New rules have been announced by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regarding complimentary event tickets issued by the campus to certain donors and friends of the university.
These rules apply only for tickets issued for entertainment, amusement or recreational events, such as football games and Cal Performances events. These rules are separate from those required to comply with IRS rules.
For donors and friends of the campus, including their spouses and guests, who are required to file Form 700s with the FPPC, the campus is now required to report the filer’s receipt of the tickets along with the ticket’s fair market value to the FPPC, who, in turn, will post the filer’s name and ticket information on their web site.If the Form 700 filer does not want his or her name posted on the FPPC’s web site, the filer may choose to self-declare the tickets as a gift.The Form 700 filer has 30 days from the event to inform the campus Conflict of Interest Coordinator that they prefer to self-declare.If the Conflict of Interest Coordinator does not receive notice of the desire to self-declare, the information will be reported to the FPPC.If UC Berkeley reports the Form 700 filer’s receipt of the tickets, the filer does not report the tickets as gifts.
A simple graphic explanation of the new rules, including those for UC Employees is found in the EventTickets2012Rules.pdf.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What does FPPC stand for?
It stands for the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
- What if the complimentary tickets are for attending a speech by a former head of state?
This would not be considered entertainment, or recreational in nature, so no reporting would be necessary by the campus.
- Who are Form 700 filers?
Form 700 filers are state and local governmental elected and agency officials.They may be a mayor, a county supervisor, a judge, a state senator, or a high official in a state agency.They are the equivalent to UC Berkeley’s designated officials – those in authority in their various jurisdictions.They should be aware of their designation.
- How do you know if a non-UC employee recipient is a Form 700 filer?
We are required to ask.If the recipient will be bringing a guest, we are required to ask if the guest is a Form 700 filer.If yes, we need the have the Form 700 filer’s name.If we don’t report to the FPPC, the Form 700 filer will be required to report the ticket as a gift.
- Why would a non-UC employee, Form 700 filer choose to self-declare the receipt of the tickets?
When the campus reports the tickets issued to Form 700 filers to the FPPC, the FPPC will post the information on their web site.The Form 700 filer may not want his or her name out on the internet.Form 700s are public documents, but they are not posted on the web.
- What if we know that the recipient is a Form 700 filer, but they don’t tell us whether or not they want to self-declare?
Without a statement from the Form 700 filer, the campus must report the recipient’s name to the FCCP.
- I am a UC employee and a Form 700 filer, does that mean my football tickets need to be reported as a gift on my annual filing?
No, tickets for UC athletic or other amateur events performed by students are not considered gifts to UC employees.You should not report the tickets on your annual filing.
- I am hosting a donor at a Cal Performances event.Will that require any reporting to the FPPC?
Your ticket will not be reported as you are performing an official job function.If your spouse accompanies you, that ticket, but not your spouse’s name, will need to be reported.If either the donor and/or the donor’s guest is a Form 700 filer, the names of the Form 700 filers must be reported along with the fair market value of the tickets, unless they choose to self-declare.
- I am a UC employee and I want my 17 year-old son to come to the football game with me, but he lives with my ex-wife.Is he considered immediate family?
The FPPC has defined immediate family as your spouse, and those minors who you declare as tax dependents.That means that if your ex-wife declares your son as her tax dependent, he would not be considered your immediate family.However, he can go as your guest.