Code of Ethics
PROCUREMENT AND CONTRACT MANAGEMENT CODE OF ETHICS
The City of Brownsville is committed to the highest ethical standards. Therefore, it is a serious breach of the public trust to compromise the public purchasing process by directing purchases to certain favored vendors or to tamper with the competitive bidding process. Therefore, the standards below must be strictly adhered to by employees. Employees are required to follow all applicable rules set forth in the City Charter and City Code as well as the ethical guidelines below.
It is the policy of the City of Brownsville that all procurement shall be conducted strictly based on economic and business merit. This policy is intended to promote the interest of the citizens of the City. Employees are required to follow all applicable rules set forth in the City Charter and City Code as well as the ethical guidelines below.
To avoid violation of, or the appearance of violation of, officials and City employees are prohibited from:
Seeking or accepting, directly or indirectly, any loans, services, payments, entertainment, trips, gifts, or merchandise, or money in any amount from a business or an individual during, or seeking to do, business with the City.
It is important to remember that City Procurement and Contract Management Division operates in full view of the public. To guarantee an open purchasing process and economy in purchasing, the City has determined that competitive bidding will be used, as much as possible, in the purchase of goods and services for the City.
City intends to maintain a cost-effective purchasing system conforming to good management practices. To be successful, the system must be backed by proper attitudes and cooperation of not only every department head and official, but also every supervisor and employee of the City. The establishment and maintenance of a good purchasing system is possible only through a cooperative effort.
Ethical Procurement Standard Code - State and Local Governments
a. It shall be a breach of ethics to attempt to realize personal. Gain through employment with the City by any conduct inconsistent with the proper discharge of the employee's duties.
b. It shall be a breach of ethics to attempt to influence any employee of the City to break the standards of ethical conduct set forth in this code.
c. It shall be a breach of ethics for any employee of the City to participate directly or indirectly in a procurement when the employee knows that:
• the employee, or any member of the employee's immediate family, has a financial interest pertaining to the procurement.
• a business or organization in which the employee, or any member of the employee's immediate family, has a financial interest pertaining to the procurement; or
- any other person, business, or organization with whom the employee, or any member of the employee's immediate family, is negotiating or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment is involved in the procurement.
d. Gratuities - It shall be a breach of ethics to offer, give or agree to give, any employee or former employee of the City, or for any employee or former employee of the City to solicit, demand, accept or agree to accept from another person, a gratuity or an offer of employment in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a program requirement or purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or procurement standard, rendering of advice, investigation, auditing, or in any other advisory capacity in any proceeding or application, request for ruling, determination, claim or controversy, or other particular matter pertaining to any program requirement or a contract or sub-contract, or solicitation or proposal therefore pending before this government.
e. Kickbacks - It shall be a breach of ethics for any payment, gratuity or offer of employment to be made by, or on behalf of, a sub-contractor under a contract to the prime contractor or higher tier sub-contractor for any contract for the City, or any person associated therewith, as an enticement for the award of the sub-contract or order.
f. Contract Clause - The prohibition against gratuities and kickbacks prescribed above shall be conspicuously set forth in every contract and solicitation, therefore.
g. It shall be a breach of ethics for any employee or former employee of the City to knowingly use confidential information for actual or anticipated personal gain, or for the actual or anticipated gain of any person.
2. Ethical Practices
a. Avoid the intent and appearance of unethical or uncompromising practice in relationships, actions, and communications.
b. Demonstrate loyalty to the employer by diligently following the lawful instructions of the employer, using reasonable care and only authority granted.
c. Refrain from any private business or professional activity that would create a conflict between personal interests and interests of the employers.
d. Refrain from soliciting or accepting money, loans, credits, or prejudicial Discounts, and the acceptance of gifts, entertainment, favors, or services for present or potential suppliers who might influence, or appear to influence, purchase decisions.
e. Handle information on a confidential and proprietary nature to employers and/or suppliers with due care and proper consideration of ethical and legal ramifications and govern-mental regulations.
f. Promote positive suppliers' relationships through courtesy and impartiality in all phases of purchasing cycle.
g. Refrain from reciprocal agreements that restrain competition.
h. Know and obey the letter and spirit of the laws governing the purchasing function and remain alert to the legal ramifications of purchasing decisions.
I. Encourage that all segments of society can participate by demonstrating support for small, disadvantaged and minority-owned businesses.
j. Enhance the proficiency and stature of the purchasing profession by acquiring and maintaining current technical knowledge and the highest standards of ethical behavior.
k. Avoidance of acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. Consideration should be given to consolidating or breaking out procurement to obtain a more economical purchase. Where appropriate, an analysis will be made of lease versus purchase alternatives, and any other appropriate analysis to determine the most economical approach.
The procurement process is not instantaneous. Time is necessary to complete the steps required by appropriate law. To accomplish typically purchasing of products and services at minimum cost to the City, all departments must cooperate fully. Prior planning and the timely submission of requisitions are essential to expedite the purchasing process and to ensure that the process is orderly and lawful.