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Portland, Oregon

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Shining a Light on Conflicts of Interest

October 25, 2018

Yesterday, Council unanimously adopted a Resolution designed to increase the transparency and accountability of local government by strengthening our policy on outside employment.

The City currently has a policy about outside work – or ‘moonlighting.’ It states that employees can have a second job, provided they do not (1) engage in an actual or perceived conflict of interest or (2) give so much time to their second job that they aren’t fulfilling their duties as a City employee.

But, as we’ve learned, the City’s written policy doesn’t give employees adequate guidance to ensure they’re following the rules, and places the burden on employees to decide if a potential conflict needs to be disclosed.

Our proposal is modeled after best practices from other jurisdictions nationwide. It pairs clear guidance with mandatory disclosure of outside work, and it directs that an updated policy, training materials, and a disclosure form come back to Council within 90 days for review and adoption.

As a first step, this action applies primarily to non-represented employees in more senior-level positions, and does not change collective bargaining agreements with represented employees and our labor partners.

Special thanks to Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Fritz for co-sponsoring this important legislation, to the City Attorney’s Office and Chief Administrative Officer for their partnership, and to our labor partners for sharing their expertise and perspective.