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Executive Director’s Report – February 11, 2019


To: Members of the Ethics Commission
From: LeeAnn Pelham, Executive Director
Subject: Agenda Item 11 – Executive Director’s Report for the February 2019 Commission Meeting


This report provides various programmatic and operational highlights to date since the last monthly Executive Director’s Report.

Action Requested

No action is required by the Commission, as this item is for informational purposes only.

Outreach & Training Sessions

In partnership with the Management Employee Association (MEA) and the City Attorney’s Office, in January we conducted five ethics information sessions for City managers. With the annual filing season getting underway for annual filing of Statement of Economic Interests, the sessions were designed to support City managers by highlighting the ethics tools and resources available to them and by reviewing some common conflicts of interests questions. Roughly 80 City managers participated in the sessions, which were offered over the lunch hour and were held at the Main Library, in City Hall, and at the offices of the San Francisco Airport.

2019 Public Disclosure Filings

Over the last month, the Commission’s Engagement & Compliance team has been providing support and assistance to filers to comply with various programmatic deadlines including the semi-annual campaign disclosure filing deadline on Thursday, January 31 and the annual lobbyist registration deadline on Friday, February 1, 2019.

Annual Statements of Economic Interests (Form 700) are required to be filed by public officials each spring and this year the statements are due on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Because April 1 is a state holiday in observance of Cesar Chavez Day, the annual filing deadline this year has been moved by the Fair Political Practices Commission to the next business day, April 2. Under City law, annual Ethics and Sunshine Ordinance Declaration Forms remain due on Monday, April 1, 2019. The Commission’s Engagement & Compliance team has shared related compliance materials to departments and scheduled information sessions for filers and filing offices in February and March to support this year’s filing requirements.

Hiring Update

In the past month we were able to complete the oral interview phase for each position that has been in recruitment at the Commission over the past several months: Principal Program Manager for Engagement & Compliance; Senior Program Administrator for Engagement & Compliance; Policy Analyst; Principal Program Manager for Audits; and Senior Investigative Analyst.  We also were able to complete our review of applications for a temporary assistant in the Engagement & Compliance division to support our day-to-day operations for the rest of the fiscal year. As the hiring processes for these positions are finalized, we look forward to sharing further staff news with you in the coming days.

Budget Preparation

As reported in last month’s Executive Director Report, departmental budget requests for FY20 and FY21 are due to the Mayor’s Office on February 21. Two budget priorities the Mayor has identified are 1) ensuring accountability for services provided and 2) promoting equitable outcomes throughout the City.  Included in this year’s budget instructions issued by the Mayor’s Budget Office were requests for departments to identify cuts of two percent in FY20 and four percent in FY21. For the Ethics Commission, these targeted amounts would total roughly $84,000 in year 1 and roughly $167,000 in year 2. In addition, departments were instructed to prepare a contingency plan of an additional one percent cut in FY20 and two percent in FY21. These further contingency cuts would translate to approximately $42,000 and $84,000, respectively.

Staff are continuing to prepare detailed data, analyses, and justifications for our FY 20/21 budget request. As a small department with little administrative or other, staffing resources would necessarily be impacted by budget reductions. Yet it remains the case that key program mandates have not yet been fulfilled, and critical new systems in development to improve program and service delivery remain ongoing. Having just completed the hiring plan identified in prior year budgets that is essential to allowing that critical work to be pursued, the Commission is not in a position to propose any budget reductions. Instead, we remain sharply focused on leveraging all staffing resources to achieve needed program improvements, including through the effective development and implementation of innovative technology solutions, to strengthen and broaden program impacts.

As in our most recent budget requests, this year’s budget proposal will identify specific, continuing critical needs and provide a detailed analysis about what is necessary to ensure those needs can be met. It will continue to align closely with our ongoing strategic budget goals of improved efficiencies that underscore the value of the City’s investment in the Commission’s work and strengthened service delivery and heightened engagement to broaden the impact and effectiveness of the laws the Commission administers and enforces. In doing so, it also supports the Mayor’s budget priorities help ensure accountability for City services and promote equitable outcomes more broadly throughout the City.

Revenues Report

Table 1 shows the revenues received by the Commission during the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2018, as of February 8, 2019.
Table 1- Summary of FY 2018-19 Revenues

Source FY 18-19 Budgeted Amount FY 18-19 Receipts as of Feb. 8, 2019
Lobbyist Registration Fees $85,000 $48,250
Lobbyists Fines $2,000 $1,165
Campaign Consultants Fees $7,000 $7,300
Contact Lobbyist and Other e.g., copies made by public $2,450 $2,513
Statement of Economic Interests Filings-Late Fees $1,250 $100
Campaign Consultant Fines $2,000 $750
Campaign Finance Fines (includes late fees and forfeitures) $50,000 $34,062
Ethics, Other/ Administrative Fines Levied by the Commission $7,500 $27,045
Major Developer Fee $0 $4,500
Total $157,200 $125,685

I look forward to answering any questions you might have at the upcoming Commission meeting.

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