Burdensome Proposed Ethics Rule Tabled
On September 21, 2017, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission met to discuss Proposed Rule 189-7-.03, among other topics. This proposed rule would have mandated local filing officers, which for cities is usually the city clerk, submit a newly invented monthly report to the Commission detailing certain information about late filers and non-filers for statutorily mandated reports.
GMA, along with a large number of city clerks, filed comments opposing the proposed rule. The comments opposing the rule focused largely upon the already heavy work-burden city clerks’ carry and the lack of legal authority for the Commission to enact such a rule.
At the meeting of September 21st, the Commission’s executive secretary explained to the Commissioners that Commission staff and GMA could not agree upon the key point of whether the rule should be mandatory or voluntary. GMA contended that the Commission had legal authority to make a voluntary rule, but did not have legal authority to enact a mandatory rule.
The executive secretary of the Commission informed the Commissioners that he had also heard from some legislators with concerns with the proposed rule and that, at this time, it would be best if the rule was tabled until the next meeting so that legislators with objections might be able to express them in writing. He also stated that it may be the case that a legislative fix may be more appropriate, but that would be determined in the intervening time.
The Commission then took his advice and voted to table the proposed rule.