TABLE OF CONTENTS
Texas Secretary of State, Elections Division, Disclosure Filings Section:
An Inventory of State Officers Personal Financial Statements at the Texas State Archives, 1957-1976 (bulk 1973-1976)
A code of ethics for state officers and employees in Texas was created in 1957 by House Bill 3, 55th Texas Legislature, Regular Session. This legislation set forth standards of conduct for state officers and employees regarding possible conflicts of interest between their private interests and official duties. An individual having controlling interest in a business entity under state regulation was required to file an affidavit with the Secretary of State disclosing such interest.
A stock fraud scandal involving several state officials, including the Speaker of the House, was uncovered in 1971, leading to a demand for tougher and more comprehensive ethics legislation. During the 1971 legislative session the 62nd Texas Legislature passed a new ethics law, House Bill 203, which called for more comprehensive financial disclosures and for the filing of these statements by all elected and appointed state officials, and any state or legislative employees whose salary exceeded $11,000. Few disclosure filings were made under this law as it was declared unconstitutional by the Texas Attorney General in January 1972.
The 63rd Texas Legislature reworked the ethics legislation and passed House Bill 1 in 1973. Under the terms of this legislation annual financial statements are required to be filed by elected officers and candidates, salaried appointed officers, appointed officers of major state agencies, and executive heads of state agencies. These financial disclosures include a listing of assets and liabilities, of all boards of directors that the person serves on, and executive positions held in corporations. These statements also include financial disclosures for the official's spouse and any dependent children over which he has actual control. Appointed officers not required to file these statements still do need to file an affidavit with the Secretary of State if they have, acquire, or divest themselves of substantial interest in a business entity subject to state regulation or a business entity conducting business with any state agency. As with earlier ethics legislation this law sets forth a standards-of-conduct code for state officers and employees. The law requires these files to be open to public inspection for two years. The law also states that the financial statement may be destroyed after the second anniversary of the date the individual ceases to be a state officer, and that on notification from the former state officer the statement must be destroyed.
This filing was originally administered by the Texas Secretary of State's Enforcement Division, then (in the early 1980s) by the Campaign and Ethics Section of the Elections Division, renamed the Disclosure Filings Section by 1984. In 1992, the Texas Ethics Commission was created, and assumed the administration and enforcement of this filing. (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapter 572; also Section 571.061)
These records include financial disclosure statements and affidavits, dating 1957-1976 (bulk 1973-1976). They comprise the personal financial statements and/or affidavits that ethics legislation has required of Texas state officers and candidates. The contents of these filing has varied over time with changes in the laws.
These earliest records contain affidavits and personal financial statements, dating 1957-1973. The majority of the files contain Code of Ethics affidavits disclosing controlling interests in business entities as required under the 1957 law, and date 1957-1971. Information provided in these affidavits includes name, name of business entity, principal office or place of business, and relationship or interest owned. The later files in this accession, 1971-1973, largely contain information as required under the 1971 and 1973 laws, such as financial statements of assets and liabilities of the officer, his spouse, and dependent children, also listing boards of directors served on and corporate executive positions held. Some files may contain copies of tax returns in lieu of or in addition to these other statements. Unfortunately, no known index to these numerical files is available.
The later files date 1973-1976, and contain financial statements of assets and liabilities of the officer, his spouse, and dependent children, also listing boards of directors served on and corporate executive positions held, or affidavits detailing interest in businesses regulated by state agencies or doing business with state agencies. Some files may contain copies of tax returns in lieu of or in addition to these other statements. These records consist of financial disclosure statements of the following: state officers (i.e., elected officers at the state or district level, appointed officers, salaried appointed officers, appointed officers of major state agencies, and executive heads of state agencies), candidates for elective office, and party chairmen. Files report the financial activities of the individual, and of his spouse and dependent children (if the individual had actual control over that financial activity during the preceding calendar year). Financial activities include the following types of assets and liabilities: (1) a list of all sources of occupational income, identified by employer, or if self-employed, by the nature of the occupation; (2) identification by name and the category of the number of shares of stock of any business entity held or acquired, and if sold, the category of the amount of net gain or loss realized from the sale; (3) a list of all bonds, notes, and other commercial paper held or acquired, and if sold, the category of the amount of net gain or loss realized from the sale; (4) identification of each source and the category of the amount of income in excess of $500 derived from each source from interest, dividends, royalties, and rents; (5) identification of each guarantor of a loan and identification of each person or financial institution to whom a personal note or notes or lease agreement for a total financial liability in excess of $1,000 existed at any time during the year, and the category of the amount of the liability; (6) identification by description of all beneficial interests in real property and business entities held or acquired, and if sold, the category of the amount of the net gain or loss realized from the sale; (7) identification of a person or other organization from which the individual or the individual's spouse or dependent children received a gift of anything of value in excess of $250 and a description of each gift, except: a gift received from an individual related to the individual at any time within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Subchapter A, Chapter 573 of the Texas Government Code; a political contribution that was reported as required by law; and an expenditure required to be reported by a person required to be registered under Government Code, Chapter 305; (8) identification of the source and the category of the amount of all income received as beneficiary of a trust and identification of each asset, if known to the beneficiary, from which income was received by the beneficiary in excess of $500; (9) identification by description and the category of the amount of all assets and liabilities of a corporation or partnership in which 50 percent or more of the outstanding ownership was held, acquired, or sold; (10) a list of all boards of directors of which the individual is a member and executive positions that the individual holds in corporations, firms, partnerships, or proprietorships, stating the name of each corporation, firm, partnership, or proprietorship and the position held; (11) identification of any person providing transportation, meals, or lodging expenses permitted under Penal Code, Section 36.07(b), and the amount of those expenses, other than expenditures required to be reported under Government Code, Chapter 305; and (12) any partnership, joint venture, or other business association, excluding a publicly held corporation, in which both the state officer and a lobbyist registered under Government Code, Chapter 305 have an interest.
Personal financial statements were created to comply with state ethics legislation providing for the disclosure of financial assets and possible conflicts of interest of elected, salaried, or appointed officers and executive heads of state agencies, and candidates for elected office. These filings help to ensure public accountability from state officers, encouraging high ethical standards by means of public scrutiny of the appropriate records.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
(Identify the item), State officers personal financial statements, Disclosure Filings Section, Elections Division, Texas Secretary of State. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 1989/064, 1989/091
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Statutory Documents Section of the Texas Secretary of State on December 6, 1988; and by the Enforcement Division of the Texas Secretary of State (via the Records Management Division of the State Library) on January 13, 1989.
Laura K. Saegert, August 1989
The Secretary of State's Office microfilmed financial disclosure statements dating 1973-1991, producing 151 reels/cartridges of microfilm. This microfilm is maintained by the Texas Ethics Commission. In addition, the Texas Ethics Commission has scanned financial disclosure statements dating 1996-1999 onto 27 optical disks. (The optical disks contain other ethics reports as well.) Persons desiring access to, or possible copies of, portions of the microfilm or the optical disks should contact the Texas Ethics Commission. Contact information is available on the Texas Ethics Commission's website: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tec/pia.html.