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Executive Director’s Report – August 12, 2019

To: Members of the Ethics Commission
From: LeeAnn Pelham, Executive Director
Subject: Agenda Item 13 – Executive Director’s Report for the August 2019 Commission Meeting

Summary

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.

Budget Update

The City’s final budget for FY19-20 was passed by the Board of Supervisors and approved by the Mayor on August 1st, 2019. The adopted budget provides an operating budget of $4.5M for the Ethics Commission for the current fiscal year. With election activity and public financing draw from the 2018 elections, additional funds were appropriated into the City’s Election Campaign Fund to fund the public financing program per the requirements of City law. On balance, the operating funds appropriated for the Commission in FY20 enables existing programmatic and operational work to be sustained at current levels.

Audits

Under the Commission’s authority in SF Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code Sec. 1.150, the Ethics Commission audits committees active in City elections to promote transparency and accountability in campaign activities and ensure committee activities are conducted and reported in compliance with applicable laws. Audits are required for campaigns in which candidates have received public financing in their campaigns, and “targeted” or random audits are discretionary for other committees. In addition to its audit function, the Commission’s audit division also has responsibility for administering the qualification and claim review process to determine candidate eligibility for public campaign financing and public fund disbursements.

Since the last Commission meeting, two additional audits from the 2016 audit cycle were completed. In addition to audits of all 12 publicly financed candidates from that election, this means 14 of the 15 committees selected in addition for discretionary campaign audit from the 2016 election cycle (26 of 27 audits in total from that election) are now finalized and posted on the Audits 2016 page of the Commission’s website. The remaining one audit from 2016 is under supervisory review. Audit work on the 2018 election cycle audits was initiated earlier this year and remains underway.

Other Operational Updates

Ongoing this month is the staff’s annual performance review and goal setting process. This process is designed to help support successful job performance through focused two-way discussions about particular achievements and challenges in the past year, and by identifying specific objectives for the coming year. Initiated for Commission staff in 2017, it provides an annual opportunity to focus on achievements and ongoing professional development to help ensure individual performance goals are aligned with key organizational goals that are prioritized in the year ahead.  It also enables dedicated time for discussions about alignment of work with core public service principles and general performance expectations, such as standards that address use of public resources, customer service orientation, equity and inclusiveness in the workplace, continuous improvement, and attendance expectations. For reference, Attachment 1 provides general background on and illustrates a brief overview of this year’s process.

Revenues Report

Table 3 shows the revenues received by the Commission during the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2019, as of August 9, 2019.

Table 3- Summary to Date of FY19-20 Revenues

Source FY 19-20 Budgeted Amount FY 19-20 Receipts as of August 9, 2019
Lobbyist Registration Fees $85,000 $6,000
Lobbyists Fines $2,000 $50
Campaign Consultants Fees $7,000 $2,900
Contact Lobbyist and Other e.g., copies made by public $2,450 0
Statement of Economic Interests Filings-Late Fees $1,250 0
Campaign Consultant Fines $2,000 $50
Campaign Finance Fines (includes late fees and forfeitures) $50,000 $23,934
Ethics, Other/ Administrative Fines Levied by the Commission $7,500 $2,000
Major Developer Fee $0 0
Total $157,200 $34,934

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

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