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Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

Spokane Transit Authority Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

Background

  1. The Spokane Transit Authority is a municipal corporation created in accordance with Chapter 36.57A, of the revised Code of Washington, relating to public transportation benefit areas.
  2. Article VII, Section 7, of the Washington State Constitution, prohibits a municipal corporation from giving aid to any individuals or other entity.
  3. Numerous provisions of state law prohibit the use of one’s elected or appointed office for personal benefit or gain.  Chapter 42.20 RCW prescribes the improper use of one’s elected or appointed office.  Chapter 42.23 RCW prescribes relationships between elected and appointed officers, and others, which would create even an appearance of a conflict of interest.
  4. Federal law prohibits conflicts of interest in the award and administration of contracts supported by federal funds by any elected official, member of any committee, employee, agent, or immediate family member.
  5. It is also evident that elected and appointed officers perform their duties in the public eye and that their visibility alone could create suspicions of misconduct.
  6. Every elected and appointed officer of STA, including all employees, must avoid the appearance of impropriety and misconduct in the use of STA property and resources.

Declaration of Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide a Code of Conduct and Ethics to be followed by the elected and appointed officers, employees, and agents of STA.


STA derives its revenues from taxes levied on taxpayers within its boundaries and it shares in state taxes derived from taxpayers throughout the state.  In addition, it collects fares from customers riding its vehicles and it receives grants from the state and federal governments.  Collectively, the resources of STA, be they monies or other property, are managed for a public purpose, providing transportation services within STA’s boundaries.

The public’s business must not be confused or co-mingled with the personal interest of any elected or appointed officer, including employees and agents.  Therefore, the Board of Directors adopts this Code of Conduct and Ethics in order to preserve the public confidence in the work of STA, to uphold the public trust in STA, and to provide guidance to the elected and appointed officers and employees.

Code of Conducts and Ethics

  1. Every officer and employee shall uphold the Constitution, laws, and regulations of the State of Washington and STA, and federal laws and regulations applicable to federally funded projects. 
  2. No employee, officer, agent, immediate family member, or Board member of STA shall participate in the selection, award or administration of a contract supported by federal, state, or local funds (including without limitation funds of STA or grant funds of FTA) if a conflict of interest, real or apparent, would be involved.

    Such a conflict would arise when any of the following has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for award:
    • The employee, officer, agent, or Board member;
    • Any member of his/her immediate family;
    • His or her partner, or;
    • An organization that employs, or is about to employ, any of the above

     
  3. Every officer and employee shall give to the performance of the duties of the office or position held, his or her earnest effort and best thought.
  4. Every officer and employee shall expose the misuse of public funds or corruption in the performance of one’s duties wherever discovered.
  5. No officer or employee shall discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for enumeration or not.
  6. No officer or employee of STA shall ask for or receive any additional compensation, gift, favor, or reward from any source for service or work for which the officer or employee received compensation from STA, except where an employee is receiving pay for personal leave or other authorized personal absence, and the officer or employee is excused from his or her duties.
  7. No officer or employee of STA shall ask for or receive from any other officer or employee of STA any STA materials, equipment, services, or work for personal benefit or gain to himself or any other person.
  8. No elected or appointed officer or employee shall accept outside employment furnishing advice or services to a firm bidding on, or planning to bid on, a contract with STA, or that is doing business with STA
  9. No officer or employee of STA shall transact any STA business with any private entity of which the officer, employee, agent, any immediate family member, or partner has a financial interest or in which such officer, employee, agent, immediate family member, or partner is an owner, director, officer, employee, agent, or representative.
  10. No officer or employee of STA shall disclose confidential information acquired in the course of his or her association or employment with STA for the purpose of personal benefit or gain.
  11. No officer or employee of STA shall interfere with the employment of any person outside the established personnel employment policy.  Nothing herein shall prohibit an applicant for employment from submitting written recommendations from an officer(s) or employee(s).  

Disclosure 

The Executive Director, Division Directors, General Counsel, and all employees designated as supervisors, down to and including managers, shall file annually, a written disclosure of any direct or indirect financial interest in a contractor, supplier, or other vendor furnishing advice or services, doing business with STA, or bidding on, or planning to bid on, work offered by STA.

Discipline

Violation of this policy shall lead to discipline up to and including discharge.

Rev/Approved by Board 3/28/01

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