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City of Philadelphia

Frequently Asked Questions

IntegrityWorks offers guidance for commonly-occurring situations. These are not the only situations in which ethics rules would apply; they are simply the most common ones.  
The Frequently Asked Questions provide general guidelines. Because each situation presents its own set of facts, the general guidance provided in this section isn't advice you can legally rely. If you want to be absolutely sure that your conduct complies with applicable ethics laws, you should seek formal advice before taking action.

Gifts, Gratuities, and Honoraria

If someone offers me a gift, meal or invitation, can I accept?

It depends on who is making the offer. As a City employee, you are paid to act only in the City’s best interest. Decisions you make and actions you take as a City employee must not be affected, or even appear to be affected, by any gift or other benefit you might receive from someone who stands to benefit from that decision or action. A vendor who has a contract with your department is a good example of this.

All City employees or officials (including elected officials and their staff)are subject to the
City Charter, the City Ethics Code, and the State Ethics Act.

Section 10-105 of the City Charter prohibits any paid City official or employee from soliciting or accepting any gratuity (i.e., a tip) – which could be a gift, meal, or invitation – for any “act or omission in the course of his work.” In other words, you must decline anything offered to you because of something you did or did not do as part of your City job. 

Section 20-604 of the City Ethics Code, which is administered and enforced by the City’s Board of Ethics, prohibits the solicitation of any gift regardless of value. It also prohibits the acceptance of gifts worth more than $99.00 in the aggregate per calendar year, or any gifts of cash, from any person who is seeking official action from a City employee, or who has a financial interest at the time, or in close proximity to the time, the gift is received, which the City employee is able to substantially affect through official action. For the employees in the Executive Branch, the Mayor’s Executive Order, described below, is more stringent than this rule and must be followed.

Section 1103(c) of the 
State Ethics Act prohibits certain City employees from soliciting or accepting anything of monetary value (which includes a gift, loan, political contribution, reward, or promise of future employment) based on any understanding that it would influence you.

For all City employees under the jurisdiction of the Mayor (this does not include other elected officials and their staff), in addition to the three rules described above, you are also governed by the 
Mayor’s Executive Order on Gifts, 10-16. The Executive Order is more restrictive because it prohibits gifts regardless of the giver’s intentions or the value of the gift, except in very limited situations. The Chief Integrity Officer can answer further questions about the Executive Order. You should also visit the Rules of the Road section for more information on the Mayor’s Executive Order on Gifts, 10-16 or review our helpful one-page guide and video  on what to do if you receive a gift.

In determining whether a particular situation would violate any of these provisions, good rules of thumb to keep in mind are:

·        It’s always best to ask for advice from the City’s Board of Ethics or Chief Integrity Officer before you take action.

·        Apply the “six o’clock news” test: just say “no” if you wouldn't want it reported on the six o’clock news.

·        When in doubt, just say “no thank you.”


I know I can’t accept gifts and won’t, but what if flowers or concert tickets are sent to my office?

Let’s talk first about concert tickets. If they are from someone who does business with your department, the quick answer is: “Thanks, but no thanks.” If a gift or invitation is left for you at your workplace, you have three choices: return the gift, decline attendance at the event or pay for the gift in full.  Whatever you decide, you must write a note to the donor explaining why the return/declination is necessary. Here's a sample note to use to politely decline the gift or invitation. 
 

In addition to notice to the donor, you are also required to send a notice of your decision to the Executive Director of the City’s Board of Ethics and your direct supervisor.  For employees in the Executive Branch, in addition to these individuals, you must also send this notice to the Chief Integrity Officer and the Inspector GeneralHere is a sample notice to use for this purpose.

How about flowers? If something is left for you that’s perishable (such as a fruit basket or flowers), within three days, you must either share it with co-workers, destroy it, or donate it to charity.  If you receive something that is not practical to return or is from an anonymous donor, you must notify the head of your department, agency, office, board or commission, who will determine the equitable use of disposition of the gift. In both cases, send a note to the donor (when known) thanking him/her for the item and asking that s/he refrain from sending anything else. Here is a sample note you can 
use for this purpose.

The Mayor’s Executive Order on Gifts contains very limited exceptions to the gift/invitation prohibition. See Section 4 of the Executive Order.
Please remember, though, you may never accept cash or a gift card in any amount.  Cash gifts should be reported immediately to the Inspector General.

I’ve been asked to attend and present at a conference and the event hosts have offered to pay for my attendance and travel expenses. What do I do?

In some circumstances, a gift might be considered a “Gift to the City,” rather than to you personally. It usually applies to invitations(most typically, a conference or reception) rather than to tangible items. If acceptance of a gift or attendance at an event would benefit the City more than the invitee, it may not necessarily violate the gift prohibition.

If an administration official or employee receives an otherwise prohibited invitation to a meal or event, the agency/department head or their designee must decide if the invitee is the logical person to represent the City at the event. This approving official must provide written approval that identifies the date of receipt of the invite, the nature of the gift, and articulates a legitimate justification for why the City should be represented at the event and why the invitee is the appropriate City employee to be that representative. Things to consider include (but are not limited to) whether the event is related to the City employee’s official’s duties and/or expertise, if the employee will receive training or information to help perform his or her job better or, whether there are unnecessary (or lavish) “extras” unrelated to the governmental purpose. 

If you have any questions about whether or not you should accept a gift or invitation offered to you, please email the City’s Chief Integrity Officer or call 215-686-2178/2120.

If you work outside of the Mayor’s jurisdiction (i.e., other elected officials and their staff) have any questions about whether to accept a gift or invitation, seek advice online from the Ethics Board or call 215-686-9450.

If anyone offers you a gift or invitation that appears intended as a bribe, promptly email the Inspector General’s Office or call 215-686-1770.

You should also note that in some instances, you may be required to disclose the receipt of the gift as part of your financial disclosure obligations as a City official or employee.  Review the FAQ section on Financial Disclosures to learn more.

Can I accept a “tip” in appreciation for my good work?

No. While it’s great to be appreciated when you perform good work, as public employees, we operate under a different standard than those working in private industry, where it is sometimes customary to show appreciation by providing gratuities or other tokens of appreciation for a job well done. We can’t have anyone believe that how we do our jobs is affected by any expectation of a reward other than the tax dollars that pay us.

Section 10-105 of the City Charter flatly prohibits any paid City official or employee from soliciting or accepting any gratuity – money or otherwise – for any “act or omission in the course of his work.” In other words, there is no such thing as a “tip” or even a “holiday gift,” when it’s offered because of your City employment. You must decline these offers, no matter how well-intended. If pressed by a well-meaning and grateful citizen to accept a token of appreciation for a job well done, you might explain, as you decline the token, that accepting the token would get you in trouble and suggest that the citizen instead write a note of appreciation to your supervisor.

If you suspect that someone is offering something intended as a bribe, promptly email the Inspector General’s Office or call them at 215-686-1770.

Can I accept an honorarium to speak in my official capacity?

No. Section 1103(d) of the State Ethics Act flatly prohibits receipt of honoraria, which is a payment made in recognition of published works, appearances, speeches and presentations. This should not be surprising, since you should not use your government position to secure a monetary benefit for yourself. This prohibition also applies to members of City boards/commissions. So decline nicely, and here’s a note you can use to do so.

Sometimes, however, the person/organization offering the honorarium suggests that the honorarium could be donated to a charity of the official’s choice. Because the official would still be able to exercise control over the money, that’s also prohibited.

Plaques and small tokens of de minimis economic value (such as a pen or a mug) are not considered honoraria.

May I accept an award from an organization that has contracts with my department?

No. You must decline the award to avoid any perception that your department’s contracting decisions might be influenced by this proposed recognition. Here’s a letter you can use to do so.

Remember, too, that an offer for you to attend the event at a reduced or no cost may be governed by Mayor’s Executive Order on Gifts, 10-16 if you are an employee in the Executive branch (non-elected officials). You must decline the invitation unless your appointing authority determines that your attendance would be a gift to the city as set forth in Sections 3(i) and 7 of the Executive Order.

Conflicts of Interest

Is it a problem if either I or a family member has a financial interest in a decision that I must make at work?

Yes, it is a problem. Sections 1102 and 1103(a) of the State Ethics Act and Section 20-607 of the City Ethics Code prohibit you from making any decision or taking any action as a City employee or a member of a City board/commission that could affect your or your family’s financial interests. This could relate to:

  • legislation
  • the awarding of contracts
  • decisions relating to the use of City property
  • consideration of applications
  • the awarding of licenses
  • the enforcement of City codes or rules
  • decisions relating to litigation
  • or just about any other decision you must make in your official capacity
You must disclose the conflict of interest and disqualify yourself from any involvement in the decision before the decision is made or action is taken.

If in doubt, seek advice from the Ethics Board before you act.

I have a conflict of interest that involves legislation. What should I do?

If you are a Council member:
Section 20-608(a) of the City Ethics Code requires Council members to disclose any legislative conflict of interest at the scheduled public hearing of that legislation. If the conflict of interest arises after the public hearing and more than five days before the legislation is to be acted upon, Council members must disclose the conflict in writing, by registered or certified mail, to the Chief Clerk of the Council and all members of the Council. If the conflict of interest arises less than five days before the legislation is to be acted upon, the member must announce his/her interest publicly on the floor of the Council in public session.

If you are a City Employee or Official other than a Council member or a member of a City board/commission:
Section 20-608(b) of the City Ethics Code requires all other City employees/officials to disclose any legislative conflict of interest in writing, by registered or certified mail, to the Chief Clerk of the Council and every member of the Council at least five days before the public hearing on the legislation. If the interest occurs after the public hearing, the City employee/official must notify the Chief Clerk of the Council and every member of the Council in writing, by registered or certified mail, before the time of the Council meeting when action is to be taken upon the legislation.

A notification letter must contain:

  • A statement that the letter is written to disclose a potential conflict of interest;
  • The member’s/employee’s/official’s public position and duties relevant to the conflict;
  • The member’s/employee’s/official’s financial interest, or that of his/her family, that presents the conflict;
  • A description of how the member’s/employee’s/official’s official duties might intersect with his/her private interest, or that of his/her family member; and
  • The member’s/employee’s/official’s intention to disqualify himself/herself from any official action involving the potential conflict of interest.
Sections 1102 and 1103(a) of the State Ethics Act also prohibit financial conflicts of interest between a City official (or his/her immediate family member or business) and the official’s exercise of official action. The disclosure and disqualification procedure above would address this prohibition as well.

Here’s a sample letter you can use to report the potential conflict.

If in doubt, seek advice from the Ethics Board before you act.

I have a conflict of interest involving an award, contract, lease, case, claim, decree or judgment other than legislation. What should I do?

Section 20-608(c) of the City Ethics Code requires all City officials, employees, Council members, and members of City boards/commissions to disclose any non-legislative conflict of interest in writing, by registered or certified mail, to the Commissioner, Secretary and/or Executive Director of the pertinent agency authority, board or commission, as well as the Board of Ethics and the Department of Records, before any action is taken. In the event of a conflict of interest within a department or by a department head under the Mayor’s authority, notice must be provided by registered or certified mail, to the Mayor, the Managing Director, the Board of Ethics, and the Department of Records, before any action is taken.

Non-legislative conflicts of interest include:

  • Awards
  • Leases
  • Cases
  • Claims
  • Decisions
  • Decrees
  • Judgments
A notification letter must contain:

  • A statement that the letter is written to disclose a potential conflict of interest;
  • The employee’s/official’s public position and duties relevant to the conflict;
  • The employee’s/official’s financial interest, or that of his/her family, that presents the conflict;
  • A description of how the employee’s/official’s official duties might intersect with his/her private interest, or that of his/her family member; and 
  • The employee’s/official’s intention to disqualify himself/herself from any official action involving the potential conflict of interest.

Sections 1102 and 1103(a) of the State Ethics Act also prohibit financial conflicts of interest between a City official (or his/her immediate family member or business) and the official’s exercise of official action. The disclosure and disqualification procedure above would address this prohibition as well.

Here’s a sample letter you can use to report the potential conflict.

If in doubt, seek advice from the Ethics Board before you act.

Can I be involved, in my private life, with a community or charitable organization as an unpaid volunteer that has a matter before the City?

It depends. If your involvement in the organization is unpaid, it isn't likely to present a financial conflict of interest. The City Ethics Code, however, likely applies to your situation. Section 20-602 of the Code restricts City officials and employees from representing others - including community or charitable organizations, and even if you’re not paid to do so - in matters involving the City. You cannot get around this by writing a “disclose and disqualify” letter because that applies only to financial conflicts of interest. Although Section 20-602 contains a few, very limited exceptions that allow a City employee or official to represent another person before the City, these exceptions do not apply to this situation. While you do not have to resign from the organization, you may not intercede on behalf of the organization with the City.

If you have any question about your particular situation, please seek advice from the Ethics Board.

Contracting

Can I listen to a pitch from a company or person wishing to sell a product or service to the City?

First, you’re under no obligation to meet with someone who wants to make a pitch for City business. If you don’t want to meet, here’s a letter you might use that politely declines the meeting but encourages doing business with the City.

If, however, this is a product or service that you think might benefit the City and its citizens, there’s no reason not to learn more - but you must do so in a way that ensures that the City will get maximum value for tax dollars and that doesn't either unfairly advantage or disadvantage a prospective vendor. Your actions must also, of course, comply with applicable procurement and ethics rules.

First, suggest that the prospective vendor send you information about the product or service. If you want more information, it’s fine to meet with the prospective vendor in your office to get it. You may not accept a meal or an invitation to an event from a prospective vendor to discuss doing business with the City.

Then, if you think that the proposed product or service would benefit the City, you may not simply procure it from the prospective vendor. Instead, you must follow procurement rules, which require your department to – except in very limited circumstances – solicit bids or proposals for the product or service. The prospective vendor who approached you about the product or service will then have an opportunity to respond to the solicitation, along with any other interested prospective applicants.

Outside and Post-Employment

Can I get a second job outside of City employment?

Executive Order 12-16 regulates outside and self-employment by City executive department employees to ensure that the outside or self-employment does not interfere with an employee’s City work. Specifically it:

  • Prohibits City executive department employees from engaging in outside employment while being paid for or conducting City work.
  • Prohibits use of City resources (such as vehicles, telephones, computers, office space, equipment, or supplies) and time for outside/self-employment. 
  • Prohibits outside/self-employment while on City sick/disability time.
  • Requires City executive department employees to obtain written approval for outside/self- employment from an appointing City authority.
  • Allows departments to maintain their own, stricter restrictions on outside employment.
  • Requires reporting of outside employment to City’s Department of Human Resources and to the Mayor.
You may not use sick or injury leave from the City to perform outside employment. If you become sick, injured, or disabled because of your outside employment, you may not receive paid sick leave or injury benefits from the City. You must also disclose the compensation from your outside job on all financial disclosure forms that you are required to file.

These are general rules. As noted above your agency or department may have a more restrictive policy concerning outside employment. Before seeking or accepting outside employment, make sure that it does not violate any policy of your agency or department.

If you are a Civil Service Employee: In addition to the general rules, Civil Service regulations apply to you. These regulations allow outside employment, only if:

  • The work is compatible with your official duties;
  • The work won’t bring disfavor or disrespect to you, your department, or the City, in the judgment of the authority of your office, board or commission.
  • The work won’t interfere with or adversely affect the performance of your City work.
The following ethics rules apply to all City officials and employees (including elected officials and their staff). Should you obtain outside/self-employment remember the following:

  • Section 10-102 of the City Charter prohibits City employees and compensated City officials from benefiting from or having direct or indirect interests in contracts with the City. This includes subcontracting and leasing a property to the City.
  • Section 20-607 of the City Ethics Code and Sections 1102 and 1103(a) of the State Ethics Act prohibit City officials or employees from having a personal or family financial interest, or having a financial interest in a business or other entity that has a financial interest in the official’s/employee’s business decisions. If that is the case, you must disclose the interest and disqualify yourself from any official decision or action involving that interest.
  • Section 20-602 of the City Ethics Code prohibits City officials or employees from representing others in matters before the City. This is not a situation that can be addressed and remedied by disclosure and disqualification; it is a flat-out prohibition.
  • Section 20-609 of the City Ethics Code prohibits any City official or employee – whether paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time – from directly or indirectly disclosing or making available confidential information concerning property, government, or affairs of the City for the purpose of advancing the official’s/employee’s or another’s financial interests.

Can I speak with firms who do business with the City about possible future employment?

Your consideration of future employment by a particular firm – because either you've done or said something to apply for employment, or a potential employer has done or said something that would indicate a job offer to you – may constitute a financial conflict of interest. If your City employment puts you in a position to make a decision or take action concerning that firm, you must disclose your financial interest in the firm and disqualify yourself from any decision or action concerning it as required by Sections 20-607 and 20-608 of the Ethics Code. Here is a letter you can use to do so.

Are there any restrictions on my post-City employment?

Yes. If you do leave the City’s employment, both State and City ethics rules prohibit you from exploiting your City position to further your business interests. These laws apply regardless of whether you actually intend to exploit your former City position in your new employment.

Section 1103(g) of the State Ethics Act prohibits you from representing any future employer, client of your future employer, yourself, or any client of yourself, before any department or agency or commission of the City, for one year after you leave your City employment. “Representing” includes having your name appear on a bid, contract proposal, engineering report, invoice, or other official document.

In addition, Section 20-607(c) of the City Ethics Code prohibits you from acquiring a financial interest in any official decision you made while employed by the City (for example, the decision to award a contract to a particular vendor for two years after you leave City employment). Sections 20-602 and 20-603 of the City Ethics Code also prohibit you from ever assisting anyone in a transaction involving the City on a particular issue with which you executed official discretion.

Post-employment restrictions are very fact-specific. As such, it is important to seek advice from the Ethics Board before you act.

For further information on this topic, you can read several opinions that the Ethics Board has published.

Political Activity

Can I volunteer for the campaign of a candidate for local, state, or federal office as a non-elected official/employee?

No. If you’re a non-elected official, decisions you make or actions you take must be unaffected by any political consideration or influence. To ensure that you are not subject to or don’t exercise political considerations in performing your job, Section 10-107 of the City Charter strictly limits political activity by non-elected City officials and employees. This section also helps ensure that you are not subject to pressure to campaign for or otherwise support a particular political candidate or party. The Ethics Board issued Regulation 8 that further interprets Section 10-107 of the City Charter. This prohibition applies to members of some but not all, boards. Specifically, Section 8.21 and Section 8.22 of the Regulation provide guidance to members of City boards and commissions. 

Under these prohibitions, you may not:

  • solicit votes or funds for candidates or parties
  • wear campaign buttons or post political signs or placards at work or on duty
  • distribute campaign literature or circulate political petitions
  • host, sponsor, arrange, distribute tickets to, or address a political function
  • transport voters to the polls on behalf of a party or candidate
  • participate in a party’s voter registration campaign
  • be a member of a political committee or club (including serving as committeeperson or ward leader).
Whether your board, commission, or task force is subject to the Charter’s prohibition on political activity, please remember that the City’s resources may only be used for City business and not for political purposes. To ensure that the City’s resources are used only for City business and not for political purposes, you also may not:

  • use City property – such as computers or BlackBerries or fax machines or copiers – to transmit political opinions or commentary or messages supporting or opposing a political candidate or party. If you receive a communication through City property soliciting support for a candidate, you may not use that City computer, BlackBerry, telephone, or fax to respond. Instead, if you wish further information about a candidate, you must seek information using non-City property, such as a personal computer or telephone;
  • display political signs, stickers, banners, or any other political items in a City workplace.
You may, however:

  • vote
  • privately express your opinion about any political candidate
  • sign any petition
  • attend a political meeting or fundraiser as a spectator
  • make voluntary political contributions (if you are a uniformed or investigatory employee of the Police Department, check with the Ethics Board before you make a political contribution).
These restrictions cover most situations; please refer to the Board of Ethics Regulation 8 for more information. Section 10-109 of the City Charter provides that employees who violate these restrictions may face up to a $300 fine, 90 days in prison, and termination.

The State’s election code also prohibits you from serving as an election officer (judge of elections or minority or majority inspector). You may, however, work through the Committee of Seventy as a non-partisan volunteer at the polls on election day to answer voters’ questions and resolve problems. You must take leave to do so.

Courts, Prothonotary, and Register of Wills employees are not subject to the City Charter restrictions. Some Charter restrictions on political activity may have limited application to City Council staff. Please contact the Ethics Board with any questions.

Financial Disclosures

Why do I have to file annual financial disclosure forms?

To make public all potential financial conflicts of interest, the State and the City require senior government officials and employees to annually file forms disclosing these officials’ and employees’ direct or indirect sources of income. The Mayor also requires senior level City officials and members of the Mayor’s office to file an additional disclosure form. These forms don’t require identical information; each is slightly different. These forms cover the calendar year, and are due on May 1 of the year following the year of reporting.

If you have to file one or more financial disclosure forms, you will be contacted by the City’s Ethics Board several weeks before the forms are due and told which form(s) you must file and how to do it. For more information on Financial Disclosure Forms, visit the Ethics Board’s web site.

Can I view Financial Disclosure forms submitted by City employees and officials?

Yes. You can view the Financial Disclosure forms for elected officials, the Mayor, the Mayor’s Cabinet, and those staff reporting to members of the Mayor’s Cabinet, online. If you wish to view the Financial Disclosure forms of anyone not included in this group, you may submit your request to the Records Department.

For Vendors

How can I find out about contracting opportunities with the City?

First, go to the City's main Contracts page

Then, from this page, you can choose to view:

Competitive, sealed bid opportunities for supplies, equipment, non-professional services (ex: maintenance, repair services, snow removal), construction, and concessions. For competitively bid opportunities, vendors can sign-up to be on the City’s bid list to receive announcements about upcoming bids. Competitively bid contracts are awarded to the lowest responsive bidder that fulfills the contract guidelines.

Non-competitively bid contract opportunities for professional services such as general consulting, engineering, design, public health, and social services. Non-competitively bid contracts are awarded to contractors who offer the best value to the City. Cost is one factor in that consideration. Non-competitively bid contracts do require some level of competition, despite what their name might suggest.

Additional Opportunities from City-related agencies such as utilities and housing authorities.

If you’re interested in competitively bid contracts, check out the Procurement Department’s Vendor guide for more information. Applications and instructions to be placed on Procurement's bid list for competitively bid contracts may be found here. If you’re interested in non-competitively bid contracts for professional services, visit eContract Philly for more information.

Can I pitch my company’s product or service to the City?

City officials would like to know about goods or services might benefit the City and its citizens. You may directly contact the appropriate City official by e-mail or letter with a description of your product or service. If the official wishes further information, he or she may ask to meet with you for further explanation. This meeting should occur in City offices. You may not offer to take an administration official out for a meal, entertainment, or other event to propose or discuss doing business with the City.

If the official decides the City should procure the type of good or service that your company offers, however, the City does not simply offer your company a contract for it. Instead, the City’s procurement rules require that for the City to get the best value in securing the good or service, the City must – except in very limited circumstances - solicit bids or proposals for the good or service. Your company will then have an opportunity to offer a bid or proposal in response to the City’s solicitation.

How can I express appreciation for the good work an administration official or employee rendered without violating any of the City’s ethics rules?

Mayor’s Executive Order on Gifts, 10-16  prohibits vendors (or anyone else dealing with or doing business with the City), from offering gifts to City officers and employees in the Executive branch and certain members of City boards and commissions. Vendors who violate this Executive Order face contracting sanctions, up to and including debarment. What’s perfectly acceptable, though, is sending a note to the city official or employee – or to his/her supervisor - recognizing and expressing appreciation for the good work.

Can I invite an administration official to an event that my company or organization is sponsoring?

Mayor’s Executive Order on Gifts, 10-16  prohibits vendors (or anyone else dealing with or doing business with the City), from offering gifts, i.e., invitations to events, meals, drinks, professional development opportunities, to City officers and employees in the Executive Branch and members of certain boards and commissions.  This prohibition extends to vendors who,within the 12 months preceding the date of the gift, have/are seeking business with or are regulated by, the officer or employee’s department or are seeking official action from that officer or employee. Vendors who violate this Executive Order face debarment or other sanctions.

From time to time, however,individuals, companies, or organizations may sponsor events – say, a business conference or opening of an art exhibit – that they’d like an administration official or employee to attend. While this type of invitation might benefit the individual official or employee, it may also be considered a “Gift to the City,” if it’s in the City’s interest to have the official or employee attend the event.

In these instances, the City officer or employee must seek approval from their agency/department/commission head, who must decide if they are the logical person to represent the City at the event. This approving official must articulate a legitimate, defensible justification for why the City should be represented at the event and why the invitee is the logical City employee to use the benefit and be that representative. Considerations will include, but are not limited to, whether the number of invitees is appropriate,whether there are unnecessary (or lavish) extras unrelated to the governmental purpose, and whether the officer or employee is scheduled to speak at the event. If you have any questions about a proposed invitation or intend to invite several City officers or employees to an event, please email the City’s Chief Integrity Officer or call 215-686-2178/2120, in advance of your event.

How can I see who won a contracting opportunity?

For competitive, sealed bid opportunities, you may attend the public opening of all of the sealed bids to obtain the prices that were submitted by each vendor. The date, time, and locations for public bid openings are listed on the Procurement Department website. After the bid is awarded, you may call the Procurement Department’s Customer Service Center at 215-686-4755 to learn the identity of the successful bidder. If you’d like to view the bid schedule containing the bid language, list of bidders and their pricing, and total contract amount awarded to the successful bidder(s), fill out this form and send it to the Procurement Department according to the directions.

For non-competitively bid (professional services) contracting opportunities, visit the eContract Philly site. There the City posts the names of companies or organizations who submitted proposals for the opportunity, notices of contract awards and the reason for the award, (if not made to the lowest-cost proposal).

Another resource for the public to understand City contracts is the Open Contract Data site

What should I do if a City official or employee, a City contractor, or someone else, is suggesting that I have to provide a political contribution or other benefit (gift, service, money, etc.) for me to do business with or get a service from the City?

Promptly email the Inspector General’s Office or call them at 215-686-1770.  If you wish to submit your complaint anonymously, you may do so through the Inspector General’s website.