Board and Commission Member Essentials

Posted: August 31st, 2018 3:44 PM

Last Updated: March 20th, 2023 4:35 PM

Take Oath of Office

Before beginning your duties as a board member, you must take the oath of office administered by the Office of the City Clerk.

File Form 700

The City’s Government Ethics Act requires designated Public Servants, including board and commission members to file a Form 700 – Statement of Economic Interests. Form 700 provides transparency and ensures accountability by providing decision-makers’ relevant financial information to the public and serves as a reminder to keep Public Servants from making decisions that have any relation to their own personal finances. Board members must file Form 700 within 30 days of their appointment to a City board and then annually by April 1 for the duration of their term. Board members must also file Form 700 within 30 days after their term has ended.

Options to file Form 700:

  1. File electronically through the City’s online portal Netfile. You can obtain login access by contacting Krystal Sams in the Office of the City Clerk at (510) 238-6405 or sending an email to
  2. File a paper copy with the Office of the City Clerk located at 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza (City Hall) on the 2nd floor.

Complete Ethics Trainings

As a Public Servant, you must adhere to the City’s Government Ethics Act and state ethics laws. The following materials cover many of these laws:

  1. Introduction to the Government Ethics Act – A comprehensive 10-minute video introduction to the Government Ethics Act.
  2. Government Ethics Training for Form 700 Filers – One-hour training for Form 700 filers, which includes board and commission members.
  3. California AB1234 Ethics Training – Required of any elected or appointed official who is compensated for their service or reimbursed for their expenses to complete a 2-hour state-approved ethics training every two years.

Get to Know Your Board

Each of the City’s boards and commissions were created with a specific purpose to carry out responsibilities outlined either in the City Charter or by an enabling ordinance of the City Council. Each board is supported by a City staff member who is usually responsible for ensuring that meeting notices are properly and timely distributed, and provides professional expertise about the role and duties of the board. To ensure that you understand your role and the work of the board to which you are appointed, the Public Ethics Commission recommends the following best practices:

  1. Review your commission/board’s applicable laws, by-laws, policies, and procedures with your board/commission staff.
  2. Ask questions about your board/commission’s procedures and processes if you are unclear about the process or information provided to you.
  3. Ask the Public Ethics Commission for advice or assistance on ethics-related matters when needed.

PEC Resources for Board and Commission Members

Government Ethics Act

Sunshine Ordinance

List of Oakland’s Boards and Commissions

Public Ethics Commission Governing Laws and Policies

Other resources

FPPC Form 700

FPPC Form 700 Reference Pamphlet

ILG ABC’s of Open Government Laws

ILG Video: Parliamentary Procedures Simplified (How to run a public meeting)