Error processing SSI file
 City of Dallas-D

City of Dallas

Campaign Finance E-Filing System

Help & Users Guide

 

Legal Advice

Texas Ethics Commission
Monday thru Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
1-800-325-8506

TEC Form Instructions

TEC C/OH Form Instructions
TEC SPAC Form Instructions

User Support for
E-Filing System

Brylon D. Franklin
Elections Manager - 214-670-5657
Email: brylon.franklin@dallascityhall.com

Office of the City Secretary
Monday thru Friday 8:15 am - 5:15 pm
214-670-3738

Emails will be responded to within the next regular business day.

 

This Guide will help users use the web forms on the City of Dallas e-filing site. It is to be used in combination with the State of Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) instructions for the forms.

The table below has links to instructions from the TEC for the information requirements for Form C/OH, Form SPAC and the related forms on this site. Links to these instructions may also be found on the related web pages. Although campaign treasurer appointment forms are not submitted online, links to those forms are listed below for convenience.

The City of Dallas Elections Manager will not give legal advice regarding how to comply with the instructions from the TEC. Contact the TEC directly for that advice. (512-463-5800)

HELP – Phone 214-670-5657 for assistance.

LIBRARIES where computers are available.

 

Error processing SSI file

BROWSER POP-UP BLOCKERS MUST BE TURNED OFF

The system requires that pop-up windows be permitted for the site.

Instructions to allow pop-up windows for the following browsers:

Internet Explorer

Firefox

Chrome

The system will not shut off at the deadline; therefore, reports can still be submitted after the due date, but will be considered a late filing, and not in compliance with State law or Dallas City Code Chapter 15A.

The screens look best at high resolutions such as 1600 x 1200.

 

LOGON

In order to get a user name and password for logon, a filer must have submitted to the City Secretary's Office, in paper form, the proper forms for appointing a treasurer and a Form PASS. (Call 214-670-5657 for details)

The City of Dallas Campaign Finance E-Filing System is accessed through:

http://campfin.dallascityhall.com/

The "Candidate/PAC Officeholder" button takes the filer to the logon screen. The user name is not case sensitive, and the password is not case sensitive. The system will require the user to change the password the first time the user logs in. If the user forgets the password, the system provides a link to a screen where the user can input the answer to a personal question (see Form PASS) and the system will e-mail the password to the e-mail address provided on Form PASS. It is important for the filer to maintain a current email address with the City Secretary's Office.

MAIN MENU AND SUMMARY OF THE PROCEDURE

The filer goes from logon to the MAIN MENU (AppMenu.aspx) of the GROUP that is specific to this filer. From here, the filer can create new reports or forms, edit incomplete reports created earlier, and look at the contents of completed, finalized reports from prior reporting periods.

"Report" is a general term for a Form C/OH, Form SPAC, or Form UC (Unexpended Contributions).

The filer can only see the incomplete and complete reports that belong to them. The incomplete reports are secure from the view of all other filers until they have been locked by the City Secretary's Office following submission by the filer. (Complete, submitted reports are also available to the public through the SEARCH function.)

These are the basic steps of completing a new Form C/OH (or Form SPAC):

  1. Decide if this will be a Final Report or not.
  2. Create a new report on the Main Menu.
  3. Complete at least the Cover Sheet page 1 required fields (Filer Identification and Treasurer Identification), and SAVE.
  4. Return to the incomplete report any number of times to edit and toadd information until all campaign transactions are inputted according to TEC requirements (see instructions for specific schedules).
  5. Review Cover Sheet page 2 and check the totals for contributions and expenditures. Fill in the other lines.
  6. Click "Print Report", which will create a pdf of the form. Proof this form carefully.
  7. Finalize the online report by clicking “finalize” and swearing that the information is complete and accurate.

Once the report is finalized and the City Secretary's Office staff is notified by the system, the Elections Manager directs the system to lock the report. Then the SEARCH function, available to all citizens, is able to display the information in the report.

 

WILL THIS REPORT BE A FINAL REPORT?

When a filer makes a one-time Final Report, the filer is declaring they will accept no more contributions, make no more political expenditures, and they have no campaign treasurer. They may or may not have unexpended contributions that must be disposed of in accordance with TEC rules.

When the filer wants the current period report to also include the Final Report, there are two methods available to do this using this system:

Method 1: The most direct way is to select "Final Report" from the right hand column when creating the report for the final reporting period. The "period covered", on cover sheet page 1, will be the same as it would be for a regular period. For example, a filer preparing to report for January 15, 2009 would instead choose the "Final Report" button when creating the report, and list 07/01/08 to 12/31/08 as the period covered.

Method 2: If the filer has already completed a report for the period, or has entered many transactions in a regular period report, then the filer can create a separate "Final Report" with no transactions. A Final Report can be completed any day of the year by reporting transactions since the closing date of the last report. So the filer may complete a "January 15, 2009" report with all of the transactions from July to December 2008, and then create a separate Final Report with no transactions, since they are all reported in the other, "January 15, 2009" report. [Never show the same transaction on two different, completed reports.]

 

CREATE A NEW REPORT AND COVER SHEET PAGE 1

On the Main Menu the filer will choose between "C/OH", "SPAC" and "UC" in the left column, and will choose a report type, such as "January 15: Semi-Annual 2009" or "Final Report" from the right hand column. Then click "Create Report".

Since the REPORT TYPE CANNOT BE CHANGED LATER, it is crucial to choose the correct report type. (If you make a mistake and create the wrong type of report, simply make a new, correct one. The old one will sit incomplete on your list. It can’t be deleted, but no one else can see it.)

Once the "Create Report" button is clicked, the filer is presented with the web form for Cover Sheet page 1 of their report. There are required fields (see TEC instructions) describing the candidate or SPAC and the treasurer and the period covered. Follow the TEC rules to determine the period covered by the report. For example, the January 15, 2009 reports, this is normally 07/01/08 to 12/31/08.

Click SAVE PAGE. The system will display red error messages that explain any corrections or additional information needed. Cover Sheet page 1 is now complete, but the filer may still edit it later if needed.

The filer can now see the new, incomplete report just created listed in the table of incomplete reports on the Main Menu. The filer can log off and later return to the main menu and click on the name of the report in the "Report Type" column on the left end of the line for the report and resume entering data.

The system will generate the number of pages counted for the entire report and for each schedule, as shown in the upper right hand corner of the forms.

 

COVER SHEET PAGE 2

When the filer is working in a report, the top menu allows navigation to all cover sheets and schedules. For example "CS2" links to cover sheet page 2.

Cover Sheet page 2 will usually be the last page completed by the filer in order to check the totals of the contributions and expenditures.

The upper part of the form is for Notices from Political Committees. (See TEC instructions). If the filer inputs more than one Notice transaction in this part of the form, the system builds a table of the transactions, available for edit, and adds pages to cover sheet page 2 as needed to report the transactions.

In the lower part of the page there are 5 lines with dollar amounts to be reported.

Total Political Contributions of $50 or less, unless itemized - see TEC instructions for details. The filer types the amount into this blank. There must be no double counting of the dollars reported in this blank and the itemized contributions reported on Schedule A.

Total Political Contributions - The system will automatically sum the value of the amount in the blank above this line with all of the contributions itemized on Schedule A.

Total Political Expenditures of $50 or less, unless itemized - see TEC instructions for details. The filer types the amount into this blank. There must be no double counting of the dollars reported in this blank and the itemized expenditures reported on Schedule F.

Total Political Expenditures - The system will automatically sum the value of the amount in the blank above this line with all of the expenditures itemized on Schedule F.

Contribution Balance - see TEC instructions for details. The filer will type in this value.

Outstanding Loan Totals - see TEC instructions for details. The filer will type in this value.

Once the totals are input, Click SAVE PAGE.

 

USING THE SCHEDULES

Most of the fields on the cover sheets and schedules are defined clearly by the TEC instructions (see table above). These instructions include what information is required and what information is optional. This guide will not repeat those instructions. The information below supplements the TEC instructions to help the filer understand how certain fields and links in the web forms make the work of reporting easier.

The Address Book

The filer begins with an incomplete report with only the Cover Sheet page 1 information filled in. When the filer types in the name of the candidate and the name of the treasurer, two entries in the address book for the filer were created. As contributions and expenditures are input on the schedules, more entries in the filer's address book will be created.

Whenever the filer thinks that the person, business or organization they are about to type into the form has already been entered into the address book because of some other transaction, the filer should click the "SELECT" link above that part of the form. The address book will pop up and permit them to find and select the entry, which will populate the form.

The filer's address book entries are private and secure from other filers. Only when the information is submitted in finalized reports, and is locked by the City Secretary's Office, does the information in the form become available to the public. (Note: The apostrophe character is not allowed in any field in the name. So type “Kinkos” instead of “Kinko’s” to leave out the apostrophe. This limit applies only to fields in the first and last name, or organization name, and it does not apply to fields that describe nature of transactions.)

Special Features of Specific Schedules

The TEC instructions cover most questions on what data is required on each of the schedules. Only a few additional notes about the web forms are made here.

Transactions (contributions, expenditures, etc.) can be entered into the report in any order. The system requires that the date of each transaction be within the "period covered" found on Cover Sheet page 1. The "period covered" must comply with TEC rules. If the filer wants to input a transaction for a date prior to the period covered by the report, the filer must submit a correction affidavit of the form for the previous period, to place the transaction in the correct period.

All transactions on a schedule are listed at the bottom of the schedule in a table once they are saved. They can be edited or deleted from that list.

Unitemized transactions on Schedules B and E

TEC rules permit many small transactions to go unitemized on Schedule A (Contributions) and Schedule F (Expenditures), saving the filer a lot of time. The total of those unitemized transactions are reported on Cover Sheet page 2. (Carefully follow TEC rules for qualifying transactions.)

Similarly, TEC rules permits a summary total of small pledges on Schedule B and small loans on Schedule E. Carefully follow TEC rules for determining qualifying transactions. On the web form for each of the schedules B and E, in the upper right hand zone, there is a blank for the total of the unitemized transactions. There must be no double counting of the amounts in these blanks with the itemized transactions on the schedule.

Schedule F, G, H and I: (New, effective January 1, 2011) - The Texas Ethics Commission has added a "Category" field to describe the category of the expenses reported on Schedules F, G, H and I. These are the categories printed at the top of the new forms for Schedules F, G, H and I.

Advertising Expense
Accounting/Banking
Consulting Expense
Event Expense
Fees
Gift/Awards/Memorials Expense
Legal Services
Food/Berverage Expense
Polling Expense
Printing Expense
Salaries/Wages/Contract Labor
Solicitation/Fundraising Expense
Travel In District
Travel Out Of District
Office Overhead/Rental Expense
Loan Repayment/Reimbursement
Transportation Equipment & Related Expense
Contributions/Donations Made By Candidate/Officeholder/Political Committee
OTHER (type in another category name that best fits the expense)

Schedule G - Political Expenditures Made From Personal Funds

There is a check box for "Reimbursement from political contributions intended". The system will ask the filer to confirm that they will not get reimbursement of their personal funds if this check box is not checked.

Schedule T - Out of State Travel

The transactions on this schedule are also recorded on other schedules, as appropriate. Follow TEC instructions.

Fields on the form have a limit to the length of text that is allowed. Generally name fields accept 50 characters and description fields accept from 150 to 250 characters. The TEC instructions sometimes say to attach additional pages if needed for an explanation. This system has no provision for attaching additional pages, so the description must be concise enough to fit the field.

 

UPLOADING CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES BY SPREADSHEET

Some filers have numerous contributions and/or expenditure transactions. They may find it convenient to download the Excel spreadsheet linked from Schedules A (Contributions) and Schedule F (Expenditures) and use them to record the transactions. Then the spreadsheet can be uploaded, saving time of typing the transactions into the web forms on this site. It is critical that the instructions provided with the blank template spreadsheets be followed carefully or the spreadsheet will fail to upload. The blank spreadsheets and all instructions for creating the completed spreadsheet are linked from Schedule A and Schedule F pages.

Schedule A Import
Instructions

 

Schedule F Import
Instructions

 

Schedule A Import
Template

(right-click
and save)

Schedule F Import
Template

(right-click
and save)

 

CORRECTION AFFIDAVIT

Once a report has been finalized, the filer has no opportunity to directly correct a mistake on the original report. Instead the filer must file a correction affidavit, using these steps:

  1. Select the report from the list of completed reports in the lower table of the Main Menu once it is in locked down status.
  1. Select "Correction Affidavit" from the top menu of the Top Navigation Menu. (This option is only available for locked down reports.)
  1. Fill in the main Correction Affidavit screen with an explanation of the change(s), following TEC rules, and click "Save Corrections". Any number of corrections may be made in one Correction Affidavit.
  1. Go to the schedule(s) that has the error(s) in the transaction(s). Now an existing transaction can be edited or deleted and new transactions can be added to any schedule. Make sure the correction affidavit explanation and the changes in the schedules completely agree.
  1. Finalize the report.

Once the report is finalized, the system creates three products. First, the original submission with the error is still available to you, the filer, to view as history in a pdf file. But it is no longer available to the public. Second, the Correction Affidavit, and the transactions that were changed, are created as a report that shows just the changes. Third, the system takes the corrections, merges it with the original report, and makes a new, comprehensive corrected report.

Do not file a Correction Affidavit to add a Final Report to a report. File the Final Report as a separate report.

PDF VIEWS OF REPORTS

At any time while a report is incomplete, the filer can click on the top menu "Print Report" link and get a view of what the printed report would look like. A large report with many transactions may take more than a few seconds. These pdf views that are created while the report is incomplete are not saved by the system.

When the report is finalized and locked down, a permanent pdf is made. This is preserved as history even if a Correction Affidavit is submitted.

MINIMUM SPECIFICATIONS FOR COMPUTERS AND BROWSERS USING THE SYSTEM
The following hardware and browser levels have been tested and found to be adequate for using the system:


 Minimum Computer Configuration

PC

Processor

1.5 GHz

 

RAM

1 GB

 

Operating System

Windows XP Pro SP2

 

Office Application

MS Office 2000 Professional (optional – used for importing)

  Adobe Reader Version 5 or higher

 

Browser

Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher

Macintosh

Processor

2.0GHz

 

RAM

1 GB

 

Operating System

OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

 

Office Application

MS Office 2004 (optional – used for importing)

  Adobe Reader Version 5 or higher

 

Browser

Safari 3.x

 

 

Dallas City Council meeting minutes are prepared under the authority of the City Secretary, Rosa A. Rios
City of Dallas, 2005
1500 Marilla Street, 5DS
Dallas, TX 75201
www.ci.dallas.tx.us/cso/index.html

All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer