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Executive Director's Report - March 24, 2014

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Regular Meeting of March 24, 2014  

1. Budget/Staffing.

At the January meeting, the Commission adopted a budget proposal for the Fiscal Year 2014/2015.  As previously reported, the extended vacancy in the Audit staff has been filled; however, another auditor has resigned due to an opportunity in another department.  We will endeavor to fill this new vacancy as soon as practical.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of March 17, 2014, there were 23 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 15
Conflict of Interest 2
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 2
Sunshine Ordinance 4
TOTAL 23

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline was on January 31, 2014 for the First Semi Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 2013. Of the 183 committees required to file on this deadline, only two have not yet filed and staff is pursuing those entities (one is an office holder and one is a general purpose committee).  The next filing deadline is March 24, 2014 for the First Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending March 17, 2014. 

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 February 28, the Commission collected a total of $10,174 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $22,438, 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 January 31, 2014:

# 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 March 14, 2014, the Commission received $65,096 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 76 percent of expected revenues for FY 13-14, 71 percent of the fiscal year having elapsed. 

Revenues received as of March 14, 2014:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 13-14 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $27,000          $55,000
Other Ethics General $1,000                 $12
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000          $10,174
Campaign Consultant Fees $18,000            $5,100
Lobbyist Fines $1,000               $200
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $1,410
Other Ethics Fines $1,000            $4,713
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000                 $50
Unallocated $0                   $0
Total                        $100,000 $76,659

5. Lobbyist program. 

As of March 17, 2014, 98 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2013-2014 fiscal year amount to $55,200, with $55,000 in lobbyist registration fees and $200 in fines.  The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is April 15, 2014.

6. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of March 17, 2014, 19 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission. $5,150 in registration fees and fines and have been collected so far during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, June 16, 2014, covering the reporting period from March 1, 2014 through May 31, 2014.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants before the deadline.

7. Statements of Economic Interests.

On March 12, 2014, staff sent the first of three weekly reminders to filing officers, department heads, and e-filers about the April 1st deadline for filing the Annual Form 700.  Subsequent reminders will be sent on March 19th and 26th.  As of March 18, 3014, 31 percent (169) e-filers had filed their Annual Form 700 successfully.

On February 25, 2014, the Ethics Commission provided four staff members to assist with the collection of Sunshine Ordinance Declarations and Certificates of Ethics Training at the City Attorney’s AB 1234 training course.  Approximately 250 individuals received training.

8. Outreach and Education.

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

Respectfully submitted,

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director                      

S:\ED Report\2013\3.24.2014.doc

(Attachment to the ED Report)