Citywide Standards Of Conduct

The residents and businesses of the City of Austin are entitled to have fair ethical and accountable local government.  Such a government requires that officials and employees:

  • Comply with both the letter and the spirit of the laws and policies affecting operations of the government in state statute, civil service rules, the City’s employee handbook, and the city council’s own code of conduct;
  • Be independent, impartial and fair in their judgment and actions;
  • Use their position for the public good, not for personal gain; and
  • Encourage public confidence in the integrity of city government and its fair and effective operations.

To this end, the City of Austin has adopted these twelve Standards of Conduct for all elected officials, appointed officials and employees:

1. Act in the Public Interest
Recognize that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary concern while working for the common good of the people of the City of Austin and not for any private or personal interest, and they will endeavor to treat all persons, claims and transactions in a fair and equitable manner.

2. Comply with the Law
Comply with the laws of the nation, the State of Minnesota and the City in the performance of their public duties.  These laws include, but are not limited to, the United States and Minnesota constitutions; the City of Austin City Charter; laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, election campaigns, financial disclosures, employer responsibilities and open processes of government; and city ordinances and policies.

3. Respect for Process
Perform duties in accordance with the processes and rules of order established by the United States law, state statute, city charter and ordinances, and other policies and procedures that have been established.

4. Decisions Based on Merit
Make decisions based upon the merits and substance of the matter at hand.

5. Disclosure of Corruption
Commit to disclosing to the appropriate authorities any behavior or activity that may qualify as corruption, abuse, fraud, bribery or other violation of the law.

6. Conflict of Interest
Not use their official positions to influence government decisions in which they have a financial interest or where they have an organizational responsibility or a personal relationship that would present a conflict of interest under applicable state law in order to assure their independence and impartiality on behalf of the public good.

7. Gifts and Favors
Not take advantage of services or opportunities for personal gain by virtue of their public office that are not available to the public in general; and not accept gifts that are in violation of state statute and City policy.

8. Data Practices
Adhere to state statute and the City’s data practices policy in the handling of private or confidential data.  Keep confidential matters confidential.

9. Use of Public Resources
Not use public resources which are not available to the general public for private gain or personal purposes in a way that they conflict with state statute or city policy.

10. Policy of Chain of Command
Respect and adhere to the proper chain of command.

11.Positive Work Environment
Support the maintenance of a positive and constructive environment for residents, businesses, and all employees.  All associated with the City are required to seek affirmative ways to cooperate and work with other employees, public officials and members of any organization with whom the City needs to have a good working relationship.

12. Compliance and Enforcement
City management has the primary responsibility to assure that ethical standards are understood and met and that the public can continue to have full confidence in the integrity of city government.

These Standards of Conduct shall be considered to be an overall policy on personal conduct for public officials and employees.