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Financial Disclosure Glossary


GLOSSARY OF DEFINED TERMS

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following words have the following meanings in the Financial Disclosure Statement:

Agency or County agency

Business

Commission

Common trust fund

Compensation

Confidential relationship

Consumer credit account

Doing business with

Employment or employ

Gift

Immediate family

Interest or economic interest

Lobbying

Lobbyist

Public employee

Relative

Restricted donor

Reversionary interest

Revocable trust

Qualified Relative

Year

 

Agency or County agency
  1. Any department, principal office of the executive or legislative branch of County government;
  2. any board, commission, committee, task force or similar body appointed by the County Executive or County Council;
  3. the Revenue Authority, the Housing Opportunities Commission, and the Board of License Commissioners;
  4. each independent fire department or rescue squad that receives funds from the County or uses property owned by the County; and
  5. Agency or County agency, as used in this form, does not include the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) and the Montgomery County Planning Board, or the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). These are all state-created agencies which are not subject to the Montgomery County Public Ethics Law.

 

Business

Any for profit or nonprofit enterprise, including a corporation, general or limited partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture, association, firm, institute, trust or foundation. Business does not include a County agency, but does include an independent fire department or rescue squad.

Commission

The Montgomery County Ethics Commission, established under Section 19A-5 of the Montgomery County Code.

Common trust fund

A trust fund set up by a bank trust department to combine the assets of many small trusts for greater diversification.

Compensation

Any money or thing of value, regardless of form, including the sale or delivery of tangible or intangible property, that an employer pays or agrees to pay for services rendered.

Confidential relationship

A confidential relationship exists if the relationship between two persons creates a privilege against testifying under state law. This term includes only the following relationships:

  1. Attorney - Client
  2. Accountant - Client
  3. Clergy - Parishioner
  4. News Media - Source
  5. Psychiatrist/Psychologist - Patient
  6. Social Worker - Client
  7. Psychiatric Mental Heath Nurse Specialist - Patient
  8. Spouse - Spouse
Consumer credit account

An open ended credit account used to obtain money, property or services for personal, family or household purposes.

Doing business with
  1. Being a party with a County agency to a transaction that involves at least $1,000 during a year;
  2. negotiating a transaction with a County agency that involves at least $1,000 during a year; OR
  3. submitting a bid or proposal to a County agency for a transaction that involves at least $1,000 during a year.
Employment or employ

Engaging in an activity for compensation.

Gift

The transfer of anything of economic value, regardless of form, without an exchange of consideration of equal value. Gift does not include a transfer regulated by state law governing political campaigns or elections

Gifts that  do not have to be reported are:

  1. a gift to the filer with a value of less than $50, unless the same person gave the filer, members of the filer's immediate family, another person at the filer's direction, or any combination of them, gifts totaling more than $100 during the previous year;
  2. a gift to a member of the filer's immediate family with a value of less than $100,  unless the same person gave the filer, members of the filer's immediate family, another person at the filer's direction, or any combination of them, gifts totaling more than $100 during the previous year;
  3. For an elected official or that official's designee assigned to represent the official, a gift received under Section 19A-16(d)(5),  unless the gift is admission to a cultural or sports event, including meals and beverages served at the event, valued at $50 or more;
  4. a gift from a relative of the filer, or a gift to a relative by a filer,  unless:
    • the value of all gifts from the same relative exceeds $100, AND 
    • the relative:
      • is registered, or must register, as a lobbyist on a matter that is or could be considered by the County agency with which the filer is affiliated;
      • does business with the County agency with which the filer is affiliated; OR
      • owns or operates a business that is regulated by the County agency with which the filer is affiliated; OR
  5. a political contribution governed by state law.
Immediate family

Spouse and dependent children. A child is a dependent if the child may be claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. For a public employee, immediate family also includes the employee’s domestic partner if the partner is receiving County benefits.

Interest or economic interest

Any source of income or any other legal or equitable economic interest, whether or not the interest is subject to an encumbrance or a condition, which is owned or held in whole or in part, jointly or severally, directly or indirectly.

Interest does not include:

  1. an interest in a time deposit (for example: Certificate of Deposit), demand deposit (for example: savings account in a financial institution), or in a money market fund with assets of at least $10,000,000;
  2. an interest in an insurance policy, endowment policy, or annuity contract under which an insurance company promises to pay a fixed number of dollars, whether in a lump sum or periodically for life or some other specified period; 
  3. an interest in a common trust fund or a trust that forms part of a pension plan or profit sharing plan that:
    • has more than 25 participants; AND
    • the Internal Revenue Service has determined it to be a qualified trust or college savings plan under the Internal Revenue Code
  4. an interest in a deferred compensation plan that:
    • has more than 25 participants; and
    • the Internal Revenue Service has determined it qualifies under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code; OR
  5. an interest in a mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, closed-end fund, or unit investment trust regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the investor does not control the purchase or sale of the individual securities the fund holds.
Lobbying

Any attempt to influence any legislative, executive, or administrative action by a County agency.

Lobbyist

Any individual or organization who spends money or is compensated to influence legislative, executive, or administrative action by a County agency.

Public employee
  1. The County Executive and each member of the County Council;
  2. any person employed by a County agency, including the director of the agency;
  3. any person appointed by the County Executive or County Council to a board, commission, committee, task force, or similar body, whether or not:
    • the person is compensated for serving on the body; OR
    • the body is permanent or temporary;
  4. any member of the Revenue Authority, the Housing Opportunities Commission, or the Board of License Commissioners; AND
  5. any other person providing service without compensation to a County agency if that person:
    • exercises any responsibilities for government-funded programs, procurement, or contract administration for an agency; OR
    • has access to confidential information of an agency that relates to government-funded programs, procurement, or contract administration.
Relative
  1. The public employee’s siblings, parents, grandparents, children, or grandchildren;
  2. the public employee’s spouse or domestic partner receiving County benefits, and the spouse’s or partner’s siblings, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren; AND
  3. the spouses of these relatives.
 Restricted donor

A person or business that: 

  1. is registered or must register as a lobbyist under section 19A-21; 
  2. does business with the County agency with which the public employee is affiliated; 
  3. is engaged in an activity regulated or controlled by the County agency with which the public employee is affiliated; OR
  4. has a financial interest that may be substantially and materially affected in a manner distinguishable from the public generally by the performance or nonperformance of the public employee's duties.
Reversionary interest

A right to obtain in the future an interest in property.  A reversionary interest is often subject to conditions such as passage of time or death of another.

Revocable trust

A trust in which the person who creates the trust retains the right to terminate the trust and recover the property put in the trust.

Qualified Relative

A relative who:

  1. is not registered, or is not required to register, as a lobbyist on a matter that is or could be considered by the County agency with which the filer is affiliated;
  2. does not do business with a County agency with which the filer is affiliated; OR
  3. does not own or operate a business that is regulated by the County agency with which the filer is affiliated.
Year

Calendar year.

 

 

 

Montgomery County Ethics Commission · 100 Maryland Avenue · Room 204 · Rockville, Maryland 20850
Ethics.Commission@montgomerycountymd.gov · Telephone: 240-777-6670 · Fax: 240-777-6672
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