CODE OF CONDUCT
Members of the Council of the District of Columbia shall at all times maintain a high level of ethical conduct in connection with the performance of official duties, and shall refrain from taking, ordering, or participating in any official action which would adversely affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of the government of the District of Columbia.
The maintenance of unusually high standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality, and conduct by elected officials is essential to assure the proper performance of government business and the maintenance of confidence by citizens in their government. The avoidance of misconduct and conflicts of interest on the part of Councilmembers is indispensable to the maintenance of these standards.
Councilmembers shall avoid all actions which might result in, or create the appearance of, the following:
(a) Using public office for private gain;
(b) Giving preferential treatment to any person;
(c) Impeding government efficiency or economy;
(d) Losing complete independence or impartiality;
(e) Making a government decision outside official channels; or
(f) Affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of government.
Councilmembers shall not ask for or accept, either directly or through someone else, any gift, gratuity, favor, loan, entertainment, or anything of value from a person who has or is seeking a contract with the District of Columbia; is regulated by the District; or has any interest that may be affected by the Councilmember’s performance of official duties. (See section 1803 for full rule.)
A Councilmember shall report immediately to the Office of the Inspector General, or other appropriate authorities any information concerning conduct which he or she knows, or should know, involves corrupt or other criminal activity, or conflict of interest of another Councilmember or employee of the District of Columbia or person dealing with the District. (See section 1803.8-11)
Councilmembers shall not order, direct, or request subordinates employees to perform during regular working hours any personal services not related to official District government functions and activities. (See section 1804.1(c))
Councilmembers shall avoid conflicts of interest concerning the award, implementation, monitoring, and performance of contracts for services. (See section 1803.14(a))
Councilmembers must commit themselves on a continual basis to a standard of conduct that increases the public's trust in their Government. To ensure the full public confidence that representative government requires, and recognizing that public office is public trust, the Council of the District of Columbia commits itself to the highest standards of ethics, honesty, openness, and integrity, and pledges itself as a body to adhere consistently to these values.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST RESOURCES FOR COUNCILMEMBERS AND STAFF
V. David Zvenyach
Address: Office of the General Counsel, John A. Wilson Building, Suite 4, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20004
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tel: (202) 724-8026
Fax: (202) 724-8129
General information on public officials and conflicts of interest: http://ocf.dc.gov/cfg/cfg_sec11.shtm
To request an opinion on conflict situations from the Director of the Office of Campaign Finance: http://ocf.dc.gov/lres/lres1.shtm
(Opinions can also be requested from the General Counsel and the Board of Elections and Ethics)
To request an investigation from the Office of Campaign Finance on conflicts of interest: http://ocf.dc.gov/lres/lres2.shtm
APPLICABLE D.C. LAWS, REGULATIONS AND RULES:
Council Rule 202 – http://ogc.abfa.com/dcrules.htm
D.C. Official Code - 1-615.51 (whistleblower protection)
D.C. Official Code - 1-618.01, et seq.
DCMR, Chapter 18 (Standards of Conduct)
D.C. Official Code - 1-1104.03 (constituent services funds)
D.C. Official Code - 1-1105.06 (a) and (b) (lobbying)
D.C. Official Code - 1-1106.01 – Conflict of Interest
D.C. Official Code - 1-1106.02 - Disclosure of Financial Interest
D.C. Municipal Regulations, Title 3, Chapters 33 and 37 (conflict of interest)
D.C. Official Code - 1-1106.51 (use of government resources)
D.C. Official Code - 2-701 et seq. (official mail)
APPLICABLE FEDERAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND ETHICS RULES AND REGULATIONS:
Hatch Act (5 USC - 7321-7326) (partisan political activity)
18 USC - 201(b)(2)(bribery)
18 USC - 207 (post-employment restrictions)
18 USC - 208
5 CFR Part 734, Subparts A & B (conflict of interest)
A relationship of reliance. A trusted party seeks to fulfill policies, ethical codes, law and their previous promises. Trust is a prediction of reliance on an action, based on what a party knows about the other party. Trust is a statement about what is otherwise unknown -- for example, because it is far away, cannot be verified, or is in the future.
The degree to which one party trusts another is a measure of belief in the honesty and competence of the other party. Based on the most recent research, a failure in trust may be forgiven more easily if it is interpreted as a failure of competence rather than a lack of honesty. Trustworthiness is a moral value considered to be a virtue. A trustworthy person is someone in whom we can place our trust and not be betrayed. A person can prove his trustworthiness by fulfilling an assigned responsibility - and to not let down our expectations. In order for one to trust another, their worth and integrity must be constantly proven over time.
[Origin: 1175–1225; Middle English / Old Norse traust trust]
A rule of conduct established and enforced by the authority, legislation, or custom of a given community, state, or nation.
[Origin: before 1000; Middle English law, lagh(e), Old English lagu < Old Norse [Iceland] *lagu, early pl. of lag layer, stratum, a laying in order, fixed tune, (in collective sense)]
Ethics is a major branch of philosophy that involves analysis of right conduct. It is a process of rational thinking in order to survive. The purpose of ethics, according to Aristotle, is happiness. Ethics also involves a life worth living or life that is satisfying.
[Origin: 1400–50; via Latin ethica from the Ancient Greek ?θικ? [φιλοσοφ?α] “moral philosophy”, from the adjective of ?θος ethos “custom, habit“]
While ethics is about “should,” laws are about “must.” Laws prohibit or mandate specific conduct. Obeying the law is a matter of compliance, and illegal conduct results in sanctions including fines and imprisonment. Ethics laws meld the two concepts. They both require conduct such as open meetings and disclosure of financial interests and forbid transactions that could compromise the integrity of government. Because of a high tendency of those regulated to evade the spirit and purpose of such laws, statutes have become more complex and technical. Essentially, ethics laws involve conflict of interest.
Corruption is an abuse of public power for private gain that goes against the public interest… corruption entails a confusion of the private with the public sphere or an illicit exchange between the two spheres. In essence, corrupt practices involve public officials acting in the best interest of private concerns (their own or those of others) regardless of, or against, the public interest. (United Nations definition)
[Origin: 1300–50; Middle English corrupcio – Latin corruption-, corruptio. See CORRUPT [Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English < Latin corruptus broken in pieces]