Council Policy regarding Charter Section 225: Mandatory Disclosure of Business Interests

March 7, 2017

In 1992, the San Diego City Charter was amended to add section 225 "Mandatory Disclosure of Business Interests" with 86% vote of the public. This section imposes a mandatory disclosure of the name and identity of any and all persons who are involved in transacting business with the City. Soon thereafter, a Council Policy was drafted to coincide with Charter Section 225, but was never brought to Council for unknown reasons. In 2005, the City Attorney issued a memorandum (attached) to the City Council's Committee on Government Efficiency and Openness discussing the possibility of a Council Policy to support Charter Section 225, but again no such policy was approved by the City Council. The current procedure simply reports ownership in companies receiving city contracts. The proposed policy by the City Attorney's office in 2005 establishes thresholds of financial interest that would have to be met before disclosure is required. It would require disclosure from the following individuals:

1. Person who owns an interest representing 5% or more of the total ownership of an entity doing business with the City if that interest was worth $10,000 or more;
2. Person that could reasonably anticipate benefiting from the transaction in the amount of $10,000 or more

Under this proposed language, the disclosures would be made for contracts of any type requiring City Council approval. This policy would make the disclosure of the name and identity of anybody directly or indirectly involved in transacting business with the city mandatory. By establishing these thresholds via Council Policy, the Council can ensure a more open and transparent process when discussing issuance of city contracts. I request that this proposed policy be docketed for discussion at the Rules Committee and that the Committee direct the City Attorney to prepare the proposed language for adoption by the full City Council.

Thank you for your prompt response.

Council Policy regarding Charter Section 225: Mandatory Disclosure of Business Interests
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