Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – June 8, 2009

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of June 8, 2009

1.   FY 09-10 Budget. 
The Mayor’s budget was released June 1.  The preliminary proposed Ethics Commission budget for 2009-2010 is $4,211,566, which is a four percent increase over this year’s budget of $4,031,106.  The four percent increase translates to $180,460.  The operating budget, which is all funding EXCEPT that designated for the public financing program, is $2,283,368 proposed for next year versus this year’s figure of $2,207,856.  This represents an increase of $75,512 or 3.4 percent.  Although the overall figures increase, there is a cut in the salaries & wages account of $17,254 or about one percent.  Should there be need to cut funding, it will come from this account.  Ethics is scheduled to appear before the BOS Budget and Finance Committee on June 18 and 25.   

2.  Investigation and enforcement program.
Since its last regular meeting on May 11, 2009, the Commission has received one new complaint.  There are currently 14 complaints pending in the Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints

Campaign Finance

6

Conflict of Interest

2

Governmental Ethics

1

Lobbyist Ordinance

2

Campaign Consultant Ordinance

1

Sunshine Ordinance

2

TOTAL

14

3.   Campaign finance disclosure program.
a. Filing deadline.  The last filing deadline occurred on April 30, 2009 for Quarterly statements, which covers the reporting period January 1, 2009 through March 31, 2009.  Only two committees were required to have reported for this period.  Both committees have filed their statements on time.  The next filing deadline is July 31, 2009 for the First Semi-Annual statements, which covers the reporting period beginning the day after the closing date of the last statement filed, or January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009.

Staff conducted an initial analysis of campaign finance filings received during the period April 8 through May 6.  The analysis showed that by May 6, the Commission received 81 campaign finance filings (27 electronic filings and 54 paper filings).

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  Campaign finance collections as of June 3rd for FY 08-09 totaled $46,399, based on filings made during current and previous fiscal years.  By comparison, campaign finance collections as of June 3rd in prior fiscal years were as follows:

Fiscal yearCollections by June 3Total collections in FY

02-03

$47,313

$49,322

03-04

$48,932

$51,607

04-05

$173,897

$199,524

05-06

$80,922

$85,390

06-07

$111,481

$119,814

07-08

$62,265

$65,035

The $46,399 amount is based on prior assessments as follows:

FY when assessedAmount collected in 08-09

05-06

$1,722.38

06-07

$115.00

07-08

$8,624.95

08-09

$35,936.89

Total:

$46,399.22

FY 08-09 waivers, as well as waivers from past years provided for comparison, are as follows:

FY when assessedAmount assessedAmount waived in FY

04-05

$907,069

$683,086

05-06

$546,859

$342,901

06-07

$181,831

$50,347

07-08

$217,444

$159,880

08-09

$322,499

$107,176

To date, the outstanding balance of late fees assessed from the current and previous years, including $72,281 in fees that have been referred to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues, is $218,168, up from $179,815 as last reported.  Staff continues to receive and process requests for waiver of late fees. 

The current outstanding balance of contribution forfeitures assessed as a result of the defective reporting of contributor information and contribution limit violations is $71,518, as last reported.  The $71,518 amount consists of forfeitures from the 2005-2006 filing periods and does not include forfeiture assessments from the 2008 filing period.  Staff continues to process requests for reversal and waiver for most of the $71,518 amount of forfeitures.  For most of these requests, the Fines Collection Officer’s recommendations were provided in November. 

c. Status of accounts to San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).  The following chart provides details on pending accounts referred to BDR:

#Committee/
Filer
ID #Treasurer or Responsible OfficerDate referral effectiveOriginal amount referredLast month’s balanceCurrent balance (Changes are in bold)

1

Committee to Elect Rebecca Silverberg

1220430

Lucia Paulazzo

5/6/05

$21,086.00

$21,086.00

$21,086.00

2

Yick Tsun Society, Inc.

PEN1078

Florence Fang

8/16/05

$7,550.00

$7,550.00

$7,550.00

3

SEIU Local 87

PEN951

Mike Garcia & Michael Baratz

8/25/05

$14,350.00

$14,350.00

$14,350.00

5

Johnnie Carter for Community College Board

1226264

Johnnie Carter

6/16/06

$9,520.00

$7,095.00

$6,595.00

7

Micheas Herman

PEN788

Micheas Herman

6/26/06

$100.00

$100.00

$100.00

8

San Franciscans for Fair & Honest Government

1258209

Erik Howell

10/20/06

$4,659.22

$4,659.22

$4,659.22

9

Myrna Viray Lim for District 11 Supervisor

1256697

Jia Jun Chen

4/27/07

$3,855.00

$3,855.00

$3,855.00

10

Committee to Elect M. Valle for Treasurer

1278937

Manuel B. Valle

6/14/07

$5,525.00

$5,525.00

$5,525.00

11

Shawn Westcott

PEN1102

Shawn Westcott

6/18/07

$100.00

$100.00

$100.00

12

Committee to Elect Vilma Guinto-Peoro Supervisor District #2

1291394

Vilma Guinto-Peoro

6/18/07

$10.00

$10.00

$10.00

13

Bill Barnes for District 5

1265969

Alix Rosenthal

1/3/08

$3,120

$3,120

$3,120

14

Care Not Cash

1244505

Ronald Jin

2/29/08

$5,331

$5,331

$5,331

d.  Electronic filing.  On April 30, 2009 staff provided 60 days notice that committees subject to the electronic filing requirements under section 1.112(b) will be required to file FPPC Forms 461 (Independent Expenditure Committee and Major Donor Committee Campaign Statement) and 465 (Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report) in electronic format starting July 1, 2009.  Electronically filed forms and data will be made available to the public on the Ethics Commission’s web site.  This new electronic filing requirement is in addition to the paper filing requirement.  Forms 461 and 465 were added to the San Francisco Electronic Disclosure System (SFEDS) through the Commission’s contract with Netfile. 

4.  Revenues report. 
For FY 08-09, the Commission is budgeted to generate $175,000 in revenues.  As of June 3, 2009, the Commission received $108,843 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately 62 percent of expected revenues for FY 08-09. 

Revenues Received as of June 3, 2009

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 08-09Receipts

Lobbyist Fees

$40,000

$33,836

Other Ethics General

$1,000

$631

Campaign Finance Fines

$105,000

$45,446

Campaign Consultant Fees

$5,000

$19,822

Lobbyist Fines

$1,000

$1,700

Statements of Economic Interests Fines

$1,000

$1,460

Other Ethics Fines

$20,000

$5,849

Campaign Consultant Fines

$2,000

$100

Total

$175,000

$108,843

5.  Public financing/Campaign finance audit program.
Staff is working on audits of candidates who received public financing in 2008.  Staff is also preparing candidate and recipient committee training materials for the 2009 election season.

6.  Lobbyist program. 
As of June 1, 2009, there are 41 lobbyists registered with the Commission.  In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, $33,836 in lobbyist fees and $1700 in fines have been collected, for a total of $35,536.  The next required filing is July 15, 2009, for the second quarter of 2009.

7.  Campaign Consultant program. 
As of June 1, 2009, 20 campaign consultants are active and registered with the Commission.  In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, $20,322 in registration fees and $50 in fines have been collected, for a total of $20,372.  The next quarterly report is due on Monday, June 15, 2009.  Staff has mailed reminder notices regarding the quarterly report deadline to all active campaign consultants.

8. Statements of Economic Interests.
April 1 was the deadline for designated officers and employees to file their annual Statement of Economic Interests (“SEIs”).  Staff continues to process incoming SEIs and Sunshine Ordinance Declarations, by logging them into a database and scanning them for upload to the Commission’s website.  A list of filers is viewable on the Commission’s website.

The following table reflects annual statements filed as of June 3, 2009.

FORMFILERSTOTAL # OF FILERS

Statement of Economic Interests (SEI)

584

690

Upon review, the total number of filers dropped from 696 to 690 because five filers initially included in the total count hold a designated position that is not required to file with the Ethics Commission and one filer was entered twice as a duplicate entry in the system.

On May 6, 2009, staff issued 136 non-filer notices.  As of June 3, 2009, 45 non-filers informed us that they left office, 20 non-filers filed their SEIs, five informed us that they hold a position that is not required to file with the Ethics Commission, and 66 non-filers remain nonresponsive.  On June 8, 2009 staff will issue second non-filer notices to these 66 non-filers.  

Enforcement staff continues to audit departments for SEI filing compliance.  Since the Commission’s last meeting, staff has audited the following departments, each of which had a 100% compliance rate:  1) Treasurer and Tax Collector; 2) S.F. Unified School District; 3) Port Commission; and 4) Children and Families First Commission.  The Department of Adult and Aging Services was not in full compliance for 2007 SEI filings.  Enforcement staff is in the process of notifying the individuals who failed to file 2007 statements.

9.  Outreach and Education.
Ethics staff continues to provide trainings on conflict of interest laws and the Statements of Incompatible Activities (SIA) to City departments.  The following trainings are currently scheduled for 2009:

Public Utilities Commission SIA Training:  June 22
Civil Grand Jury SEI Training:  June 22
Department of Public Health SIA Training:  June 23
Department of Children Youth and their Families SIA Training:  July 28
Building Inspection Commission, Access Appeals Commission, Board of Examiners and Unreinforced Masonry Building Appeals Board SIA Training:  September 30

Respectfully submitted,

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director       

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