For the first time, New Jersey's local elected and appointed officials financial disclosure forms will be available electronically, providing real time access and accountability.
The Department of Community Affairs Local Government Services announced that for the first time they will only accept the financial disclosure forms electronically.
Because this is a big departure from the normal paper filing method, the Local Finance Board has extended the filing deadline from April 30th to June 29th, 2012.
This leap into the 21st century will not only dramatically improve compliance and enforcement, but will save the state at least $25,000 by reducing printing and mailing costs. In previous years, the forms were submitted on paper, and only the most diligent reporters or concerned citizens would spend the time tracking down this information, only to find out public officials hadn't completed the form in years.
The financial disclosure forms are a necessary safeguard to ensure our elected and appointed officials are performing their duties in the interest of the public, and without any conflicts of interest. The Local Government Ethics Law prohibits local officials from voting on or approving contracts and development applications they or a family member have an interest in or with which they will financially gain.
The Local Government Ethics Law (NJSA 40A: 9-22.1 et seq) requires any person serving in an elected municipal or county position to fill out the disclosure form, as well as, any appointed office holder with authority to enact ordinances or approve development proposals (i.e. Zoning Board & Planning Board Members), independent authority members (i.e. redevelopment, housing, sewage), or a "managerial executive" of a government agency.