Priority Policy

Accountability & Anti-Corruption

At a Glance

  • Restructure the bureaucracy by centralizing contract management.
  • Develop a transparent Contractor Scorecard to track contracts over $1,000,000.
  • Require large nonprofit representatives to register as lobbyists.
  • End corrupt pay-to-play permitting.
  • Reform Department of Building Inspection.
  • Streamline construction management and reward contracts to “best value”.

The Details

I’ve had countless conversations with San Franciscans in every corner of the city and I haven’t met a single person who thinks City Hall is up to the job of solving today’s problems.

Our government has been hijacked to serve political agendas rather than the city’s best interests. The result is many years of record budgets wasted because of corruption and political greed. If we’re going to turn our City around — and I promise you we will — we can’t let creative solutions continue to die slow bureaucratic deaths.

I have a plan to address the root cause of our problems, which is the outdated, ineffective, and corrupt City Hall system. In order to fix City Hall, I am going to restructure it. That will allow us to finally deliver results on clean and safe streets, shelter beds instead of encampments, ending corruption, supporting small businesses, and more.

My City Hall Accountability Plan

This plan to fix the foundation of our government will make our city safe and clean, and stomp out corruption.

There are three pillars:

  • Centralize contract management and oversight. A specialized unit of experts will oversee the $5 billion of taxpayer money that goes out the door each year. This will take contracting out of departments so they stop functioning as independent and unaccountable fiefdoms.
  • Reform the broken permitting process and the Department of Building Inspection. This will bring transparency and end the need to hire “permit expediters”, the corrupt pay-to-play process that exists in SF.
  • Streamline construction management. With centralized planning and coordination we will avoid debacles like the Nightmare on Taraval Street and the $1.7 million toilet.

Below are more details on each pillar.

Contract Reform

Departments across the city currently have the authority to develop their own contracts. There are no accountability mechanisms to ensure our community gets measurable results. As part of my contract reform, we will:

  • Develop a Contractor Scorecard. This will track and assess in real-time how well contracts over $1,000,000 are meeting goals, timelines, and budget expectations.
  • Hire Chief Financial Officer for Nonprofit Contracts. They will report directly to the Mayor.
  • Require large nonprofit executives to register as lobbyists. Large nonprofits seeking contracts with the city will need to register as lobbyists and report activities like any for-profit contractor does.

Permitting Reform

It takes longer than anywhere else in California to build housing, and far too long to open a small business. When it takes forever to get anything done people will pay to jump the line. That’s why we have “permit expediters”.

With my comprehensive reform of the broken permitting process and the Department of Building Inspections, we will instill transparency, eliminate the need to hire “permit expediters”, build more housing, and help small businesses. Experts believe my permitting proposal will reduce the time it takes to get housing approved or the time to open a small business by a minimum of 4-5 months. These reforms will:

  • Create a user-friendly online approvals tracker. This will show the status of permit applications and relevant contact information.
  • Implement project review meetings. I will require a meeting with the applicant team and key personnel from DBI, PUC, MTA, DPH, and Fire to align on what’s needed for the application and the timeline.
  • Create a permit “shot clock” that sets maximum review times. Following a Project Review meeting, there will be performance metrics for everyone who touches a permit.

Construction Management Reform

Ever had your street torn open and closed up only for it to be ripped up again months or even weeks later by another city agency? Can’t find parking in your small business corridor because construction goes on for years? I will centralize planning and coordination so we can avoid future debacles like the Nightmare on Taraval Street and the $1.7 million toilet. To do this, my administration will:

  • Centralize construction and design teams. By doing away with siloed teams, construction on streets and sidewalks will be less disruptive.
  • Designate a single Small Business Liaison Group. They will ensure that the impact of construction projects on small businesses and neighborhoods is minimized.
  • Set aside a Small Business Relief Fund. This will rapidly reimburse merchants during major city-run construction projects that disrupt sales or damage property in advance so merchants can be rapidly reimbursed.
  • Award contracts on “best value” not “lowest bid”. This will ensure that contracts are scoped properly from the beginning so that costly change orders can’t be justified.

City Hall insiders have been telling us we can’t change our systems for so long. I’m not buying it. Together we will make City Hall accountable to the people of San Francisco.