Commission Hearing Policies and Procedures

A. Commission Office

The Civil Service Commission office is located in Suite 720, 25 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. The telephone number is (415) 252-3247, the fax number is (415) 252-3260 and the web address is Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


B. Policy Requiring Written Reports

It is the policy of the Civil Service Commission that all items appearing on its agenda will be supported by a written report prepared by Commission or departmental staff. These reports are available for inspection in the Commission office, approximately five (5) business days prior to the meeting date (ordinarily, the Monday a week before the Commission meeting). Call the Commission office to determine the availability of reports. If practicable, copies of reports will be provided to authorized departmental and employee organization representatives upon request. All other parties will be required to pay a ten cents (10c) per page reproduction fee. Reports from City and County personnel supporting agenda items must be submitted in accordance with the procedures established by the Executive Officer. Reports not submitted according to procedures, in the format and quantity required, and by the deadline, will not be calendared.

C. Policy on Written Submissions by Appellants

All written material submitted by appellants to be considered by the Commission in support of an agenda item shall be submitted to the Commission office, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the fourth (4th) business day preceding the Commission meeting for which the item is calendared (ordinarily, on Tuesday). An original and nine (9) copies on 81/2 inch X 11 inch paper, three-hole punched on left margin, and page numbered in the bottom center margin, shall be provided. All written material submitted for the Commission’s review becomes part of a public record and shall be open for public inspection.



D. Policy and Procedure for Hearings to be Scheduled after 5:00 p.m. and Requests for Postponement



A request to hear an item after 5:00 p.m. should be directed to the Executive Officer as soon as possible following the receipt of notification of an upcoming hearing. Requests may be made by telephone at (415) 252-3247 and confirmed in writing or by fax at (415) 252-3260.

A request for a postponement (continuance) to delay an item to another meeting may be directed to the Commission Executive Officer by telephone followed by fax or letter.  Before acting, the Executive Officer may refer certain requests to another City official for recommendation.  Telephone requests must be confirmed in writing prior to the meeting. Immediately following the “Announcement of Changes” portion of the agenda at the beginning of the meeting, the Commission will consider a request for a postponement that has been previously denied.



E. Policy and Procedure on Hearing Items Out of Order and on Private Hearings



Requests to hear items out of order and for private hearings (closed sessions) are to be directed to the Commission President at the beginning of the agenda. The President will rule on each request. If legally permissible and the President grants a private hearing, the hearing will be held at the end of the agenda. If there is more than one private hearing, the President will determine the order in which the sessions will be heard.



F. Procedure for Commission Hearings



All Commission hearings in disputed matters shall conform to the following procedures. The Commission reserves the right to question each party during its presentation and, in its discretion, to modify any time allocations and requirements.

If a proposed personal services contract is severed from the Ratification Agenda, presentation by the requester will be for a maximum time limit of five (5) minutes for all personal services contracts severed by the requester from the Ratification Agenda.

If a matter is severed from the Consent Agenda, presentation by the opponent will be for a maximum time limit of five (5) minutes and response by the departmental representative for a maximum time limit of five (5) minutes.

For items on the Regular Agenda, presentation by the departmental representative for a maximum time of five (5) minutes and response by the opponent for a maximum time limit of five (5) minutes. No other persons shall be permitted to speak.

For items on the Separations Agenda, presentation by the department followed by the employee or employee’s representative shall be for a maximum time limit of ten (10) minutes for each party unless extended by the Commission. Each presentation shall conform to the following:

  1. Opening summary of case (brief overview);
  2. Discussion of evidence;
  3. Corroborating witnesses, if necessary; and
  4. Closing remarks.

The Commission may allocate five (5) minutes for each side to rebut evidence presented by the other side.


G. Policy on Tape Recording of Commission Meetings


As provided in the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance, Commission meetings are tape-recorded. These tape recordings will be retained for a minimum of ten (10) business days and are available for public review starting on the day after the Commission meeting in the Commission office.

H. Speaking before the Civil Service Commission

Speaker cards are not required. The Commission will hear testimony on matters on the agenda at the time the item is heard. For matters not on the agenda, but within the jurisdiction of the Commission, a person may appear at the Civil Service Commission meeting when the "Requests to Speak" item is called and may address the Commission. Speakers are not required to identify themselves or provide identifying information. Maximum time allowed each speaker during the "Requests to Speak" section is three (3) minutes; total time allowed for individuals’ requests to speak shall not exceed thirty (30) minutes unless the Commission extends such time by majority vote.


Information on Disability Access


The Civil Service Commission normally meets in Room 408 (Fourth Floor) City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. However, meetings not held in this room are conducted in the Civic Center area. City Hall is wheelchair accessible. The closest accessible BART station is the Civic Center, located 2 ½ blocks from City Hall. Accessible MUNI lines serving City Hall are 42 Downtown Loop, 9 San Bruno and 71 Haight/Noriega, as well as the METRO stations at Van Ness and Market and at Civic Center. For more information about MUNI accessible services, call (415) 923-6142. Accessible curb side parking has been designated at points in the vicinity of City Hall adjacent to Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue.

The following services are available on request 48 hours prior to the meeting; except for Monday meetings, for which the deadline shall be 4:00 p.m. of the last business day of the preceding week. For American sign language interpreters or the use of a reader during a meeting, a sound enhancement system, and/or alternative formats of the agenda and minutes, please contact the Commission office to make arrangements for the accommodation. Late requests will be honored, if possible.

Individuals with severe allergies, environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities should call our ADA coordinator at (415) 252-3254 to discuss meeting accessibility. In order to assist the City’s efforts to accommodate such people, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical based products. Please help the City to accommodate these individuals.


Know your Rights under the Sunshine Ordinance (Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code)


Government’s duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public.  Commissions, boards, councils, and other agencies of the City and County exist to conduct the people’s business.  This ordinance assures that deliberations are conducted before the people and that City operations are open to the people’s review.  For more information on your rights under the Sunshine Ordinance or to report a violation of the ordinance, or to obtain a free copy of the Sunshine Ordinance, contact Andrea Ausberry, Interim Administrator of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244,  San Francisco, CA 94102-4689 at (415) 554-7724, by fax: (415) 554-7854, by e-mail:, or on the City’s website at


San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance


Individuals and entities that influence or attempt to influence local legislative or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance (San Francisco Administrative Code Sec. 16.520 - 16.534) to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 1390 Market Street, #801, San Francisco, CA 94102, telephone (415) 554-9510, fax (415) 703-0121 and web site