November 16, 2023
David Apol, General Counsel
While you might associate OGE with the review and certification of public financial disclosures of political appointees and other senior executive branch officials, we are also responsible for another important group of filers: candidates for President and Vice President of the United States (candidates). Both the process and substance of OGE’s review of candidate disclosures is different but like most other public financial disclosures they are available for you to request.
The process for candidates begins with the U.S. Federal Election Commission, with whom candidates must file their public financial disclosure reports. Individuals who become candidates after April 15th must file within 30 days of becoming a candidate. They must continue to file on May 15th of each successive year if they are still a candidate on the filing date. Candidates may request extensions from the FEC. Once the report is submitted to the FEC, the FEC signs the report and transmits it to OGE for review.
OGE then reviews the reports for legal compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 as amended (EIGA) and applicable regulations. To be compliant, many of these reports need additional information from the candidates. As a result, OGE works with candidates and their representatives to ensure that all required information is reported, and any outstanding questions are resolved. OGE’s goal is to have all questions resolved within 60 days of receiving the report.
If the candidate brings the financial disclosure report into compliance with the EIGA and the applicable regulations by the deadline, OGE will certify the report. If that process doesn’t result in resolution of outstanding issues, OGE may set a formal deadline for resolution and notify the candidate that the report may not be certified if the deadline is not met. If OGE is unable to certify the report, the report will be closed without OGE certification.
OGE makes the results of this process available to you. OGE will make these reports available 30 days after they have been filed with OGE or when they are certified, whichever comes first. If it is still pending OGE’s disposition, you will receive the report filed with the FEC. If OGE has completed its review, you will receive the report either certified or closed without certification by OGE.
This important process is done to ensure that the American people can have access to all the information required by the Ethics in Government Act before choosing their next President and Vice President.