What Is a Financial Disclosure?
Per the Maryland State Ethics Commission, a Financial Disclosure is the filing of a form, usually on an annual basis, disclosing certain financial interests that may relate to the conflict of interest provisions defined by Maryland Code General Provisions §§5-601 - 5-611.
Who Is Required to File a Financial Disclosure Statement?
Members of Executive Branch boards and commissions, all State elected officials, candidates for State office, members of the General Assembly, and certain employees who are designated as public officials under standards set in the Public Ethics Law. Also, individuals involved in the procurement process, including those who can commit the State to spend more than $10,000 in a year, regardless of grade, qualify as financial disclosure filers.
What Is a Public Official?
A “public official" includes any of the following:
An individual who receives compensation at a rate equivalent to at least State grade level 16, or who is appointed to a board, if the Ethics Commission determines that the individual, acting alone or as a member of an executive unit, has decision-making authority or acts as a principal advisor to one with authority in making State policy in an executive unit or in exercising quasi-judicial, regulatory, licensing, inspecting, or auditing functions, and the individual’s duties are not essentially administrative and ministerial.
Any other individual in an executive unit, if the Ethics Commission determines that the individual, acting alone or as a member of the executive unit, has decision-making authority or acts as a principal advisor to one with that authority in drafting specifications for, negotiating, or executing contracts that commit the State or an executive unit to spend more than $10,000 in a year.
Contractual employees who are employed full time for at least 6 months, are paid at a rate at least equivalent to State grade level 16, and who have decision-making authority, act as principal advisor to an individual with decision-making authority, or exercise quasi-judicial, regulatory, licensing, inspecting, or auditing functions.
How Do I Complete a Financial Disclosure Statement?
Financial Disclosure Statements (FDS) are filed through the Ethics Commission’s electronic Financial Disclosure Filing System and cover the previous calendar year. Current filers must file annually between January 1 and April 30.
MDH’s Financial Disclosure Coordinator must submit a request to the Ethics Commission before an employee can access the Financial Disclosure Filing System. Employees who do not currently file an FDS, but fit the filing criteria, should:
Submit an accurate copy of their MS-22 (job description) to the Coordinator for preliminary review. The MS-22 must include the employee’s name, PIN, accurate job duties, and all required signatures.
Await confirmation from the Coordinator before completing an FDS. The Coordinator will provide detailed instructions, including a link to the disclosure system.
Complete the FDS within 30 days of receiving confirmation.
Complete 2 hours of Ethics training within 6 months of receiving confirmation.
For assistance please contact Greer Dorsey via email at Greer.Dorsey@maryland.gov.