Ethics & transparency

Report possible fraud, waste or other issues on contracts

The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) promotes the economic development of minority, women, and disabled-owned businesses (M/W/DSBEs).

The OEO Compliance Hotline is a free and anonymous phone line. Anyone, including businesses and residents, can report non-compliance on contractual matters in the city of Philadelphia. Non-compliance can include abuse, safety concerns, and other problems at the job site.

Who

Anyone can report contractual matters to the hotline.

Where and when

The phone line is accessible 24 hours a day at (215) 683-1798.

How

Use the Office of Economic Opportunity’s Compliance Hotline to report non-compliance contract issues in Philadelphia.

This can include:

  • Abuse.
  • Fraud.
  • Safety issues.
  • Waste.

Related content

The City offers limited funding to help people who are at risk of becoming homeless. If you’re facing eviction or another housing emergency, you may be able to get help with paying back rent or a security deposit.

Who

The Emergency Assistance and Response Unit (EARU) has funding to help prevent people from becoming homeless. We help people who:

  • Are in the process of being evicted.
  • Have been evicted.
  • Are victims of domestic violence.
  • Have been displaced by fires or other disasters.
  • Have been displaced by the Department of Licenses and Inspections or the Department of Public Health.
  • Have received a Notice to Vacate.
  • Have to move and need help with move-in costs.
  • Have another type of housing emergency.

Requirements

To receive help from EARU, you must provide:

  • Documentation related to your emergency. This could be a court-ordered eviction notice, a Notice to Vacate, documentation from the Red Cross, etc.
  • Your government-issued photo identification. You may need to provide Social Security cards and birth certificates for each person in your household.
  • Verification of your income, dated within the last 30 days. This could be pay stubs, proof of benefits (from TANF, Social Security, or disability), or proof of any other source of income.

If you are in the process of being evicted, you must bring:

  • A letter from your landlord showing the balance owed, dated within 10 days.
  • Documentation of assistance from other agencies, if you are part of any other assistance programs.
  • A signed copy of your lease.

Your landlord must provide a:

  • Current rental license.
  • Certificate of Rental Suitability.
  • EPA Lead-Safe Certificate if you have a child six or younger living with you.

You can ask your landlord to send you copies of these documents. They can also email or fax them to our office, or bring them in themselves.

If you want help with a security deposit, you must have:

  • A letter of approval from the landlord showing the total cost to move in.
  • Approval from the landlord to have the Office of Homeless Services inspect the property.

Where and when

The Office of Homeless Services Emergency Assistance and Response Unit is located at 1430 Cherry Street, between Broad and 15th Streets. Our office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

How

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, gather the documentation and come in to our office to meet with a social worker. They will help you determine if you’re eligible for funding and begin the application.

General Assistance is a state-run cash assistance program. The program provides a small monthly grant of approximately $200 to people who qualify.

Who

To be eligible for General Assistance, you must have an income of less than $205/month and assets less than $250/month. You must also fall into one of the following categories:

  • Have a temporary or permanent disability, which must be verified by a doctor or certain other medical providers.
  • Are in a drug or alcohol treatment program. The program must verify that you are in treatment.
  • Are a victim/survivor of domestic violence who is not eligible for TANF cash assistance.
  • Are a child who is not living with a relative.
  • Are taking care of a person with a disability or for a child under age 13 who is not related to you.
  • Are a full-time secondary school student between 18 to 21 years old who expects to graduate while or before you are 21, and are not eligible for TANF cash assistance.

More information about the eligibility can be found at the Community Legal Services website.

Apply now

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services provides instructions for how to apply.

You may qualify for additional benefits, so contact any BenePhilly center across the city to request assistance with your application.

 

Find or post a volunteer opportunity.

You must submit a proposal to the Art Commission for artwork to be:

  • Commissioned by the City.
  • Purchased by the City.
  • Donated to the City.
  • Placed on City property.

The Art Commission will review the design and location of your proposal.

Your proposal should first be submitted to the Public Art Office of the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy.

Who

A proposal may be submitted by the owner of a work of art or the City department that controls the work’s proposed site. 

Submission materials

All proposals must include a cover letter, photographs, renderings, and supporting materials. Other information may be requested.

Cover letter

Your cover letter should describe:

  • The artwork.
  • The art selection process.
  • The construction project.
  • The site where the art will be installed.

This letter should also identify the people involved. That includes the name and contact information for:

  • The artwork’s donor.
  • The sponsoring City department.
  • Any parties who are responsible for maintaining the artwork. If there is a maintenance agreement in place, describe it.

Photographs

You must include:

  • Photographs of the art, if it’s an existing work.
  • Current photographs of the proposed site. Only use older photographs to show former conditions. Do not use online street views.

Renderings

You must include:

  • Architectural or site drawings that show the art as it will appear on site.
  • Drawings or photographs of models that show the art in its proposed location.
  • Drawings that show the art’s materials and colors.
  • Drawings that show how the art will be installed, including engineering documents if needed.

Supporting materials

If you plan to place privately-owned art on City property, you must show proof of approval from the department that controls the site.

Where and when

Submit a PDF of the submission materials to artcommission@phila.gov and three hard copies of the package to:

Philadelphia Art Commission
1515 Arch St., 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Review process

The Art and Architecture Committee will review proposals for all new works of art in two stages:

  1. Concept review is an early-stage review of concept and siting.
  2. Final design review is an advanced-stage review of all aspects of the design and installation of the work of art. This should incorporate comments made by the committee during concept review.

If you want to place a sign on a building in certain locations or in the right-of-way, you must submit a proposal to the Art Commission. The Art Commission will review the design and location of your proposal.

Art Commission approval is a prerequisite for some sign permits. You should begin by contacting the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). They will inform you of all prerequisite approvals needed for your application.

Overview

1
Check with L&I

Check with L&I to find out about any prerequisites.

2
Submission

Send your submission materials to the Art Commission.

3
Staff review

Art Commission staff will review your proposal. They will determine the next steps and if additional reviews are necessary.

4
Approval

Some proposals may be approved or rejected by staff without further review. More complex proposals, and proposals in Center City, will be reviewed by the Sign Committee before being approved or rejected by the Art Commission.

Submission materials

All proposals must include a cover letter, photographs, renderings, and supporting materials. Other information may be requested.

Cover letter

Your cover letter must:

  • Describe the number and types of signs, including their dimensions and materials.
  • Specify whether you are proposing new signs or if they already exist.
  • Include the name, mailing address, and email address of the person who should receive the commission’s decision.
  • Include the name, phone number, and email address of your contact person. This person should be able to answer questions about the application.

Photographs

You must include current 3” x 5” color photographs of the site and its surroundings. Do not use online street views.

These pictures should show:

  • The entire building facade or site.
  • Any security gates in the opened and closed positions.
  • The buildings or sites to the right and left.
  • The view down the block to the right and left.
  • The view across the street.
  • Views of both adjacent streets, if the property is on a corner.
  • Views from the intended points of view, for signs that will be seen from a distance.

Renderings

You must include scale working drawings of the design. All dimensions, materials, and colors must be labeled. Submissions typically include:

  • A perspective drawing or photo overlay (in color) that shows the sign on the building or site. If the sign already exists, you should submit photos instead of drawings.
  • A plot plan showing the relation of the sign to the property lines.

For signs that extend over the sidewalk, you should also include a drawing that shows:

  • The distance from the sidewalk to the bottom of the sign.
  • The total width of the sidewalk.
  • How far the sign extends over the sidewalk.

Supporting materials

You must include proof of other required approvals from the City. Submit the drawings stamped with their approval or include their letter of approval.

Where and when

Submit a package of the submission materials by email to artcommission@phila.gov, or to:

Philadelphia Art Commission
1515 Arch St., 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Review process

Commission staff may approve or reject some proposals without further review. You may appeal a rejection by presenting to the Sign Committee.

Staff will refer these types of proposals to the Sign Committee:

  • Signs in Center City (between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, South and Spring Garden Streets, and South Broad Street to Washington Avenue).
  • Skyline signs (building identification signs at or near the tops of tall buildings).
  • Complex proposals.

Staff review

Once you receive approval, you must submit the notice to the Department of Licenses and Inspections to complete the permit process.

You should not order, fabricate, or install any sign until you receive approval. If a sign varies from the approved proposal, the commission will report it to L&I.

You may appeal a routine rejection by presenting to the Sign Committee.

Sign Committee review

The Sign Committee meets the third Wednesday morning of each month. The Sign Committee makes its recommendations at the Art Commission’s next regular meeting.

To place an item on the agenda, staff must receive a written request with a description of the proposal at least two weeks before a meeting. Staff must receive three hard copies and a PDF of the submission package at least one week before a meeting. Collate copies into three packages. Fold them to 8½” x 11” if necessary. Each package must include a copy of the cover letter. The PDF should be a single file if possible.

Attendance at the meeting is optional. Staff can provide guidance as to whether attendance is recommended. You may bring displays and material samples to the meeting. The committee will make its recommendation to the Art Commission at the meeting, followed by a written confirmation.

If you disagree with the committee’s recommendation, you may attend the Art Commission meeting to appeal. You must submit a letter requesting to appeal at least one week before the commission meeting date. You will receive written confirmation of the commission’s final decision.

Once you receive approval, you must submit the notice to the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) to complete the permit process.

You should not order, fabricate, or install any sign until you receive approval. If a sign varies from the approved proposal, the commission will report it to L&I, who may issue a zoning violation.

If you want to build or place a newsstand in the public right-of-way, you must submit a proposal to the Art Commission. The Art Commission will review the design and location of your proposal.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues newsstand licenses. Your first step should be to apply for that license.

Submission materials

All proposals must include a cover letter, photographs, renderings, and supporting materials. Other information may be requested.

Cover letter

Your cover letter should include:

  • The location of the newsstand.
  • The name and mailing address of the person who should receive the commission’s decision.
  • The name, phone number, and email address of your contact person. This person should be able to answer questions about the application.

Photographs

You must include color photographs that show your newsstand or the proposed site from each direction. The sidewalk and any surrounding buildings should be visible in the pictures.

These photographs must be at least 3” x 5” in size. Do not use online street views.

Renderings

You must include a drawing of the newsstand if it’s not already on site. You should describe its materials and colors.

If you plan to buy a manufactured newsstand, include photographs or manufacturer’s illustrations instead.

Supporting materials

You must include a copy of your newsstand license application. You should also provide the sketch showing approval by the Streets Department.

Where and when

Submit a package of the submission materials by email to artcommission@phila.gov, or to:

Philadelphia Art Commission
1515 Arch St., 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The commission will notify you of its decision by mail. You should take a copy of the decision to L&I to complete the licensing process.

If you want to build or alter a structure paid for by the City, on City property, or in certain zoning overlay districts, you must submit a proposal to the Art Commission for approval in order to obtain a building permit. The Art Commission will review the design and location of your proposal.

Art Commission approval is a prerequisite for some building permits. You should begin by contacting the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). They will inform you of all prerequisite approvals needed for your application. This could include approvals from the:

  • Art Commission.
  • Historical Commission.
  • City Planning Commission.
  • Other agencies.

If you require other approvals, get them before seeking approval from the Art Commission.

Overview

1
Check with L&I

Check with L&I to find out about any prerequisites.

2
Submission

Send your submission materials to the Art Commission.

3
Review & approval

Staff will review your proposal. They will determine if it can be approved immediately or must be referred to the Art Commission for administrative approval or presentation.

Submission materials

All proposals must include a cover letter, photographs, renderings, and supporting materials. Other information may be requested.

Cover letter

Your cover letter should provide a complete narrative description of the project. That includes:

  • The existing conditions of the site.
  • The purpose of your proposed work.
  • The name, mailing address, and email address of the person who should receive the commission’s decision.
  • The name, phone number, and email address of your contact person. This person should be able to answer questions about the application.

If this is a follow-up to a previous submission, your cover letter should:

  • Describe how your revisions differ from your original proposal.
  • Address any concerns expressed by the Art and Architecture Committee or Art Commission.

Photographs

You must include current 3” x 5” color photographs of the site and its surroundings.

Only use older photographs to show former conditions. Do not use online street views.

Renderings

You must include scale drawings of the proposed design. All dimensions, materials, and colors must be labeled. Submissions typically include drawings of:

  • The site and plan. This drawing shows the location of the site with its adjacent streets and land uses labeled. It will also show the location’s features and improvements. You may show the landscaping on this drawing or on a separate landscape plan.
  • A plan view of the proposal.
  • The elevations of the proposed structure. This should show the main facade’s materials and colors, unless you provide a separate rendering.
  • Rendered views, if it’s a large project in a public location.

Only submit the drawings for the part of the project that the commission must approve. Do not submit the entire project set unless asked to do so.

Supporting materials

You must include:

  • The project budget. This budget should show sources of funding, particularly the use of City of Philadelphia capital funds.
  • A statement from the Public Art Office about the Percent for Art Program, if your project uses City funds. This program requires developers to set aside one percent of a municipal project’s costs for public art.
  • The building permit application for staff to sign once approval is granted.

Where and when

Submit a package of the submission materials by email to artcommission@phila.gov, or to:

Philadelphia Art Commission
1515 Arch St., 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Staff review process

Art Commission staff will review the submission and determine what type of review is necessary:

  • If a proposal has no visual impact, staff may sign off on it immediately. Staff must be able to verify that work is not visible by examining the submission materials.
  • If a proposal is primarily for changes and repairs with minimal visual impact, staff may give administrative approval. Staff will put it on the next meeting agenda to be endorsed by the commission without presentation. Final sign off on the building permit application will not occur until after the meeting.
  • You must present projects with a significant visual impact to the commission’s Art and Architecture Committee. This includes all new construction and most additions and exterior alterations.

For projects with a visual impact

Most proposals need two reviews: concept and final approvals. Some proposals may need more than two presentations. You should seek concept approval early in the design process.

The Art and Architecture Committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month. They will make recommendations for your proposal. The Art Commission meets immediately after and will act on these recommendations.

To place an item on the agenda, staff must receive the cover letter at least two weeks before a meeting. Staff must receive three hard copies and a PDF of the submission package at least one week before a meeting.

Collate copies into three packages and, if necessary, fold them to 8½” x 11”. You should bring the presentation on a USB drive, along with material samples, models, and other important information to the meeting.

When your proposal gets final approval, staff will sign the building permit application.

In Philadelphia, all employees can use unpaid leave to address issues related to domestic violence or sexual assault. They can use the leave to seek medical attention, legal assistance, social services, or other help for themselves, a family member, or a household member.

Employees may be eligible for 4-8 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period depending on the size of their employer. Leave, when added to any Family Medical Leave (FMLA), cannot exceed more than 12 weeks in a 12-month period.

If an employer refuses to provide leave or retaliates against employees for using leave, an employee can make a formal complaint to the Philadelphia Commission of Human Relations.

Who

Philadelphia guarantees unpaid leave for anyone who is:

  • Experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Helping a family or household member who is experiencing one of these issues.

Where and when

Employees must make a complaint within 300 days of the date they were denied leave or retaliated against. It may take several months or longer to investigate the complaint.

You can make a formal complaint in-person or by mail at:

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
601 Walnut St., Suite 300 South
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Work Phone:

Cost

There is no fee.

How

Filing for unpaid leave with an employer:

  1. Tell your employer with at least 48-hours’ notice of the leave, if possible.
  2. Your employer may require you to provide documentation showing the reason for your leave. For example, your employer may require:
    • A police record.
    • A court record.
    • A letter from an organization, an attorney, a member of the clergy, or a medical or other professional.

Overview

The Mayor’s Day of Service Recognition is an annual event to honor Philadelphia’s standout volunteers and National Service members.

The Mayor’s Office recognizes Philadelphia residents in the following four categories:

  • Mayor’s Philly Hero Award
  • Mayor’s Youth Hero Award
  • Mayor’s Distinguished National Service Award
  • Mayor’s Distinguished National Service Alumni Award

Who

All nominees must be Philadelphia residents.

  • The Mayor’s Philly Hero Award (for adults) and The Mayor’s Youth Hero Award (for youth) recognize individuals for their unique contributions to the city through service.
  • The Mayor’s Distinguished National Service Award is given to current AmeriCorps or Senior Corps volunteers.
  • The Mayor’s Distinguished National Service Alumni Award recognizes AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, or Peace Corps alumni who continue to devote their lives to making a difference through service.

How

We’re no longer accepting nominations for the 2019 Mayor’s Day of Service Recognition Awards. Please join us at the award ceremony on April 2 to celebrate our honorees.

Sign up to attend the award ceremony.

The Joan Markman Award for Integrity recognizes individuals for their work promoting integrity in City government. The Office of the Inspector General presents the award to someone who demonstrates a strong commitment to integrity, diligence, and transparency on behalf of the City of Philadelphia. The award honors Joan Markman, the first Chief Integrity Officer for the City of Philadelphia, who passed away on January 15, 2015 after serving City government since January 7, 2008.

The award winner will receive:

  • A $1,000 award prize.
  • Two free tickets to the Mayor’s Box for an upcoming event.
  • A certificate in recognition of their achievement.
  • A ceremony in their honor in City Hall.

Eligibility

Nominees may be City employees, individuals who work with the City of Philadelphia, or members of the public. Nominees must have worked with the Office of the Inspector General or the Office of the Chief Integrity Officer.

Cabinet members and department or agency heads are not eligible. We encourage them to nominate individuals for the award.

How

You can nominate someone for the award using an online form. Nominations are due by March 1, 2019.


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