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San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: Bill Barnes for District 5, FPPC ID #1265969

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



I.          Introduction

This Audit Report contains information pertaining to the audit of the committee Bill Barnes for District 5, identification number 1265969 (“the Committee”) for the November 2004 Board of Supervisors campaign.  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”) (S.F. Campaign and Government Conduct Code Sections 1.100, et seq.).[1]

The candidate, Bill Barnes, received $40,575 in public funds for his November 2004 supervisorial campaign.  The Commission was unable to conduct an audit to determine whether the Committee timely and accurately disclosed its activity because the Committee did not provide the records for review.  The audit report will be referred to the Commission’s enforcement division for possible enforcement action for failure to maintain records regarding contributions and expenditures, in violation of Government Code Section 84104 and SF C&GC Code section 1.106; for failure to furnish the Ethics Commission with a copy of the Committee’s campaign records, in violation of C&GC Code §1.170(e) and for any other violation of law that the enforcement staff may uncover.

II.        Committee Information

The Committee is a candidate-controlled committee formed to support the election of Bill Barnes to Member, Board of Supervisors District 5 in the November 2, 2004 general election.  The Committee indicated on its Statement of Organization that it had qualified as a committee on February 16, 2004.  The Committee’s treasurer was Alix Rosenthal.  The Committee filed a Statement of Termination on October 3, 2005. 

III.       Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter Section C3.699-11 authorizes the Ethics Commission to audit campaign statements that are filed with the Commission.  Section 1.150(a) of the CFRO requires the Commission to audit all candidates who receive public financing.  Audits of publicly financed candidates include a review of campaign statements and other relevant documents to determine whether the candidate complied with applicable requirements of State and local law.

IV.       Audit Scope and Procedures

Audits are performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.  Audits involve a thorough review of a committee’s records for the time period covered by the audits.  The Committee failed to provide records to enable the Commission to conduct an audit to determine whether there was:

  1. Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;
  2. Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans and expenditures;
  3. Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements and cash balances as compared to bank records;
  4. Compliance with all record-keeping requirements; and
  5. Compliance with all provisions related to the Commission’s public financing program.

V.        Summary of Applicable Law

Government Code Section 84104: Recordkeeping

The Act requires that all campaign contributions (including loans) received and expenditures incurred be reported on the campaign disclosure statements. (Government Code Section 84211).  In addition, the Act requires that committee treasurers maintain detailed accounts, records, bills and receipts that are necessary to prepare campaign statements and comply with the campaign disclosure provisions of the Act. (California Code of Regulations Section 18427).  The detailed accounts, records, bills and receipts are to be retained by the filer for a period of four years. (Government Code Section 84104).  The CFRO incorporates the Act’s provisions regarding disclosure and record-keeping. (S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.106).  For this reason, violations of Sections 84211 and 84104 of the Act are also violations of the CFRO.

San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.170(e): Withholding of Information

SF C&GC Code section 1.170(e) states that any person who knowingly or willfully furnishes false or fraudulent evidence, documents, or information to the Ethics Commission under this Chapter, or misrepresents any material fact, or conceals any evidence, documents, or information, or fails to furnish to the Ethics Commission any records, documents or other information required to be provided under this Chapter shall be subject to the penalties provided in this section.

Other Laws that may be Applicable

There are many provisions in both state and local laws that govern the activities of candidates and their committees.  Some of these may be applicable but because the Committee did not provide records, staff is unable at this time to identify such laws.

VI.       Material Findings

Government Code Section 84104: Recordkeeping

San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.170(e): Withholding of Information

Other Laws that may be Applicable

On March 14, 2006, the Commission sent a letter to Mr. Barnes and Ms. Rosenthal, requesting that the Committee provide its records for its November 2004 supervisorial campaign for audit review.  Thereafter, staff spoke with the candidate and the Committee’s treasurer in regards to obtaining the Committee’s records.  On April 4, 2006, the Commission sent another letter requesting the records.  Despite these contacts, the Commission has not received the required records.  Therefore, the Commission was unable to perform an audit.

VII.     Disclosure

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

_________________________________                                          __________________

            Grace Chau                                                                                         Date

            Campaign Finance Auditor

__________________________________                                        __________________

            John St. Croix                                                                                      Date

Executive Director

S:\AUDIT\2004 Public Finance Candidates\Bill Barnes\Report-Barnes.doc


[1] During the period covering by the audit, Article 1, Chapter 3 of the S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code codified the Electronic Filing Ordinance.  As a result of recent amendments to the CFRO, the provisions of the Electronic Filing Ordinance are now contained in S.F. C&GC Code section 1.112.

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