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Supervisors OK Changes to County Conflict of Interest Code

December 12, 2012

The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved changes to the county’s conflict of interest code, under which certain county employees and committee and commission members are required to disclose financial interests that may create a conflict with their official duties.

The revamping of the code, conducted by County Counsel staff, took about nine months to complete. The revision is streamlined and should prove to be more efficient. The conflict codes have not been revised in many years.

The revisions establish four clearly delineated categories for those employees, and committee and commission members. The revised code also lays out how an employee or member disqualifies himself or herself. The four categories are:

  • Full Disclosure, which applies to all elected officials and others who advise the Board of Supervisors on issues of governmental decision making, who actively participate or influence decision making on behalf of a department or division, or have direct discretion over the value, use, boundaries, or purchasing of real property;
  • A Limited Disclosure category that applies to those who have the independent discretionary authority, with minimal supervision, to make or authorize purchases, or sign contracts on behalf of their departments or divisions;
  • A Limited Disclosure category that applies to those who have authority over the distribution of grant funds; and
  • A Limited Disclosure category that applies to those hose who, on behalf of the county, issue permits, conduct audits or inspect property or businesses

Conflict of interest law was first developed in California by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in the 1970s. State law allows the county to craft its own conflict of interest codes. County employees who are required to disclose their financial interest must fill out Form 700. This document is used to disclose any financial interests that government employees have that may cause a conflict with their work responsibilities or decision making authority.

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