A behested payment is a payment made at the request of a government official to a third party. Behested payments are made principally for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes, rather than for personal or campaign purposes. Generally, a payment is made at the behest of an elected or appointed officer if it is requested, solicited, or suggested by the officer or his agent, or otherwise made to a person in cooperation, consultation, coordination with, or with the consent of, the officer. If a behested payment is made by an “interested party” at an officer’s behest, that officer may be required to file one or more public disclosures regarding the payment. San Francisco law requires that City elected and appointed officers and members of boards and commissions disclose behested payments on Form SFEC-3610(b). Additionally, California law requires that elected officials disclose certain behested payments on the Form 803. Both filing requirements are explained below.
“At the behest of” means under the control or at the direction of, in cooperation, consultation, coordination, or concert with, at the request or suggestion of, or with the express, prior consent of. However, a contribution is not made at the behest of a public official if the official requested the contribution via television, radio, billboard, a public message on an online platform, the distribution of 200 or more identical pieces of printed material, the distribution of a single email to 200 or more recipients, or a speech to a group of 20 or more individuals.
An “interested party” is a person who is a party or participant to certain types of proceedings before the official in question. Those proceedings are limited to administrative enforcement proceedings and proceedings regarding permits, licenses, or other entitlements for use. A party to such a proceeding is someone who files an application for a license, permit, or entitlement for use or is the subject of the administrative enforcement. A participant in such a proceeding is someone who is not a party to the proceeding but who actively supports or opposes a particular decision in the proceeding and has a financial interest in the decision.
A “payment” is a monetary payment or delivery of goods or services.
Filings by City Officers
Who must file
The Mayor, City Attorney, District Attorney, Treasurer, Sheriff, Assessor-Recorder, Public Defender, a Member of the Board of Supervisors, or any member of a board or commission who is required to file a Statement of Economic Interests, including all persons holding positions listed in Section 3.1-103(a)(1) of the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.
When to file
An officer must file Form SFEC-3610(b) any time a behested payment of $1,000 or more is made at his or her behest by an “interested party.”
The filing deadline for Form SFEC-3610(b) depends on the circumstances under which the behested payment was made.
If the behested payment was made while the proceeding involving the interested party is pending before the officer, then the form must be filed within thirty days of the payment being made. If there is a series of behested payments, the form is due within 30 days of the payment that makes the total $1,000 or more.
If the behested payment was made within six months following the date on which a final decision was made in the proceeding involving the interested party, then the form must be filed within thirty days of the payment. If there is a series of behested payments, the form is due within 30 days of the payment that makes the total $1,000 or more.
Finally, if the behested payment was made in the 12 months prior to the commencement of the proceeding involving the interested party, the form is due within 30 days of the date the officer knew or should have known that the source of the behested payment became an interested party.
How to File
To file Form SFEC-3610(b), you must use the electronic form located at the bottom of this webpage. If you run out of space on the form and are unable to include all of the information that you are required to disclose, you must file a supplemental form that includes the remaining information. Be sure to include the same identifying information on the supplemental form as in the original to allow the Ethics Commission to connect the two forms.
Please note that you may be required to upload copies of communications as part of filing Form SFEC-3610(b). You will be required to do so if the recipient of the behested payment that you are reporting has distributed two-hundred or more similar communications featuring you within six months prior to the due date of the form.
You will also be required to submit copies of such communications that are distributed within six months following the due date of the form. In this case, you will need to submit the form again using the same process as the original; but, you must indicate that the filing type is “Amended” and you must use the original filing date as the date on the amended form.
Click here to preview a form illustrating the information required to be filed. (Please note that this form is for viewing purposes only and that the electronic link shown below must be used to file the required information.)
Additional Filings by Elected Officials
Separate and apart from behested payment disclosures required under San Francisco law, California law requires elected officials to report behested payments of $5,000 or more on the FPPC Form 803. Members of boards and commissions do not need to file the Form 803. Please note that elected officials must report all behested payments of $5,000 or more on Form 803, regardless of whether the person making the payment is an interested party.
The Form 803 should be filed with the elected official’s agency. Elected officials should not file the form directly with the Ethics Commission. Within 30 days of receipt of the Form 803, the elected official’s agency must forward a copy of the report to the Ethics Commission. This form is currently filed in paper form.
Please use the following electronic form to file behested payment reports pursuant to section 3.610: