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July 14, 2023 Meeting Agenda Item 5 – Proposed amendments to the Statement of Incompatible Activities (SIA) for the Public Works Department, Public Works Commission, and Sanitation and Streets Commission.


Summary and Action Requested

This memo provides a brief review on the City’s Statement of Incompatible Activities (SIA) rules and presents recommended amendments to the SIA for the Public Works Department, Public Works Commission, and Sanitation and Streets Commission (Attachment 1). Staff recommends the Commission vote to approve the SIA as amended in Attachments 1.

Statements of Incompatible Activities

The Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code requires that every department, board, commission, and agency of the City and County maintain a Statement of Incompatible Activities, or SIA (per Section 3.218). An SIA is a document that the department creates based on an Ethics Commission template, which specifies certain activities that are incompatible with the duties of the officers and employees of that department. Departments may expand on the rules found in the SIA template by creating and including in their SIA additional rules that are unique to their department. It is a violation of the Code, punishable under the Code’s penalty provision, for any officer or employee to violate the terms of their SIA.

No department may create or amend an SIA without the approval of the Ethics Commission. Additionally, the Commission may at any time amend the SIA of any department on its own. Before any SIA becomes operative, the City must satisfy the meet and confer requirements of State law with any affected employee bargaining units. Every department, board, commission, and agency of the City must annually provide a copy of its SIA to its officers and employees. It is common for departments and the boards or commissions that oversee them to share a single SIA that applies to both entities.

Amendments to SIA for the Public Works Department, Public Works Commission, and Sanitation and Streets Commission

In November 2020, through the passage of Proposition B, voters created both the Public Works Commission and the Sanitation and Streets Commission. In November of 2022, the voters again approved Proposition B, which retained both commissions, as bodies associated with the Department of Public Works (DPW). Currently, neither commission has an SIA. In order for these commissions to have an SIA, Staff has worked with DPW to amend the department’s existing SIA so that it applies to both the department and the two newly established commissions.

The revised SIA with the changes tracked is provided as Attachment 1. The proposed changes amend the existing SIA so that it applies to members of the newly established commissions. The proposed changes do not impact the working conditions of represented employees and as such should not require a meet and confer with City bargaining units. However, out of an abundance of caution, the City decided to send a notice to City bargaining units on June 23, 2023, to make them aware of the changes and provide an opporutnity for them to ask questions or raise concerns. The City has satisfied its obligations to meet and confer under State law and the Commission may vote to approve these amendments.

In addition to adding the newly established commissions to the SIA, the revised SIA also specifies that three of the rules in DPW’s SIA do not apply to the new commissioners. These are additional rules, not included in the SIA template, that are unique to the department. The department requested the Commission not apply these additional rules to the members of the new commissions, based on concerns that these rules could make commissioner recruitment difficult. The following rules would continue to apply to the DPW director and employees, but not apply to the new commissioners:

SIA Section III.A.3.b: This rule prohibits employment and receiving compensation from individuals or entities that have a contract with the department or who have held a contract with the department in the past twelve months. A similar rule is being considered through legislation from the Board (File #230484) and through the Ethics Commission’s proposed ballot measure. However, the SIA rule is unique in that it extends to individuals and entities that have had contracts within the past twelve months.

SIA Section III.A.3.c: This rule prohibits serving as a member of the board of directors of an organization that applies for contracts, loans, or grants administered by the department. The Ethics Commission’s proposed ballot measure contains a similar rule, yet less broad rule, regarding serving on the board of directors for an entity that contracts with one’s own department.

SIA Section III.B.1: This rule prohibits Form 700 filers from providing services for anything of value worth more than $100 per occasion or $500 per calendar year, from any individual or entity that has, or has had in the last twelve months, an application or matter under review before DPW. The rule also prohibits providing construction, permit, or inspection related services for any individual or entity who has, or has had in the last twelve months, an application or matter under review before DPW. This rule is unique to DPW and is only not applying to the new commissioners, as long as the commissioner does not personally perform any work on any application or matter that is being submitted to DPW for review.

Considering that the rules above are supplemental to the base SIA rules in the SIA template and that all three rules are distinct from the rules contained in the Board legislation currently being considered by the Commission and the Commission’s proposed ballot measure, Staff recommends the Commission agree to the department’s request to not have these specific supplemental rules apply to members of their new commissions.

Recommended Next Steps

Staff recommends the Commission vote to approve the revised SIA in Attachment 1 so that both the Public Works Commission and the Sanitation and Streets Commission have an SIA, as required by Section 3.218 of the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.


Attachment 1: DPW SIA – DRAFT Amendments – 5.16.23

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