Understanding California’s “Behested Payment” Reporting Requirements
- As an elected official or staff to an elected official, have you ever asked someone to donate to another entity for a charitable, governmental, or legislative cause?
- Was the resulting donation $5,000 or more?
If so, then you probably need to file a Form 803 to disclose what is called a “payment made at the behest of an elected official.”
As a general rule, public officials and their staff need to be mindful that any time they ask someone for something they may need to disclose the action that results from that request. Specific disclosure or transparency requirements apply when a public official makes a successful request asking others to contribute to a cause. These are not contributions for personal or campaign purposes. For example, you may have successfully asked a third party to contribute funds to a school in your district, to a local health fair, or to a community non-profit you support.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission calls these “behested payments,” which must be reported on an FPPC Form 803 once contributions reach a certain level.
For instance, if you make a call, send an email, send out a flyer, or direct someone else to ask on your behalf for donations from another person to give to a cause, then you, the elected official, must report resulting donations that total $5,000 or more in a calendar year from a single source (one individual or organization).
Make your report on FPPC Form 803 within 30 days of the behested payment and submit a copy to the Public Ethics Commission, the City of Oakland’s campaign filing officer.