Curran Unveils Online Financial Disclosure Filings For County Policymakers
Digitized process for disclosure bolsters oversight of conflicts of interest and abuse of power by county officials
Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today unveiled a new online application that will allow the more than 400 county employees designated as ‘policymakers’ to submit their annual Statement of Financial Disclosure electronically. Under Nassau County Administrative Code, employees in certain titles or in positions to make or influence policy for the county have been required to submit an annual disclosure form to the Board of Ethics. These submissions are intended to prevent conflicts of interests and abuse of power on the part of county officials; however, because these disclosures have historically been submitted on paper, their efficacy as an anti-corruption tool was hindered.
The new applications—developed through collaboration between the County Executive’s Office and the Board of Ethics—will not only eliminate the byzantine and inefficient paper submission process but will also improve the usefulness of the disclosed information in the contract compliance and ethics review process.
“In the past, disclosure forms were submitted by paper, making it too easy for vital information about ethical conflicts to be slid into a box then hidden away in a basement,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “The digitized process we’re introducing today makes the financial disclosure process more efficient, and makes it easier ensure we’re holding Nassau County employees to the highest ethical standard. My Administration’s anti-corruption agenda will continue to focus on bringing 21st century solutions to age-old problems.”
"Nassau's old county contracting procedures created a recipe for corruption with opportunities for unscrupulous government officials to double-deal and line their pockets," District Attorney Singas said. "In 2015, I proposed steps to streamline and modernize Nassau's contracting and financial disclosure process, and thanks to County Executive Curran's efforts implementing these reforms, employee financial disclosures will finally be available as a potent tool to prevent conflicts of interest and corruption."
In a 2015 report, the Nassau County District Attorney identified the financial disclosure process as a serious deficiency in the county’s anti-corruption efforts. The report stated “the County’s paper-based financial disclosure system does not allow for the efficient, electronic cross-referencing between public officials’ disclosed relationships and potential county contractors.” This new electronic system will allow for interfacing with the existing contract and vendor tracking systems, increasing the visibility of real or potential conflicts of interest. It will also maintain the same level of privacy as the previous paper system.
The digitized disclosure form is part of a multi-levered anti-corruption agenda advanced by County Executive Curran, including the following key initiatives:
The Nassau County Board of Ethics is ready and willing to assist County officers and employees using the new financial disclosure system. Contact information and other helpful resources can be found on the BOE website.