WFP RELEASES KAYE REPORT, ENDORSES ITS RECOMMENDATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2010

NEW YORK, NY – The Working Families Party (WFP) today announced that it was endorsing the recommendations made by retired Chief Judge Judith Kaye in an   independent review of its operations and those of Data and Field Services Inc. (DFS) and would adopt those recommendations that apply to the WFP.

(DFS is a consulting firm that has performed services for the WFP and WFP-endorsed candidates.)

The Kaye Report is the result of an effort by the WFP to ensure the transparency of its operations and the party’s ongoing adherence to the highest legal and ethical standards.  The report is available online at http://www.workingfamiliesparty.org/wordpress/uploads/2010/06/Kaye-Report.pdf

“We are committed to living up to the highest standards of public integrity,” said Bob Master, chair of the WFP.  “Accordingly, we are strongly endorsing every single one of Judge Kaye’s recommendations.”

The report, authored by Judge Kaye and Daniel Kurtz of the Skadden Arps Meagher Slate & Flom law firm, makes recommendations intended to “further promote confidence that WFP and DFS are conducting their affairs transparently and appropriately.”

The Kaye Report also makes recommendations intended to address confusion in media reports about the operations of DFS and WFP, such as the payments by WFP to DFS for canvassing services that have been mistakenly confused for operating subsidies.

In preparing the Kaye Report, Skadden Arps Meagher Slate & Flom reviewed voluminous internal materials, including all documents produced in recent litigation on Staten Island involving DFS.  They noted that “WFP and DFS have cooperated fully and provided us with all information requested.”

Kaye Report Recommendations pertaining to the WFP

  1. DFS shall voluntarily disclose on its web site the details of fees and services paid to it by WFP to avoid inaccurate media speculation that WFP is subsidizing DFS’s work for political campaigns (Recommendation #4a)
  1. The WFP will implement uniform systems that allow their employees to record their time on a daily basis. (Recommendation #3c)
  1. DFS and WFP shall formalize and make permanent procedures for regular financial reconciliation of contract services DFS performs for WFP (Recommendation #4d)
  1. DFS and WFP shall provide detailed information in intercompany contracts regarding fees that WFP charges DFS for rent, use of computers, etc. (Recommendation #5)
  1. WFP shall study the recommendations made in the Kaye Report to determine which are appropriate for also applying to the relationship between WFP and the Working Families Organization, the related 501(c)(4) organization.  (Recommendation #6)

The WFP also endorsed the Kaye Report recommendations pertaining solely to DFS:

  1. DFS will reconstitute itself as a taxable, nonprofit corporation, to put to rests peculation that DFS somehow functioned as a profit-generating entity (Recommendation #1)
  1. DFS will document that its fees recoup its per-shift costs, to ensure it charges fair market value to campaigns for its services (Recommendation #2a)
  1. DFS will create a standardized internal fee schedule reflecting the range of fees it charges in the markets where it offers services (Recommendation #2b)
  1. DFS will create a written policy memorializing that it does not contract for less than best its estimate of its own cost, in order to dispel any concern that it may be subsidizing campaigns subject to NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB) spending caps. (Recommendation #2c)
  1. DFS will obtain an independent expert opinion as whether its fees approximate fair market value in order to dispel any concern that it may be subsidizing campaigns subject to CFB spending caps. (Recommendation #2d)
  1. DFS will not begin work for a campaign until it has finalized a written contract (Recommendation #3a)
  1. DFS will institute a written policy governing the practices of DFS employees who join the staffs of campaigns that contract with DFS (Recommendation #3b)
  1. DFS will implement uniform systems that allow their employees to record their time on a daily basis. (Recommendation #3c)
  1. DFS shall develop a new employee manual that describes its structural independence from the WFP (Recommendation #4b)

10.  DFS shall document the range of internal measures it has taken to underscore its separation from WFP, including, e.g., new recordkeeping procedures, new telephone lines, etc. (Recommendation #4c)

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