Ethics Policy

Ethical Conduct
City employees and elected officials are entrusted with protecting the safety and welfare of the public’s trust.  All officials and employees must endeavor to pursue a course of conduct that does not raise concern or suspicion among the public.  Therefore, they shall avoid acts, which are improper or give the appearance of impropriety.  This conduct is particularly important for personnel who are charged with the lawful disposition of public funds.

Finance Division and Purchasing Department personnel must adhere to the highest level of professionalism in discharging their official duties. The nature of the purchasing functions makes it critical that everyone involved in the purchasing process remain independent and free from the perception of impropriety.  Any erosion of public trust or any shadow cast on public trust or any other shadow of impropriety is detrimental to the integrity of the purchasing system as a whole.  Consequently, the credibility of a purchasing program requires that a clear set of guidelines and rules be established and adhered to.  Such guidelines are designed to prevent actual and/or potential vendors from influencing City officers or employees in discharging their official duties honestly and fairly.  Furthermore, these policies will prevent City officers and employees from situations in which their independent judgment could be reasonably compromised or questioned.
Therefore, with these principles in mind and in accordance with state law, the following policies and procedures should be adhered to by all City of Amarillo employees, vendors, potential vendors, and employees of other government agencies when acting under authority delegated from the City of Amarillo. 

  A City Employee or Elected Official May Not:

1. Have financial interest in, or otherwise be connected with a City contract or bid for the purchase of goods or services by the City. This includes, participation or involvement in working on a request, bid, purchase, or, contract knowing that the employee or member of his/her immediate family (as defined by the Employee Handbook) is in a mid-management or higher level position with the vendor. In such cases, the employee is deemed to have a conflict.

2. Where an employee has a financial interest, connection, or deemed conflict on a request, bid, purchase, or contract for goods or services, then:

a. Each department involved in the matter must flag files and electronic records sufficiently to indicate, that such city employee is to have no access, input, communication, involvement, contact, consultation, administration, monitoring, or any other form of type of connection with such matter at any time.

b. The conflicted employee must remove him/herself from any and all input, communication, involvement, contact, consultation, administration, monitoring, or any other form or type of connection with such matter.

c. Other City staff shall not communicate in any way with the conflicted employee regarding any aspect, process, or administration of the matter.

3. Accept or solicit anything of value whether by gift, rebate, service or favor from a person to whom a city contract may be awarded, directly or indirectly. This does not include an item of nominal value (less than $50), such as a cap, mug, pen, etc.

4. Be employed by, or agree to work for, a City vendor or potential City vendor.

5. Make any purchase or authorize any work to be done of a value of more than $2500.00 without prior written authorization of the Purchasing Department or the City Manager. Such action constitutes an “Unauthorized Purchase” and the employee making or authorizing the transaction may be personally liable for all expenses incurred as a result of that action.

6. Knowingly disclose or transmit confidential information acquired in the course of one’s official duties for any form of reward or personal gain.