Sec. 683. Office of Public Accountability.
(a) The role of the Office of Public Accountability (OPA) shall be to provide public independent analysis of department actions as they relate to water and electricity rates.
(b) The OPA shall be headed by an Executive Director, who shall be exempt from civil service. The Executive Director shall be appointed by a citizens committee to a five-year term, subject in appointment to confirmation by the Council and Mayor. The Council shall by ordinance provide for the removal of the Executive Director in a procedure similar to that set forth in City Charter Section 575(e), and only for the reasons provided by ordinance. The Council by ordinance shall prescribe the composition and manner of selection of the citizens committee.
(c) The Executive Director shall (1) report directly to, but shall not be instructed by, the board; (2) have full charge and control of all work of the OPA; (3) be responsible for the proper administration of its affairs; (4) appoint, discharge, suspend, or transfer all of its employees, subject to the civil service provisions of the Charter; (5) issue instructions to OPA employees in the line of their duties, subject to the civil service provisions of the Charter; (6) prior to the beginning of each fiscal year and in accordance with a schedule prescribed by ordinance, submit to the City Administrative Officer a proposed annual budget covering the anticipated expenditures of the OPA; (7) expend the funds of the OPA (including, without limitation, awarding contracts) in accordance with the provisions of the budget appropriations or of appropriations made after adoption of the budget; and (8) perform such other duties as may be prescribed by ordinance.
(d) The City Council shall by ordinance establish provisions for the administration and operation of the OPA, which provisions shall include at a minimum: (1) reporting requirements and schedules and (2) consumer protection and complaint procedures.
(e) The OPA shall have access to information to fulfill its responsibilities.
(f) The employees of the OPA shall include a Ratepayer Advocate and additional positions as prescribed by ordinance. The OPA shall periodically issue public reports.
(g) The department shall include a budget for the OPA as shall be set by ordinance at a level not less than 0.025 percent of department annual revenues from the sale of water and electric energy for the previous fiscal year.
(h) Nothing contained in this section shall reduce or otherwise affect the authority of the City Controller to conduct fiscal and performance audits of the department.
(i) This Section shall be operative on July 1, 2011.
Added by Charter Amendment I § 1, approved March 8, 2011, effective April 8, 2011.