City Attorney Dennis Herrera and his office are committed to providing access to resources for City officials and employees to ensure adherence to good government practices here in San Francisco, and also to further San Franciscans' understanding of their rights under local, state and federal law.
Appeal to the Supervisor of Records: How to appeal a City department's withholding of a record in response to a public records request.
San Francisco's Ballot Process
To address confusion over the process for developing San Francisco's ballot materials, the City Attorney's Office drafted a Ballot Process Q&A as part of its lengthy response to a San Francisco ballot proponent.
City Attorney's 'Good Government Guide' for 2010-11
The City Attorney's Good Government Guide is intended to provide City employees and officials with a usable, accessible overview of the major laws governing their conduct as public servants -- from public meetings and public records responsibilities to conflict-of-interest and personal financial reporting requirements.
City personnel, commissioners, commission staff members and other public servants should understand that no publication can substitute for the consideration and counsel of a qualified attorney on the application of laws to specific conduct. City officials and employees should contact the Deputy City Attorney assigned to their department or commission with questions about their legal obligations. The City Attorney is unable to provide legal advice to private citizens.
"Remember: a public office is a public trust," wrote City Attorney Herrera in the guide's introduction. "As public officials for the City and County of San Francisco, it is our highest responsibility to conduct the functions of government in a way that is honest, open, and responsive to the citizens we serve. I am proud to offer my office's unwavering commitment to assist in that endeavor. And I hope you find this Good Government Guide helps toward that end."
Good Government Training Resources
In addition to its annual publications, the City Attorney's Office provides training programs to assist public officials and citizens alike in understanding the responsibilities of public service in the San Francisco. The City Attorney's Office provided live training for City officials on February 28, 2012, and the Online Sunshine and Ethics Training Program is available in Windows Media videostreaming. A DVD of the 2012 Sunshine Training is also available for purchase from SFGTV. Contact Jennifer Low (email@example.com) at 554-4197. In compliance with the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance and the California Government Code, all City officers must be trained regarding ethics, public records and open meetings laws. City officers must comply with two different but overlapping training requirements, described below:
1) Sunshine Ordinance Training: To comply with the Sunshine Ordinance, all City officers who are required to file Statements of Economic Interests with the Ethics Commission must:
- attend or watch our Sunshine training by no later than December 31, 2013. You can satisfy the requirement by viewing the Sunshine portion (the second hour) of the online video and completing the first 29 questions of the self-study test,
- read the Sunshine Ordinance, AND
- no later than April 1, 2013 (or 30 days after assuming office), file with the Ethics Commission the Sunshine Ordinance Declaration, indicating that you attended the training, watched the video, or will watch the video by December 31.
2) State Ethics Training: To comply with State law, City officers must:
- complete two hours of ethics training within one year of assuming office and at least once every two years after that. You can comply with this requirement by viewing the entire two-hour online training video and taking the entire 60-question self-study test or by completing a training course prepared by another entity that complies with standards recommended by the Fair Political Practices Commission and the California Attorney General, AND
- complete and file with the Ethics Commission the Certificate of Ethics Training after completing the training.
Watch the Sunshine & Ethics Training Video from 2012 in Windows Media online (system requirements for Windows Media)
Download, print and complete the PDF of the Sunshine & Ethics Training Self-Study Test
Download and print the PDF of the Certificate of Ethics Training (AB1234)
Download and print the PDF of the Sunshine Declaration Form