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 CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 5


Meeting Date: October 28, 2008

Subject/Title: Adopt a Resolution Replacing in its Entirety City Council/Administrative Policy
No. 20-3 Gifts and Repealing Resolution No. 81-34

Prepared by: Denise Davies, Chief Financial Operations Officer

Submitted by: Pamela Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Systems



RECOMMENDATION
Adopt a Resolution Replacing in its Entirety City Council/Administrative Policy No. 20-3 Gifts and Repealing Resolution No. 81-34.

PREVIOUS ACTION
On August 20, 1981, City Council adopted Resolution 81-34 approving City Council/Administrative Policy No. 20-3, Gifts and Gratuities.

BACKGROUND
The Gift Policy has not been amended since it was adopted in August 1981. The current Policy is outdated and has been re-written to be similar to, but not necessarily mirror the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regulations regarding gifts.

In some instances the City’s Policy is more stringent than the FPPC regulations. For example, Section 18940.2 of the California Code of Regulations has set the current annual gift limit to $390, while the proposed City Policy sets the limit at $100.

The FPPC made revisions to the regulation regarding gifts to public agencies effective July 1, 2008. These revisions narrowed the FPPC regulation and added new reporting requirements. These requirements have been incorporated in the Gifts to the City, Section 4, of the Policy. It requires that FPPC Form 801, Gift to Agency Report, be completed for gifts of $50 or more. This form must then be posted on the City’s website within 30 days of use of the gift.

Gifts to public employees can be perceived as attempts to influence City operations and can erode the public confidence. Therefore, it is important to provide impartial and exceptional customer service while avoiding the appearance of impropriety. It is Staff’s belief that the employee responsibilities outlined in this Policy will help do so.

FISCAL IMPACT
There is no fiscal impact associated with the adoption of City Council/Administrative Policy No. 20-3, Gifts.

Attachment:
Resolution
City Council/Administrative Policy No. 20-3 Gifts

RESOLUTION NO.


A RESOLUTION REPLACING IN ITS ENTIRETY CITY COUNCIL/ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY NO. 20-3 GIFTS AND REPEALING RESOLUTION NO. 81-34


WHEREAS, the current Gifts and Gratuity Policy has not been amended since it was adopted on August 1981; and

WHEREAS, the current Policy is outdated and has been re-written to be similar to, but does not necessarily mirror the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regulations regarding gifts; and

WHEREAS, in some instances the City’s Policy is more stringent than the FPPC regulations; and

WHEREAS, the FPPC made revisions to the regulation regarding gifts to public agencies effective July 1, 2008; and

WHEREAS, the new requirements have been incorporated in the Gifts to the City, Section 4, of the Policy.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood, that:

1. City Council/Administrative Policy No. 20-3 (Gifts) attached as Exhibit “A” replaces in its entirety the current City Council/Administrative Policy No. 20-3 (Gifts).

2. Resolution 81-34 is hereby repealed.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting on the 28th day of October 2008 by the following vote:


1. PURPOSE

To outline employee responsibilities regarding the acceptance of any gift of any kind from individuals, businesses or organizations doing business with, seeking to do business with or seeking permits or other entitlements from the City.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Regulation 18944.2 addresses when a payment that would otherwise constitute a gift to a public official constitutes a gift to the public agency instead. In order to address this regulation, Section 4, Gifts to the City, of this Policy is in effect for the Mayor, Council, Commission and Committee members as well as employees.

The City strives to provide impartial and exceptional customer service. Gifts can be perceived as attempts to influence City operations and can erode the public confidence and the impartiality of decisions made by employees. It is important to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

This Policy is similar to the FPPC regulations but does not necessarily mirror the regulations. If there is conflict, the more stringent control must be followed.

2. DEFINITIONS

2.1 Gifts are herein defined as anything of value (including meals) for which you have not provided equal or greater value in return. A gift includes a rebate or discount in the prices of anything of value unless the rebate or discount is made in the regular course of business to members of the public or private businesses.

2.2 Receipt or acceptance of a gift is herein defined, except as noted below, as when you know that you have actual possession of the gift or when you take any action exercising direction or control over the gift, including discarding the gift or turning it over to another person.

3. POLICY

3.1 All employees are required to follow the FPPC regulations, as amended from time to time, for accepting and reporting gifts. Fair Political Practices Commission Form 700 - Statement of Economic Interests must be completed and submitted to the City Clerk as may be required by the City’s Conflict of Interest Resolution.

3.2 All employees are prohibited from receiving gifts in the form of trips and/or passes or tickets that provide admission to an event (for example: theater performance, sporting event, golf) where the employee is not representing the City of Brentwood in their official capacity. Except as follows:
3.2.1 Discounts approved by the City Council.

3.3 All employees (other than Police Department employees; see section 3.4 below) are prohibited from receiving gifts totaling more than $100 from any single source in a calendar year. Exceptions are as follows:

3.3.1 Gifts that were not used and which, within 30 days after receipt, were returned to the donor or delivered to a charitable organization without being claimed by the recipient as a charitable contribution for tax purposes.

3.3.2 Gifts from individuals that are not doing business with, seeking to do business with or seeking permits or other entitlements from the City. The exception does not apply if the donor was acting as an agent or intermediary for a reportable source who was the true donor.

3.3.3 Gifts of hospitality involving food, drink, or occasional lodging provided in an individual’s home when the individual or a member of the individual’s family was present.

3.3.4 Gifts of similar value exchanged between an employee and an individual, other than a lobbyist (an individual who is compensated and communicates directly with legislative or state agency officials to influence legislative or administrative action on behalf of his or her employer or a client), on holidays, birthdays, or similar occasions.

3.3.5 Gifts of informational material provided to assist an employee in the performance of their official duties (for example, books, pamphlets, reports, calendars, periodicals, or educational seminars).

3.3.6 A bequest or inheritance.

3.3.7 Personalized plaques and trophies with an individual value of less than $250.

3.3.8 Campaign contributions.

3.3.9 Tickets to a fundraising event for an Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) organization.

3.3.10 Tickets to political fundraisers.

3.3.11 Gifts given to members of the employee’s immediate family unless the employee enjoys a direct benefit of the gift, use of the gift or exercises discretion or control over the use or disposition of the gift. (See FPPC regulation 18944.)

3.3.12 A pass or ticket that provided a one-time admission to an event (theater performance, sporting event) that was not used and was not transferred to another person. FPPC regulation 18946.1 provides a method for determining the value of a ticket or pass that was used or transferred to another person and for determining the value of passes or tickets which provide repeated admission to facilities or services.

3.3.13 Food, beverages, and necessary accommodations provided directly in connection with an event at which the employee gave a speech, participated in a panel or seminar, or provided a similar service.

3.3.14 A prize or award received in a legitimate competition, such as a raffle, not related to the employee’s status as a City employee.
3.4 All Police Department employees are prohibited from receiving gifts.
3.5 No employee or employee organization shall solicit a gift or donation other than:

3.5.1 The Parks and Recreation Commission as authorized in Municipal Code Section 2.46.020 (E) Powers and Duties.

3.5.2 The Arts Commission as authorized in Municipal Code Section 2.44.020 (D) Powers and Duties.

4. GIFTS TO THE CITY (FPPC 18944.2 IN EFFECT FOR MAYOR, COUNCIL, COMMISSION AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS AS WELL AS EMPLOYEES)

4.1 Gifts to the City must meet the following requirements:

4.1.1 The City Manager or designee must determine and control the City’s use of the gift.

4.1.2 The payment must be used for official City business.

4.1.3 The donor may identify a purpose for the gift but may not designate by name, title, class or otherwise, an official who may use the gift.

4.1.4 The City official who determines who will use the gift may not select himself or herself as the recipient.

4.2 Travel payments must also meet these requirements:

4.2.1 A payment to the City for travel may not be used by the Mayor or City Councilmember.

4.2.2 A payment for travel may not exceed the City’s own reimbursement rates for travel.

4.2.3 The City Manager or designee must preapprove travel paid for by a third party before travel commences.

4.2.4 Travel payments made by a federal government agency in connection with education, training, or other inter-agency programs are not reportable.

4.3 An FPPC Form 801 must be completed by the City Clerk to disclose payments of $50 or more made to the agency when the payments provide a personal benefit to an official of the agency.

4.3.1 FPPC Form 801 must be completed and posted on the City’s website within 30 days of the use of the gift.

5. DISSEMINATION OF POLICY

5.1 A copy of this policy will be provided to each employee, including all new employees. Employees are responsible to seek clarification, if necessary, for their complete understanding of the Policy.

5.2 All employees must acknowledge receipt of this policy by signing the Acknowledgement of Receipt Form attached.





ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT




Gift Policy
Policy No. 20-3
Dated October 28, 2008


My signature below is confirmation that I have received a copy of the Gift Policy No. 20-3 and that I understand that it sets forth the City’s policy with respect to Gifts. The Policy outlines employee responsibilities regarding the acceptance of any gift of any kind from individuals, businesses or organizations doing business with, seeking to do business with or seeking permits or other entitlements from the City.

I understand that this policy is intended to supplement other City personnel policies that govern rules of conduct and performance in the workplace. I further understand and agree that it is my responsibility to read and familiarize myself with the provisions of this policy.


______________________________________________
Employee’s Signature


______________________________________________
Print Employee's Name



______________________________________________
Date of Receipt










 
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