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San Mateo County
CODE OF ETHICAL CONDUCT

In furtherance of the County's Mission Statement, this Code of Ethical Conduct is designed to provide guidance and standards for County employees so they may serve the public to the best of their abilities while holding themselves accountable to the highest standards of government. As an employee of the County of San Mateo, you are required to know, understand and abide by this Code of Ethical Conduct and the principles and policies contained herein. 

OUR MISSION

San Mateo County government protects and enhances the health, safety, welfare, and natural resources of the community; and provides quality services that benefit and enrich the lives of the people of this community. We are committed to:

  • The highest standards of public service;
  • A common vision of responsiveness;
  • The highest standards of ethical conduct;
  • Treating people with respect and dignity.

OUR PRINCIPLES

TRUSTWORTHINESS.    Always treat members of the public and fellow co-workers with courtesy and respect.  Be truthful, transparent to the greatest extent, and perform all duties honestly and with full personal and professional integrity.

RESPECT FOR OUR AUTHORITY.  Perform duties in compliance with all laws and regulations applicable to the County.  Always seek appropriate direction, and never use ambiguity as a means to personal end, or in conflict to the County’s best interest.  No abuse of authority will be tolerated.

PROTECTION OF ASSETS FROM FRAUD, WASTE, AND ABUSE.  Ensure that County monies, property, and information held in private trust, are each safeguarded as the hard-earned assets of our citizenry, and never as our own.  Use prudent judgment and business best practice, and avoid personal interest at the expense of County liability or reputation. Protect against all improprieties in public programs and services. Integrity in the administration of County programs and services must exist to ensure the public’s trust. It is critical that the County and its employees take whatever action is necessary to prevent and deter fraud and abuse.

SAFE AND PRODUCTIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT.  Contribute to a safe and productive work environment by promoting open and honest communication, and freely voicing ethical concerns.

Maintain current knowledge and understanding of this policy and department-specific ethics policies as well as all mandated ethics training.

  • REPORTING VIOLATIONS.  It is our responsibility to immediately report any violation of these principles, or polices set forth below.   Seek guidance from a supervisor, manager, or County human resources representative. Employees may also call the County’s ethics hotline at 855-387-2497 or submit a web form:  www.reportlineweb.com/smcgov to report a violation.

When considering reporting a violation, ask yourself:

  • What is the action that I perceive violates these principles, policies, law or regulation?
  • What opportunity have I given to my supervisor or manager to make them aware of and address the issue (if appropriate)?

No disciplinary action or other retribution or retaliation shall be taken for the good faith reporting of an issue or concern, or participation as a witness in any investigation of the same.

DEPARTMENT SPECIFIC PRACTICES.   It is recognized that individual departments and agencies may benefit from its own declaration of ethical principles in addition to those herein.   The same are encouraged and deemed consistent with our overall purpose.

OUR POLICIES RELATED TO ETHICS

The below polices are an integral component of our pledge to ethical service, and have been presented to you and attached to this pledge.  These policies are included in the policies each employee acknowledged receiving and reading at time of hire and/or periodically thereafter.    The opportunity to inquire as to the meaning of anything in these policies or to seek guidance in advance is always welcomed.  It is otherwise the responsibility of each of us to be aware of these policies and abide by them.

  • Political Activities
  • Incompatible Activities and outside employment (provided by individual departments)
  • Violence in the Workplace
  • E-mail, Internet, and Information Technology Security  
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Drug Free Workplace
  • Reporting of Convictions
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Privacy Policy / Protected Health Information Sanction Policy

As an employee of the County of San Mateo, I make this pledge in good faith and with full knowledge of these principles and policies.  It is not only my duty to know and understand these principles and policies but to abide by them and help my fellow employees to adhere to them as well.

Whistleblower Process: Please view the contact information on the Controller's website at http://controller.smcgov.org/whistleblower-process