Mayor London Breed Issues Executive Order Strengthening Transparency and Accountability Regarding City Fundraising
City Controller report finds need for stricter and uniform standards regarding City departments’ connections with philanthropic partner organizations
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today released an Executive Directive to strengthen transparency and accountability between City Departments and partner organizations by requiring uniform and stricter standards regarding fundraising.
The Executive Directive incorporates recommendations from the City Controller’s most recent report in their review of City contracts and policies that Mayor Breed called for in the wake of the federal charges filed against the former head of the Department of Public Works. The most recent report focuses on the relationship between City Departments and non-City organizations, also known as “Friends of organizations,” which help raise money for City efforts and community priorities.
“These ‘Friends of’ organizations provide important philanthropic support for our parks, our libraries, and other important civic services, but we need to ensure that this support is not tainted with any perception or risk of ‘pay to play’ politics,” said Mayor Breed. “Many departments already follow strong protocols with these organizations, but the goal is for every department to meet the highest standard of transparency. We will continue to implement reforms and improve our existing policies to strengthen the public trust.”
The Executive Directive does four main things:
- Require that all Departments Heads comply with the City’s behest payment regulations, including filing behested payment forms.
- Requires all departments to formalize relationships between a City department and a non-City organization that receives donations on behalf of the department through memorandums of understanding. These memorandums of understanding shall be prepared in consultation with and approved by the Offices of the City Attorney, Controller, and if applicable the department’s Board or Commission.
- Requires all departments to ensure compliance with established City requirements for accepting and reporting gifts to departments. Additionally, departments shall explicitly state whether any of these funds are used for employee recognition or appreciation, and where required, seek advance acceptance from the Board of Supervisors.
- All departments shall provide the Controller’s Office and the Board of Supervisors with a certification that all that all gifts received by the department in the previous fiscal year were approved by the Board of Supervisors, if required under the Administrative Code, and timely reported.
The Mayor’s Executive Directive can be read here.
This is the second report released by the Controller after federal charges were filed against the Director of Public Works in January. When the indictment was first made public, Mayor Breed sent a letter to the City Attorney and Controller to investigate contracts and policies related to the charges, and that investigation began in February. Mayor Breed also directed all City staff to cooperate fully with any and all investigations.