Overview

Overview

Members, officers, and certain employees of the United States Senate, related offices, and candidates for the Senate are required by Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended (the "Act," 5 U.S.C. app., Section 101 et seq., also adopted as Senate Rule 34) and Senate Rule 41.1 to file Financial Disclosure Reports with the Secretary of the Senate, Office of Public Records.

The Act gives the Senate Select Committee on Ethics  the authority to administer the law for the Senate, promulgate the Senate Financial Disclosure Report Forms and Instructions, and issue advisory opinions regarding the Act for the Senate and related offices and Senate candidates.  If you need additional information about completing these reports, please contact the Committee at 220 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. 

Purpose

Public disclosure of a public official’s personal financial interest is often considered the key component to an effective code of conduct.  The drafters of the original Senate Code of Official Conduct in the 95th Congress considered “full and complete disclosure” to be the heart of the Code of Conduct.

Pursuant to statute and Senate rules, Members, officers, certain employees of the Senate (including fellows and government employees detailed to the Senate), and Senate candidates are required to file comprehensive public financial disclosure reports.

The Senate has required public reporting by statute and by Senate Rule since 1978.  The Ethics Committee develops forms and instructions for financial disclosure, gives advice regarding compliance and reviews the completed Reports. The Secretary of the Senate’s Office of Public Records is responsible for making the forms available for public inspection.

Who has to file?

Senators

Members of the United States Senate must file Annual Reports for each year they remain in office; a Termination Report upon leaving office; and in the case of a Member who did not file as a candidate, a “New Employee” Report.

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Officers and Employees

Incumbent Senate Officers and Employees

Senate employees are required to file an annual report by May 15 following each calendar year in which they performed their duties for more than sixty (60) days and are paid at a rate of pay above 120% of GS-15 ($120,749 for 2014 and $121,956 for 2015).
See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(d).

Incumbent Senate employees who receive a permanent raise midyear to a rate of pay of at least 120% of GS-15 ($120,749 for 2014 and $121,956 for 2015) are required to file a New Employee Report within 30 days of that permanent raise.

  • Bonuses

Employees who received bonuses must file an Annual Report on May 15, if and only if, both their rate of pay exceeded 120% of GS-15 ($120,749 for 2014 and $121,956 for 2015) for more than sixty (60) days in the preceding calendar year and their gross pay exceeded that threshold for that calendar year.

New Employees

Officers and employees of the Senate who assume a position where they expect to be compensated for a period in excess of 60 days during a calendar year at the annual rate of pay equal to or in excess of 120% of GS-15 of the General Schedule ($120,749 for 2014 and $121,956 for 2015) must file a New Employee Report within 30 days of assuming the position. An individual would not file a New Employee Report if he or she, within 30 days of assuming this position, had left another position in which the individual was required to file a public disclosure form under Title I of the Ethics in Government Act. If the individual has served in excess of 60 days during a calendar year at the annual rate of pay equal to or in excess of 120% of GS-15 of the General Schedule ($120,749 for 2014 and $121,956 for 2015), he or she must file an Annual Report or a Termination Report, whether or not a New Employee Report was filed.
See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(a).

As mentioned above, incumbent Senate employees who receive a permanent raise midyear to a rate of pay of at least 120% of GS-15 ($120,749 for 2014 and $121,956 for 2015) are required to file a New Employee Report within 30 days of that permanent raise.

Part-time Employees

Part-time employees are required to file if their rate of pay after adjustment to reflect full-time service would be greater than 120% of GS-15 of the General Schedule ($119,554 for 2013 and $120,749 for 2014). For information on how to treat bonuses in computing annual rates of pay, see Interpretative Ruling 435.

Legislative Commissions

For purposes of these instructions, the Legislative Branch includes the Senate, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of the Attending Physician, and any agency or commission established in the legislative branch when the statute establishing such agency or commission designates filing with the Secretary of the Senate, or if there is no designation, any agency or commission established in even numbered calendar years.  An employee of the Senate includes any individual, other than a Senator or the Vice President, whose compensation is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate, and any individual who, pursuant to Senate Rule 41.4(c) has agreed to comply with the Senate Code of Official Conduct.  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 103(h)(1)(A(ii).

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Political Fund Designees

Political Fund Designees must file an Annual Report for each calendar year in which they are designated to handle political funds at any time during that calendar year, pursuant to Senate Rule 41.1. A Political Fund Designee must also file a Termination Report within 30 days of leaving that filing position unless they continue to hold another filing position.

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Fellows/Re-employed Annuitants/Detailees

Fellows, reemployed annuitants, government employees detailed to the Senate, and other individuals serving in the Senate whose outside salary is treated as if it is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate (per Senate Rules 41.2, 41.3, and 41.4) must file as if that individual is a full-time employee of the Senate if their salary is at least the 120% of GS-15 ($120,749 for 2014 and $121,956 for 2015).  They must file New Employee, Annual and Termination reports, as appropriate.  Contact the Ethics Committee for confirmation on whether or not your service meets the requirements of Senate Rule 41.

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Candidates

Candidates for the Senate must file a Senate Public Financial Disclosure Report for each calendar year they continue to be a candidate whether or not they are elected. The candidate would follow all instructions for a Candidate Report.  For purposes of this report, a “candidate” is an individual: who seeks nomination for election, or election, to Federal office; and has received contributions aggregating in excess of $5,000, or has made expenditures aggregating in excess of $5,000; or the individual has given his or her consent to another to receive contributions or make expenditures on his or her behalf aggregating in excess of $5,000. “Election” means (1) a general, special, primary, or run-off election, or (2) a convention or caucus of a political party which has authority to nominate a candidate. For candidates who withdraw their candidacy, see Interpretative Ruling No. 413.
See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(c).

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Reporting Period

Annual Reports

As indicated below, a filer must complete different portions of the form for different time periods depending upon the type of report filed.

Parts 1-7: The reporting period is the preceding calendar year. Value assets and liabilities as of December 31 of the previous calendar year.

Parts 4a and 4b, 5, and 6: Do not include transactions made, or gifts or reimbursements received, during a period when the filer was not a Federal employee.

Part 8: List positions held at any time during the current year to the date of filing.

Part 9: Report agreements and arrangements as of the date of filing.

Part 10: First Time Filers only. Report sources of income in the two preceding calendar years and the current year.

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New Filer Reports and Candidate Reports

As indicated below, a filer must complete different portions of the form for different time periods depending upon the type of report filed.

Parts 1, 2, 3, and 7: The reporting period for income is the preceding calendar year and the current calendar year up to the date of filing this report. Value assets and liabilities as of any date you choose that is within 31 days (before or after) of the close of the reporting period.

Parts 4a and 4b, 5, and 6: Not applicable.

Part 8: List positions held during the current and two previous calendar years.

Part 9: Report agreements and arrangements as of the date of filing.

Part 10: First Time Filers and Candidates only. Report sources of income in the two preceding calendar years and the current year.  However, every candidate report must include Part 10, if applicable.

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Termination Reports

As indicated below, a filer must complete different portions of the form for different time periods depending upon the type of report filed.

Parts 1-9: The reporting period begins at the end of the period covered by your previous filing and ends at the date of termination of your filing position. Value assets and liabilities as of any date you choose that is within 31 days (before or after) of the close of the reporting period. Otherwise, follow annual reporting periods.

Part 10: First Time Filers only. Report sources of income in the two preceding calendar years and the current year.

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Filing Deadlines

New Employee Reports

A New Employee Report must be filed within 30 days after assuming a position in the legislative branch, unless such individual has left another public filing position specified in Title I of the Ethics in Government Act within 30 days prior to assuming the new position, or the individual has already filed a report as a candidate for the position (Senators).  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(a).

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Annual Reports

Annual Report are due no later than May 15th.  In the event that May 15th or other filing date falls on a weekend or a holiday, the filing deadline shall be on the next business day.  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(d).

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Termination Reports

In the event an individual terminates the filing position, and does not accept another public filing position described above within 30 days, the Termination Report must be filed no later than 30 days after termination.  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(e).

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Candidate Reports

Candidate Reports are due within 30 days after becoming a candidate for nomination or election to the office of Member of the United States Senate, or by May 15 of that calendar year, whichever is later, but at least 30 days before the election.  Thereafter, on or before May 15 of each succeeding year an individual continues to be a candidate, another report is due. A candidate who currently holds an elected position in the United States Congress is not required to file a Candidate Report.  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(c).

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Late Filing Penalty

An individual who files a report more than 30 days after it is due must pay a penalty of $200 when he or she files the report, unless the Committee waives the penalty.  Requests for waivers must be made to the Committee in writing and are granted by the Committee only in extraordinary circumstances.  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 104(d).

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Extensions

The Select Committee on Ethics may, in its discretion, grant reasonable extensions of time for filing Public Financial Disclosure reports.  The total number of days for any extension granted for any one report may, not exceed 90 days under federal law.  However, by law, an individual who files a report more than 30 days after it is due without having received an extension must pay a $200 penalty for late filing.  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 101(g).

The Reports page in eFD displays your due date. Due date extensions can be requested on Annual, New Filer, Termination, and Candidate Reports. Extensions cannot be requested on Periodic Transaction Reports (PTRs).

Extension requests must be submitted on or before the filing deadline. 

Filing Penalties

Late Filing Penalty

An individual who files a report more than 30 days after it is due must pay a penalty of $200 when he or she files the report, unless the Committee waives the penalty.  Requests for waivers must be made to the Committee in writing and are granted by the Committee only in extraordinary circumstances.  See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 104(d).

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Non-compliance Penalty

In addition to any Committee action, the Ethics in Government Act authorizes the Attorney General of the United States to seek a civil penalty of up to $50,000 against an individual who knowingly and willfully falsifies or fails to file or to report any required information.  Moreover, anyone who knowingly and willfully falsifies or conceals any material fact in a statement to the Government may be subject to fines, criminal prosecution, and sentencing.
See 5 U.S.C. appx. § 104(a).

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Contact Information

220 Hart Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Telephone: (202) 224-2981
Fax: (202) 224-7416

Rule XXXIV

1. For purposes of this rule, the provisions of Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 shall be deemed to be a rule of the Senate as it pertains to Members, officers, and employees of the Senate.

2. (a)1 The Select Committee on Ethics shall transmit a copy of each report filed with it under Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (other than a report filed by a Member of Congress) to the head of the employing office of the individual filing the report.

(b) For purposes of this rule, the head of the employing office shall be—

(1) in the case of an employee of a Member, the Member by whom that person is employed;

(2) in the case of an employee of a Committee, the chairman and ranking minority member of such Committee;

(3) in the case of an employee on the leadership staff, the Member of the leadership on whose staff such person serves; and

(4) in the case of any other employee of the legislative branch, the head of the office in which such individual serves.

3.2 In addition to the requirements of paragraph 1, Members, officers, and employees of the Senate shall include in each report filed under paragraph 13 the following additional information:

(a) For purposes of section 102(a)(1)(B) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 additional categories of income as follows:

(1) greater than $1,000,000 but not more than $5,000,000, or

(2) greater than $5,000,000.

(b) For purposes of section 102(d)(1) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 additional categories of value4 as follows:

(1) greater than $1,000,000 but not more than $5,000,000;

(2) greater than $5,000,000 but not more than $25,000,000;

(3) greater than $25,000,000 but not more than $50,000,000; and

(4) greater than $50,000,000.

(c) For purposes of this paragraph and section 102 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, additional categories with amounts or values greater than $1,000,000 set forth in section 102(a)(1)(B) and 102(d)(1) shall apply to the income, assets, or liabilities of spouses and dependent children only if the income, assets, or liabilities are held jointly with the reporting individual. All other income, assets, or liabilities of the spouse or dependent children required to be reported under section 102 and this paragraph in an amount of value greater than $1,000,000 shall be categorized only as an amount or value greater than $1,000,000.

4.5 In addition to the requirements of paragraph 1, Members, officers, and employees of the Senate shall include in each report filed under paragraph 16 an additional statement under section 102(a) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 listing the category of the total cash value of any interest of the reporting individual in a qualified blind trust as provided in section 102(d)(1) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, unless the trust instrument was executed prior to July 24, 1995 and precludes the beneficiary from receiving information on the total cash value of any interest in the qualified blind trust.

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NOTE.—Financial disclosure requirements contained in the Ethics in Government Act as amended are codified at 5 U.S.C. App. 6. See Senate Manual Sec. 910, S. Doc. 107–1.

1 Paragraph 2 added pursuant to S. Res. 236, 101–2, Jan. 30, 1990.

2 Paragraphs 3 and 4 added pursuant to S. Res. 158, 104–1, July 28, 1995, effective Jan. 1,1996, as amended by S. Res. 198, 104–1, Dec. 7, 1995.

3 Renumbered pursuant to S. Res. 198, 104–1, Dec. 7, 1995.

4 The word “value” replaced the word “income” pursuant to S. Res. 198, 104–1, Dec. 7, 1995.

5 Effective with respect to reports filed under Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 for calendar year 1996 and thereafter.

6 Renumbered pursuant to S. Res. 198, 104–1, Dec. 7, 1995.