November 18 2021 Notice: Form 700 E-Filing Expansion to Launch January 1, 2022

Designated Form 700 Filer:

You are receiving this important communication from the Ethics Commission because you occupy a position that your department head has designated in the City’s Conflict of Interest Code to file the Statement of Economic Interests, also known as Form 700, and the process you use to file your Form 700 will be changing effective January 1, 2022.

Public officers and employees who make or influence governmental decisions are required under California law to file a Form 700 to publicly identify the kinds of financial interests that could be affected by their governmental duties. These public disclosure filings serve as a tool to help detect and avoid potential conflicts of interests and promote public confidence that governmental decisions are made without any regard to personal gain.

The law requires each City department to identify positions, known as designated positions, that make or participate in making governmental decisions. Designated positions are identified in the City’s Conflict of Interest Code, which is required to be updated no less than every two years through a Biennial Code Review process.

What’s Changing?

  • Paper Filers Will Electronically File (“E-File”) – Effective January 1, 2022, employees occupying designated positions (“designed filers”) identified in Sections 3.1-103(d) and 3.1-108 of the City’s Conflict of Interest Code will be required to file their Form 700 statements in electronic format. All designated filers will use the same Netfile e-filing system that has been used by Department Heads, elected officials, and board and commission members to file their statements since 2014.
  • E-Filed Form 700s Will Be Available Online – As with current electronic Form 700 filings by City officers, redacted Form 700 filings by the City’s designated filers will also be available online to the public immediately after they are submitted. In compliance with retention requirements, your paper-based Form 700s for the years 2014-2020 will be available upon request from your departmental filing officer. The current paper-based filing process will be eliminated, making it easier for filers to submit filings online, increase filing efficiency for departments, and improve public access to reportable information once the filer’s disclosure statement is submitted. Your department’s designated filing officer will remain your filing officer. Departmental filing officers will manage their department’s Form 700 designated filers in the Netfile system.

Benefits of E-filing

Form 700 Filers:

  • No wet signatures
  • Reduced paper waste
  • Instructions and helpful how-to videos during entire filing experience
  • Retains and pre-populates information from prior entries
  • Helps avoid common errors & omissions

Filing Officers:

  • Automated annual filer notifications
  • Annual requirements automatically added to active filer accounts
  • Monitors deadlines and streamlines compliance tracking
  • Elimination of Filing Officer Reports

The Public:

  • Improved transparency to promote public confidence
  • Centralized database of all designated Form 700 Filers
  • Quick, easy online access to redacted Form 700 statements and data in real time

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Designated Filer?

You are a Designated filer if you occupy a position designated in the Conflict of Interest Code Sections 3.1-103(d) and 3.1-108, including those in acting and interim positions and certain consultants.

Designated filers have disclosure categories. A disclosure category is a description of the types of financial interests you must disclose on your Form 700 based on your position. Review your department’s section of the Conflict of Interest Code to see if the working title for your position is listed: https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/san_francisco/latest/sf_campaign/0-0-0-957.

How often is the Conflict of Interest Code updated?

The City and County of San Francisco reviews its code at least biennially (every other year). New positions and changes to existing positions are generally added during the Biennial Review process.

Who is my Filing Officer?

The Department Head or the Executive Director of the City department/agency is the official filing officer for their “designated filers.” Filing officer responsibilities are generally delegated to department staff (i.e., designated filing officer). See Departmental Filing Officer Directory to find the filing officer(s) for your department.

What filer information is redacted from statements that are available online?

Online Form 700 datasets and statements posted online redact the following fields to address privacy concerns:

  • Cover Page: address, daytime phone, email
  • Schedule A1: none
  • Schedule A2: address, real property, parcel address
  • Schedule B: income sources, loan address
  • Schedule C: income address, loan address
  • Schedule D: address

Training & Resources

Coming Soon! The Ethics Commission is currently developing online resources for Form 700 filers to help with the transition from paper to electronic filing, including:

  • Filer Manual
  • How-to Guides
  • Video Tutorials in the Netfile System
  • Help articles in Form 700 Guidance Portal

This information will be available on the Ethics Commission’s website by late December 2021.

Contacts

Departmental Filing Officer – Questions regarding your filing status, disclosure category, or filing obligations: Departmental Filing Officer Directory

Ethics Commission Staff – Reporting-related filing questions, filing support and guidance, and technical support: Form 700 Support portal

 

Sincerely,

Rachel Gage

Engagement & Compliance Manager
San Francisco Ethics Commission
415-252-3100 | sfethics.org

ethics.commission@sfgov.org

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