The Controller shall have the authority to receive individual complaints concerning the quality and delivery of government services, wasteful and inefficient City government practices, misuse of City government funds, and improper activities by City government officers and employees. When appropriate, the Controller shall investigate and otherwise attempt to resolve such individual complaints except for those which:
another City agency is required by federal, state, or local law to adjudicate,
may be resolved through a grievance mechanism established by collective bargaining agreement or contract,
involve allegations of conduct which may constitute a violation of criminal law, or
are subject to an existing, ongoing investigation by the District Attorney, the City Attorney, or the Ethics Commission, where either official or the Commission states in writing that investigation by the Controller would substantially impede or delay his, her, or its own investigation of the matter.
If the Controller receives a complaint described in items (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this paragraph, the Controller shall advise the complainant of the appropriate procedure for the resolution of such complaint.
If the Controller receives a complaint alleging conduct that may constitute a violation of criminal law or a governmental ethics law, he or she shall promptly refer the complaint regarding criminal conduct to the District Attorney or other appropriate law enforcement agency and shall refer complaints regarding violations of governmental ethics laws to the Ethics Commission and the City Attorney. Nothing in this Section shall preclude the Controller from investigating whether any alleged criminal conduct also violates any civil or administrative law, statute, ordinance, or regulation.
Notwithstanding any provision of this Charter, including, but not limited to Section C3.699-11, or any ordinance or regulation of the City and County of San Francisco, the Controller shall administer a whistleblower and citizen complaint hotline telephone number and website and publicize the hotline and website through press releases, public advertising, and communications to City employees. The Controller shall receive and track calls and emails related to complaints about the quality and delivery of government services, wasteful and inefficient City government practices, misuse of government funds and improper activities by City government officials, employees and contractors and shall route these complaints to the appropriate agency subject to subsection (a) of this Section. The Board of Supervisors shall enact and maintain an ordinance protecting the confidentiality of whistleblowers, and protecting City officers and employees from retaliation for filing a complaint with, or providing information to, the Controller, Ethics Commission, District Attorney, City Attorney or a City department or commission about improper government activity by City officers and employees. The City may incorporate all whistleblower functions set forth in this Charter or by ordinances into a unified City call center, switchboard, or information number at a later time, provided the supervision of the whistleblower function remains with the Controller and its responsibilities and function continue unabridged.
(Added November 2003)