All about Public Official Bonds

Public officials occupy positions of trust, within the government. Dealing with confidential information, they serve the general public. To ensure that these powers are not misused, many employees must be licensed. The Public Official Bond is necessary to obtain such a license.

Who must get a Public Official Bond?

Government workers covered under Public Official Bonds include federal, state, county, municipal, and court employees. The bonds cover department heads and may also applies to their deputies and subordinates who have critical responsibilities. Some subordinates may still be required to be bonded.

Officials covered under Public Officials Bonds include:

  • Judges and court clerks
  • Mayors
  • Sheriffs, their deputies and officers
  • Tax collectors and subordinates
  • Treasurers and subordinates
  • Township managers, directors, clerks and other officials
  • Homeowner association leaders

Parties in a Public Official Bond:

Like any surety bond, there are three parties in a Public Official Bond:

Principal: The public official who is obliged to buy the bond.

Obligee: The government agency that employs the official.

Surety: The surety company that underwrites the bond.

The two most common Public Official Bonds are:

Fidelity Bond: This type of bond is meant to ensure honest and ethical conduct. The public official promises to indemnify the government for any misconduct.

Faithful Performance Bond: This bond ensures that the official will faithfully perform his duties. It has a wider coverage than the fidelity bonds. Some bond conditions also include the handling of public funds.

What does a surety consider when underwriting a Public Official Bond?

There are some essential factors that a surety will consider when issuing a Public Official Bond:

  • The responsibilities of the official role being filled.
  • The financial background and credit rating of the candidate.
  • The professional and education qualifications of the person applying for the bond.

How do you buy a Public Official Bond?

When looking for a Public Official Bond, you should look for surety companies that specialize in Public Official Bonds. You can research companies online and ask your friends and peers.  Most companies will have an online form that you will have to fill out. Eventually you will be asked to submit financial statements,educational and  professional certificates and documents to prove your qualifications.

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