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Office of the Chief Integrity Officer

Rules and regulations

Many rules and regulations control the ethical behavior of City of Philadelphia officials and employees. You can read summaries of the most relevant ones on this page. Questions should be directed to the appropriate office, such as the Board of Ethics or State Ethics Commission.

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Pennsylvania Public Official and Employee Ethics Act

The Pennsylvania Public Official and Employee Ethics Act (“State Ethics Act”) applies to state and City public officials, public employees, and candidates and nominees for public office or employment. The act is administered and enforced by the State Ethics Commission.

The State Ethics Act provides ethics rules for employees. Key provisions of the State Ethics Act address:

  • Disclosing private financial interests.
  • Identifying conflicts of interest.
  • Accepting honoraria.
  • Soliciting or accepting improper influence.
  • Engaging in post-government employment.
  • Entering into prohibited contracts.
  • Avoiding voting conflicts.

Philadelphia Home Rule Charter: Article 10

Article 10 of the Philadelphia Home Charter (“City Charter”) lists prohibited activities for City Council, City officers, employees, and members of certain boards and commissions. It is administered and enforced by the Board of Ethics.

The City Charter outlines the powers, duties, and structure of Philadelphia’s government. Key provisions of Article 10 address:

  • Accepting gratuities.
  • Soliciting political contributions.
  • Engaging in political activity.
  • Resigning City employment to run for another public office.

The Board of Ethics establishes regulations that interpret Article 10 of the Home Rule Charter.

Philadelphia Code: City Ethics Code

The Philadelphia Code’s Standards of Conduct and Ethics (“City Ethics Code”) applies to City officers, employees, and members of certain boards and commissions. The Board of Ethics administers and enforces the Ethics Code.

Key provisions address:

  • Representing outside interests before the City.
  • Engaging in post-government employment.
  • Accepting gifts from those seeking City business.
  • Sharing confidential City information.
  • Identifying and avoiding conflicts of interest.
  • Requiring certain employees, and members of boards and commissions, to file an annual Statement of Financial Interests form with the City’s Department of Records.

The Board of Ethics establishes regulations that interpret the Ethics Code.

Philadelphia Code: Non-competitively bid contracts; financial assistance

Known as the City’s “Pay to Play” Law, Chapter 17-1400 of the Philadelphia Code applies to professional services contractors, recipients of financial assistance, or principal contractors or subcontractors for best value contracts, with limited exceptions.

This law enhances the integrity and transparency of the City’s contracting processes by eliminating the real and perceived favoritism in the awards of City’s professional services contracts and financial assistance. Requires eligibility restrictions, attribution rule, and mandatory disclosure requirements.

Mayoral Executive Orders

Executive orders are directives for executive branch employees and other entities (e.g., boards, commissions, task forces) established by the mayor. In some cases, such as the acceptance of gifts, executive orders may be stricter than rules for non-executive branch employees.

Executive Order 10-16: Acceptance of Gifts by City Officers and Employees

This order prohibits City officers and employees from accepting money or certain gifts from specific sources. Key provisions include:

  • Defining “prohibited sources.”
  • Listing of the limited exceptions to the rule.
  • Establishing procedures for the return of prohibited gifts.
  • Outlining sanctions for offering prohibited gifts.
  • Regulating gifts between City employees.
  • Creating penalties for non-compliance.

Executive Order 12-16: Regulation of Outside Employment and Self-Employment of City Officers and Employees

This order establishes requirements for holding and reporting second jobs.

Executive Order 1-11: Prohibition Against Nepotism

This order prohibits direct supervision of and personnel actions regarding close family members. It also mandates disclosure.

Executive Order 2-18: Sexual Harassment Prevention in City Government

This order bans discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. It also outlines reporting and investigation processes.

Executive Order 9-17: Whistleblower Protections

This order protects against retaliation for reporting wrongdoing or waste. Retaliation examples include a dismissal, suspension, or demotion.