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Requirement for Disclosure of Ownership Interest in Business Entities Seeking County Contracts

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Suffredin's Commentary
Activity Log
Full Text of Legislation

Date Introduced: 7/22/2008
Date Passed:

Claypool, Quigley, Schneider
Daley, Gorman, Goslin, Maldonado, Murphy, Peraica, Silvestri, Steele-Robert, Suffredin


Ordinance to require disclosure of all ownership interest over 5% for business entities seeking to do business with Cook County.  Requires creation of database for easy public access of the ownership information.

Activity Log:

Referred to Committee on Finance.
Effective date changed in Committee to 180 days after adoption (was immediate).
Approved as amended by Committee on Finance.

Full Text of Legislation:







WHEREAS, Cook County spends approximately $120,000,000 in FY 2007 on contractual services approved by the board, and


WHEREAS, the county contracts for a wide array of goods and services, including pharmaceutical supplies, technology software, long-term care for severely disabled patients, registry nursing services and a wide array of other goods and services, and


WHEREAS, governments, like the city of Chicago enacted an ordinance that requires all privately held companies interested in competing for city contracts to disclose their ownership arrangements, and


WHEREAS, it is good public policy for Cook County to adopt a similar ordinance to ensure the public that the procurement and contracting process is fair, open and transparent.


BE IT ORDAINED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that Chapter 2 Administration Division 2.  Code of Ethical Conduct, Sections 2-610 through 2-614, of the Cook County Code is hereby enacted as follows:


Sec. 2-610.      Actions requiring County approval disclosure information required when.


            (a) Whenever any corporation; partnership; association; business trust; estate; two or more persons having a joint or common interest; other commercial or legal entity; trustee of a land trust; or any beneficiary or beneficiaries thereof makes application to the County of Cook  for action requiring an ordinance, or ordinance amendment, county board approval, or other county agency approval, with respect to contracts, leases, or sale or purchase of real estate, the following disclosures and information shall be certified and attached to the application or document:


(1)        The name, address and percentage of ownership interest of each individual or entity having a legal or a beneficial interest of more than five percent in the applicant. Any entity required by law to file a statement providing substantially the information required by this paragraph with any other government agency may file a duplicate of such statement;


            (2)        Whenever any interest required to be disclosed in paragraph (1) is held by an agent or agents, or a nominee or nominees, the principals for whom such agents or nominees hold such interest shall also be disclosed. The application of a spouse or any other party, if constructively controlled by another person, or legal entity as set forth above, shall state the name and address and percentage of beneficial interest of such person or entity possessing such constructive control and the relationship under which such control is being or may be exercised. Whenever a stock or beneficial interest is held by a corporation or other legal entity, such shareholder or beneficiary shall also make disclosure as required by paragraph (1) above;


(3)       A statement under oath that the applicant has withheld no disclosures as to economic interests in the undertaking nor reserved any information, data or plan as to the intended use or purpose for which it seeks county board or other county agency action.


Sec. 2-611.      Information to be kept current.


            All disclosures and information shall be current as of the date upon which the application is presented to the county board or other county agency, and shall be maintained current until such time as the county board or other county agency shall take action on the application. Furthermore, this information shall be maintained in a database and made available for public viewing.


Sec. 2-612.      Additional information authorized when.


            Notwithstanding any of the above provisions, the County Purchasing Agent with respect to contracts awarded by the chief procurement officer, may require any such additional information from any applicant which is reasonably intended to achieve full disclosure relevant to the application for action by the County Board of Commissioners or any other County agency.


Sec. 2-613.      Failure to comply.


            Any failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter division shall render any ordinance, ordinance amendment, county board approval or other county action in behalf of the applicant failing to comply, voidable at the option of the county board or other county agency involved, upon the recommendation of the President or the majority of the County Board of Commissioners.


Sec. 2-614.      Rulemaking authority.


            The County Board President The County Purchasing Agent is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations and prepare forms to effectuate the purposes of this chapter division.


Effective date:  This Ordinance shall be effective upon adoption180 days after becoming law.


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