US - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) said it is cooperating with the Fair Political Practices Commission following an investigation into gifts received by staff at the fund.
The FPPC found 50 CalPERS employees may have failed to properly report gifts as required in annual Form 700 filings.
Form 700s, or SEIs, must be filled out by all elected officials in California to help gauge where potential conflicts of interest may arise. The state-mandated forms include information about the sources of an official's income, investments, business positions, real property holdings and gifts.
In a statement following the findings, CalPERS chief executive officer Anne Stausboll said: "CalPERS has been fully cooperating with the FPPC on this investigation over the last several months. These matters are still pending and our staff involved have due process rights.
"In 2009, we launched our special review of placement agent activity. As we learned about apparent misconduct, I issued a request to CalPERS staff who are required to file Form 700s and asked them to review their records since 2005 and ensure that they were in compliance - and if not in compliance, to take the steps necessary to become compliant. Approximately 35 members of our staff voluntarily filed amended documents.
"We have strengthened our policies to ensure full reporting and compliance in the future, including a complete ban on gifts to our staff. We are supporting legislation introduced by State Controller John Chiang that would reduce gift limits. We have, and will continue, to provide additional training to all staff that are (sic) required to file, to ensure full understanding of the law and we annually notify our vendors and contractors about our gift ban policy.
"As an organisation, we recently recommitted ourselves to our core values of quality, respect, accountability, integrity, openness and balance. We are committed to the highest standards of public trust and protecting the retirement and health security of our members."
CalPERS has also launched a new online application tool that makes it easier for members of the public to file a Public Records Act request.
Individuals seeking information through the Public Records Act can now detail their request by filling out a form on the CalPERS website and submitting it online.
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