Campaign forms to go online

Glendale is about to convert the way public officials file campaign and financial disclosure forms to an Internet-based system, a move city officials say will save time and resources.

The City Council approved two contracts Tuesday that will put candidate campaign disclosure forms and statements of economic interests for city officials online for the first time.

“The more we can do that’s web-based, data-based is the way of the future,” said City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian.

Currently, candidates file campaign disclosure forms manually, but that process is time-consuming, labor intensive, costly and inefficient, according to a city report.

In addition, about a quarter of the city’s 2,000 employees and commissioners must file statements of economic interests according to state rules, said Information Services Director Ed Fraga. Those are also done manually, but will soon be digitized.

With the new system, officials will input information to a web form. That data, once reviewed by the City Clerk’s Office, will then be posted online.

The desire to find a way to electronically track campaign disclosure forms came after a City Council decision in August tightened campaign finance rules, according to a city report.

Although other governments, such as Los Angeles County, use similar online systems, this step will put Glendale ahead of neighboring cities. Neither Burbank nor Pasadena have the system Glendale plans to get, though Pasadena does post digital scans of campaign disclosure forms online.

The two contracts, with NetFile and SouthTech Inc., will be about $15,000 each per year. The NetFile contract is for five years, the SouthTech contract is for three years.

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