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Council Code of Official Conduct Rules Amendment Resolution of 2009 
PR 18-491




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Chairman Vincent C. Gray


To amend the Rules of Organization and Procedure for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period 18, to adopt a Code of Official Conduct for the Council to ensure the full public confidence that representative government requires, recognize that public office is a public trust, to commit the Council to the highest standards of ethics, honesty, openness, and integrity, and pledge as a body to adhere consistently to these values.

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Council Code of Official Conduct Rules Amendment Resolution of 2009".

Sec. 2. Article II of the Rules of Organization and Procedure for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period 18, effective January 2, 2007 (18-1; 55 DCR 748), is amended as follows:

(a) Add a new section 201a to read as follows:

"201a. Code of Official Conduct.

"(a) Councilmembers and Council staff shall maintain a high level of ethical conduct in connection with the performance of their 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 District government. Council members shall strive to act solely in the public interest and not for any personal gain, or take an official action on a matter as to which he or she has a potential conflict of interest created by a personal, family, client or business interest, avoiding both actual and perceived conflicts of interest and preferential treatment.

"(b) Councilmembers and Council staff shall take full responsibility for understanding and complying with the letter and spirit of all laws and regulations governing standards of conduct for District public officials, including those relating to conduct, conflicts of interest, gifts, disclosures, campaign finance, political activity, and freedom of information. This includes Council Rule; D.C. Official Code § 1-615.51 (whistleblower protection); D.C. Official Code § 1-618.01, et seq., and 6 DCMR, Chapter 18; (Standards of Conduct); District of Columbia Campaign Finance and Conflict of Interest Act (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 -1-1106.02, and D.C. Municipal Regulations, Title 3, Chapters 33 and 37 (conflict of interest); D.C. Official Code § 1-1106.51 (use of government resources); Official Correspondence Regulations (D.C. Official Code § 2-701 et seq.)(Official Mail); and all applicable federal conflict of interest and ethics rules and regulations: the Hatch Act (5 USC §§ 7321 -7326)(partisan political activity);18 USC § 201(b)(2)(bribery); 18 USC § 207 (post-employment restrictions; 18 USC § 208 and 5 CFR Part 734 (conflict of interest).

"(c) Councilmembers and Council staff shall specifically adhere to the Council Code of Official Conduct that lists the core ethical principles that build public trust in government. The Code of Official Conduct attached to this resolution, is hereby adopted.

"(d)(1) The Council shall proactively review the District’s overall ethics program, including structure, training, enforcement and overall ethics culture, and work to comply with national standards for the creation of effective compliance and ethics programs.

"(2) The Ethics Counselor for the Council, in coordination with the Office of Campaign Finance shall conduct mandatory training on the conflict of interest and ethics laws and regulations applicable to Councilmembers and staff on at least an annual basis. Ethics training materials, including summary guidelines to all applicable laws and regulations, shall also be prepared by the Ethics Counselor for the Council and made readily available online and in print.".

(b) Section 263 is amended by striking the period at the end of the sentence and adding the phrase ", and shall serve as Ethics Counselor to the Council." in its place.

Sec. 3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

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