CHANGES MADE BY HB142 AND HB143
ARE IN EFFECT STARTING JANUARY 1, 2014.
CHANGES MADE BY SB297 ARE IN EFFECT STARTING JANUARY 31, 2014.
About the Commission
The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (formerly known as the State Ethics Commission) is an agency that administers and enforces the provisions of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act (formerly known as the Ethics in Government Act).
Who Do We Serve
We serve the public but our primary customers are Public Officials, Candidates for Public Office, Campaign and Non Campaign Committees and Lobbyists, as well as researchers and the media.
What Do We Do
Education and Advice
- The Commission advises and educates public on all aspects of the Campaign Finance Act, including the proper ways to collect and expend campaign contributions, the proper ways to complete required campaign finance disclosure paperwork and other disclosures required by the Act.
- The Commission also issues Advisory Opinions in response to questions and hypothetical scenarios posed by the public. The Advisory Opinions serve to guide the public in interpreting the requirements of the Act.
- Commission staff teach classes to educate Candidates for Public Office, Public Officials, Campaign Committees, Non Campaign Committees and Lobbyists about the proper filing of disclosure and financial reports with the Commission.
Filing and Disclosure
- The Commission collects all campaign finance reports and financial disclosure reports filed by Public Officials, Candidates for Public Office, Campaign and Non Campaign Committees and Lobbyists in the State of Georgia. Before 2011, the Commission only collected campaign finance reports from candidates and public officials in statewide/state level positions. After January, 2011, the Commission became the filing officer for all Public Officers, Candidates and Campaign committees at the state, county and municipal level throughout the state. As of January, 2014, the Commission again only collects campaign finance reports from candidates and public officials in state and statewide level positions.
- The Commission prescribes all forms to be used in complying with the Act
- Through the Commission website, the public can access all campaign finance and financial disclosure documents that are required to be filed with the Commission. Those documents that are filed at the local level may or may not be available on the Commissions website.
Enforcement and Compliance
- It is the responsibility of the Commission to ensure compliance with the Campaign Finance Act. Commission staff review filings and inform filers of the appropriate methods to disclose expenditures and collect campaign funds, among other items.
- The Commission assesses late fees against those filers who statutorily are required to file with the Commission and who fail to timely file the required disclosure reports, pursuant to statute.
- Commission staff also investigate potential violations of the Act and resolve complaints filed by the public or initiated by the Commission itself. Cases before the Commission can be resolved prior to a hearing by settlement or dismissal; otherwise, the cases are brought before a hearing officer under the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act. If a violation is found, the Commission can impose civil penalties against the violator and/or refer the case for additional prosecution.
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