Public Integrity Review Finds Refuse Rate-Setting Process Lacks Transparency and Timely Safeguards

San Francisco, CA (April 14, 2021) — The Controller's Office today released a preliminary assessment report to improve the rate-setting process for refuse collection in San Francisco. This report follows the City Attorney’s March 4th announcement of a more than $100 million settlement with Recology—the waste management company that provides services to residential and commercial customers in San Francisco—after investigations revealed that the company had overcharged customers for over three years. 

The report issued today suggests how the City can improve the rate-setting process, including by adding safeguards and considering examples of other ways to set rates, to make the process more transparent and to help ensure it works as designed.

 

Download the full report here.

View the press release.

 

infographic about rate setting

 

What happens next?

Our Public Integrity Review of inadequate policies and procedures that were exposed by the federal criminal charges against Mohammed Nuru and other city employees and contractors will continue, with future assessments on citywide ethics reporting, the Department of Building Inspection’s inspection and permitting processes, and contracting at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. In the coming months we will continue to release each assessment report as it is finished and may add topics as the investigation progresses.

 

Tips

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 openbook.sfgov.org. As always, anyone may file any allegation of improper or illegal public activity with the City’s Whistleblower Program at sfcontroller.org/whistleblower-program. 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 ben.rosenfield@sfgov.org.

For all press inquiries, please contact Communications Manager Alyssa Sewlal at alyssa.sewlal@sfgov.org.


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 issuing its financial 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 audits and produces regular reports on the City's financial and economic condition and the operations and performance of city government.