Cal-Access Research

  • Improving Campaign Finance Disclosure, A Report to the Governor – January 16, 2015 – California Government Operations Agency

    This report was developed by the California Government Operations Agency at the direction of Governor Brown following his veto of Senate Bill 3 (Yee, 2013). The report contained six options for the state to move forward with modernizing political disclosure. The options were developed in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Fair Political Practices Commission.

  • Rebooting Campaign Finance Disclosure – March 2014 – CAFwd

    Following the veto of Senate Bill 3 (Yee, 2013), California Forward developed this report. CA Fwd gathered national best practices as well as described the technical considerations needed to upgrade the Cal-Access system and the importance of fully integrating the system into a future Form 700 - conflict of interest form - filing system.

  • Cal-Access 2.0:  Building the Next California Electronic Filing and Online Disclosure System – October 28, 2013 - California Voter Foundation

    Recommendations developed by the California Voter Foundation on how to overhaul the Cal-Access system and make significant improvements that will enhance public access and understanding of California’s disclosure data.

  • Secretary of State's Request for Information RFI #13-020 Cal-Access Replacement System (CARS) – September 19, 2013 – Secretary of State Debra Bowen

    Request for Information released by Secretary Debra Bowen. This request was sent to potential vendors and other stakeholders in order to collect recommendations, suggestions, and other responses to inform the Secretary’s next steps as it relates to the disclosure system. 

  • Initiative Disclosure Reform:Overview and Recommendations – June 16, 2011 – By Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation for the Greenlining Institute

    This analysis focuses on the role of money in California initiative campaigns. It describes current laws and regulations requiring timely and accessible disclosure of campaign finance data. It identifies ways to enhance disclosure and voter awareness of who is funding initiative campaigns by strengthening disclosure laws and publicizing disclosure data through governmental and campaign entities. Also described are ways to ensure voters hear from both sides on initiatives regardless of who raises and spends the most money. 

  • Chairman Schnur’s Advisory Task Force on the Political Reform Act – January 19, 2011

    Recommendations to improve Cal-Access and other portions of the Political Reform Act developed by Chairman Dan Schnur’s Task Force on the Political Reform Act.

  • Report of the 2005-2006 Secretary of State’s Task Force on Online Disclosure of Campaign Finance Statements

    On October 18, 2005 in order to improve the state’s campaign reporting system California’s Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, the state’s chief election official, initiated a process to examine existing campaign laws and propose amendments that would ensure greater timeliness, transparency and simplicity. He assembled a diverse group of citizens that represented government filing offices and ethics agencies, professional treasurers, watchdog groups, the legislature, political and election law firms, and technology experts to discuss amplifying the sunlight of disclosure in California through use of electronic disclosure statements on the internet and simplification of campaign disclosure statements.

  • The Institute of Governmental Studies Report to the Bipartisan Commission – April 23, 2000

    In accordance with the wishes of the Bipartisan Commission, the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley undertook several research projects: an empirical investigation of FPPC enforcement practices with the goal of providing a better understanding of how the Political Reform Act is enforced; focus group studies and interviews with local treasurers, journalists, and political law attorneys with the goal of providing a better understanding of what these groups think about the present system and how the system might be improved; a campaign finance form experiment designed to evaluate how difficult these forms are to fill out for both the experienced consultant as well as the layperson; and finally they aggregated and analyzed an external survey that the FPPC itself conducted.

  • Overly Complex and Unduly Burdensome: The Critical Need to Simplify the Political Reform Act Bipartisan Commission on the Political Reform Act of 1974

    In summary, the Bipartisan Commission concluded what may already be obvious to many people who deal with the Act on a regular basis: in its present state, the Political Reform Act is overly complex and unduly burdensome for many persons who want to lawfully participate in the political system. The extent of the current problem is such that there is a serious risk that the Act will substantially deter persons from participating in the political process due to: (i) a lack of understanding of how to comply with the Act, (ii) an inability or lack of desire to incur the expenses necessary to comply with the Act, and (iii) a fear that—even with reasonable diligence—full compliance with the Act may be unattainable, therefore exposing the political participant to possible monetary liabilities. The Bipartisan Commission therefore proposes in this Report a series of Recommendations that it believes would simplify the Act, lessen the expense and burden of compliance, and make the enforcement of the Act more fair and reasonable.

Cal-Access Working Group