Frequently Asked Questions
For Disclosure of Interested Parties (Form 1295)


    1. Changes to Form 1295 since December 2017

      Changes to the law requiring certain businesses to file a Form 1295 are in effect for contracts entered into or amended on or after January 1, 2018. The changes exempt businesses from filing a Form 1295 for certain types of contracts and replace the need for a completed Form 1295 to be notarized. Instead, the person filing a 1295 needs to complete an "unsworn declaration."

    2. Why do I need to include my date of birth and address when I sign Form 1295? Was this always the case?

      In 2017, the legislature amended the law to require Form 1295 to include an "unsworn declaration" which includes, among other things, the date of birth and address of the authorized representative signing the form. The change in the law applies to contracts entered into, renewed, or amended on or after January 1, 2018. The unsworn declaration, including the date of birth and address of the signatory, replaces the notary requirement that applied to contracts entered into before January 1, 2018.

    3. Who is considered an "interested party"?

      An interested party is: (1) a person who has a controlling interest in a business entity with whom a governmental entity or state agency contracts; or (2) an intermediary.

      1. (1) Controlling Interest: An interested party has a controlling interest in the business entity if the interested party meets one or more of the following conditions:

        1. (a) has an ownership interest or participating interest in a business entity by virtue of units, percentage, shares, stock, or otherwise that exceeds 10 percent;
        2. (b) is a member of the board of directors or other governing body of a business entity of which the board or other governing body is composed of not more than 10 members; or
        3. (c) serves as an officer of a business entity that has four or fewer officers, or serves as one of the four officers most highly compensated by a business entity that has more than four officers. Subsection (c) of this section does not apply to an officer of a publicly held business entity or its wholly owned subsidiaries.
      2. (2) Intermediary Interest: An interested party has an intermediary interest in a contract if the person actively participates in facilitating a contract or negotiating the terms of a contract with a governmental entity or state agency, including a broker, intermediary, advisor, attorney, or representative of or agent for the business entity who meets all of the following conditions:

        1. (a) receives compensation from the business entity for the person’s participation;
        2. (b) communicates directly with the governmental entity or state agency on behalf of the business entity regarding the contract; and
        3. (c) is not an employee of the business entity or of an entity with a controlling interest in the business entity.

      The definitions are located at https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/legal/ch46.html.

    4. Who is required to file Form 1295?

      In 2015, the Texas Legislature adopted House Bill 1295, which added section 2252.908 of the Government Code. The law states that a governmental entity or state agency may not enter into certain contracts with a business entity unless the business entity submits a disclosure of interested parties (Form 1295) to the governmental entity or state agency at the time the business entity submits the signed contract to the governmental entity or state agency.

      The Texas Ethics Commission has adopted rules requiring the business entity to file Form 1295 electronically with the Commission. The state agency or governmental entity must use the filing application to acknowledge the receipt of Form 1295.

    5. To what contracts does Form 1295 apply?

      The law applies only to a contract between a governmental entity or state agency and a business entity at the time it is voted on by the governing body or at the time it binds the governmental entity or state agency, or whichever is earlier, including an amended, extended, or renewed contract, of a governmental entity or state agency that either:

      1. (1) requires an action or vote by the governing body of the entity or agency before the contract may be signed; or
      2. (2) has a value of at least $1 million.

      Gov’t Code § 2252.908; Texas Ethics Commission Rules §§ 46.1(b), 46.3(a). The disclosure requirement applies to a contract entered into on or after January 1, 2016.

      A contract does not require an action or vote by the governing body of a governmental entity or state agency if:

      1. (1) the governing body has legal authority to delegate to its staff the authority to execute the contract;
      2. (2) the governing body has delegated to its staff the authority to execute the contract; and
      3. (3) the governing body does not participate in the selection of the business entity with which the contract is entered into.

      Texas Ethics Commission Rules § 46.1(c).

    6. Are there certain contracts that do not require Form 1295?

      Yes. Form 1295 is not required for the following contracts:

      • (1) a sponsored research contract of an institution of higher education;
      • (2) an interagency contract of a state agency or an institution of higher education;
      • (3) a contract related to health and human services if:
        • (a) the value of the contract cannot be determined at the time the contract is executed; and
        • (b) any qualified vendor is eligible for the contract;
      • (4) a contract with a publicly traded business entity, including a wholly owned subsidiary of the business entity;*
      • (5) a contract with an electric utility, as that term is defined by Section 31.002, Utilities Code;* or
      • (6) a contract with a gas utility, as that term is defined by Section 121.001, Utilities Code.*

      * applies to contracts entered into or amended on or after January 1, 2018

    7. What if there is a change to an existing contract?

      The law also applies to a change made to an existing contract, which includes an amendment, change order, or extension of a contract.

      If the business entity has not submitted a disclosure of interested parties form for the existing contract, a new disclosure is required if: (1) the changed contract requires an action or vote by the governing body of the entity, or (2) agency or the value of the changed contract is at least $1 million.

      If the business entity submitted a disclosure of interested parties form for the existing contract, a new disclosure is required if either: (1) there is a change to the disclosure of interested parties; (2) the changed contract requires an action or vote by the governing body of the entity or agency; or (3) the value of the changed contract is at least $1 million greater than the value of the existing contract.

      Texas Ethics Commission Rules § 46.4.

    8. What if the contract is renewed?

      See "What if there is a change to an existing contract?" for information about a renewed contract.

    9. Can I file Form 1295 with the Commission on paper?

      No. A business entity must file Form 1295 electronically with the Texas Ethics Commission using the online filing application. The business entity must print the copy of the form filed with the Commission and submit the signed copy to the contracting state agency or governmental entity. See "How do I log in to the filing application?" for information about logging in to the online filing application.

    10. How do I log in to the filing application?

      If this is your first time logging in, you will need to create an account in order to register and receive a password. Once you have registered, you will receive an email containing a password setup link. Click on the link to set your password. After you have established an account, you will use your email address, password, and user type (either "Business Entity" or "Governmental Entity/State Agency") to log in to the Form 1295 filing application. Watch our short videos on "Logging In The First Time" on the Form 1295 File Reports Electronically web page.

    11. Is there a mobile version?

      Yes. You can submit and acknowledge certificates using mobile devices.

    12. Help! I can't log in!

      The Email (User ID) is case sensitive. If you cannot remember the correct case of your email, you will need to call the Texas Ethics Commission at 512-463-5800. If you forgot your password, see "Help! I forgot my password!".

    13. Help! I forgot my password!

      If you forgot your password, you can reset your password by clicking the "Forgot Password?" link on the Form 1295 filing application login screen. Once you enter your email address (case sensitive) and filer type and successfully answer the security questions, you will receive an email containing a password reset link. If you cannot successfully answer your security questions, you will need to call the Texas Ethics Commission at 512-463-5800.

    14. What is my "ID" when I click "Forgot Password" on the login page?

      "ID" is the email address that you used to create your account. Your ID is case sensitive. When you enter your email address in the "ID" field, you must enter the exact upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters that you used when you created your account. For example, if you created your account as MyEmail@doesnotexist.com, you must enter the "M" in "My" and the "E" in "Email" as upper case and all other letters as lower case.

    15. Can I have multiple accounts?

      You can have a separate account associated with each unique email address. However, once an account is established, there is no way to combine it with another account. You can only view those certificates created under your own unique email address. If you want to view all your certificates together in one account, we highly encourage you to setup a specific email address to register your account and use that email address each time you log in to the filing application.

    16. Do I send a copy of the signed Form 1295 to the Texas Ethics Commission?

      No. Do not send a paper copy of the signed Form 1295 to the Texas Ethics Commission. If you are with a state agency or other governmental entity, you will log in to the filing application and acknowledge receipt of Form 1295 electronically. See "How do I log in to the filing application?" for more information about logging into the filing application.

    17. Why is my Form 1295 certificate status "Pending" in my "Completed Certificates" table?

      Any submitted 1295 certificate that has been signed must be sent to the governmental entity/state agency for acknowledgment. The certificate status will remain pending until the governmental entity/state agency acknowledges the certificate online. Once the 1295 certificate is acknowledged by the governmental entity/state agency, the status will change to "Acknowledged".

    18. I still am not sure if anyone in my company qualifies as a controlling interest or intermediary. Can you give me some examples?

      For example, Joe is filling out a Form 1295 for his company’s contract with a governmental entity. Joe owns 50% of the company and his wife, Jane, owns 50% of the company. They have no officers or board members. Joe would list both his name and his wife’s name as controlling interests because they each have an ownership interest of greater than 10 percent.

      Joe also hired a lawyer to help facilitate his company’s contract with the governmental entity. Joe paid the lawyer a fee, the lawyer contacted the governmental entity, and the lawyer is not Joe’s employee. Joe would list the lawyer as an intermediary because the lawyer is a non-employee paid by the company to make a direct communication with the governmental entity to negotiate or facilitate the contract.

    19. I submitted a Form 1295 and realized there is an error. Can I edit it?

      No. Once a Form 1295 has been submitted by the business entity, it can no longer be edited. If you found an error, you will need to start a new certificate and re-enter all the required information.

    20. How do I correct an error in a 1295 certificate after it has been acknowledged?

      It is not possible to correct a submitted and acknowledged 1295 certificate. If you find that the acknowledged 1295 certificate has an error, you need to create a new certificate. This new certificate must include all of the required information from the original certificate plus the changes to correct the error. In Box 3, enter this string at the very beginning of the description field:

      "This supercedes certificate 2016-####."

      where 2016-#### is the certificate number in the "OFFICE USE ONLY" box on the certificate that contains the error.

      When you have completed the data entry for the replacement certificate, submit the certificate. Print the new certificate and sign it -- completing the unsworn declaration -- and provide the signed certificate to your governmental entity or state agency to acknowledge using the 1295 filing application.

      Both the original certificate and the replacement certificate will be available on the TEC website.

    21. What if the contract associated with the Form 1295 is never fulfilled?

      All certificates that are filed with the Texas Ethics Commission and acknowledged by a governmental entity will be posted to the Commission’s website regardless of the eventual outcome of the contract associated with the certificate.

    22. I represent a state agency or governmental agency. How much time do I have to acknowledge a Form 1295?

      A state agency or other governmental entity must acknowledge the receipt of the filed Form 1295 not later than the 30th day after the date the governing body or state agency receives the Form 1295. Once a Form 1295 is acknowledged, it will be posted to the Texas Ethics Commission’s website within seven business days.

    23. What if I accidentally acknowledge the wrong Form 1295?

      Before you acknowledge a Form 1295, you should double check that you are acknowledging the correct one. If you acknowledge a Form 1295 in error, you cannot undo the certification. Contact the Texas Ethics Commission at 512-463-5800 and ask to speak with Technical Support.

    24. The filing application says this Form 1295 has already been acknowledged. What do I do now?

      First, you should double check that you are entering the correct certification number. If you still receive an error, contact the Texas Ethics Commission at 512-463-5800 and ask to speak to technical support.

    25. Why am I not receiving email messages from the Texas Ethics Commission?

      All password reset links will be sent to the email address you provided when you registered. This should be an email address that is current and that you check often. You can verify and update your email address right after you log in. Also, be sure to "whitelist" or mark as "safe" emails that come from "do-not-reply@ethics.state.tx.us" and be sure to check your Spam or Junk folder for any missing messages.

    Last Revision: September 21, 2018

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