Preliminary Assessment of San Francisco’s Process to Disqualify Fraudulent Contractors as Part of Public Integrity Review

San Francisco, CA (November 5, 2020) — The Controller's Office today released a preliminary assessment report on the City and County of San Francisco’s debarment procedures, which prevent fraudulent contractors from bidding on city work. The report covers changes proposed by the Office of the City Attorney and compares the City’s debarment procedures to those of the State of California and the federal government.

This assessment was prompted by the criminal complaint against Mohammed Nuru, the City’s former director of public works, and Balmore Hernandez, chief executive and vice president of AzulWorks, Inc., a city contractor. The complaint led the City Attorney’s Office to investigate AzulWorks and initiate debarment proceedings against the firm.


Download the full report here.

View the press release: PDF icon Office of the Controller Press Release_San Francisco’s procedures to disqualify contractors from bidding on city work.pdf


infographic about debarment


What happens next?

Our Public Integrity Review of inadequate policies and procedures that were exposed by the Mohammed Nuru investigation will continue, with future assessments on topics including:

  • Ethical practices in contract award decisions at the Airport and other city commissions
  • Citywide ethics reporting requirements
  • The Department of Building Inspection’s permitting process

We will release each assessment report as our work moves ahead in the coming months and may add additional topics as the investigation progresses.



Investigators from the Controller’s Office consider every allegation of wrongdoing raised by city employees and members of the public. To report suspected public integrity abuses related specifically to the Mohammed Nuru investigation, please contact the Public Integrity Tip Line. You can provide information by:

All tips may be submitted anonymously and will remain confidential. Reports to this tip line, as well as tips to the Controller’s whistleblower hotline, are critical to the City’s ability to fight abuses and lapses of public integrity by city employees and contractors. As provided for by the San Francisco Charter, the Controller’s Whistleblower Program ensures that complaints are investigated by departments with the appropriate jurisdiction and independence from the alleged wrongdoing.   

Information on city payments, searchable by department and vendor, are available on the Controller’s public transparency website at As always, anyone may file any allegation of improper or illegal public activity with the City’s Whistleblower Program at That program, administered by the Controller’s Office, often partners with the City Attorney’s Office on investigations.


For questions, please contact City Controller Ben Rosenfield at

For all press inquiries, please contact Communications Manager Alyssa Sewlal at

About the Office of the Controller

The Controller's Office works to ensure the City's financial integrity and to promote efficient, effective, and accountable government. We strive to be a model for good government and to make the City a better place to live and work. The Controller's Office is responsible for governance and conduct of key aspects of the City's financial operations, including operating the City's financial systems and procedures, maintaining the City's internal control environment, processing payroll for city employees, managing the City's bonds and debt portfolio, and processing and monitoring the City's budget. The department produces regular reports and audits on the City's financial and economic condition and the operations and performance of city government.