Jan. 6, 2012
Important financial disclosure and transparency requirementsThis Legal Update advises you of two important statutory requirements regarding financial reporting and transparency:
- The Public Official Disclosure Law, C.R.S. 24-6-203, requiring every board member to disclose gifts or honoraria received in connection with serving on the Board; and
- The Public School Financial Transparency Act, C.R.S. 22-44-301, et seq., requiring school districts to post financial information online, in a downloadable format, for free public access
Financial DisclosureThe Public Official Disclosure Law requires every board member to disclose gifts or honoraria received in connection with serving on the board. The first report is due on or before Jan. 17, 2012. Board members must also file disclosure reports on or before April 16, July 16 and Oct. 15, disclosing any gifts or honoraria received during the period since the last report. Board members who do not receive any gifts or honoraria in connection with their service on the Board are not required to file a report. C.R.S. § 24-6-203(2). . C.R.S. § 24-6-203(2). CASB sample regulation BC-R, School Board Member Financial Disclosure describes the items board members must disclose.
Disclosures must be made on the form provided by the Secretary of State. On the “Jurisdiction” portion of the disclosure form, school board members should check the box marked “County.” Board members should also precisely state the full name of the school district they represent on the line marked “Office Held/District.” You will notice that the disclosure form contains a box labeled “I have nothing to report.” While such disclosure is not required, completing the form enables the Secretary of State’s office to answer media requests for disclosure information without referring the request to the local district.
Submit the completed form to the Secretary of State via fax: 303-869-4861 or by regular mail addressed to:
Colorado Secretary of State
Elections Division, Campaign Finance
1700 Broadway, Ste. 200
Denver, CO 80290
Financial TransparencyIn 2010, the state legislature passed the Public School Financial Transparency Act, C.R.S. 22-44-301, et. seq., which is more fully described in CASB’s June 24, 2010 Special Policy Update. As explained in the Special Update, the Act requires school districts and BOCES to post financial information online, in a downloadable format, for free public access. The Act is phased in over time and its requirements will be fully implemented on July 1, 2012.
Recent media reports indicate that many school districts and BOCES are not fulfilling all of the Act’s requirements. We urge you to review the timeline below as well as the details of the Special Policy Update to confirm that your district is in compliance with the law.
Under the Act, districts are required to post the following online:
Commencing July 1, 2010
Annual Audited Financial Statements
Quarterly Financial Statements
Salary Schedules or Policies Pertaining to Salaries
A link to CDE’s website or the location information for CDE’s website where a member of the public may access information or reports that are submitted directly to CDE.
Commencing July 1, 2011
Accounts Payable Check Registers
Credit Card Statements
Debit Card Statements
Purchase Card Statements
Commencing July 1, 2012
Investment Performance Reports or StatementsThe information must be available year-round, and districts must update and/or complete posted information within 60 days of receipt of the applicable report, statement or document. Once posted, the prior two budget years’ financial information must be maintained online until the end of the current budget year.
Additional resources, including a webpage template, may be found on CDE’s website at: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdefinance/sfFinancialTransparency.htm
We hope this information is helpful. Please direct any questions to Michelle Murphy, director of member legal resources, at 303-832-1000.