"SB 351 broadens the acceptable format for filing of APOC mandatory reports."
- Sen. Green
An Act requiring the Alaska Public Offices Commission to accept documents by nonelectronic means, and specifying the manner of preparing the forms that are provided by the commission.
Recent changes to the Alaska Statues have allowed the Alaska Public Offices Commission to accommodate electronic reporting and distribution of information to the public. However, an unintended consequence is that APOC has determined that it will no longer accept filing of Public Official Financial Disclosures, Campaign Disclosures, Lobbyist Reports, and Legislative Financial Disclosures in a format other than electronic. Essentially, the Legislative intent to encourage APOC to develop the ability to accept electronic filing has resulted in an unnecessary obstacle for those members of the public not accustomed to using computers. Further, the electronic filing requirement will discourage candidates from running for office if they lack computer knowledge or cannot afford to hire someone to complete the electronic filing process.
APOC is working to provide alternative filing plans for communities that lack reliable internet service but the alternative will likely by that they can just submit their disk, not that they can continue to use paper forms. No accommodations are being contemplated for those members of the public who wish to continue to file in paper form. Ironically, paper copies of submitted filings will still be available through the APOC and the entire database can be purchased from APOC.
This bill addresses broadens the acceptable format for filing of APOC mandatory reports. Specifically, while electronic filing may be encouraged, APOC shall continue to accept paper filing from those who do not want to take advantage of electronic filing opportunities.
The Committee Substitute is the result of conversations with APOC in order to address their concerns with the proposed legislation while at the same time staying true to the purpose of SB 351. The CS limits proposed changes to the filing required of an elected official or a candidate in an election and no longer addresses lobbyist filings.
Additionally, in order to make the paper filings more streamlined the CS standardizes the format of the forms and requires that they be legible and typed or written in ink.