What are the financial disclosure reports that are filed annually by US House Representatives and Senators?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The US House Ethics Manual (2008 edition) provided the following:
"...Members, officers, candidates, and certain
employees must file annual Financial Disclosure Statements, summarizing
financial information concerning themselves, their spouses, and dependent children.
Among other information, these statements must disclose outside compensation,
investments and assets, and business transactions...
Members, officers, and certain employees must annually disclose personal
financial interests, including investments, income, and liabilities. Financial
disclosure provisions were enacted to monitor and to deter possible conflicts of
interest due to outside financial holdings...
A report must be physically filed or postmarked by the due date, unless an
extension has been granted by the Committee pursuant to a written request. Total
extensions for any report may not exceed 90 days.
An individual who files a report
more than 30 days after it is due must pay a late filing fee of $200, unless the
Committee waives the fee in exceptional circumstances.
Within 60 days of receipt, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
reviews Financial Disclosure Statements of filers under its jurisdiction to determine
whether the reports have been filed in a timely manner, appear substantially
accurate and complete, and comply with applicable conflict of interest laws and
If the review indicates a possible problem, the reporting individual is
notified and given an opportunity to amend within a specified period...
The House Clerk retains the reports of House Members and employees for six
years and the reports of unsuccessful candidates for one year.
The Clerk makes all
forms on file available for inspection by the public within thirty days of receipt.
addition, pursuant to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, the Clerk
must make the reports of all Members filed after June 1, 2008 available on a public,
searchable website within 45 days of their filing.
Anyone wishing to review a report on file with the Clerk must provide his or
her name, occupation, and address; the name of any other person or entity on whose
behalf the information is sought; and a statement that he or she is aware of the
prohibitions on use of the information...
The financial disclosure provisions of EIGA [Ethics in Government Act of 1978] have been incorporated by
reference as a rule of the House of Representatives,58
over which the Standards
Committee has jurisdiction.
In addition to any Committee action, EIGA
authorizes the Attorney General of the United States to seek a civil penalty of up to
$11,000 against an individual who knowingly and willfully falsifies or fails to file or
to report any required information.
Moreover, under federal criminal law, anyone
who knowingly and willfully falsifies or conceals any material fact in a statement to
the government may be fined up to $11,000, imprisoned for up to five years, or
The US Senate Ethics Manual (2003 edition - the latest version available on the US Senate Select Committee on Ethics website as of June 23, 2008) provided the following:
to statute and rule, Members, officers, and certain employees of
Congress are required to file comprehensive annual public financial
disclosure of assets, financial interests, and investments has been
is generally regarded as the preferred method of monitoring possible
conflicts of interest of Members of the Senate and certain Senate
staff. Public disclosure is intended to provide the information
necessary to allow Members’ constituencies to judge official conduct in
light of possible financial
conflicts with private holdings.
The Senate has required some financial disclosure by rule since 1968, and public reporting
by statute since 1978...
Ethics Reform Act of 1989 revised and condensed what had been different requirements for
each branch into one uniform title covering the entire Federal Government.
Filers now must
indicate outside compensation, holdings, transactions, liabilities, positions held and gifts received
on their Financial Disclosure Reports...
All reports are filed with the Office of Public Records of the Secretary of the Senate. A report
must be physically filed or postmarked by the due date, unless an extension has been granted by
the Committee in response to a written request by the filer. Total extensions for any report may
not exceed 90 days.
The Committee may not grant an extension that was requested by the filer
after expiration of the 30 day 'grace' period following the Report’s due date. An individual who
files a report more than 30 days after it is due must pay a penalty of $200 when he or she files
the report, unless the Committee waives the penalty...
60 days of receipt, the Committee reviews the Reports to determine
whether they have
been filed in a timely manner and whether their contents have been
disclosed accurately and in
compliance with the law and Senate Rule...Within thirty days of filing,
Reports will be disclosed to any requesting party by the Senate
Office of Public Records. All Reports will remain available on
microfilm for public inspection
for a period of six years after receipt. Any person requesting actual
copies of Reports is required
to pay a reasonable fee ($0.20 per page in 2000) to cover production
and mailing. Filers may
also inspect applications by the public for review of their own Report
at the Office of Public
financial disclosure provisions of the Ethics in Government Act have
as Senate Rule 34, over which the Committee has jurisdiction. In
addition to any Committee action, the Ethics in Government Act
authorizes the Attorney General of the United States to seek
a civil penalty of up to $11,000 against an individual who knowingly
and willfully falsifies or
fails to file or to report any required information.
Moreover, anyone who knowingly and willfully falsifies or conceals any
material fact in a statement to the Government may be fined up
to $11,000 and is subject to criminal prosecution.
The Committee is authorized to render advisory opinions interpreting
the financial disclosure
provisions of the Ethics in Government Act for any person under its
jurisdiction. An individual
who acts in good faith in accordance with a written advisory opinion
shall not be subject to any
sanction under the Act."