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Executive Director's Report - October 28, 2013

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Regular Meeting of October 28, 2013  

1. Budget/Staffing.

As mentioned previously, the Commission’s budget for FY 2013/14 is $4,531,950, which is a total increase of $376,403 over the past year’s budget.  The total includes $1,903,559 for the Election Campaign Fund (ECF) and $2,628,391 for the operating budget.  The Commission has interviewed candidates for the open Auditor and Educator Positions and is in the final decision-making stage of this process.  We plan to fill the open Investigator position later in the fiscal year.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of October 12, 2013, there were 13 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 8
Conflict of Interest 3
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 2
Sunshine Ordinance 0
TOTAL 13

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline was on September 26, 2013 for the First Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending September 21, 2013.  The next filing deadline is October 24, 2013 for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending October 19, 2013. 

Due to recent changes to the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance and Ethics Commission regulations, all committees must now file electronic statements and complete the electronic signature requirements.  Staff has informed treasurers and candidates about the new requirements and has provided detailed instructions.  Staff continues to inform and assist committees during this transition.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the FY 13-14, as of September 30, the Commission collected a total of $1,831 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $22,267, of which waiver requests are pending for $560; and $13,260 is pending at the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR). 

c. Status of accounts to San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).  The following chart provides details on active accounts referred to BDR as of September 30, 2013:

# 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
3 Chris Jackson For Community College Board 1347066 Chris Jackson 7/12/13 $6,600.94 $6,600.94 $6,600.94
            TOTAL $13,260

4. Revenues report. 

For FY 13-14, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of October 21, 2013, the Commission received $9,119 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately nine percent of expected revenues for FY 13-14. 

Revenues received as of October 21, 2013:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 13-14 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $27,000          $4,000
Other Ethics General $1,000                 $0
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000            $1,831
Campaign Consultant Fees $18,000                 $50
Lobbyist Fines $1,000               $100
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $1,100
Other Ethics Fines $1,000            $2,038
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000                   $0
Unallocated $0                   $0
Total                        $100,000 $9,119

5. Lobbyist program. 

As of October 22, 2013, 94 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2013-2014 fiscal year amount to $4,100, with $4,000 in lobbyist registration fees and $100 in fines. The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is November 15, 2013.

6. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of October 21, 2013, 20 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission. $50 in registration fees or fines and have been collected so far during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  In addition, a $200 refund was paid to a consultant who had overpaid fees in fiscal year 2012-2013.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, December 16, 2013.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants before the deadline.

7. Statements of Economic Interests.

On September 16, 2013, staff sent out a notice to all department heads regarding the electronic filing of the Form 700 and how to create an e-filing account.  Electronic filing of SEIs with the Commission will be implemented beginning January 1, 2014.

As of October 21, 2013 staff has begun contacting secretaries and department heads who have yet to file their Certification of Email Addresses form, due by December 2, 2013. Staff is following up to ensure that the September 16, 2013 memorandum was received, and is addressing any questions that the filers may have regarding the Certification of Email Addresses form.

8. Outreach and Education.

On October 11, staff met with a delegation of 18 government officials from the Fujian Provincial Government. The group, sponsored by Triway International, was interested in learning about enforcement of ethics laws and supervision of the government employees in the United States.

The Commission continues to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments via web trainings.  The following are web video trainings available on the Commission website:

  • Department of Building Inspection SIA Training
  • Candidates’ Training
  • 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

9.  Technology

Netfile, the Commission’s electronic filing system vendor, has provided campaign filers with a mobile phone app to sign electronic campaign finance statements.  Candidates, treasurers, and committee officers with a Signature Verification Card on file with the Commission can view and sign campaign statements from a mobile phone using a Signer ID and PIN code.  The September 26, 2013 pre-election campaign finance deadline was the first deadline that the app was available for use.  Filers may obtain the Android phone app for free by clicking the link in their Netfile User Accounts on the signature page or by searching for “Netfile Signature Verification” on the Google Play Store.  Netfile intends to make the app available for iPhones in the near future. 

10.  Records Requests

Staff has been responding to an increase in public records requests this month.  Due to the voluminous records involved in some of the requests, some staff have been sidetracked from their regular duties. 

Respectfully submitted,

 

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director                      

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