Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – April 27, 2015

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of April 27, 2015.

1. Budget/Staffing.

All required budget documents have been submitted.  The Mayor’s proposed budget is due to be released on June 1, 2015.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of April 15, 2015, there were 20 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.

Category# of Complaints
Campaign Finance8
Conflict of Interest5
Governmental Ethics1
Lobbyist Ordinance4
Campaign Consultant Ordinance0
Sunshine Ordinance2
TOTAL20

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.   On April 20, 2015, seven committees were added to the Commission’s Non-Responsive Filers List for failing to file their required campaign statement for the period ending 12/31/2014, which was due 2/2/2015.  The next filing is July 31, 2015 for the First Semi-annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending June 30, 2015.  In the interim, staff receives and processes campaign statements for this and other filing deadlines.  Staff continues to answer questions from and conduct outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the fiscal year 2014 -2015, as of April 15, 2015, the Commission collected $24,378 in late fees and forfeitures.  As of April 15, 2015, the Commission’s outstanding late fees and forfeitures were $8,397, of which $6,601 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 March 15, 2015:

#Committee/
Filer
ID #Treasurer or Responsible OfficerDate referral effectiveOriginal amount referredLast month’s balanceCurrent balance (Changes are in bold)Status
1Chris Jackson For Community College Board1347066Chris Jackson7/12/13$6,600.94$6,600.94$6,601Pending at Small Claims Court
TOTAL$6,601

4. Revenues report.

For fiscal year 2014-2015, the Commission was budgeted to generate $70,000 in revenues.  As of April 22, 2015, the Commission received $136,316 or 194% of anticipated revenues for the year.

SourceBudgeted Amount FY 14-15Receipts
Lobbyist Fees$37,000$85,500
Other Ethics General$1,000$8
Campaign Finance Fines$23,000$24,378
Campaign Consultant Fees$5,000$13,850
Lobbyist Fines$1,000 $50
Statements of Economic Interests Fines$1,000$1,420
Other Ethics Fines$1,000 $9,500
Campaign Consultant Fines$1,000$1,610
Unallocated$0$0
Total$70,000$136,316

5. Lobbyist program. 

As of April 15, 2015, 127 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2014-2015 fiscal year amount to $85,550, including $85,500 in lobbyist registration fees, and $50 in lobbyist fines.  The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is May 15, 2015.

6. Campaign Consultant program.

As of April 17, 2015, 21 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission.  $13,850 in registration fees and $1,610 in fines have been collected so far during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, June 15, 2015, covering the reporting period from March 1, 2015 through May 31, 2015.  Staff will send reminders to all active campaign consultants prior to the deadline.

7. Statements of Economic Interests.

As of April 21, 2015, 466 persons (94 percent) have electronically filed their Annual Form 700.  Warning letters will be sent to non-filers in the first week of May and the first week of June.  Persons who have not filed by July 1, 2015 will be referred automatically to the Fair Political Practices Commission for enforcement.

Forty-nine percent have filed their Annual Sunshine Ordinance Declaration, and 83 percent have filed their Certificate of Ethics training.

8. Permit Consultant Program

As of April 21, 2015, 18 individuals have registered with the Permit Consultant program.  Thirteen Disclosure Reports for the period January 1 to March 31, 2015 have been received.  Staff will continue to coordinate with Department of Building Inspection personnel to educate permit consultants about the filing requirements

9. Outreach and Education.

On April 12, 2015, staff attended the “CA Campaign Finance Summit: Analyzing Money in Politics using Visual Data” at Code for America in San Francisco.  Deputy Executive Director Jesse Mainardi opened the event with a presentation about campaign finance laws to a group comprised of other ethics agency officials, journalists, civic hackers and activists.  The event included a variety of speakers followed by a hackathon for programmers to work with the Commission’s campaign finance data.

For the calendar year 2015, staff has scheduled 14 workshops to provide training to campaign committees of their obligations under state and local campaign finance laws.  Of the 14 workshops, five will cover requirements pertaining to candidates seeking office in November 2015, five will cover requirements pertaining to ballot measure committees and four will cover requirements pertaining to general purpose committees (also referred to as political action committees).  In addition, to the 14 scheduled training workshops, staff will schedule additional training and/or conduct one-on-one training as needed.  Separately, on an on-going basis staff provides training to candidates and campaign treasurers on using the Commission’s online electronic filing system, SFEDS.

Additionally, 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
  • Controller’s Office SIA Training
  • Department on the Environment SIA Training
  • Governmental Ethics Ordinance Training for City Employees
  • 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

S:\ED Report\2015\03.23.2015.docx

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