ETHICS ORDINANCE, RULES, and HEARING PROCEDURES
BOARD OF ETHICS FAQ
What is the ethics ordinance?
The Ethics Ordinance is the part of the 2019 Detroit City Code that establishes disclosure requirements and standards of conduct applicable to all City of Detroit public servants and for those who work on behalf of the City, such as vendors or contractors. The Ethics Ordinance was enacted by the City Council in 2000 and amended in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2019. In addition, the 2012 amendments to the Ordinance require all contractors and vendors to make certain disclosures on a form available from the Board of Ethics. It is available for review on our website.
What is the purpose of the ethics ordinance?
The purpose of the Ethics Ordinance is to promote public confidence in public servants and to preserve the integrity of city government. The Ethics Ordinance is intended to establish clear standards of conduct for all public servants, and clear disclosure requirements for all public servants, contractors, and vendors of the City of Detroit.
What is the Detroit Board of Ethics?
The Detroit Board of Ethics is an independent body established by 1997 Detroit City Charter. The Board is a seven-member body composed of residents. The Mayor appoints three members; City Council appoints three members. The Mayor and City Council work together to make one joint appointment.
Who is covered by the ethics ordinance?
The City of Detroit Board of Ethics has jurisdiction over the following public servants as defined in the City of Detroit Ethics Ordinance:
What does the Board of Ethics do?
The Board of Ethics’ role is to investigate and resolve complaints regarding alleged violations of the Ethics Ordinance by public servants, and to issue advisory opinions regarding the meaning and application of provisions of the Charter, City Ordinances, other laws, or regulations establishing standards of conduct for public servants. The Board also provides ethics training to public servant and issues an annual report to City leadership.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is a sworn statement alleging a violation of the Ethics Ordinance against public servant or other covered persons. Any member of the public may file a complaint with the Board where a person believes there has been a violation of the Ordinance. A complaint must be in writing and it must be notarized. The Board does not accept anonymous complaints.
Who may file a complaint?
What is an advisory opinion?
Who may request an advisory opinion?
When does the board meet?
How often must I take ethics training?
Annual Ethics training for public servants is available using the following link.
What is the process for filing a Complaint?
The following flow chart provides the Complaint process.
What is the process to file a request for an advisory opinion?
How can I file a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request to acquire documents unavailable on your website?
You may submit your written FOIA request, adhering to the specific guidelines provided, to:
City of Detroit FOIA Coordinator
City of Detroit Law Department
2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 500
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Fax No.: 313-224-5505
Email Address: FOIA@detroitmi.gov
City of Detroit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Guidelines
How do I get disability assistance to attend your meeting?
With advance notice of seven calendar days, the City of Detroit will provide interpreter services at public meetings, including American Sign Language, language translation and reasonable ADA accommodations.
Please contact the Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department at (313) 224-4950, through the TTY number 711, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule these services.
Is ethics training required for contractors and vendors who conduct business with the City?
Anyone who does business with or behalf of the City are required to adhere to the requirements of the Ethics Ordinance. The contractors and vendors obligations can be obtained from the Office of Contracting and Procurement. Also, any contractor or vendor has the opportunity to participate in Ethics Training through this link.
What is the difference between the Board of Ethics, OIG, Ombudsman and CRIO?
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigates waste, abuse, fraud, and corruption in City government. Their jurisdiction extends to all employees, contractors and those seeking to do business with the City of Detroit.
The Ombudsman is a liaison between the City of Detroit and all persons who have a complaint or inquiry into the operations of a City department or conduct of a City employee.
The Civil Rights and Inclusion Office (CRIO) receives, investigates and makes findings on discrimination complaints in the areas of employment, housing, education, public service, commercial space, medical care facilities and public accommodations to any person who believes they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religious belief, national origin, age, marital status, disability, residence, public benefit status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity within the City of Detroit.
For City of Detroit employees CRIO is also tasked with investigating complaints of workplace violence and provides discrimination, workplace violence, sensitivity and inclusion trainings and outreach for the City of Detroit employees and residents.
The Board of Ethics' role is to investigate and resolve complaints regarding alleged violations of the Ethics Ordinance by public servants and to issue advisory opinions regarding the meaning and application of provisions of the Charter, City Ordinances, other laws, or regulations establishing standards of conduct for public servants.