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Acting Executive Director’s Report for January 2024

Date: January 19, 2024

To: Members of the Ethics Commission

From: Gayathri Thaikkendiyil, Acting Executive Director

Subject: Agenda Item 5 – Acting Executive Director’s Report for January 2024

Summary and Action Requested

This report provides various programmatic and operational highlights since the last report.

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

Staff Update

I am excited to share that Michael Canning was appointed to the Policy and Legislative Affairs Manager (1824) position on Monday, January 15, 2024. Michael previously served as the Acting Policy and Legislative Affairs Manager (1824) since February 6, 2023. During this time in addition to handling the day-to-day business needs of the Policy Division, he was instrumental in driving the Commission’s efforts to place a ballot measure in the March election ballot to strengthen the City’s ethics laws. With this appointment, he will continue to lead that project and other policy and legislative priorities on an ongoing basis.

Michael joined the staff in April 2021 as a Policy Analyst. Following the February 2022 vacancy in the Policy Division’s lead position, Michael was appointed to serve as the Acting Senior Policy Analyst in April 2022. In that role, Michael provided important continuity for the Commission’s policy work, including the Government Ethics and Conflicts of Interest Review Project. In November 2022, Michael became the 1823 Senior Policy Analyst, following the reclassification of positions in the Policy Division. Prior to joining the Commission, Michael worked as Voting Information Director at MapLight, where he led the development of Voter’s Edge, an online tool that helps members of the public with information about political candidates. Michael has experience performing market and policy research and analysis, stakeholder engagement, and project management within multiple Non-Governmental Organizations and private consulting firms. His prior areas of work have included campaign finance, political campaigns, food security, and labor issues. Michael holds a dual master’s degree in Public Policy and Business Administration from Mills College and received his BA in Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C.

Annual Form 700 Filing Season: Statement of Economic Interests Due April 2

Annual Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) filings required of more than 5,000 City officials and designated employees are due no later than Tuesday, April 2, 2024. These filings will cover the reporting period January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023. The annual filing deadline is usually on April 1 each year but has been extended to April 2 this year as it falls on a State holiday. City Elected officials, Department Heads, and Board and Commission Members who are required to file their statements online with the Ethics Commission must also certify online by April 2nd that they have completed their required annual Ethics and Sunshine Ordinance training. City employees who file a Form 700 with their department because their position is designated in their department’s section of the Conflict of Interest Code are required to file their Form 700s using the Ethics Commission’s online filing system.

To help inform filers and support strong compliance with reporting requirements, Staff have scheduled Information Sessions in January and February for filers and departmental filing officers. All e-filed annual Form 700 statements and training declarations are publicly available through the Ethics Commission’s SEI Disclosures web page.

March 2024 Election Update

In preparation for the March election, Commission staff have planned multiple training sessions for campaign committees over the coming weeks. Staff have also been providing filing assistance and guidance to campaign filers to help them comply with the semi-annual filing requirement which is due by the end of January. The campaign disclosure data dashboards for the March election are available on our website.

Audit Update

Staff recently completed a mandatory campaign audit of a candidate who received public financing funds in the 2020 Election. The audit report was published on January 17, 2024. For the 2020 Election, out of 16 total mandatory audits, four audits have been completed and two are in progress. The remaining ten audits are pending and have been assigned to the external auditing firm, MGO. Staff have been working with MGO to provide them with the necessary information and documentation to help plan and estimate these audits. We have discussed preliminary timeline estimates with MGO for the ten audits and are working on projecting target completion dates. A detailed update regarding pending audits and target timelines will be included in the February Commission meeting.

FY23 Annual Report

Following the Commission’s approval of the draft FY23 Annual Report in the December 8th Commission meeting, the final FY23 Annual Report is now published on the Commission’s website. A downloadable version of the report is also available on that page. The Commission’s annual reports from prior years can also be accessed online on our website.

Revenues Report

The table below reflects revenues received by the Commission for Fiscal Year 2023-24 as of January 18, 2024.

Account DescriptionBudgetActuals
Campaign Consultant Registration Fee$7,000$8,050
Lobbyist Registration Fee$85,000$45,800
Campaign Consultant Fines$2,000$900
Campaign Disclosure Fines$50,000$7,575
Statement of Economic Interests Fines$1,250
Lobbyists Fines$2,000$5,900
Other Ethics Fines$7,500$40,525
Other General Government Charges$2,450$1,000
Total$157,200$109,750

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