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BUFFALO CITY MUNICIPALITY. Code of Conduct for Municipal Staff members. Prepared by G Walton, Acting Manager: Internal Audit and L Wulff, Acting Manager: Industrial Relations. Introduction. The code of conduct was promulgated as part of the Municipal Systems Act.

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buffalo city municipality

BUFFALO CITY MUNICIPALITY

Code of Conduct for Municipal Staff members

slide2
Prepared by
  • G Walton, Acting Manager: Internal Audit
  • and
  • L Wulff, Acting Manager: Industrial Relations

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

introduction
Introduction
  • The code of conduct was promulgated as part of the Municipal Systems Act.
  • Other aspects are sourced from the relevant disciplinary codes and standards of conduct set by the employer as well as other relevant legislation and policies.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d
Cont’d
  • The code therefore has legal status and is enforceable.
  • The Code does not have to be adopted by Council and is in fact imposed by operation of Law.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d5
Cont’d
  • The Code sets out minimum standards of conduct.
  • It is not a discussion document.
  • The Council and/or the City Manager are entitled to add to the minimum standards set in the Code.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

general conduct
General Conduct
  • As an employee you are required to:
  • loyally execute the lawful policies of the Council.
  • act at all times in good faith, diligently and honestly.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d7
Cont’d
  • act in the best interests of the Council.
  • act impartially and treat all equally without favour or prejudice.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

serve the public interest
Serve the Public Interest
  • As an employee you are required to:
  • adopt a culture of commitment to serving the public.
  • adopt a sense of responsibility for the performance of the goals of the Directorate, Department or Section.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d9
Cont’d
  • act in such a way that you maximise the ability of the Municipality to deliver an improved quality of life to all residents of the City.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d10
Cont’d
  • Promote and seek to implement the basic values and principles of public administration.
  • Participate in the overall performance management of the Municipality by seeking to attain the goals of the Directorate or Department as approved by Council

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d11
Cont’d
  • Obtain copies of or information relating to the Municipality’s integrated development plan and as far as possible seek to implement the objectives set out therein and to try to achieve the relevant performance indicators

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

personal gain
Personal Gain
  • You may not use your position or privileges or confidential information for private gain or to improperly benefit another person.
  • Take a decision on a matter if you have a direct or indirect personal or business interest.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d13
Cont’d
  • You may not, except with the permission of Council be a party to any contract with the Council.
  • You may not,except with the permission of the Council, be engaged in any business trade or profession other than the work of the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d14
Cont’d
  • Obtain a financial interest in any business of the Municipality
  • Be engaged in any business, trade or profession other than the work of the Council

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

disclosure of any benefit
Disclosure of any benefit
  • An employee who, or whose spouse, partner, business associate or close family member stands to gain any direct benefit from a contract with the Council shall disclose in writing full particulars of such benefit to the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d16
Cont’d
  • All Directors and employees shall disclose to the Council, all business interests, affiliations, and/or relationships that could reasonably give rise to a conflict of interest involving the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d17
Cont’d
  • If an actual or potential conflict of interest is disclosed, the affected employee should refrain from participation in matters to which the conflict relates. The City Managerwill review and determine the appropriate course of action.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

unauthorised disclosure of information
Unauthorised disclosure of information
  • An employee may not without permission disclose any privileged or confidential information obtained to any unauthorised person

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d19
Cont’d
  • “Privileged or confidential information” includes any item determined by the Council to be confidential.
  • Discussed in a closed session of Council or a Committee.
  • Where disclosure would violate a persons right to privacy.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d20
Cont’d
  • Declared by law to be confidential.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d21
Cont’d
  • Discussions with others concerning future rates, fees, and other competitive information should not occur until after the information has been officially announced to the public by theCouncil.
  • In this regard until a matter has been resolved it is best not discussed with anyone from the public

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d22
Cont’d
  • This does not detract from any person’s right of access to information in terms of National legislation

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

undue influence
Undue Influence
  • An employee may not attempt to influence Council with a view to obtaining an appointment, promotion, or any benefit for a family member, friend or associate.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d24
Cont’d
  • Mislead or attempt to mislead the Council, or a structure of the Council in the consideration of any matter
  • Be involved in a business venture with a councilor without the prior written consent of the Council

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

rewards gifts or favours
Rewards, Gifts or Favours
  • An employee may not request, solicit or accept any reward, gift or favour for:
  • persuading the Council with regard to the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty.
  • making a representation to the Council.
  • disclosing any privileged or confidential information.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d26
Cont’d
  • Doing or not doing anything within that employee’s powers or duties.
  • An employee has a duty to report without delay to a superior official any offer which if accepted may constitute a breach of the above provisions.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d27
Cont’d
  • Legislation prohibits the acceptance of gifts for services rendered in the course of one's normal employment. Gifts from individuals or organizations with whom the Council does business, or from those who hope to do business with the Council, are prohibited.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d28
Cont’d
  • In addition, acceptance of social invitations from individuals doing business with, or seeking to do business with Council when such invitations can be construed as an attempt to influence an employee's decision, are prohibited.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

conflict of interest
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
  • Most people have heard the term "conflict of interest". There is confusion about what is meant by the term.
  • We will look at some examples of potential conflicts of interest.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d30
Cont’d
  • A possible conflict of interest exists if an employee (or an employee's family member):  
  • has an existing or potential financial or other interest which impairs, or mightappear to impairthat person's independent, unbiased judgment  
  • has a significant business relationship with a person or firm engaging in, or seeking to engage in, business with the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d31
Cont’d
  • has a significant ownership interest, and may receive a financial or other benefit from knowledge or information confidential to the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d32
Cont’d
  • Employees have an obligation to avoid conflicts of interest or any appearance of conflicts between their personal interests and the interests of the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d33
Cont’d
  • Conflicts of interest often relate to situations where an employee uses influence with the Council for personal gain.
  • The Council expects that employees will refrain from personal activities which could cause or appear to cause a divided loyalty to the legitimate interests of the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d34
Cont’d
  • Employees should ensure that suppliers and independent contractors receive fair and uniform treatment. Suppliers should feel they are being given every reasonable opportunity to be awarded business by providing the best offer.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d35
Cont’d
  • Employees should avoid doing anything that might create the appearance that a supplier is being given preferential treatment.
  • The appearance of preferential treatment can have a detrimental effect on the perception of the Council by other employees and by potential bidders

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

examples
EXAMPLES
  • PURCHASE/CONTRACT
  • an employee negotiates or approves a contract or purchase on behalf of the Council has an interest in or receives a personal gain from the company providing the goods or services.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d37
Cont’d
  • CONVERSION OF ASSETS
  • an employee uses Council facilities or other assets for personal gain.
  • USE OF EMPLOYEES
  • an employee directs subordinates to perform tasks for an outside business which the employee has an interest in or receives personal gain or for his private purposes

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d38
Cont’d
  • SALES ACTIVITIES
  • an employee sells products or services offered by the Council in competition with the Council or sells Council goods.
  • RECEIPT OF GIFTS
  • an employee responsible for initiating or approving purchases is given a substantive gift by a vendor used by the Council (for example a trip)

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d39
Cont’d

Council policy also prohibits the offering of a gift or entertainment that could be construed as wrongfully or unfairly attempting to influence a decision that will benefit either the Council or an employee of the Council.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

council property
Council Property
  • An employee may not use, acquire or benefit from any property or asset owned, controlled or managed by the Municipality, to which that employee has no right.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

duty of care
DUTY OF CARE
  • Council policy is that each employee should assume responsibility for safeguarding and preserving the assets and resources of the Council.
  • The following control requirements are appropriate and serve only to illustrate. They should not be considered to be a full list:

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d42
Cont’d
  • All revenues generated by the Council, and all expenditures for goods and services, must be recorded and accounted for within the financial accounting system.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d43
Cont’d
  • No false entries may be made in the accounting records for any reason.
  • No payment on behalf of the Council is to be approved or made with the understanding that any part of such a payment is to be used for any purpose other than that described by the documents supporting the payment.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d44
Cont’d
  • The use of Council funds or assets for any personal, unlawful, or improper purpose is prohibited.
  • The use of any Council equipment, supplies, or facilities that benefits an individual employee is strictly prohibited.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d45
Cont’d
  • No person in a supervisory or management position is to use the authority of that position to assign an employee to perform non Council related tasks.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

duty to pay accounts
Duty to pay accounts
  • An employee may not be in arrears to the Municipality for rates or service charges for a period longer than three months and the Council may deduct any outstanding amount from an employees’ salary after this period.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

sexual harassment
Sexual Harassment
  • An employee may not embark on any action amounting to sexual harassment.
  • A policy in this regard has been prepared and is awaiting approval.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

duty to report
Duty to report
  • An employee whenever he/she has reasonable grounds to suspect that there has been a breach of this Code shall immediately report the matter to a superior officer.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d49
CONT’D
  • If you believe a possible fraud has occurred, you should report it to Management
  • If there is reasonable evidence of an irregularity , Management will liaise with the Internal Audit Department ,Human Resources and other Departments, as may be appropriate, and decide how the matter will be further investigated

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

hot line
HOT LINE
  • The Council is considering setting up a confidential “hotline” which will assist in this regard.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary Procedures
  • Any offence in terms of the Code will be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s Disciplinary Code.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

conduct
Conduct
  • All employees shall:
  • act fairly, justly and with courtesy and proper efficiency
  • act with respect to members of the public
  • ensure to the best of his/her ability that correct information is given to those entitled thereto

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d53
Cont’d
  • work as part of the team and for the general good of the Municipality
  • be always aware of public relations and be helpful, polite, efficient and understanding to the public and other staff.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d54
Cont’d
  • care for the affairs and property of the council in a fit and proper manner and avoid abuse or waste
  • act in accordance with all policies of the Council and relevant legislation.
  • be loyal to the Municipality

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d55
Cont’d
  • ensure that those under your control are motivated
  • ensure that all necessary safety rules are applied to protect yourself, your fellow workers and the public.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

misconduct main issues
Misconduct /Main Issues
  • Any form of dishonesty is regarded as unacceptable
  • Where the dishonesty destroys the relationship of trust upon which the employment contract is based dismissal will be likely

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d57
Cont’d
  • Examples include but are not limited to:
  • Theft
  • Unauthorised use/possession of property
  • Fraud
  • False statements/documents
  • Tampering with electricity or water meters

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d58
Cont’d
  • Consumption of alcohol before assuming duties or whilst on duty is unacceptable
  • Dismissal may result depending on factors such as the nature of the work
  • Eg drivers, operators, firemen, traffic officers, city policemen, etc

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d59
Cont’d
  • Misconduct which occurs after hours and which threatens the existence/continuity of the employment contract or harms the reputation of the employer or is seriously reprehensible in the eyes of the public may lead to disciplinary action and the possibility of dismissal

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

managerial responsibility for discipline
Managerial responsibility for discipline
  • Discipline is a line function and is the responsibility of the manager or supervisor
  • Where an employee misbehaves, the supervisor must investigate and institute disciplinary action (Clearly there are some exceptions to this rule)
  • The standards of conduct set by the City Manager must be complied with

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d61
Cont’d
  • In general disciplinary action must be kept within the relevant Department (unless exceptional circumstances exist)
  • Action must be instituted and heard at the lowest appropriate level

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

standards of conduct
Standards of Conduct
  • These are organisational standards set out by the City Manager (or previously the Chief Executive/Town Clerk) regarding acceptable / unacceptable behaviour

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d63
Cont’d
  • Standards of conduct are not negotiable and supervisors at all levels are required to take action in the event of a breach of such standards.
  • Not to do so will result in disciplinary action being taken against such supervisor

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d64
Cont’d
  • Supervisors are required to investigate such cases with due diligence in order to prove their case.
  • The case shall be properly conducted at the hearing and once again due diligence is required

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d65
Cont’d
  • Supervisors who fail to conduct a case with due diligence risk being themselves charged.
  • Deliberately failing to conduct a case with due diligence will be seen in an extremely serious light with severe penalties for such supervisor

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

vicarious responsibility
Vicarious Responsibility
  • Employees must be aware that their conduct can lead to criminal or civil action being taken against them and the employer where such conduct occurs in the course and scope of their duties.
  • The employer can recover from an employee any amount it has to pay on his/her behalf

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d67
Cont’d
  • Where an employee acts in the course and scope of his/her duties and does so in good faith and without negligence, he/ she may receive legal assistance from the Council

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

fraud opportunities
Fraud Opportunities
  • There are conditions in the workplace that provide opportunities for irregularities. These include:
  • poor internal controls,
  • too much control vested in individuals,
  • lax management,

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

cont d69
Cont’d
  • Management should establish a positive attitude towardscontrolsto create a positivecontrol environment.
  • Control concerns (control consciousness) should be considered in all aspects of department operations.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

conclusion
Conclusion
  • The Council is committed to a clean administration and will not tolerate fraud, corruption and the like.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

conclusion71
Conclusion
  • I trust that this session has been informative and that everyone now better understands the role we all have to play in Buffalo City.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable

slide72
Thank you for attending.

Fraud and theft are not acceptable