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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Conflict of Interest Definitions

Members of City advisory bodies are public officials, based on State law ORS 244.020(15), and as such are required to disclose conflicts of interest. Under Oregon Revised Statute 244.020(3), an appointee has conflict of interest when participating in an official action which could or would result in a financial benefit or avoidance of detriment to the public official, a relative of the public official, or a business with which either is associated.

Additionally, Portland City Code Chapter 1.03, Code of Ethics, requires advisory board members to uphold a specific standard of behavior. This language is included as part of this form and will also be provided as part of your training. Public officials also need to observe the Oregon Government Ethics Commission’s "Oregon Government Ethics Law - A Guide for Public Officials", booklet available at www.oregon.gov/OGEC/Pages/training.aspx

Definitions

  1. 1.    Business:

Oregon state ethics law (ORS 244.020(3)4) defines “business with which the person is associated” as:

  • When, during the preceding calendar year, an appointee or relative has held a position as director, officer, owner, employee or agent of a private business or a closely held corporation in which the appointee or relative held or currently holds stock, stock options, equity interest or debt instrument over $1,000.
  • When, during the preceding calendar year, appointee or relative has owned or currently owns stock, equity interest, stock options or debt instruments of $100,000 or more in a publicly held corporation.
  • When the appointee or relative is a director or officer of a publicly held corporation.
  • When an appointee is required by ORS 244.050(5) to file an Annual Verified Statement of Economic Interest form and the business is listed as a source of household income.

2. Relative:

ORS 244.020(15)2 defines “relative” to include following:

  • Spouse (including domestic partners)
  • Children
  • Children of the spouse
  • Siblings
  • Siblings of the spouse
  • Spouse of siblings
  • Spouse of siblings of the spouse
  • Parents
  • Parents of the spouse
  • Person for whom the public official or candidate has a legal support obligation
  • Person benefiting from a public official when benefits are from the public official’s public employment
  • Person who provides benefits to a public official or candidate when benefits are from the person’s employment

For purposes of “relatives” defined by the last two bulleted items, examples of benefits may include, but not be limited to, elements of an official compensation package including benefits such as insurance, tuition or retirement allotments.

Chapter 1.03 Code of Ethics

(Chapter added by Ordinance No. 167619, effective May 4, 1994.)

1.03.010 Definitions.

  1. City official means any elected official, employee, appointee to a board or commission, or citizen volunteer authorized to act on behalf of the City of Portland, Oregon.
  2. Ethics means positive principles of conduct. Some ethical requirements are enforced by federal, state, or local law. Others rely on training, or on individuals’ desire to do the right thing. The provisions of this Chapter which are not elsewhere enforced by law shall be considered advisory only.

1.03.020 Trust

The purpose of City government is to serve the public. City officials treat their office as a public trust.

  1. The City’s powers and resources are used for the benefit of the public rather than any official’s personal benefit.
  2. City officials ensure public respect by avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.
  3. Policymakers place long-term benefit to the public as a whole above all other considerations, including important individuals and special interests. However, the public interest includes protecting the rights of under-represented minorities.
  4. Administrators implement policies in good faith as equitably and economically as possible, regardless of their personal views.
  5. Whistle-blowing is appropriate on unlawful or improper actions.
  6. Citizens have a fair and equal opportunity to express their views to City officials.
  7. City officials do not give the appearance of impropriety or personal gain by accepting personal gifts.
  8. City officials devote City resources, including paid time, working supplies and capital assets, to benefit the public.
  9. Political campaigns are not conducted on City time or property.

1.03.030 Objectivity

City officials’ decisions are based on the merits of the issues. Judgment is independent and objective.

  1. City officials avoid financial conflict of interest and do not accept benefits from people requesting to affect decisions.
  2. If an individual official’s financial or personal interests will be specifically affected by a decision, the official is to withdraw from participating in the decision.
  3. City officials avoid bias or favoritism, and respect cultural differences as part of decision-making.
  4. Intervention on behalf of constituents or friends is limited to assuring fairness of procedures, clarifying policies or improving service for citizens.

1.03.040 Accountability

Open government allows citizens to make informed judgments and to hold officials accountable.

  1. City officials exercise their authority with open meetings and public records.
  2. Officials who delegate responsibilities also follow up to make sure the work is carried out efficiently and ethically.
  3. Campaigns for election should allow the voters to make an informed choice on appropriate criteria.
  4. Each City employee is encouraged to improve City systems by identifying problems and proposing improvements.
  5. City government systems are self-monitoring, with procedures in place to promote appropriate actions.

1.03.050 Leadership

  1. City officials obey all laws and regulations.
  2. City officials do not exploit loopholes.
  3. Leadership facilitates, rather than blocks, open discussion.
  4. Officials avoid discreditable personal conduct and are personally honest.
  5. All City bureaus and work teams are encouraged to develop detailed ethical standards, training, and enforcement.
  6. F.The City Auditor will publish a pamphlet containing explanations and examples of ethical principles