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Interpretative Opinion 99-10: Disclosure of Outside Income

August 13, 1999

The Honorable Jim Graham
Councilmember – Ward 1
Council of the District of Columbia
441-4th Street, NW
Suite 718
Washington, DC  20001

Re: Outside Income Disclosure(s)

Dear Councilmember Graham:

This responds to your request for an opinion concerning whether a Councilmember is required to disclose outside income earned prior to the assumption of official duties as a Councilmember on the Honoraria and Outside Income Disclosure Statement (HOIDS).  It is your view that the language of the statute indicates an intention that the disclosure [required] is “to guard against potential conflicts of interest that may arise during the Councilmember’s term of service.”  Further, it is your position that the statute has “no application or justification for a period of time prior to the assumption of public office.”

As you are aware, DC Code § 1-1462(a)(6) (1992 Repl. Vol.) requires that “the Mayor, the members of the Council, and the members of the Board of Education shall also disclose annually all outside income and honoraria, as defined in § 1-1481, accepted during the calendar year, as well as the identity of any client for whom the public official performed a service in connection with the public official’s outside income if the client has a contract with the government of the District of Columbia or the client stands to gain a direct financial benefit from legislation that was pending before the Council during the calendar year.”

  DC Code § 1-221 (1992 Repl. Vol.) prescribes the term of office for members of the Council, which term shall begin, with certain exceptions noted therein, at noon on January 2nd of the year following their election.  Moreover, the deadline established for filing the Honoraria and Outside Income Disclosure Statement is May 15th of each year.  Therefore, depending on the date of installation in office, a Councilmember is required to file a HOIDS on the next annual filing deadline (May 15th), which captures all transactions occurring subsequent to and inclusive of the commencement of his or her term of office.