Yes because they have to determine a conflict of interest.
And, when you work for a public agency, there is a "conflict of interest" form that you need to complete EVERY year (at least I know of people employed in the county's attorneys' office that complete it every year).
I'm a bit surprised that it's recently - unless you haven't been employed there very long. I work for a local public agency and had to complete one within 30-60 days of employment and every year thereafter (we have until end of March to complete the form).
It's called Form 700 (statement of economic interests) and here is information about it:
The purpose of financial disclosure is to alert public officials to personal interests that might be affected while they are performing their official duties, i.e., making governmental decisions. Disclosure also helps inform the public about potential conflicts of interest.
Public officials at every level of state and local government must disclose their personal financial interests. Elected officials, judges, and high-ranking appointed officials generally have the most comprehensive disclosure requirements. (Gov. Code Section 87200.) These include disclosure of:
* Investments in business entities (e.g., stock holdings, owning a business, a partnership)
* Interests in real estate (real property)
* Sources of personal income, including gifts, loans and travel payments
* Positions of management or employment with business entities
For most other officials, including employees of state and local government agencies, it is up to the agencies that employ them to decide what their disclosure requirements are. Each state and local agency must adopt a conflict of interest code tailoring the disclosure requirements for each position within the agency to the types of governmental decisions a person holding that position would make. For example, an employee who approves contracts for goods or services purchased by her agency should not be required to disclose real estate interests, but should be required to disclose investments in and income from individuals and entities that supply equipment, materials, or services to the agency. (Gov. Code Sections 87301 and 87302.)
Unpaid members of boards and commissions and consultants to state and local government agencies also may be required to disclose their personal financial interests if they make or participate in making governmental decisions that could affect their private financial interests.
Disclosure is made on a form called a "statement of economic interests" (Form 700). The form must be filed each year. Filed forms are public documents that must be made available to anyone who requests them.
So, yes, it can be required.