Tuesday, June 27, 2006

State web site shows financial relationships of people in state office

The State Ethics Board has rolled out its preliminary version of an on-line index to the financial relationships state officials have reported to the Board. State officials and candidates for state public office will file Statements of Economic Interests for public inspection at the time they enter the public arena, and will be required to update them annually. A statement identifies a filer's, and his or her immediate family’s employers, investments, real estate, commercial clients and creditors. The idea is to identify to which businesses and individuals an official is tied financially. The Ethics Board stresses that the focus is on financial relationships, not on one's personal worth.

You can access the Eye on Financial Relationships web site here.

The index can be used to learn the financial relationships reported by officials associated with each state agency, board, and commission and each committee of the state legislature. You can also discover the officials who have identified a financial relationship to a specific business or organization. By using the index you will be able to determine whether you want to look at the economic interest statement filed by a specific official.

The site was created using a $75,000 grant from The Joyce Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve public policy-making.