This section applies only to state and local elected officials and executive state officers filing annual reports. A candidate or newly appointed filer will not be asked these questions.
The Law Requires:
F-1 annual filers must disclose:
- A list of each occasion, specifying date, donor, and amount, at which food and beverage in excess of fifty dollars was accepted under RCW 42.52.150(5) and
- A list of each occasion, specifying date, donor, and amount, at which items specified in **RCW 42.52.010(9) (d) and (f) were accepted.
RCW 42.17A.710(1)(l) and (m). These provisions relate to state officials. In 1995, the Public Disclosure Commission determined that having local officials also report receipt of these types of items was consistent with the purposes of the disclosure law.
When completing the annual report, filers must disclose the amount received and sources of payments for:
1. Food and beverages costing over $50 per occasion, excluding certain receptions as defined in WAC 390-20-020A;
2. Travel occasions, and
3. Seminars, course fees, educational programs or other training provided, in whole or in part, to the filer, spouse or registered domestic partner, dependents, or a combination thereof, by a source other than yourself or your own governmental agency (unless one of the exemptions discussed below applies).
As such, the qualifiers in RCW 42.52.010(9)(d) and (f) cited above are not relevant when reporting items received. That is, if travel expenses were received beyond what these statutes refer to as "reasonable expenses," the entire amount received for travel is nonetheless reported. And, if some person or entity other than a bona fide nonprofit, professional, educational or trade association or charitable institution has paid for educational fees and travel expenses, the actual source of the payment must be reported. [These reporting requirements do not constitute authority to accept any item or benefit not permitted by the State Ethics law or any applicable local ethics ordinance.]
When reporting food/beverages, travel, field trips and other excursions, or educational occasions provided at least in part by some source other than you or your governmental agency:
- Identify the recipient
- Identify the date you and/or your family received the item,
- Show the donor's name, city and state,
- Give a brief description of the event, and
- Provide the actual dollar amount for the occasion that benefited you and/or your family members and also note the amount code of the range in which the amount falls.
Report The Full Value
When determining whether a food and beverage occasion costs over $50 and needs to be reported on the F-1, calculate whether the original cost of all food and beverages provided to you and/or your family members totaled in excess of $50. If so, the occasion is reportable (unless one of the exemptions below is satisfied) even if you paid a portion of the costs attributable to you. For example, if a lobbyist spends $60 for your dinner and you give him or her $10 (perhaps thinking that this would mean the dinner would fall below the reporting threshold), you still need to report receipt of this dinner valued at $60. You may note on the form that you reimbursed the lobbyist $10 if you wish. The occasion would NOT be reportable only if you paid the full value of the benefit realized by you and/or your family members. In the above example, that's the entire $60.
When reporting the value of travel occasions, include the full value of any transportation, meals, lodging, entertainment, and other miscellaneous items or services paid for or otherwise provided to you and your family in connection with the event.
When reporting the value of seminars or other training, report the standard admission fee or, if there is no such fee, the pro rated cost of the seminar or training attributable to you. To compute this cost, divide the full cost of holding the event by the number of persons who were expected to attend. Multiply this amount by the number of your family members who attended. That is, multiply by two if you and your spouse attended.
Examples of reportable items received:
- Free admission to a seminar at which other attendees pay an admission fee (unless you are a speaker, panelist or have some other significant, official role at the event);
- All transportation, lodging, meals and other expenditures associated with an official and spouse attending a conference as the guests of a trade association;
- Dinner attended by an official and the value of the food and beverages attributable to the official exceeds $50; and
- A corporation provides several members of a legislative committee, as well as staff, with lunch and an aerial tour of its facility; each official and employee will report his or her pro-rated share of the value of this occasion.
If an employee or official held positions in two or more public agencies during the reporting period, either agency could pay for food and beverages, travel or training without the employee or official having to report receipt of the item. For example, an elected county sheriff also serves on a state commission. If this state commission pays for the sheriff's travel expenses to and from meetings, these expenditures are not reportable by the sheriff.
There are six circumstances where an otherwise reportable food, travel or educational occasion is exempt from reporting:
1. It came from family members or friends where it is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not given as part of any design to gain or maintain influence;
2. It is related to your or an immediate family member's outside business and is customary and not related to your performance as a public official
3. It is part of an exchange among officials and employees;
4. The occasion is a social event hosted or sponsored by a coworker;
5. Any food, travel or education fee discount made available to you or your family members was also available to other members of the broad-based group to which you or they belonged; and
6. You or a family member returned the item to the donor within 30 days of receipt or gave it to a charitable organization within 30 days of receipt.
Attribution of Items Received by Family Members
As has been noted throughout this section, any reportable items or occasions received by your spouse or registered domestic partner or dependents are attributable to and reportable by you, unless the occasion is exempt from reporting as described above (or if an independent business, family or social relationship exists between the donor and the recipient).
Notice From Lobbyists
Persons who lobby at the state level and who give a reportable item to a state elected official or the official's family member are required to provide that official with a copy of their monthly lobbying report (Form L-2 or the Memo Report) disclosing information about the occasion, including cost. Although receipt of reportable items from any non-exempt source is reportable by you, state-level lobbyists are the only persons required by law to supply notice. You have the ultimate responsibility to make sure that your disclosure statement shows each reportable item you or an immediate family member received.