Law Strengthens Disclosure of Contractor Political Activity

Legislation passed in 2013 has strengthened the campaign contribution disclosure requirements for companies that do business with the State or local governments. As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

…all contractors that do more than $200,000 in business will now have to register with the Maryland State Board of Elections, even if they do not give to a political campaign. Failure to file will carry a penalty up to $500. And state election officials are now putting the records online.

“The changes in the laws bring a new level of enforcement and greater disclosure regarding companies receiving government contracts,” said Jared DeMarinis, director of the candidacy and campaign finance division at the state elections agency. “The reports are no longer just accessible in an office in Annapolis but can be viewed by anyone at any time.”

The State Board of Elections (SBE) is required to implement this new law, but procurement officials also play a role. Procurement officials at the State and local level are required to have the business entity certify as part of the procurement process that the disclosure statements have been filed and notify the SBE if the business entity fails to do so.

The business contribution disclosure site can be accessed here.

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