Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: Alice B. Toklas Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club, FPPC ID #842018

San Francisco Ethics Commission
30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 3900                          
San Francisco CA   94102
Phone 581-2300 Fax 581-2317

SAN FRANCISCO  ETHICS COMMISSION AUDIT REPORT:

ALICE B. TOKLAS LESBIAN AND GAY DEMOCRATIC CLUB

I.           Introduction

This Audit Report contains information pertaining to the audit of the committee, Alice B. Toklas Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club, Identification Number 842018 (“the Committee”), for the period from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2002.  The audit was conducted to determine whether the Committee materially complied with the requirements of the Political Reform Act (“the Act”) (California Government Code Section 81000, et seq.) and San Francisco’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”) and Electronic Filing Ordinance (S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Sections 1.100, et seq., and 1.300, et seq., respectively).

For the period covered by the audit, the Committee received $91,089.28 in contributions and incurred expenditures of $128,172.56[1]. There were two material findings with respect to this Audit: (1) the Committee failed to obtain and disclose contributor information for one contribution in violation of San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.114(e); and (2) the Committee failed to report some accrued expenses in violation of Government Code section 84211.

II.         Committee Information

The Committee, sponsored by the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club, is a general purpose committee formed to support various candidates and/or issues in the City and County  of San Francisco.  The Committee indicated on its initial Statement of Organizaiton that it had qualified as a committee on October 26, 1984.  The Committee has not terminated as of the date of this report.  During the period covered by the audit, Kevin Piediscalzi served as treasurer until September 11, 2002.  Thereafter, Nancy Warren assumed the responsibilities of treasurer. 

III.       Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter Section C3.699-11 authorizes the Ethics Commission to audit campaign statements that are filed with the Commission and other relevant documents to determine whether a committee complied with applicable requirements of State and local law.  The Ethics Commission, by a random process, selected the Committee for audit.

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:

  • Compliance with all disclosure requirements pertaining to contributions, expenditures, accrued expenditures, and loans, including itemization when required;
  • Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;
  • Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans and expenditures;
  • Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements and cash balances as compared to bank records; and
  • Compliance with all record-keeping requirements.

V.         Summary of Applicable Law

S. F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.114(e): Requirement to Obtain and Disclose Contributor Information[2]

S. F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code (“S.F. C&GCC”) Section 1.114(e) states that if the cumulative amount of contributions received from a contributor is $100 or more, the committee treasurer may not deposit the contribution unless the committee treasurer has the following information: the contributor’s full name; the contributor's street address; the contributor’s occupation, and the name of the contributor’s employer or, if the contributor is self-employed, the name of the contributor’s business.  Contributions that are deposited without obtaining the required contributor information must be forfeited to the City.

Government Code Section 84211(k): Reporting Accrued Expenses

Government Code Section 84211(k) requires that costs incurred by a committee, but not paid during the reporting period, be reported as “accrued expenditures.”   Committees must report the name and address of each creditor that is owed $100 or more, provide a written description of the goods or services purchased, and report the amount owed.  In addition, for accrued expenses that are reduced or forgiven, committees must report the amount reduced or forgiven as a non-monetary contribution.

VI.        Material Findings

S. F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.114(e): Failure to Obtain and Disclose Contributor Information

A review of the Committee’s campaign statements indicated that the Committee itemized 248 contributions.   Of the 248 itemized contribution entries, contributor information was not fully disclosed for one contribution of $500.  The missing information related to the contributor’s occupation and employer information. 

As explained above, under S.F. C&GCC §1.114(e) contributions that are deposited without the required contributor information must be forfeited to the City, in addition to any other penalties.   The amount that is subject to forfeiture is the amount that exceeds the first $99.99 of a contributor’s contribution; i.e., on a $100 contribution that lacks the required contributor information, the amount subject to forfeiture is one cent.  With respect to the above-referenced contributions, the Committee must forfeit $400.01. 

Government Code Section 84211(k): Failure to Report Accrued Expenses

The Committee incurred $46,921.82 in expenditures that were not paid during the reporting periods in which they were incurred.   The Committee failed to report $14,001.92 in expenses on the campaign statements of the reporting periods during which they were incurred.  As explained above, expenditures incurred but not paid during the same reporting period must be reported as accrued expenses on the campaign statements of the period during which the expenses were incurred.  Of the $14,001.95 in expenses that the Committee failed to report as accrued expenses, $10,371.24 was required to be reported as accrued expenses on the campaign statements that were due prior to the date of the election.

VII.      Committee’s Response to Findings

The Committee was provided with an opportunity to review and comment on this audit report.   The Committee did not provide any comments with respect to the above-referenced findings.

VIII.     Conclusion

Through the examination of the Committee’s records and campaign disclosure statements, the Auditor found that: (1) the Committee failed to obtain and disclose contributor information for one contribution in violation of San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.114(e); and (2) the Committee failed to report some accrued expenses in violation of Government Code section 84211.

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

Date:  May 10, 2004


[1] Please note that expenditures exceed contributions because on January 1, 2001 the Committee’s cash balance  was $27,549.02 and on December 31, 2002, expenditures totaling $23,624.95 were outstanding; i.e., these expenditures had been incurred but were unpaid as of December 31, 2002.

[2] During the period covered by the audit, current section 1.114(e) was codified as section 1.114(d).

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