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Executive Director's Report - November 26, 2012

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of November 26, 2012  

1. November 6, 2012 election. 

As of November 13, 2012, the Commission disbursed a total of $1,178,761 in public funds to 12 candidates eligible to receive public financing.  Candidates may continue to submit requests for public funds through December 6, 2012.

According to Third Party Disclosure Forms filed with the Commission, third party spending to support or oppose candidates on the November 6 ballot totaled almost $1.7 million.  In 2010 when 22 candidates qualified to receive public funding, third party spending also totaled approximately $1.7 million.   

Staff continues to conduct outreach to candidates to inform them about rules relating to termination of committees, return of unexpended funds and other relevant matters.  Audits will commence soon.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of November 14, 2012, there are 28 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.  Out of the nine complaints alleging Sunshine Ordinance violations, the resolution of seven is pending the approval of the Commission’s Sunshine Ordinance regulations. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 15
Conflict of Interest 2
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 2
Sunshine Ordinance 9
TOTAL 28

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline was on October 25, 2012 for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending October 20, 2012.  Only one filer still has not filed his required statement.  Staff sent a Non-Specific Written Notice.  In the interim, staff continues to receive and process campaign statements for other filing deadlines.  Staff continues to answer questions from and conduct outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations.  The next filing deadline is January 31, 2013 for the Second Semi-Annual Statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 2012.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the FY12-13, as of November 14, the Commission collected a total of $28,193 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $22,449, of which waiver requests are pending for $210; and $6,659 is pending at the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR). 

In the last ED report, eight filers appeared on the BDR list.  On October 24, staff met with staff at BDR and learned that in three of the older cases, judgments were issued for the City; three other claims had been discharged due to bankruptcy of the filers.

c. Status of accounts to San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).  The following chart provides details on active accounts referred to BDR:

# Committee/
Filer
ID # Treasurer or Responsible Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold)
1 Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
100716 Johnny K. Wang 4/19/11 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 
2 Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board 1302351 Chris Jackson 6/17/11 2,658.90 $2,658.90 2,658.90
            TOTAL $6,659

4. Revenues report. 

For FY 12-13, the Commission was budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of November 9, 2012, the Commission received $ 35,128 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 35 percent of expected revenues for FY 12-13. 

Revenues received as of November 9, 2012:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 12-13 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $27,000 $3,500
Other Ethics General $1,000 $84
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000 $18,169
Campaign Consultant Fees $18,000 $2,300
Lobbyist Fines $1,000 $550
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $2540
Other Ethics Fines $1,000 $1,300
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000 $100
Unallocated $0 $6,585
Total                        $100,000 $35,128

5. Lobbyist program. 

As of November 9, 2012, 91 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  For FY 12–13, as of November 9, 2012, total revenues collected were $4,050, including $3,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $550 in late fines. The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is December 17, 2012.

6. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of November 13, 2012, thirty-nine campaign consultants are registered with the Commission.   $2,300 in registration fees and $100 in fines have been collected so far during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, December 17, 2012.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants two weeks before the deadline.

7. Outreach and Education.

On October 18, staff met with a delegation of 19 representatives of the Changzhi City Supervision Bureau.  Sponsored by the US-China Business Training Center, the delegates were in the U.S. to learn about the role and responsibilities of the Ethics Commission, especially as they pertain to investigation procedures for ethics complaints and the enforcement of ethics rules.  Established in 1992 and based in Los Angeles, the US-China Business Training Center is a China State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) certified provider of professional training programs for Chinese officials, industry professionals and business executives.  

On October 19, staff met with a delegation of 20 officials from the Bureau of Supervision, Guangzhou Municipality, China.  The delegation, sponsored by Triway International, Inc., was in the U.S. for a three-week trip to learn about anti-corruption practices in the U.S., and discussed the functions of the Ethics Commission, its education program, and performance evaluation standards and measures of City employees.

On November 9, staff met with a group of 19 officials from the Henan Bureau of Corruption Prevention, Henan Provincial Department of Supervision and other local subsidiaries. The group, also sponsored by Triway, visited the U.S. in early November to gain an understanding of administrative efficiency procedures in the U.S. They discussed the functions of the Ethics Commission, its training programs and performance standards and measures. 

The Commission continues to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments. 

The following are web video trainings available on the Commission website:

  • Department of Building Inspection SIA Training
  • Candidates’ Training (new version posted on September 4)
  • Controller’s Office SIA Training
  • Department on the Environment SIA Training
  • Governmental Ethics Ordinance Training for City Employees
  • Lobbyist Ordinance Training
  • Medical Examiner’s Office SIA Training
  • Non-Candidate Recipient Committee Training
  • Public Utilities Commission SIA Training
  • SIA Template Language Training

Respectfully submitted,

 

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director                                                                                        

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