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(a) Establishment. The Office of Emerging Technology is hereby created within the Department and shall be headed by the OET Director, who shall be appointed by the Public Works Director and who shall meet the qualifications for staffing of OET in subsection (b).
(b) Staffing. OET shall be staffed with experienced and qualified technology professionals or experts or those who have experience with or knowledge of San Francisco’s unique community values and regulatory environment.
(c) Mission and Purposes. OET shall have the mission and purposes set forth in this subsection (c).
(1) Serve as an initial point of contact, akin to a “front door,” and a continuing point of contact and central repository of information and expertise, for members of the public and prospective operators of Emerging Technology to engage with the City regarding Emerging Technology issues, to enable members of the public and Emerging Technology Companies to seek and provide information, express viewpoints, and receive feedback regarding Emerging Technologies.
(2) Develop evaluation criteria and collaborate with other City Departments regarding the testing, evaluation, and regulation of Emerging Technology within the City.
(3) Facilitate communication among Emerging Technology Companies, San Francisco residents, and local businesses.
(4) Research the effects of Emerging Technology on the City’s resources, residents, and businesses, and support responsive policy development in areas such as equity, accessibility, privacy, and the responsible and sustainable use of data.
(5) Foster smart forecasting through collaboration with subject matter experts outside of City government including but not limited to academic and policy makers and administrators from government agencies separate from the City, consistent with the civil service provisions of the Charter.
(d) Collaboration and Outreach. OET shall work with City Departments, including but not limited to the Real Estate Department, as defined in the Administrative Code, and the Special Jurisdiction Agencies; other governmental entities; Emerging Technology Companies; non-government organizations; members of academia; community members; and other interested parties and Stakeholders to formulate best practices for addressing new and evolving regulatory issues and questions regarding Emerging Technologies.
(e) Powers and Duties. OET shall have the powers, responsibilities, and duties set forth in this subsection (e).
(1) Emerging Technology Front Door. OET shall provide informational resources to Emerging Technology Companies to help enable such businesses to determine which permitting, regulatory, and other requirements may be applicable to the operation of the Emerging Technology in San Francisco. OET shall be the City’s point of contact for providing information to and facilitating dialogue among Emerging Technology Companies and San Francisco residents, workers, local businesses, visitors, and other members of the public regarding Emerging Technologies. In addition, OET shall solicit and receive feedback regarding comments, ideas, and concerns about Emerging Technology.
(2) Testing, Evaluation, and Data Collection and Sharing. OET shall strive to provide Emerging Technology Companies with consistent and agile processes for safely developing, operating, and testing products and services in public spaces. OET shall research, design, and implement methods for testing, evaluating, and measuring the effects of Emerging Technology and shall coordinate City Department efforts to develop data collection and evaluation criteria regarding the effects of Emerging Technology on San Francisco residents and City resources and infrastructure. OET shall collaborate with other City Departments regarding the testing, evaluation, permitting, and regulation of Emerging Technology within the City, and data collection and sharing methods and protocols. Subject to the authority of Special Jurisdiction Agencies and other applicable limitations set forth in state law, the Charter, and/or any agreement between OET and the City Department Partners, upon request from the OET Director, each City Department Partner shall share data regarding Emerging Technologies, Emerging Technology Companies, Pilot Projects, or Proposed Activities, in the possession of such City Department Partner, with OET for purposes consistent with this Chapter 22G .
(3) Evaluation of Proposed Pilot Projects. OET shall receive Pilot Project Proposals in a format approved by OET and any applicable City Department Partner, and shall be authorized to deny or Approve a Pilot Project Proposal, as described more fully in Section 22G.4, subject to the Pilot Project Sponsor’s compliance with all conditions of approval including but not limited to any requirements imposed by any applicable City Department Partner and obtaining all Additional Agency Approvals. OET shall not exercise decision-making authority over activities within the jurisdiction of the Special Jurisdiction Agencies, unless otherwise authorized by such agency.
(4) Thought Leadership and Policy Development. OET shall: (A) investigate, research, and consult subject matter experts regarding the development, usage, and effects of Emerging Technology on the City’s resources and residents, particularly the most vulnerable members of the San Francisco community including seniors, children, economically disadvantaged individuals, and persons with mobility or other medical or health limitations; (B) support responsive policy development in areas such as equity, accessibility, privacy, and responsible and sustainable use of data; (C) focus on and monitor existing and evolving accessibility standards; and (D) make and provide support for recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, and other City Departments regarding amendments and updates to the Municipal Code and City regulations and processes to address the challenges posed and opportunities presented by Emerging Technologies.
(5) Communication. OET shall research, develop, and apply best practices to facilitate communication and share information regarding Emerging Technologies among City departments, Emerging Technology Companies, and Stakeholders. OET shall maintain a list of Stakeholders and notify such Stakeholders of any public hearings and meetings called by OET, and also may notify Stakeholders of other meetings or developments regarding Emerging Technologies. OET may in its discretion treat as Stakeholders persons or entities who do not meet the definition of Stakeholder in Section 22G.2.
(6) Forecasting. OET shall endeavor to create partnerships with businesses, organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies separate from the City to learn from deployments of Emerging Technologies outside of San Francisco and related Emerging Technology trends. OET shall endeavor to help build relationships with and among Stakeholders by hosting gatherings, forums, and presentations about Emerging Technology priority issues facing San Francisco.
(Added by Ord. 291-19, File No. 191033, App. 12/19/2019, Eff. 1/19/2020)