Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5025

Public Act No. 04-245

AN ACT STRENGTHENING ETHICS LAWS CONCERNING FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE, GIFTS AND STATE CONTRACTORS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 1-83 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(a) (1) All state-wide elected officers, members of the General Assembly, department heads and their deputies, members of the Gaming Policy Board, the executive director of the Division of Special Revenue within the Department of Revenue Services, members or directors of each quasi-public agency, members of the Investment Advisory Council, state marshals and such members of the Executive Department and such employees of quasi-public agencies as the Governor shall require, shall file, under penalty of false statement, a statement of financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the commission on or before the May first next in any year in which they hold such a position. Any such individual who leaves his or her office or position shall file a statement of financial interests covering that portion of the year during which such individual held his or her office or position. The commission shall notify such individuals of the requirements of this subsection within thirty days after their departure from such office or position. Such individuals shall file such statement within sixty days after receipt of the notification.

(2) Each state agency, department, board and commission shall develop and implement, in cooperation with the Ethics Commission, an ethics statement as it relates to the mission of the agency, department, board or commission. The executive head of each such agency, department, board or commission shall be directly responsible for the development and enforcement of such ethics statement and shall file a copy of such ethics statement with the Department of Administrative Services and the Ethics Commission.

(b) (1) The statement of financial interests, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall include the following information for the preceding calendar year in regard to the individual required to file the statement and the individual's spouse and dependent children residing in the individual's household: (A) The names of all businesses with which associated; (B) the category or type of all sources of income in excess of one thousand dollars, without specifying amounts of income; (C) the name of securities in excess of five thousand dollars at fair market value owned by such individual, spouse or dependent children or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of such individual, spouse or dependent children; (D) the existence of any known blind trust and the names of the trustees; (E) all real property and its location, whether owned by such individual, spouse or dependent children or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of such individual, spouse or dependent children; (F) the names and addresses of creditors to whom the individual, the individual's spouse or dependent children, individually, owed debts of more than ten thousand dollars; [and] (G) any leases or contracts with the state held or entered into by the individual or a business with which he or she was associated; and (H) a description of any partnership, joint ownership or similar business affiliation between (i) a business included under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision with which the individual filing the statement, the individual's spouse or a dependent child of the individual is associated, and (ii) a lobbyist, a person that the individual filing the statement knows or has reason to know is doing business with or seeking to do business with the state or is engaged in activities that are directly regulated by the department or agency in which the individual is employed, or a business with which such lobbyist or person is associated.

(2) The statement of financial interests filed by state marshals shall include only amounts and sources of income earned in their capacity as state marshals.

(c) The statement of financial interests filed pursuant to this section shall be a matter of public information, except the list of names, filed in accordance with subparagraph (F) of subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section shall be sealed and confidential and for the use of the commission only after a complaint has been filed under section 1-82 and such complaint has been determined by a vote of the commission to be of sufficient merit and gravity to justify the unsealing of such list or lists and not open to public inspection unless the respondent requests otherwise. If the commission reports its findings to the Chief State's Attorney in accordance with subsection (c) of section 1-88, the commission shall turn over to the Chief State's Attorney such relevant information contained in the statement as may be germane to the specific violation or violations or a prosecutorial official may subpoena such statement in a criminal action. Unless otherwise a matter of public record, the Ethics Commission shall not disclose to the public any such subpoena which would be exempt from disclosure by the issuing agency.

(d) Any individual who is unable to provide information required under the provisions of subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section by reason of impossibility may petition the commission for a waiver of the requirements.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) As used in sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Gift" has the same meaning as provided in section 1-79 of the general statutes, except that the exclusion in subdivision (12) of subsection (e) of said section 1-79 for a gift for the celebration of a major life event shall not apply;

(2) "Quasi-public agency", "public official" and "state employee" have the same meanings as provided in section 1-79 of the general statutes;

(3) "State agency" means any office, department, board, council, commission, institution or other agency in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of state government;

(4) "Large state contract" means an agreement or a combination or series of agreements between a state agency or a quasi-public agency and a person, firm or corporation, having a total cost to such state agency or quasi-public agency of more than five hundred thousand dollars in a calendar or fiscal year, for (A) a project for the construction, alteration or repair of any public building or public work, (B) services, including, but not limited to, consulting and professional services, (C) the procurement of supplies, materials or equipment, (D) a lease, or (E) a licensing arrangement. The term "large state contract" shall not include a contract between a state agency or a quasi-public agency and a political subdivision of the state;

(5) "Principals and key personnel" means officers, directors, shareholders, members, partners and managerial employees; and

(6) "Participated substantially" means participation that is direct, extensive and substantive, and not peripheral, clerical or ministerial.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Between the effective date of this section and June 30, 2006, no state agency or quasi-public agency shall execute a large state contract unless the state agency or quasi-public agency obtains:

(1) An affidavit from each person, firm or corporation submitting a bid or proposal for such contract. Each such affidavit shall be submitted with the bid or proposal and shall be signed by the official of the person, firm or corporation that submits such bid or proposal. Such affidavit shall attest to whether or not (A) such person, firm, corporation, (B) any principals and key personnel of the person, firm or corporation, who participated substantially in preparing the bid or proposal, or (C) any agent of such person, firm, corporation or principals and key personnel, who participated substantially in preparing the bid or proposal, provided a gift during the two-year period preceding the submission of such bid or proposal, to (i) any public official or state employee of the state agency or quasi-public agency soliciting bids or proposals for the contract, who participated substantially in the preparation of the bid solicitation or request for proposals for the contract, or (ii) any public official or state employee of any other state agency, who has supervisory or appointing authority over such state agency or quasi-public agency. The affidavit shall also attest that no such principals and key personnel of the person, firm or corporation or agent of such person, firm, corporation or principals and key personnel knows of any action by the person, firm or corporation to circumvent the requirements of this subdivision by providing for any other principals and key personnel, official, employee or agent of the person, firm or corporation to provide a gift to any such public official or state employee. If any gift described in this subdivision was provided, the affidavit shall include the name of the recipient, a description of the gift and the value and approximate date of the gift;

(2) An affidavit from the person, firm or corporation awarded the contract, at the time the contract is executed, and signed by the official of the person, firm or corporation executing the contract. The affidavit shall attest to whether or not gifts were provided by (A) such person, firm, corporation, (B) any principals and key personnel of the person, firm or corporation, who participated substantially in preparing the bid or proposal or the negotiation of the contract, or (C) any agent of such person, firm, corporation or principals and key personnel, who participated substantially in preparing the bid or proposal or the negotiation or award of the contract, between the date of the affidavit under subdivision (1) of this subsection and the date of execution of the contract, to (i) any public official or state employee of the state agency or quasi-public agency soliciting bids or proposals for the contract, who participated substantially in the preparation of the bid solicitation or request for proposals for the contract or the negotiation or award of the contract, or (ii) any public official or state employee of any other state agency, who has supervisory or appointing authority over such state agency or quasi-public agency. If any such gift was provided, the affidavit shall include the name of the recipient, a description of the gift and the value and approximate date of the gift; and

(3) A certification by the official or employee of such state agency or quasi-public agency who is authorized to execute said contract that the selection of the most qualified person, firm or corporation was not the result of collusion, the giving of a gift or the promise of a gift, compensation, fraud or inappropriate influence from any person.

(b) Each affidavit or certification required under subsection (a) of this section shall be sworn as true to the best knowledge and belief of the person signing the affidavit, subject to the penalties of false statement.

(c) No municipal official or employee shall be required to submit an affidavit under subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Any bidder or proposer that does not submit an affidavit required under subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this section shall be disqualified and the state agency or quasi-public agency shall award the contract to the next highest ranked proposer or the next lowest responsible qualified bidder or seek new bids or proposals.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a person, firm or corporation seeking a large state contract between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2006, which submits a gift affidavit in accordance with the policy adopted by the Attorney General on January 8, 2004, shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) On and after July 1, 2006, no state agency or quasi-public agency shall execute a large state contract unless the state agency or quasi-public agency obtains the written certifications described in this section. Each such certification shall be sworn as true to the best knowledge and belief of the person signing the certification, subject to the penalties of false statement.

(b) The official or employee of such state agency or quasi-public agency who is authorized to execute said contract shall certify that the selection of the most qualified or highest ranked person, firm or corporation was not the result of collusion, the giving of a gift or the promise of a gift, compensation, fraud or inappropriate influence from any person.

(c) The official of the person, firm or corporation awarded the contract, who is authorized to execute the contract, shall certify:

(1) That no gifts were made between the date that the state agency or quasi-public agency began planning the project, services, procurement, lease or licensing arrangement covered by the contract and the date of execution of the contract, by (A) such person, firm, corporation, (B) any principals and key personnel of the person, firm or corporation, who participated substantially in preparing the bid or proposal or the negotiation of the contract, or (C) any agent of such person, firm, corporation or principals and key personnel, who participated substantially in preparing the bid or proposal or the negotiation of the contract, to (i) any public official or state employee of the state agency or quasi-public agency soliciting bids or proposals for the contract, who participated substantially in the preparation of the bid solicitation or request for proposals for the contract or the negotiation or award of the contract, or (ii) any public official or state employee of any other state agency, who has supervisory or appointing authority over such state agency or quasi-public agency;

(2) That no such principals and key personnel of the person, firm or corporation, or agent of such person, firm or corporation or principals and key personnel, knows of any action by the person, firm or corporation to circumvent such prohibition on gifts by providing for any other principals and key personnel, official, employee or agent of the person, firm or corporation to provide a gift to any such public official or state employee; and

(3) That the person, firm or corporation made the bid or proposal without fraud or collusion with any person.

(d) Any bidder or proposer that does not make the certifications required under subsection (c) of this section shall be disqualified and the state agency or quasi-public agency shall award the contract to the next highest ranked proposer or the next lowest responsible qualified bidder or seek new bids or proposals.

(e) Each state agency and quasi-public agency shall include in the bid specifications or request for proposals for a large state contract (1) the date that the state agency or quasi-public agency began planning the project, services, procurement, lease or licensing arrangement to be covered by the contract, and (2) a notice of the certification requirements of subsections (c) and (d) of this section.

Sec. 5. Subsection (m) of section 1-84 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(m) No public official or state employee shall knowingly accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, as defined in subsection (e) of section 1-79, from any person the official or employee knows or has reason to know: (1) Is doing business with or seeking to do business with the department or agency in which the official or employee is employed or (2) is engaged in activities which are directly regulated by such department or agency. No person shall knowingly give, directly or indirectly, any gift or gifts in violation of this provision. For the purposes of this subsection, the exclusion to the term "gift" in subdivision (12) of subsection (e) of section 1-79 for a gift for the celebration of a major life event shall not apply.

Sec. 6. Subsection (m) of section 1-84 of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 03-215, and section 146 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(m) No public official or state employee shall knowingly accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, as defined in subsection (e) of section 1-79, from any person the official or employee knows or has reason to know: (1) Is doing business with or seeking to do business with the department or agency in which the official or employee is employed; (2) is engaged in activities which are directly regulated by such department or agency; or (3) is prequalified under section 3 of [this act] public act 03-215. No person shall knowingly give, directly or indirectly, any gift or gifts in violation of this provision. For the purposes of this subsection, the exclusion to the term "gift" in subdivision (12) of subsection (e) of section 1-79 for a gift for the celebration of a major life event shall not apply.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective from passage) The State Ethics Commission shall develop a plain language summary of state ethics laws concerning (1) persons, firms and corporations submitting bids or proposals for state contracts, and (2) state contractors. The commission shall publish said summary on the commission's web site.

Approved June 1, 2004