January 24, 2019


Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68B.32A(12) and rule 351—1.2, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issues this opinion concerning Iowa Code section 68A.402A. We note at the outset that the Board’s jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 68A and 68B, Iowa Code section 8.7, and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 351. Advice in a Board opinion, if followed, constitutes a defense to a subsequent complaint based on the same facts and circumstances.


Is a campaign committee required to disclose disbursements made by a consultant?


Iowa Code section 68A.402A sets out what is required to be disclosed on campaign disclosure reports. With respect to consultants, it states a committee must report: “Disbursements made to a consultant and disbursements made by the consultant during the reporting period disclosing the name and address of the recipient, amount, purpose, and date.” i

We also have a rule that provides a more detailed explanation. It states:

A committee that enters into a contract with a consultant for future or continuing performance shall be required to report expenditures made to the consultant and the nature of the performance of the consultant that is expected to be received by the committee. A committee is required to report in Part 1 of Schedule G any contracts with consultants that it has negotiated, the complete name and address of the consultant, the period time during which the contract is in effect, and estimates of performance to be derived from the contract. Expenditures made to the consultant during a reporting period shall be reported with all other expenditures on Schedule B, and debts incurred with the other debts on Schedule D. Additionally, a detailed breakdown of the expenditures made by the consultant shall be reported by the committee in Part 2 of Schedule G and shall include the date of the expenditure, the purpose of the expenditure and the amount of the expenditure. The description of the purpose of the expenditure shall be consistent with the provisions of subrule 4.15(3).ii   


Thus, under the Code of Iowa and the Board’s administrative rules, a committee is required to report not only the expenditures it makes to a consultant but also the expenditures the consultant makes on behalf of the committee.  The Board encourages any committee with questions about the consultant schedule to contact the Board’s staff for further guidance.    


James Albert, Board Chair
John Walsh, Vice Chair
Jonathan Roos
Carole Tillotson
Mary Rueter
Elaine Olson

Submitted by Megan Tooker, Board Legal Counsel

  iIowa Code § 68A.402A(1)(g) (emphasis added).   
  iiIowa Admin. Code r. 351—4.19 (emphasis added).