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San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco Political Action Committee-Independent Expenditures, FPPC ID #870449





I. Introduction

This Audit Report contains information pertaining to the audit of the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco Political Action Committee-Independent Expenditures, Identification Number 870449 ("the Committee") for the period from January 1, 1998 through December 31, 1999. The audit was conducted to determine whether the Committee materially complied with the requirements and prohibitions imposed by the Political Reform Act ("the Act") (Government Code Section 81000, et seq.) and San Francisco's Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance ("CFRO") (S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.100, et seq., formerly S.F. Administrative Code Section 16.501, et seq.).1

For the period covered by the audit, the Committee received total contributions of $140,889 and incurred expenditures of $121,414. There was one material finding with respect to this Audit Report: The Committee failed to send major donor notices in violation of Government Code Section 84105.

II. Committee Information

The Committee, sponsored by the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco, was formed in May 1987 to provide independent expenditures in support of various candidates and/or issues in the City and County of San Francisco. The Committee filed its initial Statement of Organization on May 27, 1987, indicating that it had qualified as a committee on May 22, 1987. The Committee has not terminated as of the date of this report. Robert Spicker served as the Committee's treasurer during the period covered by the audit.

III. Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter Section C3.699-11(4) mandates that the Commission audit campaign statements and other relevant documents to determine whether campaign committees comply with applicable requirements and prohibitions imposed by State and local law.

IV. Audit Scope and Procedures

This audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The audit involved a thorough review of the Committee's records for the time period covered by the audit. This review was conducted to determine:

1. Compliance with all disclosure requirements pertaining to contributions, expenditures, accrued expenditures, and loans, including itemization when required;

2. Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;

3. Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans and expenditures;

4. Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements and cash balances as compared to bank records; and

5. Compliance with all record-keeping requirements.

V. Summary of Applicable Law

Government Code Section 84105: Requirement to Send Major Donor Notification

Individuals and entities that contribute more than $10,000 to any committee in a calendar year must file "major donor" statements. (Government Code Sections 82013(c) and 84211(v)). The Act requires committee treasurers to notify donors who contributed $5,000 or more in a calendar year that the contributor is required to file a "major donor" statement if the $10,000 threshold is met. (Government Code Section 84105). Treasurers must send the major donor notification within two weeks of receipt of the contributions. (Government Code Section 84105).

VI. Material Findings

Government Code Section 84105: Failure to Send Major Donor Notification

The Committee was required to send notice regarding major donor filing obligations to two contributors. These contributors donated $11,100 and $10,117, respectively, to the Committee during the year 1999. The Committee did not send notice to any of these contributors. As a result, the Auditor found that the two contributors did not file Major Donor Campaign Statements in 1999. The Committee's Attorney stated that the omission was inadvertent; that since virtually all of the Committee's contributions are for less than $5,000, the person who prepares the Committee's campaign statements was not accustomed to sending out the notices.

VII. Conclusion

Through the examination of the Committee's records and campaign disclosure statements, the Auditor verified that the Committee accurately and timely disclosed all contributions received and all expenditures made and that the Committee maintained the necessary documentation regarding contributions and expenditures. However, the Auditor found a material violation of the Act in the Committee's failure to send major donor notifications. (Government Code Section 84105).

Audit reports are posted to the Commission's web site and are forwarded to the Members of the Ethics Commission and, in cases of a violation of law, to the appropriate enforcement agency.

_____________________________________ __________________

Shaista Shaikh Date

Campaign Finance Auditor

______________________________________ __________________

Ginny Vida Date

Executive Director

1 During the period covered by the audit, the section of law was codified in the Administrative Code at Section 16.501, et seq. However, the section has since been recodified in the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code at Section 1.100, et seq.

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