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Executive Director’s Report – February 24, 2014


For the Regular Meeting of February 24, 2014  

1. Budget/Staffing.

At the January meeting, the Commission adopted a budget proposal for the Fiscal Year 2014/2015.  As previously reported, the extended vacancy in the Audit staff has been filled; however, another auditor has resigned due to an opportunity in another department.  We will endeavor to fill this new vacancy as soon as practical.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of February 18, 2014, there were 20 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance
Conflict of Interest
Governmental Ethics
Lobbyist Ordinance
Campaign Consultant Ordinance
Sunshine Ordinance

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.  The most recent filing deadline was on January 31, 2014 for the First Semi Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 2013. Of the 183 committees required to file on this deadline, only two have not yet filed and staff is pursuing those entities (one is an office holder and one is a general purpose committee).  The next filing deadline is March 24, 2014 for the First Pre-Election statement, which covers the reporting period ending March 17, 2014.

Due to recent changes to the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance and Ethics Commission regulations, all committees must now file electronic statements and complete the electronic signature requirements.  Staff has informed treasurers and candidates about the new requirements and has provided detailed instructions.  Staff continues to inform and assist committees during this transition.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the FY 13-14, as of January 31, the Commission collected a total of $4,869 in campaign finance late fees and forfeitures.  Outstanding late fees and forfeitures total $20,459, of which waiver requests are pending for $210, and $13,260 is pending at the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).

c. Status of accounts to San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).  The following chart provides details on active accounts referred to BDR as of January 31, 2014:

# Committee/
ID # Treasurer or Responsible Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold)
Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
Johnny K. Wang
Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board
Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson For Community College Board
Chris Jackson

4. Revenues report.

For FY 13-14, the Commission is budgeted to generate $100,000 in revenues.  As of February 14, 2014, the Commission received $65,096 as summarized below.  The figure represents collection of approximately .65 percent of expected revenues for FY 13-14, .625 percent of the fiscal year having elapsed.

Revenues received as of February 14, 2014:

Source Budgeted Amount FY 13-14 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $27,000  $53,500
Other Ethics General $1,000 $4
Campaign Finance Fines $50,000 $4,869
Campaign Consultant Fees $18,000 $3,800
Lobbyist Fines $1,000  $200
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000 $1,510
Other Ethics Fines $1,000 $4,663
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000  $50
Unallocated $0 $0
Total $100,000 $65,096

5. Lobbyist program.

As of February 18, 2014, 96 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2013-2014 fiscal year amount to $53,700, with $53,500 in lobbyist registration fees and $200 in fines.  The deadline for lobbyists to pay the annual re-registration fee was February 1, 2014.  The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is March 17, 2014.

6. Campaign Consultant program.

As of February 18, 2014, 17 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission. $3,850 in registration fees and fines and have been collected so far during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  In addition, a $200 refund was paid to a consultant who had overpaid fees in fiscal year 2012-2013.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, March 17, 2014.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants before the deadline.

7. Statements of Economic Interests.

On February 5, 2014, staff held the first of two trainings for department heads, filing officers, and e-filers on how to use the Commission’s online filing system (NetFile) and filing officer duties.  A second training is scheduled for March 5, 2014.

On February 12, 2014, e-filers were sent an announcement that NetFile was available for filing their assuming, annual and leaving office Form 700s, and instructions on how to use the system.  As of February 18, 2014, 57 Form 700s have been filed.

On February 25, the Ethics Commission will be providing four staff members to assist with the collection of Sunshine Ordinance Declarations and Certificates of Ethics Training at the City Attorney’s AB 1234 training course.

8. Outreach and Education.

The Commission continues to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments via web trainings.  The following are web video trainings available on the Commission website:

Department of Building Inspection SIA Training
Candidates’ Training
Controller’s Office SIA Training
Department on the Environment SIA Training
Governmental Ethics Ordinance Training for City Employees

Lobbyist Ordinance Training
Medical Examiner’s Office SIA Training
Non-Candidate Recipient Committee Training
Public Utilities Commission SIA Training
SIA Template Language Training

Respectfully submitted,

John St. Croix
Executive Director                      
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