted House Bill 606 (Ga. Laws 1983, p. 1326; O.C.G.A. Title 45, Ch. 10, Art. 2, Part 1) which concerns conflicts of interests. This bill addressed certain prohibited conduct by State officials and employees concerning business transactions with the State of Georgia. This Act was subsequently amended by Ga. Laws 1984, p. 1337 and elaborated on by Secretary of State Max Cleland on December 18, 1985.
A portion of this law (O.C.G.A. 45-10-26) requires that all public officials and employees disclose prior to January 31 of each year all business transactions occurring during the previous calendar year which the public official or employee has transacted with the State of Georgia and any Agency of the State of Georgia for himself or on behalf of any business, or for any business in which such public official or employee or any member of his family has a substantial interest. Failure to disclose such business transactions will subject the public officer or employee or business to a civil fine not exceeding $10,000.00, restitution to the State of Georgia of any pecuniary benefit received as a result of such violation, and, in the case of appointed public officials or employees, removal from office or employment.
Who must file?
Public Officials--Any person elected to a State office and any person appointed to a State office where in the conduct of such office the person so appointed has administrative and discretionary authority to receive and expend public funds and to perform certain functions concerning the public which are assigned to him by law.
Employees--Any person who, pursuant to a written or oral contract, is employed by any agency, authority, department, board, bureau, commission, committee, office, or instrumentality of the State of Georgia. This does not include persons employed by a political subdivision of the State of Georgia. The Attorney General's office has confirmed that employees of the Board of Regents are considered to be public employees and are required to comply with the disclosure provisions of this law unless the amount of each individual transaction is less than $250.00 and the aggregate of all transactions does not exceed $9,000.00 per calendar year.
It is unlawful for any full time employee to transact any business with the agency by which the employee is employed. There are numerous exceptions to this prohibition, including a specific exception by which an employee serves as a teacher or instructor of an evening or night course or program at a unit of the University System of Georgia. These procedures set forth in 45-10-25(a)(15)-45-1 0-25. Exceptions to prohibitions on transactions with state agencies.
The provisions of Code Sections 45-10-22, 45-10-23, and 45-10-24 shall not apply to:
Any transaction whereby an appointed public official or employee, under the procedures specified in this paragraph, sells to a unit of the University System of Georgia services as a teacher or instructor of an evening or night course or program, if:
- The chief executive office of the unit of the University System of Georgia shall certify in writing the need for the services and set forth why the best interest of the state will be served by obtaining the services of such state official or employee in lieu of obtaining such services from a person not presently employed by the state;
- The chief executive officer of the department, agency, commission, or authority presently employing the state official or employee shall certify in writing that the person whose services are desired is available to perform such services, that the performance of such services will not detract or have a detrimental effect on the performance of said person's full-time employment, and, where appropriate, that the employment of such person by the unit of the University System of Georgia will be in the best interest of the state; and
- The departments, agencies, commissions, authorities, and units, after having complied with subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, shall, by agreement, establish the procedures under which the official or employee shall perform the additional services. The agreement shall specify the means of employment, the compensation, and other pertinent details and conditions of the employment relationship.
When to file?
All persons required to file a disclosure report must do so prior to January 31 of each year.
Where to file?
The original disclosure report must be filed with the Secretary of State, 110 State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.
What must be reported?
Generally, all business transacted with the State of Georgia or any agency of the State of Georgia, by any public official or any employee, whether for himself or on behalf of any business or for any business in which such public official or employee or any member of his family has a substantial interest, must be disclosed. "Business transacted" means the purchase, sale, or leasing of any personal property, real property, or services on behalf of oneself or on behalf of any third party as an agency, broker, dealer, or representative. "Any business" means any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, self-employed individual, trust or other legal entity. "Family" means spouse and dependents. "Substantial interest" means the direct or indirect ownership of more than 25 percent of the assets or stock of any business. This paragraph is not meant to be an exhaustive description of the items to be reported. For the precise requirements of what must be reported, please refer to O.C.G.A. Title 45, Ch. 10, Art. 2, Part 1.
Part-time public officials with state-wide powers do not have to report transactions when the amount of each individual transaction is less than $250.00 and the aggregate of all such transactions does not exceed $9,000.00 per calendar year.
Public officials and employees having ONLY participation in State retirement and/or insurance programs to report are not required to file a report.
Retirement and insurance payments will be reported by the appropriate agencies in your behalf.
A. Complete the cover sheet by:
- Filling in the date of the report and your name, address, and telephone number;
- Marking the box which describes your position with the State of Georgia and listing your agency and title; and
- Completing and signing the certification.
B. Each transaction must be disclosed separately.
C. Amounts may be rounded to the nearest dollar.
D. For each heading, list the following information on each transaction:
- Date--Date of the transaction;
- Agency--The name of the agency, authority, department, board, bureau, commission, committee, office, or instrumentality of the State of Georgia with whom the business was transacted;
- Nature of Transaction--Describe the subject of the transaction. "Sale of 1500 cubic yards of concrete," "30 hours of security work," "lease of house," etc.;
- If the transaction was personal or for oneself, list "personal";
- If the transaction was on behalf of a business, list "business" and name the business;
- If the transaction was for a business in which you or your spouse or dependents have a substantial interest, list "family" and name the business;
- Amount--The amount of the transaction in dollars;
- Total--The total dollar amount of business transacted with the State.
E. Mail the original report to the Secretary of State, 110 State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.