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Public Ethics Commission
Next Regular Meeting:
Monday, May 4, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
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Oakland Government Ethics Act
On December 9, 2014, the Oakland City Council voted to approve 8-0 the Oakland Government Ethics Act (Act) or (GEA), which became effective immediately upon approval. This Act, which was proposed by the Public Ethics Commission in partnership with Councilmember Dan Kalb and the Oakland City Attorney, does the following:
IV. Conflict of Interest and Personal Gain
Financial Conflicts of Interests
A public servant shall not make, participate in making, or influence a decision in which he or she has a financial interest, as defined by the CA Political Reform Act (PRA)
Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700)
Requires elected officials and designated public servants to file a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest pursuant to the CA PRA
Conflicts of Interests in Contracting
A public servant may not make a contract in which he or she has a financial interest
A public servant may not disclose confidential information acquired in the course of his or her official duties to another person for pecuniary gain, personal advantage or private interest
Incompatible Public Offices
A public servant may not hold two public offices that are incompatible
Conflict in Office
Neither the Mayor nor members of City Council may hold other City office or employment with the City during their term and for one year following their term
Influencing Prospective Employment
A public servant may not make or influence a government decision affecting a future employer
V. Leaving Public Service “Revolving Door” Restrictions
Permanent Post-Service Restriction on Representing, Advising, and/or Assisting Non-City Parties in Particular Matters
Prohibits a public servant from leaving the City to work for a non- City person or entity other than oneself on the other side of a particular issue in which they personally and substantially participated while employed with the City
One-Year Post-Service Restriction on Supervisors Representing Non-City Parties.
Prohibits a public servant from leaving the City to work for another person or entity on the other side of an issue in which the public servant served as a supervisor of an employee who personally and substantially participated in a particular matter
One-Year Restriction on Public Servants Representing Other Persons Before Former Department
Restricts a public servant, for one year after they leave City service, from influencing their former department or unit on behalf of another person
Employment by a Party to a City Contract on Which the Public Servant Worked
Prohibits a public servant from working for a person or entity that entered into a contract with the City within the preceding one year where the public servant personally and substantially participated in the award of the contract
Waiver by the Public Ethics Commission
Authorizes the PEC to waive the restrictions in sections V(A) – V(C) under certain circumstances
VI. Perks of Office and Misuse of City Resources or Position for Private Gain
Misuse of City Resources or Position
A public servant may not use or permit others to use public resources for campaign activities or for personal or non-City purposes not authorized by law.
A public servant may not use his or her authority or power of position for private advantage.
Prohibitions Related to Political Activity and Solicitation of Contributions
A public servant may not use his or her office or authority to help secure a position with the City in exchange for a vote or other political influence.
A public servant, in addition to an Oakland School Board candidate, may not solicit a political contribution from another public servant, except as part of mass communications to a large group of the general public.
A public servant may not participate in political activities while in uniform.
Restrictions on Gifts
Requires a public servant to comply with the gift requirements and restrictions in the Political Reform
Imposes a $250 annual gift limit for public servants, except gifts from restricted sources, such as lobbyists
and persons doing business with or seeking to do business with the City, which would be limited to $50 in
gifts per year per source.
Prohibition on City Officers and Board or Commission Members Contracting with the City
Prohibits “City officers,” as defined more narrowly than “public servant,” from entering into contracts of more than $10,000 with the City while they are serving in their public service positions
VII. Fair Process
Prohibition on Bribery
No person shall offer or make, and no public servant shall solicit or accept, anything of value in exchange for the performance of any official act
Prohibition on Payment for Office or Appointment
A public servant may not give or promise to give to any person anything of value in exchange for nomination, appointment, support, or election to any office or employment
Prohibition on City Public Servant Influencing Contracts with Former Employer
A public servant may not use his or her official position to influence a decision regarding a contract with a party with whom the public servant was previously employed within the preceding 12 months
Prohibition on Nepotism
A public servant may not make or influence an employment or contract action involving a relative
Non-Interference in Administrative Affairs
City Council may not give orders, coerce or influence City administrative staff and should deal with administrative services through the City Administrator, Mayor, or other designees
VIII. Public Ethics Commission Role and Responsibilities
Requires the PEC to provide advice, assistance and training to City public servants and candidates who would be subject to the Ethics ordinance
Allows the PEC to adopt, amend, and rescind rules and regulations to carry out the purposes and provisions of the Government Ethics Act
Adds criminal, civil, and administrative penalties for violations of the Government Ethics Act, and adds an injunctive relief remedy for any person residing in the City
Open Disclosure Oakland
Open Disclosure Oakland is a website portal that simplifies and visualizes campaign finance data to show the flow of money into and out of Mayoral campaigns; the app was created by the Oakland Public Ethics Commission and OpenOakland, Oakland’s Code for America brigade. The video embedded below is the Open Disclosure Oakland launch presentation to the Public Ethics Commission on September 2, 2014.
News & Announcements
PEC Seeks Commissioner for 2015-18 Term (September 22, 2014)
Sunshine on Local Campaign Spending (September 4, 2014)
Public Ethics Commission Urges New Approaches to Transparency in Oakland (January 7, 2014)
PEC Letter to City Council Asking for Ethics Ordinance, Staff (September 16, 2013)
PEC Needs Greater Authority, Resources (July 25, 2013)
How Open is Oakland City Government? (June 21, 2013)
Electronic Filing Training Monday May 20, 2013 (May 15, 2013)
Annual Report 2012 Released by PEC (April 17, 2013)
PEC Embraces Rise in Sunshine (March 14, 2013)
PEC Welcomes Eddie Tejeda as a New Commissioner (January 23, 2013)
PEC Appoints New Commissioner Jenna M. Whitman (January 14, 2013)
City Council Code of Conduct
The Public Ethics Commission began a project in February 2013 to raise awareness of the Oakland City Council Code of Conduct and encourage compliance with the Code. As part of the SPARK Apprenticeship Program with Frick Middle School in East Oakland, Commission staff mentored eighth-grade student Akira Rodgers to create this City Council Code of Conduct video.