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Executive Director's Report - November 25, 2013

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Regular Meeting of November 25, 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 hired a training officer and is in the final decision-making stage of hiring an auditor.  We plan to fill the open Investigator position later in the fiscal year.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of November 13, 2013, there were 16 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance 11
Conflict of Interest 3
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 2
Sunshine Ordinance 0
TOTAL 16

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline was on October 24, 2013 for the Second Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending October 19, 2013.  The next filing deadline is January 31, 2014 for the First Semi Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 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 October 31, the Commission collected a total of $3,233 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $19,077, of which waiver requests are pending for $210; 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 October 31, 2013:

#Committee/
Filer
ID #Treasurer or Responsible OfficerDate referral effectiveOriginal amount referredLast month’s balanceCurrent 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 November 19, 2013, the Commission received $12,156, as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately twelve percent of expected revenues for FY 13-14. 

Revenues received as of November 19, 2013:

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 13-14Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $27,000          $5,100
Other Ethics General $1,000                 $0
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000            $3,233
Campaign Consultant Fees $18,000                 $50
Lobbyist Fines $1,000               $100
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $1,510
Other Ethics Fines $1,000            $2,163
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000                   $0
Unallocated $0                   $0
Total                        $100,000 $12,156

5. Lobbyist program. 

As of November 13, 2013, 95 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2013-2014 fiscal year amount to $5,100, with $5,000 in lobbyist registration fees and $100 in fines. The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is December 16, 2013.

6. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of November 19, 2013, 21 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission. $600 in registration fees and 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 departments regarding the electronic filing of the Form 700 and requesting submission of a Certification of Email Addresses form, due by December 2, 2013.  As of November 5, 2013, staff had followed up with the secretaries and department heads who have yet to file their email addresses.  Electronic filing of the Form 700 with the Commission will be implemented on January 1, 2014.

As of November 12, 2013, the Commission had received approximately 24 percent of the email addresses needed to create the e-filing accounts that will allow electronic filing of the Form 700. 

In February and March 2014, the Commission will provide workshops on how to file the Form 700 electronically.  A notice regarding these workshops will be sent shortly.

8. Outreach and Education.

On November 4, staff met with a delegation of 19 members of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Department of Supervision.  The group, sponsored by Triway International, was interested in learning about the work of the Ethics Commission and its investigation and enforcement procedures, among other things. 

On November 17, the Executive Director was a guest lecturer at the Presidio Graduate School and gave a talk on governmental ethics to a Public Administration Class.

On November 19, staff met with a delegation of 20 from the Wuhan Supervision Bureau, who were visiting the United States to learn about anti-corruption efforts.  The group also learned about the work of the Ethics Commission, Sunshine and open meeting laws, and citizen participation.

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. Records Requests

Staff finished responding to the records requests made in October.  The largest request took over 57 hours of staff time to collect, review, and organize records, scan paper documents into electronic format, redact information as required by law, and prepare a written response explaining the legal basis for the redactions. 

10. Open Data

On November 13, 2013, the Controller's Office published data showing the volume of records contributed to the City's open data web site called DataSF at data.sfgov.org.  Commission staff has contributed the most records to the web site, far outpacing any other department's efforts. 

Respectfully submitted,

 

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director                      

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