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 elected officials if it is requested, solicited, or suggested by the official or his agent, or otherwise made to a person in cooperation, consultation, coordination with, or at the consent of, the elected official.
If a behested payment is made at an official’s behest, that official may be required to file one or more public disclosures regarding the payment. San Francisco law requires that elected officials and members of boards and commissions disclose behested payments on SFEC Form 3610b. Additionally, California law requires that elected officials disclose certain behested payments on the Form 803. Both filing requirements are explained below.
Filings by Elected Officials and Members of Boards and Commissions
On January 1, 2019, a new local law went into effect that established new requirements for behested payment reports. San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 3.610 requires City elective officers and members of certain boards and commissions to file behested payment reports with the Ethics Commission.
Who must file
The following City elective officers are subject to the filing requirement:
- City Attorney
- District Attorney
- Public Defender
Members of the following boards and commissions are also subject to the filing requirement:
- Access Appeals Commission
- Aging and Adult Services Commission
- Airport Commission
- Arts Commission
- Asian Art Museum Commission
- Assessment Appeals Board
- Board of Appeals
- Board of Examiners
- Board of Supervisors
- Building Inspection Commission
- Children and Families First Commission
- Children, Youth and Their Families, Oversight and Advisory Committee
- Citizen’s General Obligation Bond Oversight Committee
- Civil Service Commission
- Commission on the Status of Women
- Elections Commission
- Entertainment Commission
- Environment Commission
- Ethics Commission
- Film Commission
- Fine Arts Museums Board of Trustees
- Fire Commission
- Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority Board of Directors
- Health Commission
- Health Service System Board
- Historic Preservation Commission
- Human Rights Commission
- Human Services Commission
- Juvenile Probation Commission
- Library Commission
- Local Agency Formation Commission
- Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors
- Parking Authority
- Planning Commission
- Police Commission
- Port Commission
- Rate Fairness Board
- Recreation and Park Commission
- Remote Access Network Board
- Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board
- Residential Users Appeal Board
- Retiree Health Care Trust Fund Board
- Retirement Board
- Revenue Bond Oversight Committee
- San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
- Small Business Commission
- Sunshine Ordinance Task Force
- Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors
- War Memorial and Performing Arts Center Board of Trustees
- Workforce Investment BoardAccess Appeals Commission
- Workforce Investment Board
When to file
An official must file SFEC Form 3610b any time a behested payment of $1,000 or more is made at his or her behest by an interested party.
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.
The filing deadline for SFEC Form 3610b 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 official, 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 official knew or should have known that the source of the behested payment became an interested party.
How to File
To file SFEC Form 3610b, you must use the electronic form contained at the bottom 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 SFEC Form 3610b. 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.
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 Form 803. Members of boards and commissions do not need to file the Form 803.
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: