ADOPTED RULES

At its December 2, 2009, meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission voted to adopt the following rules.

Purpose of Expenditure
(effective December 23, 2009)
Text of Adopted Rule

Regulation of Lobbyists and Contingent Fees
(effective December 23, 2009)
Text of Adopted Rules

Contents of Sworn Complaints
(effective December 23, 2009)
Text of Adopted Rule


Purpose of Expenditure
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by italics.

Chapter 20. REPORTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

Subchapter B. GENERAL REPORTING RULES

§ 20.61. Purpose of Expenditure

(a) For reporting required under Section 254.031 of the Election Code, the purpose of an expenditure means:

(1) A description of the category of goods, services, or other thing of value for which an expenditure is made.  Examples of acceptable categories include:

(A) advertising expense;

(B) accounting/banking;

(C) consulting expense;

(D) contributions/donations made by candidate/officeholder/political committee;

(E) event expense;

(F) fees;

(G) food/beverage expense;

(H) gifts/awards/memorials expense;

(I) legal services;

(J) loan repayment/reimbursement;

(K) office overhead/rental expense;

(L) polling expense;

(M) printing expense;

(N) salaries/wages/contract labor;

(O) solicitation/fundraising expense;

(P) transportation equipment and related expense;

(Q) travel in district;

(R) travel out of district;

(S) other political expenditures; and

(2) A brief statement or description of the candidate, officeholder, or political committee activity that is conducted by making the expenditure.  The brief statement or description must include the item or service purchased and must be sufficiently specific, when considered within the context of the description of the category, to make the reason for the expenditure clear.  Merely disclosing the category of goods, services, or other thing of value for which the expenditure is made does not adequately describe the purpose of an expenditure.

(b) The description of a political expenditure for travel outside of the state of Texas must provide the following:

(1) The name of the person or persons traveling on whose behalf the expenditure was made;

(2) The means of transportation;

(3) The name of the departure city or the name of each departure location;

(4) The name of the destination city or the name of each destination location;

(5) The dates on which the travel occurred; and

(6) The campaign or officeholder purpose of the travel, including the name of a conference, seminar, or other event.

(c) This rule applies to expenditures made on or after July 1, 2010.


Regulation of Lobbyists and Contingent Fees
Text of Proposed Rule

The new language is indicated by italics.
The deleted language is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

Chapter 34. REGULATION OF LOBBYISTS

Subchapter A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 34.1. Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Communicates directly with, or any variation of that phrase--In Government Code, Chapter 305, and in this chapter includes communication by facsimile transmission.

(2) Expenditure--In Government Code, Chapter 305, and in this chapter does not include a payment of less than $200 that is fully reimbursed by the member of the legislative or executive branch who benefits from the expenditure if the member of the legislative or executive branch fully reimburses the person making the payment before the date the person would otherwise be required to report the payment.

(3) Lobby activity--Direct communication with and preparation for direct communication with a member of the legislative or executive branch to influence legislation or administrative action.

(4) Registrant--In Government Code, Chapter 305, and in this chapter means a person who is required to register as well as a person who has registered regardless of whether that person's registration was required.

(5) Independent contractor--In Section 305.022 of the Government Code and this chapter, means a person, including a consultant, who communicates with a member of the executive branch concerning state agency purchasing decisions involving a product, service, or service provider or negotiations regarding such decisions.  The term does not include an employee, as defined by Section 305.022(e) of the Government Code, of a vendor.

§ 34.5. Certain Compensation Excluded

Compensation received for the following activities is not included for purposes of calculating the registration threshold under Government Code, Section 305.003(a)(2), and this chapter and is not required to be reported on a lobby activity report filed under Government Code, Chapter 305, and this chapter:

(1) requesting a written opinion that interprets a law, regulation, rule, policy, practice, or procedure administered by a state office or agency;

(2) preparation or submission of an application or other written document that merely provides information required by law, statute, rule, regulation, order, or subpoena, or that responds to a document prepared by a state agency;

(3) communicating merely for the purpose of demonstrating compliance with an audit, inspection, examination of a financial institution, or government investigation to interpret and determine compliance with existing laws, rules, policies, and procedures;

(4) communicating for the purpose of achieving compliance with existing laws, rules, policies, and procedures, including communications to show qualification for an exception of general applicability that is available under existing laws, rules, policies, and procedures;

(5) responding to a specific request for information from a member of the legislative or executive branch, when the request was not solicited by or on behalf of the person providing the information;

(6) communicating to an agency’s legal counsel, an administrative law judge, or a hearings examiner concerning litigation or adjudicative proceedings to which the agency is a party, or concerning adjudicative proceedings of that agency;

(7) providing testimony, making an appearance, or any other type of communication documented as part of a public record in a proceeding of an adjudicative nature of the type authorized by or subject to the Administrative Procedure Act, Government Code, Chapter 2001, whether or not that proceeding is subject to the Open Meetings Law;

(8) providing oral or written comments, making an appearance, or any other type of communication, if documented as part of a public record in an agency’s rulemaking proceeding under the Administrative Procedure Act, Government Code, Chapter 2001, or in public records kept in connection with a legislative hearing; or

(9) providing only clerical assistance to another in connection with the other person’s lobbying (for example, a person who merely types or delivers another person’s letter to a member).

[§ 34.21. Contingent Fees for Influencing Purchasing Decisions]

[Government Code, § 305.022, does not prohibit contingent fees for efforts to influence state agency purchasing decisions.]

Subchapter B. REGISTRATION REQUIRED

§ 34.46. Registration under Section 305.0041 of the Government Code

(a) For purposes of the $50 registration fee set by Section 305.005(c)(2) of the Government Code, a person is required to register under Section 305.0041 of the Government Code if:

(1) the person is an independent contractor;

(2) the person’s only direct communication as a registrant is with a member of the executive branch to influence administrative action as an independent contractor;

(3) the compensation for the communication is totally or partially contingent on the outcome of a purchasing decision or negotiations regarding such decisions and the amount of the purchasing decision does not exceed $10 million; and

(4) the person is also required to register under the compensation or reimbursement threshold in Section 305.003(a)(2) of the Government Code but does not exceed the expenditure threshold set by Section 305.003(a)(1) of the Government Code.

(b) A person required to register under Section 305.0041 of the Government Code is considered a registrant for purposes of this chapter and Chapter 305 of the Government Code.

(c) An independent contractor who is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305 of the Government Code but who does not meet all the criteria in subsection (a) of this section is subject to the $500 registration fee set by Section 305(c)(3) of the Government Code.

(d) An independent contractor who qualifies for the $50 registration fee under subsection (a) of this section, but that before the end of the calendar year ceases to meet the criteria under subsection (a) of this section, becomes subject to the $500 registration fee set by Section 305.005(c)(3) of the Government Code.

Subchapter C. COMPLETING THE REGISTRATION FORM

§ 34.73. Reporting by Independent Contractor

(a) In addition to the contents required by Section 305.005 of the Government Code and this chapter, a registration filed by an independent contractor whose compensation for the communication is totally or partially contingent on the outcome of a purchasing decision or negotiations regarding such decisions must:

(1) disclose the vendor as a client;

(2) indicate that the client is a vendor of a product or service on whose behalf the independent contractor communicates concerning state agency purchasing decisions or negotiations regarding such decisions;

(3) disclose the amount of the sales commission or such fee;

(4) disclose the amount of the purchasing decision;

(5) if the amount of the sales commission or such fee is based on a percentage of the sale, disclose the amount of the percentage; and

(6) describe the product or service that is the subject of the communication.

(b) If the amount of the sales commission or such fee is not known at the time of the reporting, the registration described by subsection (a) of this section must disclose a reasonable estimate of the maximum amount of the sales commission or such fee and the method under which that amount will be computed.

(c) If the amount of the purchasing decision is not known at the time of the reporting, the registration described by subsection (a) of this section must disclose a reasonable estimate of the maximum amount of the purchasing decision and the method under which that amount will be computed.

§ 34.75. Reporting of Commission or Fee Paid by State Agency

(a) In addition to the contents required by Section 305.005 of the Government Code and this chapter, a registration filed by a person who is paid a sales commission or such fee by a state agency must;

(1) disclose the state agency as a client;

(2) indicate that the client is a state agency;

(3) provide a description of the subject matter for which the person is paid a sales commission or such fee; and

(4) disclose the amount of the sales commission or such fee.

(b) If the amount of the sales commission or such fee is not known at the time of the reporting, the registration must disclose a reasonable estimate of the maximum amount of the sales commission or such fee and the method under which that amount will be computed.


Contents of Sworn Complaints
Text of Repealed Rule

The deleted language is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

Chapter 12. SWORN COMPLAINTS

Subchapter B. FILING AND INITIAL PROCESSING OF A COMPLAINT

[§ 12.57. Contents of a Complaint]

[(a) In addition to the contents set out in Government Code section 571.122, a complaint must include the following information:]

[(1) the telephone number of the complainant; and]

[(2) the mailing address of each respondent; and]

[(3) if known to the complainant, the telephone number of each respondent.]

[(b) A complaint must include the position and title of a respondent only if the alleged violation is related to the position or title of the respondent.]

 

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