The State Ethics Act applies to public officials, public employees, candidates and nominees for public office or employment. Important features of the Act are prohibitions against:
Section 1104 of the State Ethics Act also requires public officials, certain public employees, candidates, and nominees to file annual financial disclosure forms.
The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter outlines the powers, duties, and structure of City government. Any changes to the Charter must be approved by voters on Election Day (whereas the Philadelphia Code is the legislation that is passed by City Council and approved by the Mayor). Article 10 of the Charter prohibits City officers, employees, and certain boards and commission members from engaging in certain kinds of activity, including:
The City’s code of laws contains a section called “Standards of Conduct and Ethics,” known informally as the Ethics Code. It applies to all City officials and employees, and boards and commissions members. The Ethics Code generally prohibits:
Section 20-610 of the City Ethics Code also requires certain public officials, and all City boards and commissions members, to file annual financial disclosure forms with the City’s Department of Records and independent Ethics Board.
The Mayor’s Executive Orders apply to all City administration employees, not elected officials or Council. There are four executive orders governing nepotism, outside employment, gifts and sexual harassment and sexual favoritism. For detailed explanations of the Executive Orders, click here.
Competitively Bid Contracts (Low bid contracts for goods): City Home Rule Charter,
Article 8, Section 8-200 of the City Charter governs City procurement of supplies, equipment, repair services, construction, and concessions. It generally requires that all such procurement occur through a competitive, sealed-bidding process, under which contracts for standard supplies, services, and equipment and construction are awarded to the bidder who submits the lowest responsible and responsive bid.
The Procurement Department is the central purchasing and materials management agency for the City. It is responsible for managing competitively-bid contracts and acquiring supplies, equipment, services, and construction at the best price for the City while ensuring a fair and open procurement process. Contact the Procurement Department at 215-686-4720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-Competitively Bid Contracts (Professional Services contracts): Chapter 17-1400 of the City Code governs procurement of professional services contracts through a process under which these contracts are awarded to the proposer offering the best value to the City, with cost being one of several considerations. Where the lowest-cost proposal is not selected the contracting agency or department must publicly justify its selection.
This law is intended to eliminate both real and perceived favoritism in the award of City contracts and financial assistance based on political contributions – in other words, to eliminate “pay to play” contracting. It generally:
The law requires public posting of:
The website for non-competitively bid contracts is eContractPhilly and is operated by the Finance Department. Campaign disclosure forms and more detailed information on the processes and requirements can also be found there. Contact the Finance Department at 215-686-4914 or at email@example.com.
Financial assistance also under Chapter 17-1400
To encourage development or activities that benefit the public, the City occasionally offers financial assistance such as grants, tax incentives, or financing as subsidies. Recipients of financial assistance, valued at more than $50,000, must also disclose campaign contributions.
If you have questions about whether a transaction is Financial Assistance or you would like to view the disclosure reports from Financial Assistance recipients, please contact eContract Philly at 215-686-4914 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.