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Advocacy group: ENMU, NMMI not compliant

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A non-partisan group that tracks compliance with the Financial Disclosures Act by state boards and commissions found that Eastern New Mexico University and the New Mexico Military Institute are not in full compliance.

In its second annual report issued Feb. 28, New Mexico Ethics Watch stated that it looked at 55 organizations in New Mexico with board members that must file financial disclosure forms according to state law.

The report concluded that only three of the 55 organizations were fully compliant, with disclosures forms filed on time by all board members. Most organizations, 39, were found “non-compliant” because they were missing some or all of the required disclosures.

Eastern New Mexico University and New Mexico Military Institute were among the “non-compliant” organizations, according to the report.

ENMU was characterized as non-compliant because two of five regents had not filed disclosures and another two filed late.

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“Our board of regents falls in to the category of being partially compliant. We have some members that have filed this required disclosure and some that have not,” said Vice President for Business Affairs Scott Smart. “We are in the process of making sure that the members who have not yet filed the required disclosure do so.”

The report, however, lists ENMU in the non-compliant category due to the missing forms. The Ethics Watch group defines “partially compliant” as those organizations that have filed all the required forms by the time of the report, although some were filed after the Jan. 31 filing date.

NMMI was listed as “non-compliant” as well, as Ethics Watch reported that it did not find any disclosure forms on file for the Institute’s five regents.

Messages left for an NMMI spokesperson were not returned by press time.

“These disclosures are important for open government because they give members of the public the opportunity to discern whether actions taken by these officials might be taken for the official’s private benefit rather than the public interest,” the report states. “While New Mexico’s financial disclosure requirements are rather weak and riddled with loopholes, they provide a start, at least, to a measure of public accountability.”

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