April 3, 2012
Re: New Procedures for Local Financial Disclosure Statement
The Division of Local Government Services issued Local Finance Notice 2012-8 which outlines the new filing procedures for the 2012 Financial Disclosure Statements. In an effort to save money the following major changes to the procedures are taking place:
- The Local Finance Board will no longer be printing paper copies of the Financial Disclosure Statement and mailing them out to each local government. Each local unit will have to either download the fill-in forms from the Division’s website and distribute to each official or direct each official to the Division’s website to complete the fill-in form, sign and return to the Municipal Clerk.
- The Municipality will no longer be able to mail in copies of the Local Financial Disclosure Statement. The Municipal Clerk will be required to scan the originally signed Financial Disclosure Statement and e-mail them directly to the Local Finance Board
- The Roster, which the Municipal Clerk submits, has been reformatted and will also need to be completed and e-mailed back separately to the Local Finance Board. The Roster must be certified by the Municipal Clerk. This certification will confirm that the Municipal Clerk has reviewed the filing requirement of each position listed on the roster and has made an affirmative contact with each individual listed on the roster.
- The Local Finance Board has changed their policy regarding non-filing or inadequate disclosure on a filed Financial Disclosure Statement. In prior years, the Board provided the accused with one opportunity to file or correct the filling. Upon submission of the late or corrected filing, the Board dismissed the complaint. Now the local official will be given an opportunity to file the Financial Disclosure Statement and provide an explanation as to the reason for the late or incomplete filing. The Board will review the explanation and circumstance. Unless good cause is shown for the lack of a timely and complete filing, the Board will determine the matter to be a violation and will assess an appropriate fine of no less than $100 pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.10. As a reminder, ignorance of the requirement to file the Financial Disclosure Statement is not considered “good cause.”
While the filing deadline is still April 30, the Municipal Clerk will have until June 29 to transmit the PDF version to the Local Finance Board. Local Officials must submit their originally signed forms to the Municipal Clerk. The Division will be providing training on the new requirements to Municipal Clerk in the upcoming months.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.