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How to use eCRIS Disbursement Search

 

The purpose of eCRIS Disbursement Search option is to offer public users to search for and view transaction details related to the Disbursements reported by committees which filed campaign finance reports electronically using eCRIS or whose paper report transactions were entered by the SEEC using a data entry module. The first step in accomplishing this is to specify the search criteria. Before you specify any criterion it is recommended that you articulate your search into a well defined statement. We have wide array of search criteria so as to allow the public to quickly access the information they desire. In doing so, therefore a search which is not well defined can result in returning thousands of transactions thus causing the public user to become frustrated and more importantly wasting their time. We value your time and equally valuable to us is your ability to retrieve desired results.

 We offer these basic tips for you to consider when using eCRIS Disbursement Search option:
You can only search for transactions reported by Active and SEEC Registered committees who filed their financial reports since 1/1/2008 through yesterday midnight. This includes transactions reported by eCRIS filers as well as filers who filed on paper. For committees filing their reports on paper, their transactions were either entered by the SEEC staff or an agent of SEEC.
You can only search for transactions which have been filed with the SEEC. For committees using eCRIS, the transactions which are in DRAFT mode are not disclosed to public until filed by the designated officer(s) of the committee.
You MUST specify a search value for at least one of the following search fields (marked with an asterisk): 
       Committee (Payer) 
       Recipient (Payee) Name
       Disbursement Purpose

Please refer to the detailed explanation of these search criteria.
Whenever possible only provide search criteria that you are certain of. We recommend that you provide the minimum required search criteria which meet your search needs. As you gain familiarity and understanding of data maintained and collected by the SEEC, you may find it useful to provide increased amount of search criteria which might result in the most precise result set you are looking for. We advise you to read the following sections which may prove useful in gaining understanding of the data collected by the SEEC.
eCRIS Receipt Search criteria values specified by the users are NOT case sensitive.
Do NOT use wild card search characters (such as *, %, and so on) when specifying search values for the text type search criteria.
Do NOT use punctuations (such as -, ‘, “, !, +, ?, @, $ and so on) when specifying search values for the text type search criteria.
   Committee (Payer) (Show Details...)
This criterion refers to the committee making the disbursement. Use this criterion to provide the full name or any part of the name of a committee making disbursements. For example, if you type john for the Committee (Payer) criterion then the search will return all transactions for which the Committee (Payer) Name includes the string value of john anywhere in the full name of the committee such as John Doe, Jim Johnson, John Doe Enterprises, John Doe for Senate, Johnstown Independent Town Party Committee, and so on. If you choose to use the exact name of the Committee then you can also click on the Committee Search icon to switch to the Committee Search option and select the Committee name returned by the search. For more information on Committee Search option refer to How to use Committee Search option document.
   Recipient (Payee) Name   (Show Details...)
This criterion refers to the name of the entity that is recipient of the disbursement. Entities can be Individuals, Committees, Businesses or Vendors. Use this criterion to provide the full name or any part of the name for a Recipient/Payee. For example, if you type john for the Recipient/Payee Name as criterion then the search will return all recipient/payee names which include the string value of john anywhere in the full name of the recipient/payee such as John Doe, Jim Johnson, John Doe Enterprises, John Doe for Senate, Johnstown Independent Town Party Committee, and so on.
Disbursement Type Payee Type
Expenses Paid By Committee Individuals / Businesses (aka vendors) / Other Committees / Other Entities
Campaign Expenses Paid by Candidate Businesses (aka vendors)
Expenses Incurred on Committee Credit Card Businesses (aka vendors)
Expenses Incurred by Committee but Not Paid During this Period Individuals / Businesses (aka vendors) / Other Committees / Other Entities
Itemization of Reimbursements to Committee Workers And Consultants Individuals / Businesses (aka vendors)
   City   (Show Details...)
This criterion refers to the name of the City associated with the address for the entity to which/whom the disbursement was made to (also referred to as Payee) as reported to the SEEC. For the purposes of disclosure the definition of city also includes towns and communities within CT. We caution users to be careful when using this criterion to search for disbursements. It should be noted that you may specify either the full name of the city or partial name of the city, such as hartford or hart. It should be noted however that data reported using eCRIS or on paper (entered by SEEC) is made available as reported by the user and therefore may include instances of misspelled city names and/or where such information is completely missing.
   State   (Show Details...)
This criterion refers to the abbreviation of the State associated with the address for the entity to which/whom a disbursement was made to (also referred to as Payee) as reported to the SEEC. We caution users to be careful when using this criterion to search for disbursements. It should be noted that data reported using eCRIS or on paper (entered by SEEC) is made available as reported by the user and therefore may include instances of improper state abbreviations and/or where such information is completely missing.
   Transaction From and To Dates    (Show Details...)
These criteria refer to the Transaction Date range associated with the disbursements made by the committees as reported to the SEEC. Use mm/dd/yy OR mm/dd.yyyy format to specify dates. When you do specify FROM DATE and do not specify the TO DATE, the search engine will assume today’s date as the TO DATE. If you do specify the TO DATE then it must be greater than the FROM DATE. We caution users to be careful when using these criteria to search for disbursements. It should be noted that data reported using eCRIS or on paper (entered by SEEC) is made available as reported by the user and therefore may include instances of improper date formats. In an event where the transaction date is missing, the search engine uses ASSUMED TRANSACTION DATE (which is the beginning date of the period the transaction was reported in).
   Transaction Minimum and Maximum Amounts    (Show Details...)
These criteria refer to the Transaction Amounts associated with the disbursements made by the committees as reported to the SEEC. DO NOT USE THE $ SIGN or Comma to specify amount. YOU MAY USE DECIMAL to specify fraction of a dollar amount. We caution users to be careful when using these criteria to search for disbursements. It should be noted that data reported using eCRIS or on paper (entered by SEEC) is made available as reported by the user and therefore may include instances of improper amount formats (such as negative amounts) and/or where such information is completely missing.
   Disbursement Purpose    (Show Details...)
Describes the purpose of disbursement transaction specified by a filer at the time of report. By default, the check box for Select/Unselect ALL is not checked. To search for ALL disbursement purposes the user may choose to leave it unchecked. Unless you wish to limit your search to the transactions that are reported as a given purpose of disbursement (s), we suggest that you do not select any of the purposes of disbursements listed. The following are two other options available to the user for identifying their selection based on this criterion:
1) Select/Unselect a group of disbursement purposes. A group may be defined as 80% of the choices available. For example the user may be interested in searching for transactions based on ALL disbursement purposes except the ones marked as CEF. To accomplish this, the user should click on the check box for Select/Unselect ALL option and scroll through the list to find CEF as the disbursement purpose and click on the check box to Unselect it.
2) Select/Unselect a few disbursement purposes. A few is defined as choices of no more than
3. For example the user may be interested in searching for transactions based on disbursement purposes marked as OFFICE or FNDR. To accomplish this, the user should ignore the check box for Select/Unselect ALL option and simply scroll down and then click on the check boxes for OFFICE and FNDR (use the scroll bar to scroll through the list, if necessary).
To remove the check mark in the box, click the check box again.
Use the scroll bar to browse through the list of disbursement purposes not in the view.
   Committee Type    (Show Details...)
By default, the ALL category radio button is selected. If you are searching for a specific type of committee, choose the appropriate committee type radio button. For example, select the Candidate Committee radio button and then type "smith" under the Candidate / Chairperson Name. The system will provide a list of all types of documents filed for candidates whose name contains the word "smith". The following is a brief definition of the types of committees registered with the SEEC. Please note that candidate committees established on behalf of candidates seeking offices that are not on the ballot at regular state elections are NOT registered with the SEEC.

Candidate Committee
An individual seeking elected office of Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of the State, State Treasurer, State Comptroller, Attorney General, State Senator, State Representative or Judge of Probate. Candidates for offices in a municipal election (i.e. Mayor, Selectman, Board of Education) file locally with their Town Clerk and are not available through this search application.
Political Action Committee
Committees formed by Business Entities, Labor Unions and Other Organizations, Two or More Individuals, Legislative Caucuses or Legislative Leaders for activities involving state elections. Committees formed for municipal activities only (including referenda) are filed with the Town Clerks and are not available through this system.
Party Committee
Town Committees for major and minor parties or State Central Committees would be found under this category.
Exploratory Committee
An exploratory committee is a committee formed by a candidate who has not yet determined which particular public office to seek, yet desires to raise and spend funds to “test the waters.” An exploratory committee may only be established for an office or offices to be elected at the same election (raising or spending funds will trigger candidacy). The sole purpose of such a committee is to decide whether to seek office in a particular election.
All Use this category if you are unsure of the type of committee you are searching for.
   Sort Results by    (Show Details...)
This criterion allows the user to sort the search results by one of the choices listed on the drop down list. By default the search results are sorted by the Transaction Date in Descending order. It should be noted that the user can click on the column titles on the search results screen to change the sort order.
   Show Amended History   (Show Details...)
This criterion allows the user to include transactions which have been amended by the filer. By default the search results ONLY include the ORIGINAL transaction filed.
   Show Records   (Show Details...)
The default number of records displayed per page is 100, which is also the highest number of records that can be displayed per page; however you can change the number by choosing the desired value from the dropdown list.
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