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San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: Ahsha Safai for Supervisor, FPPC ID #1305708

I. Introduction

This Audit Report summarizes the audit results of the committee, Ahsha Safai for Supervisor, Identification Number 1305708 (“the Committee”), for the period from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008.  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”) (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.100, et seq). 

II. Audit Authority

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

III. Audit Scope and Procedures

This audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.  The audit involved a review of the Committee’s records for the 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.
  6. Compliance with all provisions related to the Commission’s public financing program; and
  7. Determination of any unexpended public funds that must be returned to the Election Campaign Fund up to the amount of public funds received by the candidate.

The Commission posts audit reports to its web site and, in cases of apparent violations of law, forwards them to the appropriate enforcement agency.

IV. Committee Information

The Committee was formed in February 2008 to support the election of Ahsha Safai to the office of Board of Supervisors in District 11 in the November 4, 2008 general election.  Joe Jaber served as the treasurer.  The Committee was active as of December 31, 2008.

V. Audit Findings

For the period covered by the audit, the Committee received $85,467 in contributions and $105,033 in public funds.  The Committee incurred $189,715 of qualified campaign expenditures.  The Committee did not have any unexpended funds. [1]

The Commission determined that there was one material finding with respect to the audit of the Committee.

The Committee did not accrue $32,235 or about 17% of expenses, in violation of Government Code § 84211 and San Francisco Campaign & Government Conduct Code (S.F. C&GC Code) § 1.106.

Government Code § 84211, which is incorporated into local law by S.F. C&GC Code § 1.106, 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 owed $100 or more, a written description of the goods or services purchased, and the amount owed.

The following expenses totaling $32,235 or about 17% of campaign expenditures were not reported in the reporting period in which they were incurred:

PayeeDescriptionAmountPeriod expenditure should have been reportedPeriod and schedule in which expenditure was reported
Sutton Lawservices$6101/1/08 – 6/30/087/1/08 – 9/30/08
Hsieh & Associatesfee for July$5,1501/1/08 – 6/30/087/1/08 – 9/30/08
Hsieh & Associatesmailer$25,3257/1/08 – 9/30/0810/1/08 – 10/18/08
KVTO-AM 1400TV appearance$4007/1/08 – 9/30/0810/1/08 – 10/18/08
Meryl Mikal Designshirt artwork$1627/1/08 – 9/30/0810/1/08 – 10/18/08
Sutton Lawservices$1327/1/08 – 9/30/0810/1/08 – 10/18/08
Doris Godinez Phillipst-shirts$4557/1/08 – 9/30/0810/19/08 – 12/31/08

VI. Committee’s Response to Finding:

The Committee was provided with an opportunity to comment on this audit report.  The Committee did not provide any comments.

[1] Unexpended funds are calculated by subtracting any unpaid bills and on-going qualified campaign expenditures from the amount of cash that the Committee had on the 30th day following the date of the election.

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