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Program A: Administration

Program Authorization: R.S. 42:1101 et seq. (Code of Governmental Ethics); R.S. 18:1481 et seq. (Campaign Finance Disclosure Act); R.S. 18:41 et seq. (Louisiana Elections Integrity Law); R.S. 24:50 et seq. (Lobbyist Registration and Disclosure Act)

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The mission of the Administration Program is to administer and to enforce Louisiana's conflicts of interest legislation, campaign finance reporting requirements and lobbyist registration and disclosure laws to achieve compliance by governmental officials, public employees, candidates, and lobbyists and to provide public access to disclosed information.

The goals of the Administration Program are:

Ethics:

1. Improve level of education and awareness by public servants in order to ensure compliance with conflicts of interest standards.

2. Improve the public's awareness of conflicts of interest standards in order to ensure enhanced confidence in the public's perception of the integrity and independence of governmental officials.

3. Reduce the delays between Board of Ethics initiation of investigations and final board resolution by streamlining the investigation process.

Campaign Finance Disclosure:

1. Improve knowledge and awareness by candidates and committees of reporting and disclosure statements by improving educational materials and outreach efforts.

2. Increase in detail and in scope the auditing of campaign finance disclosure reports in order to ensure maximum compliance.

3. Develop and administer adjudication procedures for redressing applicable violations of campaign finance standards.

4. Enhance public access to disclosed information by providing computer access.

Lobbyist Registration:

1. Develop, publish, and distribute registration and reporting forms and instructional material in order to inform lobbyists of the law.

2. Track registration and reporting filings in order to ensure compliance with statutorily mandated requirements.

3. Develop and administer remedial actions for the imposition and collection of civil fines in order to ensure compliance with statutorily mandated requirements.

4. Enhance public access to disclosed information by providing computerized access.

The Administration Program includes the following activities: Ethics, Campaign Finance Disclosure, Lobbyist Registration, and Ethics Administration Program.

Ethics activity administers and enforces Louisiana's conflict of interest legislation. Louisiana has the first, the oldest, and the nation's most comprehensive and far reaching code of conflicts of interest standards. Louisiana's Ethics Code has been used as a model by more than 30 other jurisdictions and by the United States government. The Board of Ethics is responsible for rendering advisory opinions, receiving and investigating complaints, conducting public hearings, and imposition of such remedial and disciplinary actions as may be necessary under the circumstances as otherwise permitted by law.

Campaign Finance Disclosure activity administers the Louisiana's Campaign Finance Disclosure Act (CFDA). Louisiana has a broad and comprehensive program requiring candidates for election to public office and certain designated committees to periodically file campaign finance disclosure reports. The Board of Ethics is also charged with regulating the amount of contributions that may be received by candidates and by committees as well as various other campaign finance activities. The EAP notifies candidates and committees of their reporting requirements and provides disclosure and reporting forms. The EAP monitors candidate compliance when required reports are not timely or accurately filed and institutes appropriate enforcement proceedings. Historically, enforcement proceedings have been through civil suits. Commencing January 1, 1997, the Board of Ethics will administer automatic late fees for nontimely reports. Other noncompliance issues will be addressed through judicial enforcement. The maintenance of campaign finance disclosure reports on a day-to-day basis consumes significant staff resources. Disclosure reports are numbered and indexed in order to be retrievable for public inspection. Copies of report are provided on request. Comprehensive audits of disclosure reports are performed. The Board of Ethics is also responsible for the administration of Section 1124 of the Code of Governmental Ethics, which requires that the governor and gubernatorial candidates file financial disclosure reports with the Board of Ethics on forms prescribed by the board and processed by the EAP staff. financial disclosure reports are also filed with the Board of Ethics by members of the Gaming Control Board.

Lobbyist Registration and Disclosure activity is responsible for the interpretation, administration and enforcement of the Louisiana Lobbyist Disclosure Law. The EAP is responsible generally for the development, publishing, and distribution of reporting and disclosure forms, auditing and compliance assurance measures and institution of administrative and judicial remedial and disciplinary actions to redress detected statutory violations.

The Ethics Administration Program (EAP) activity provides staff support (clerical, budget, administrative, personnel, legal, educational, data processing, and word processing support) to the Board of Ethics and with respect to: (1) implementation of a broad-based information distribution and education program; (2) rendering advisory opinions; (3) conducting field investigations and preparing investigation reports; (4) conducting public hearings; (5) defending the Board of Ethics in litigation at all state and federal levels; (6) developing, publishing, and distributing forms and informational material and booklets to candidates, committees, and other persons required to comport with the provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act (CFDA); (7) receiving, logging, indexing, and copying campaign finance reports; (8) auditing and related compliance examination of CFDA reports and activities; (9) developing and administering both adjudication and litigation procedures for redressing violations and other wise ensuring compliance with CFDA requirements; (10) developing, publishing, and distributing lobbyist registration and reporting forms and informational and instructional materials; (11) receiving, copying, indexing, recording, and monitoring lobbyist registration and reporting forms and materials; (12) auditing and other compliance assurance measures with respect to lobbyist registration and reporting requirements; and (13) developing, administering and discharging adjudication and litigation actions to ensure compliance with lobbyist registration requirements.

OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

1. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program will issue advisory opinions regarding the Ethics Code, Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, and Lobbyist Disclosure Act.

1 New indicator for which records were not previously kept.

2. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program will annually increase by 10% the total number of persons to whom information is provided about the operations of the Ethics Administration Program (EAP) and statutes it administers and enforces through speaking engagements, written materials and audio/video presentations.

1 Written material will include summaries of the law, summaries of specific sections of the law, and brochures distributed at speaking engagements and by mail.

2 Internet access to information is currently provided through the Department of Natural Resources website. A in-house server will be available June 1998. The number of persons accessing EAP information on the Internet will be tracked and reported once the in-house system is operational.

3. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program, through the Ethics activity, will expand the distribution list of the newsletter by 5%.

4. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program, through the Ethics activity, will maintain an ethics liaison with all executive branch state agencies.

5. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program, through the Ethics activity, will establish an ethics liaison with all local governmental organizations by 2001.

1 Local government organizations are: Police Jury Association, School Board Association, Municipal Association, District Attorneys Association, and Sheriffs Association.

6. The Administration Program, through the Ethics Activity, will establish at least one ethics liaison in each parish (with police jury, school board, and municipal governing authority) by 2001.

7. Through 2001, the Administration Program, through the Lobbyist Disclosure activity, will reduce by 10% per year both the number of forms containing errors completed for registration and the number of forms containing errors completed for disclosure of expenditures.

Explanatory Note: The Administration Program will develop an education program regarding disclosure requirements to reduce the number of reports that need to be amended because of inaccurate or incomplete information. However, the Administration Program has no control over the number of persons engaging in lobbying activities or the number of persons purportedly required to file.

8. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program, through the Lobbyist Disclosure activity, will establish and implement a procedure to ensure that all registered lobbyists file the statutorily required expenditure reports and enforce the statutorily mandated penalties for late filing of such reports.

1 The Administration Program will develop an education program regarding disclosure requirements to reduce the number of reports which need to be amended because of inaccurate or incomplete information. However, the Administration Program has no control over the number of persons engaging in lobbyist activities or the number of persons purportedly required to file.

9. The Administration Program, through the Lobbyist Disclosure activity, will computerize access to lobbyist disclosure reports by allowing electronic filing and providing for scanning of other reports by May 1998.

1 Electronic filing will be voluntary. Until the system is implemented, it is impossible to predict the number of persons who will take advantage of the program. This is a new indicator.

2 Number of disclosure reports scanned will depend on the number of reports filed electronically and cannot yet be projected. This is a new indicator.

10. The Administration Program, through the Campaign Finance activity, will computerize access to campaign finance disclosure reports by allowing electronic filing and providing for scanning of other reports by May 1998.

1 Electronic filing will be voluntary. Until the system is implemented, it is impossible to predict the number of persons who will take advantage of the program. This is a new indicator.

2 Number of disclosure reports scanned will depend on the number of reports filed electronically and cannot yet be projected. This is a new indicator.

11. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program, through the Campaign Finance activity, will audit at least 95% of all candidate's and campaign finance disclosure reports filed by candidates.

12. The Administration Program, through the Campaign Finance activity, will implement automatic administratively imposed late fees to decrease late filings by 2% each year.

13. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program will reduce the average length of time required to investigate possible violations of the Code of Ethics to 120 days.

14. In FY 1998-99, the Administration Program will implement random drug testing of elected officials, increasing the number of elected officials tested each year with a maximum of 50% of all elected officials selected for testing.

Explanatory note: Act 1303 of the 1997 Regular Legislative Session enacted R.S. 42.1161 and 1141B(3) mandating the Board of Ethics to implement random drug testing of elected officials.

RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM

SOURCE OF FUNDING

This program is funded by state general fund and fees and self-generated revenue. The fees and self-generated revenue are derived from filing fees for all political action committees authorized by R.S. 18:1505: funds collected for providing copies of Campaign Finance Disclosure reports, transcripts, etc.

ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION

GENERAL FUND

TOTAL

T.O.

 

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

 

$1,215,314

$1,265,314

21

 

ACT 18 FISCAL YEAR 1997-1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA-7 TRANSACTIONS:

$5,353

$5,353

0

 

Carryforward for computer equipment and file cabinet

 

 

 

 

 

$1,220,667

$1,270,667

21

 

EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET - December 10, 1997

 

 

 

 

 

($5,353)

($5,353)

0

 

Non-Recurring Carryforward for computer equipment and file cabinet

($250,600)

($250,600)

0

 

Equipment/Major Repairs Adjustments (Non-recurring: -$250,600)

$4,061

$4,061

0

 

Annualization of 1997 -'98 Merit Pay Adjustments

$15,452

$15,452

0

 

1998 -'99 Merit Pay Adjustments

$2,406

$2,406

0

 

Attrition Adjustment(s)

($3,369)

($3,369)

0

 

Retirement Rate Adjustment(s)

$3,575

$3,575

0

 

Adjustment(s) for Civil Service, Training and Other Statewide Interagency Transfer Activities

($22,622)

($22,622)

0

 

Reductions in various Expenditure Categories; Including Reductions to fully fund Salaries

($3,727)

($3,727)

0

 

Risk Management Adjustment(s)

$58,606

$58,606

1

 

Drug testing of elected officials

$120,887

$155,887

1

 

Computer maintenance for electronic filing and internet capabilities

 

 

 

 

 

$1,139,983

$1,224,983

23

 

TOTAL RECOMMENDED

 

 

 

 

 

($80,684)

($45,684)

0

 

DIFFERENCE (TOTAL RECOMMENDED AND EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET)

The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 96.4% of the existing operating budget. It represents 74.7% of the total request ($1,637,785) for this program. The reduced funding is primarily due to the removal of nonrecurring acquisitions which is partially offset by the increases provided for drug testing of elected officials (one new clerical position) and computer maintenance for electronic filing and internet capabilities (one new computer position).

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

$30,000

 

Computer consultant to provide technical assistance in the implementation of a local area network

$1,381

 

Legal expenses for the preparation of transcripts of hearings as required by Appeals Courts

$11,087

 

Vendor to collect samples to perform drug tests on elected officials

 

 

 

$42,468

 

TOTAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

OTHER CHARGES

$155,887

 

Computer maintenance for electronic filing and internet

 

 

 

$155,887

 

TOTAL OTHER CHARGES

 

 

 

 

 

Interagency Transfers:

$2,003

 

Civil Service/CPTP pro rata share of expenses

 

 

 

$2,003

 

TOTAL INTERAGENCY TRANSFERS

ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS

$4,500

 

New office furniture for new positions

 

 

 

$4,500

 

TOTAL ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS


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