Local government officials in California will no longer have access to an unlimited supply of free event tickets they once did, after the state’s ethics agency put new restrictions on the practice. In mid-December the Fair Political Practices Commission voted to limit the amount of free tickets an official could receive after discovering thousands of dollars worth of tickets were given to these officials.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the new rules prohibit government officials from accepting tickets worth more than $420 in a year from a single source because it is will be considered a gift. The only exception is if the individual’s attendance at the concert or sporting event is to serve a public purpose.
“There has been clearly a potential for abuse and viewing these as open-ended perquisites and entitlements,” said commission chairman Ross Johnson, according to the LA Times. “And our hope is we will rein that in fairly dramatically.”
In addition the agency that accepts tickets to an event is required to post on its Web site who will be using the tickets, as well as what event it was and their reason for attending. This requirement was put in because the use of these tickets as gifts is a matter of public record.
“The public has the right to know what its money is being spent on,” executive director of the commission Roman Porter told the Orange County Register.