Press Releases

Orange County Embraces New Financing Policy

County Executive Office - Press Release


January 16, 1996

Orange County Embraces New Financing Policy

Santa Ana, CA. -- January 16, 1996 -- Janice Mittermeier, Chief Executive Officer of Orange County, announced today that her office has proposed that the County Board of Supervisors adopt comprehensive new guidelines governing the approval of any future financings which involve the County.

The proposed guidelines will be considered by the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 1996. "These new guidelines are part of the County's ongoing efforts to restore public confidence in County government, and to assure the financial community that there are excellent safeguards in place to prevent future recurrences of the county's financial crisis," stated CEO Mittermeier. The proposed guidelines provide for a Public Financing Advisory Committee consisting of the County Chief Executive Officer, the County Auditor-Controller, the County Counsel and two public members to be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. No proposed public financing will be considered by the Board of Supervisors except upon the recommendation of the Advisory Committee. The Committee will also be responsible for the selection of all financing professionals engaged to assist in a public financing, subject to ratification by the Board of Supervisors.

All proposed public financings must be submitted to the Advisory Committee for preliminary and final review. The Advisory Committee will present its preliminary recommendations to the Board and, if approved, the County Executive Office, in conjunction with the financing professionals engaged by the County, will proceed with the financing. A written plan of due diligence to assure that any proposed financing is fully investigated and analyzed, and that all offering documents fully and fairly present all material facts will be prepared. Prior to final approval of any financing, the Board of Supervisors will receive a comprehensive report by the Chief Executive Officer as well as copies of all disclosure documents. The Board of Supervisors will in turn review the Chief Executive Officer's report and disclosure documents to assure accurate disclosure in the County's financing documents.

The proposed Guidelines require that prior to Board of Supervisors' final approval of any financing, the Chief Executive Officer confirm to the Board of Supervisors that the plan of due diligence has been completed and that all financing professionals have provided written certification that the offering documents do not contain any misrepresentations or omissions of material facts. The proposed Guidelines also ensure that political contributions and gifts are not a consideration in the selection of financing professionals.

The proposed Guidelines extend the ban of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-37, which is limited to political contributions by brokers and dealers, to encompass all financing professionals who do business with the County, including underwriters, bond counsel, financial advisors, or other paid professionals. The proposed Guidelines prospectively prohibit the County from retaining any financing professional who has made a political contribution or gift to any member or candidate for the Board of Supervisors, the Treasurer-Tax Collector or the Auditor-Controller within two years of the financing professional's engagement, or during the period of any engagement with the County.