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Ethics

Ethics
  • Overview
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Lobbyist
  • Hearings

The Ethics Department is dedicated to assisting Metro in carrying out its mission, in compliance with ethics-related laws and consistent with the highest standards of ethical conduct, to maintain the public’s trust that our decisions are made with impartiality and our services performed with integrity to provide the safest, most effective and efficient transportation system possible for Los Angeles County.

The Ethics Department was established in 1996 by action of the State legislature and reports to the Metro Board of Directors.

The mission of the Ethics Department is to:

  • Provide information and advice to the Board of Directors and assist them in complying with the special ethics-related laws and requirements that apply to them;
  • Serve as the filing officer for the Statement of Economic Interest disclosures by Metro Board Members and employees, and update the Metro Conflict of Interest Code biennially as required by law;
  • Serve as Metro Filing Officer for lobbyist registration and reporting, and administer the lobbyist program;
  • Provide ethics-related materials, education, and advice to Metro employees, contractors, Sector Governance Council members and consultants to promote a high standard of ethics within Metro and assist in compliance with all applicable laws;
  • Serve as the Hearing Officers for reconsideration appeals from contractors that have been determined to have failed in making good faith efforts to achieve the disadvantaged business enterprise goal and other compliance hearings; and
  • Perform such other duties incident to the foregoing or that the Board of Directors may assign or authorize from time to time.

A Code of Conduct is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of or proper practices for an individual or entity. Metro has Codes of Conduct for its Board of Directors, contractors, and employees. The codes of conduct were adopted by the Board as part of our Administrative Code, a Metro ordinance. The Board Code of Conduct is also enacted as a state statute.

Metro has also adopted a Customer Code of Conduct that took effect July 1, 2011.

The Ethics Department is charged with interpretation and maintenance of the codes of conduct. Violations of a code of conduct can lead to sanctions and in some cases termination of employment or contracts.

If you have any questions about whether your conduct is permissible under a code of conduct, you are urged to contact the Ethics Department before you act.

If you are aware of any possible violations of the codes of conduct, these should be reported to the Ethics Department.

Pursuant to California Public Utilities Code section 130051.18 and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("Metro" also referred to as "MTA" within the legal documents) Administrative Code chapter 5-25, all lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and lobbying firms that attempt to influence Metro action are required to register with Metro and to report their lobbyist activity on a quarterly basis. Registration must be renewed on an annual basis.

Definition of Lobbying

“Lobbying” means any attempt by a lobbyist or lobbying firm to influence an MTA action through direct or indirect communication, other than administrative testimony, with an MTA official.  (Pub. Util. Code § 130051.18(a)(9); MTA Administrative Code section 5-05-130)

What is a Lobbyist?

A lobbyist is any individual who receives any economic consideration, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, for lobbying. The term “lobbyist” includes consultants and officers or employees of any business entity seeking to enter into a contract with the MTA. (Pub. Util. Code § 130051.18(a)(11); MTA Administrative Code section 5-05-150). Any contact beyond submitting a bid is likely lobbying and thus, the contacting person and/or company making a contact beyond submittal should be a registered lobbyist.

If you have any question on whether or not you should register as a lobbyist, please call the Ethics Department at 213.922.2900, or email us at ethics@metro.net

The Ethics Department has an Online Filing System for the submission of all lobbyist forms. Please click on the link below to be redirected to our Lobbyist Online Filing System.

Lobbyist Registration (Online Lobbyist Registration System and FAQs)

The Ethics Department, as an independent department, is charged with conducting impartial administrative hearings on behalf of Metro involving Metro contractors.

The Ethics Department conducts good faith reconsideration hearings and other assigned hearings. 

Different procedures apply to different types of hearings. The procedure for reconsideration hearings is available below.


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