Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter XVIII. Employee Conduct.


§ 1–618.01. Standards of conduct.

(a) Each employee, member of a board or commission, or a public official of the District government must at all times maintain a high level of ethical conduct in connection with the performance of official duties, and shall refrain from taking, ordering, or participating in any official action which would adversely affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of the District government.

(a-1) As a matter of public policy, each employee, member of a board or commission, or a public official of the District is encouraged to report, pursuant to subchapter XV-A of this chapter, any violation of a law or rule, or the misuse of government resources, as soon as the employee, member of a board or commission, or a public official becomes aware of the violation or misuse of resources.

(a-2)(1) Upon commencement of employment, any person required to file pursuant to §§ 1-1162.24 and 1-1162.25 (“Filers”) shall be provided with an ethics manual and information about the Code of Conduct.

(2) No later than 90 days after commencement of employment, Filers shall certify that they have undergone ethics training developed by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability. The required training may be provided electronically, in person, or both as considered appropriate by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability.

(3) Filers shall certify on an annual basis that they have completed at least one ethics training program within the previous year.

(a-3) Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of this chapter, any public official who knowingly violates any provision of subsection (a-2) of this section may be subject to an adverse performance action but not termination.

(b) The Mayor shall issue rules and regulations governing the ethical conduct of all District employees after consultation with the District of Columbia Board of Education, the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia, and recognized labor representatives of District employees, and shall require the submission by designated employees at a policy making, contract negotiating, or purchasing level of reports of financial interest in matters which may create conflicts of interest. The Mayor shall provide for the annual auditing of all reports filed under the authority of this subsection.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 1801, 25 DCR 5740; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-177, § 3(y), 33 DCR 7241; Sept. 26, 1990, D.C. Law 8-169, § 2(b), 37 DCR 4835; Aug. 1, 1996, D.C. Law 11-152, § 302(x), 43 DCR 2978; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-213, § 3(l), 49 DCR 8140; Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 501(c)(3), 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 1082(f), 65 DCR 9388; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-250, § 4(e), 66 DCR 985.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-619.1.

1973 Ed., § 1-348.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1161.01 and § 2-359.10.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-213, in subsec. (a-1), substituted “chapter 6 of subchapter XV-A of Title 1” for “§ 1-615.03”.

D.C. Law 19-124, in subsecs. (a) and (a-1), substituted “employee, member of a board or commission, or a public official” for “employee”; and added subsecs. (a-2) and (a-3).

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-250: § 10 of D.C. Law 22-250 provided that the change made to this section by § 4(e) of D.C. Law 22-250 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1082(f) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1082(f) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 401(c)(3) of Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298, January 29, 2012, 59 DCR 683).

Editor's Notes

Repeal of § 3 of Law 6-177: Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 6-177 provided that the provisions of § 3 are repealed on the 1st day following the 36-month period after February 24, 1987.

Repeal of § 4(b) of Law 6-177: Section 3(b) of D.C. Law 8-74, effective March 15, 1990, provided that § 4(b) of D.C. Law 6-177 is repealed.


§ 1–618.02. Conflicts of interest.

No employee, member of a board or commission, or a public official of the District government shall engage in outside employment or private business activity or have any direct or indirect financial interest that conflicts or would appear to conflict with the fair, impartial, and objective performance of officially assigned duties and responsibilities.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 1802, 25 DCR 5740; Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 501(c)(4), 59 DCR 1862.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-619.2.

1973 Ed., § 1-348.2.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-124 added “member of a board or commission, or a public official.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 401(c)(4) of Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298, January 29, 2012, 59 DCR 683).


§ 1–618.03. Ethics counselors; codification of advisory opinions. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 1803, 25 DCR 5740; Apr. 23, 1980, D.C. Law 3-58, § 3, 27 DCR 963; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-177, § 3(z), 33 DCR 7241; Aug. 1, 1996, D.C. Law 11-152, § 302(y), 43 DCR 2978; April 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 501(c)(5), 59 DCR 1862.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-619.3.

1973 Ed., § 1-348.3.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 401(c)(5) of Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298, January 29, 2012, 59 DCR 683).

Editor's Notes

Repeal of § 3 of Law 6-177: Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 6-177 provided that the provisions of § 3 are repealed on the 1st day following the 36-month period after February 24, 1987.

Repeal of § 4(b) of Law 6-177: Section 3(b) of D.C. Law 8-74, effective March 15, 1990, provided that § 4(b) of D.C. Law 6-177 is repealed.

Section 601(k) of D.C. Law 19-124 provided: “(k) Title V shall apply as of the effective date of this act, except that § 501(c)(5) shall apply as of October 1, 2012.”


§ 1–618.04. Prohibition on nepotism.

(a) A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a position in the agency in which he or she is serving or over which he or she exercises jurisdiction or control, any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official who is serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency and is a relative of the individual.

(b)(1) An individual appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in violation of this section is not entitled to pay and may not be compensated.

(2) A public official who appoints, employs, promotes, or advances, or advocates such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement of any individual appointed in violation of this section, shall reimburse the District for any funds paid to such individual as a result of the individual’s appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement.

(c) The Mayor may issue rules and regulations authorizing the temporary employment, in the event of emergencies resulting from natural disasters or similar unforeseen events or circumstances, of individuals whose employment would otherwise be prohibited by this section.

(d) For the purpose of this section, the term:

(1) “Public official” means an officer, employee, or any other individual in whom authority by law, rule, or regulation is vested, or to whom the authority has been delegated to select, appoint, employ, promote, reassign, demote, separate, or recommend individuals for any of these actions.

(2) “Relative” means, with respect to a public official, an individual who is related to the public official as a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 1804; as added Mar. 14, 2012, D.C. Law 19-115, § 2(k), 59 DCR 461.)

Cross References

Mayor and Council members, coverage, see § 1-602.02.

Merit system, effective date provisions, see § 1-636.02.