Skip to content

Ethics Commission Overview

View a PDF summary of this page.

What is the Ethics Commission?

The public expects and deserves a government that serves them. This means serving the public without improper influence or seeking personal gain. The government’s decisions should be made fairly and openly.  

However, this is not always the case. For that reason, rules and guidelines exist to steer people away from violating the law, or engaging in unethical behavior.

The Ethics Commission was created by San Francisco voters in 1993 to impartially oversee these rules and guidelines. It helps those working in or with local government follow the rules through a mix of education, support, and enforcement. The Ethics Commission also shapes the rules to make them strong, practical, and enforceable. 

What does the Ethics Commission do?

The Commission provides education and assistance to people working with local government. This includes City employees, officers, candidates, lobbyists, and others engaged in or with government.  

Examples of the Commission’s work includes:

Who leads the Commission?

Five volunteer commissioners lead the Commission. Each commissioner serves for one six-year term.

The Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, the Assessor-Recorder, the City Attorney, and the District Attorney each appoint a commissioner. 

The commissioners oversee the development of policies and enforcement rulings. They also appoint an executive director who oversees the Commission’s operations and staff. Staff conducts the day-to-day work of the Commission. 

You can view a current list of commissioners on this website.

Was this page helpful?

Contact us to provide feedback on this page.