Important

 

The Ethics Commission will send you an email that will remind you what your current password is.  If your email address has changed since you filed your SFI last year, then you will have to notify the Commission.  If you left state service last year, you are still required to file an SFI.  We may no longer have your current email address.  To notify the Commission of an email change, send an email to SFI_Filer@eth.state.ma.us.

 

Members of the Commission staff are available to walk you through the SFI e-filing process.  If you would like help, we encourage you to call (617) 371-9500 and inform the receptionist that you would like electronic filing assistance. In order to avoid delays, we encourage you to call a couple of weeks in advance of the filing deadline.

 

Electronic Filing Instructions

 

Go to www.eth.state.ma.us to log in.

 



 

To open your 2011 SFI, look under the green toolbar entitled Present Statements of Financial Interests. To the right of Presently Open Awaiting Completion, look for the red arrow and put your mouse/pointer on the number 2011 and click .  The number 2011 is the link that will open your SFI to Question 1.

 

 

Each year, the Commission reviews all SFIs. If a discrepancy is discovered, you are contacted by the Commission and asked to amend.  During last year's review process, we noticed that many filers have duplicate answers to each question.  Before you begin, you should print your 2010 SFI so that you can view your existing answers and check for duplicate entries.  We recommend that you click Print at the bottom of Question 1. You can use the printed version as a worksheet which will help you to correctly update and submit your 2011 SFI.

 

Follow these simple instructions to complete and submit your 2011 SFI.

 

Question 1

 

If the displayed information is correct and you have no changes, click Next to go to Question 2.

 

  • If you add, delete or change any of the information in Question 1, you must click the Save button to retain the new information.  For example, last year you reported that dependent children resided in your household. During 2011, one of the children did not reside in your household.  You can delete the child's name but you must click Save to retain the change.

 

  • If you change your address, click Save to retain the change.

 

Any contacts will be through the information you provide in Question 1.  Therefore, we recommend that you use your Office Telephone and Fax numbers as well as your Office E-mail address.

Question 2

  • This is an optional question for candidates and elected officials running for re-election.  If you are not a candidate, click Next to continue to Question 3.  If you are a candidate or an elected official running for re-election, select the office you are seeking from the drop down list and click Save.  Click Next to go to Question 3.

 

Question 3

 

If you are a designated public employee, an elected official or recently appointed to a major policy making position, you must complete Question 3.  This question indicates the reason you are filing an SFI.

 

  • If the displayed information is correct, click Next to continue to Question 4.

 

  • If you need to make a change to last year's answer click Edit.  You can then make the necessary change but you must click Update to retain the new information.  For example, if you left your position during 2011, you should click Edit, report your end date and then click Update.  To continue to Question 4, click Next.

 

Questions 4 through 29

 

Please refer to the on-line instructions for each specific question as you complete your 2011 SFI.

 

You must go through each question (4-29) and either answer the question by choosing not applicable or confirm/edit last year's answers.  IMPORTANT: Please read all of the options below before you begin.

 

  • If a question continues to not apply, put your mouse/pointer on the Not Applicable for Filing Year: 2011 link and click once.  This action will indicate that the question does not apply and will automatically move you to the next sequential question.

 

  • If your answer remains the same as last year, put your mouse/pointer on the Edit or Accept Existing Answers for Filing Year: 2011 link and click once. If you have no further answers to the question, scroll down and click Next to go to the next question.

 

  • If a question had multiple answers last year and you need to make a change, put your mouse/pointer on Edit or Accept Existing Answers for Filing Year: 2011 and click once.  You can then either edit or delete a portion of your answer.  For example, if you reported ownership of multiple common stocks in Question 13 last year and you sold one of those stocks, click Edit or Accept Existing Answers for Filing Year: 2011.  You can delete the stock that was sold by clicking on Delete.  You must then scroll down and click Update to retain the change.  To continue, click Next.

 

  • If you need to disclose additional information to a question that you answered last year, click on the link Edit or Accept Existing Answers for Filing Year: 2011 and then you can enter the new information in the appropriate fields. For example, last year you reported that XYZ Company employed your spouse.  During 2011, your spouse left XYZ and went to work for the ABC Corporation.  You are required to report both businesses.  Therefore, you should click on Edit or Accept Existing Answers for Filing Year: 2011 to retain the information about the XYZ Company and then enter all of the required information about your spouse's new employment with the ABC Corporation.  You must then hit Save to retain both answers.  To continue, click Next.

 

  • If you answered a question last year but it does not apply for 2011, click Not Applicable for Filing Year: 2011 and the information you disclosed last year will be deleted and you will be automatically moved to the next sequential question.

 

Important Reminders

 

 

  • If someone inspects your SFI, the following information will be redacted: home address, home telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, name of spouse and name(s) of dependent children.

 

  • Prior to certifying and submitting your SFI, we recommend you print a copy so that you can review your 2011 SFI for accuracy.

 

Getting A Receipt

 

 

  • If you have answered all of the questions, you must complete the certification section before submitting your SFI.  To send your SFI to the Commission, click Submit.  When you click Submit, the application will check to make sure that you have answered each question.  If you inadvertently did not answer a question, electronic filing will inform you which question you missed.

 

  • After you have submitted your SFI, you will be able to print your SFI including the certification page showing the date that you filed.  To print a copy of your SFI including the certification page, click on the 2011 link that is located under the blue toolbar entitled Previously Completed Statements of Financial Interests on the log in/log off page.  To print a receipt, click on the Print Receipt link.  If you are a candidate, you must submit a copy of your receipt with your nomination papers.

 

When To File

 

A filer's SFI must be electronically received by the Commission no later than midnight on the deadline dates listed below.  SFIs received later than these deadlines will be regarded as late and may be subject to civil penalties.

 

Newly appointed DESIGNATED PUBLIC EMPLOYEES must file an SFI for calendar year 2011 within thirty (30) days of beginning employment.  The Commission will not view you as non-compliant if its forms were not available when you were required to file.

 

DESIGNATED PUBLIC EMPLOYEES who have previously filed must file an SFI electronically for calendar year 2011 on or before May 1, 2012 if you served thirty (30) days or more in 2011, regardless of whether you left governmental service during 2011.

 

ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIALS must file an SFI on or before May 29, 2012 if you held office during 2011 or were elected to office in 2011.

 

Former ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIALS must file an SFI by May 1, 2012 if you served for thirty (30) or more days in 2011 and left office during 2011.

 

CANDIDATES must file an SFI on or prior to the date on which you submit your nomination papers to the Secretary of State's Office.

 

Penalties

 

Non-Filing of an SFI:

 

Chapter 268B sets forth specific civil penalties for failure to file an SFI or for filing a false or incomplete SFI, and civil and criminal penalties for willfully filing a materially false SFI.

 

  • No DESIGNATED PUBLIC EMPLOYEE shall be allowed to continue in his duties or to receive compensation from public funds unless he has filed an SFI with the Commission.
  • The Commission will immediately notify your agency head if you fail to timely file.
  • A filer is responsible for filing an accurate and complete SFI by the specified deadline.  Failure to do so may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.  Civil penalties can be up to $10,000 for each violation.  Criminal penalties for the willful submission of a materially false SFI include fines of up to $10,000 or by imprisonment in a state prison for not more than five years, or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and a half years, or both.

 

 

Late Filing of an SFI:

 

By law, the Commission must notify each late filer.  If a filer does not file the required SFI within ten (10) calendar days after receiving a late notice, the Commission will commence enforcement proceedings.  Failure to timely file is a matter of public record and will be published accordingly.

 

If a filer fails to file within ten (10) calendar days after receiving a late notice from the Commission, a monetary penalty will begin to accrue according to the following penalty schedule established by the Commission:

 

Penalty Schedule for Late Filing of an SFI



1-10 days late

$100

11-20 days late

$200

21-30 days late

$300

31-40 days late

$400

41-50 days late

$500

51-60 days late

$600

61-70 days late

$700

71-80 days late

$800

81-90 days late

$900

91-100 days late

$1,000

101- 110 days late

$1,100

111-120 days late

$1,200

121 days late to the day before an

Order to Show Cause is issued

$1,250

Date an Order to Show Cause is issued (or about the third week in September for Appointed Officials or the third week in October for Elected Officials)

$2,500

Date a Decision and Order is issued by the Commission

Up to $10,000

 

How to Obtain Help

 

For assistance in meeting the requirements of the Financial Disclosure Law, call (617) 371-9500 or write the State Ethics Commission at Room 619, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108-1501.  You can also e-mail your question(s) to SFI_Filer@eth.state.ma.us and the Commission will usually respond within a 24-hour period.