Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Announcement of Interested Persons Meeting to Discuss Behested Payments Disclosures Related to CFRO Revision Project

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
25 Van Ness Avenue
Room 330A
San Francisco, CA 94102

Ethics Commission Staff will be holding an informal public meeting to receive further comment on the proposed draft ordinance under consideration at the Ethics Commission (“Commission”), the 2017 Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance (“Ordinance”). The focus of this meeting will be to solicit public comment on a proposed disclosure approach for the reporting of “behested payments” by City officials that is broader than existing disclosure requirements.

Background

At its October 23, 2017 meeting, the Commission received and took public comment on the draft Ordinance to amend portions of the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”) and portions of the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code’s conflict-of-interest provisions. The Ordinance was drafted at the direction of the Commission with input from Staff, interested persons, and the public. During its discussion and subsequent action on the Ordinance, the Commission voted to seek an amended provision for broader behested payments reporting by City officials instead of a ban on requesting certain behested payments.

The Ordinance aims to limit instances of corruption or the appearance of corruption in San Francisco City and County government. It is designed to accomplish this by expanding certain disclosure requirements, restricting the ability of certain parties with defined interests in City decision making to make political contributions and “behested payments,” and expanding the instances in which a public official must disclose potential conflicts of interests. The Ordinance would also limit the ability of officials in specified high-level City positions to raise funds for City elective officials.

The Ordinance, a background memo, and other supporting materials can be viewed at Agenda Item 6 in the Commission’s October meeting material.

Focus of Upcoming Sessions

To make the most effective use of limited meeting time, Staff will seek comment specifically on the broadened behested payments disclosure provision, including:

  • What intended or unintended impacts do you and/or your organization see resulting from the broadened “behested payments” disclosure requirement?
  • What, if any, specific changes would you suggest to ensure the provision most appropriately balances the burdens imposed on filers with the benefits provided through enhanced transparency of behested payment activities?
  • What examples or scenarios have you/your organization experienced that would help support the approach you propose? Specific examples and information will be most helpful.

Discussion at the meeting will be focused on the initial draft language for potential inclusion in the Ordinance. To help participants understand the draft language, Staff has prepared a comparison to existing law and an explanatory visual aid.

Feedback from this meeting will be included in further analysis and recommendations to the Commission, to be presented at the Commission’s November 27, 2017 meeting.

Staff also welcomes written comment via email to ethics.commission@sfgov.org, or via mail to the address provided below. Written comments submitted by close of business on Friday, November 17, 2017, will be able to be considered in Staff’s final report to the Commission. Comments received after that date will not be able to be considered by Staff and will be provided to the Commission for informational purposes only.

For questions about any upcoming Interested Persons meeting, please contact Senior Policy Analyst Kyle Kundert at the number provided below. We welcome your input and hope to see you at the upcoming meeting.

Please R.S.V.P by Contacting:

San Francisco Ethics Commission
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 220
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 252-3100
ethics.commission@sfgov.org

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