Announcement of Interested Persons Meetings to Discuss Improvements to City’s Conflict of Interest Rules

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 – 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

And

Thursday, November 18, 2021 – 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

These meetings will be conducted remotely using an online meeting platform. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to michael.a.canning@sfgov.org and you will be provided with a link to the meeting shortly before the date of the meeting.

Please join staff from the Policy Division of the San Francisco Ethics Commission to share your thoughts on ways to strengthen San Francisco’s government ethics laws. In light of recent federal and local investigations into allegations of corrupt activity by City officials and contractors, the Commission has prioritized reviewing several areas of the City’s government ethics rules for potential strengthening and clarification.

As part of this process, we invite members of the public to share their thoughts about the City’s ethics laws and how they might be improved. The two meetings will each have the same agenda, and participants are welcome to join one or both meetings.

Aspects of San Francisco’s ethics laws that will be discussed at these meetings may include:

    • Strengthening San Francisco’s Bribery Rule (Section 3.216(a)): Discussion of potential methods for strengthening the City’s prohibition on bribery, including adjusting the rule so that ‘anything of value’ (not just ‘gifts’) given to influence a City official would be considered a bribe and adding a prohibition on the solicitation of bribes (not just the offering and making of bribes).
    • Reexamining the disclosure of personal, professional and business relationships (Section 3.214): Discussion of whether and how to strengthen the current requirement that a City official disclose personal, professional or business relationships they have with individuals who have official matters before the official.
    • Elevating Statements of Incompatible Activities (SIAs) into Citywide Rules: Discussion of replacing department-specific Statements of Incompatible Activities with citywide rules in the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code that maintain the substance of the rules while creating greater opportunities for education, compliance, and enforcement.
    • Requiring the Nullification of Unpermitted Votes by Officials who Fail to File Required Forms (Section 3.1-102.5): Discussion of whether and how to nullify votes cast by officials who have not filed their Form 700 or Ethics and Sunshine Training Declaration Form. Voting in this situation is already prohibited under existing law.
    • General Harmonization and Strengthening of the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code: Discussion of items such as: creating penalty provisions for chapters of the code that do not already have one, increasing the maximum penalty associated with violations, adding Ethics Commission / Board of Supervisors amendment power to chapters that do not already provide for such amendments, and including a general electronic-filing provision in each chapter of the code.

Staff also welcomes written comments, which can be sent via email to michael.a.canning@sfgov.org, or via U.S. mail to San Francisco Ethics Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102.

The meetings will be conducted remotely via Webex. The week of the meetings, Staff will distribute links to the meetings via email to all attendees who RSVP.

For questions about the upcoming interested persons meetings, or to RSVP, please contact Michael Canning at michael.a.canning@sfgov.org. We welcome your input and hope to see you at one of our upcoming online meetings.

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