City of Irvine Transparency and Ethics Resources
Welcome to Sunshine Week! Sunshine Week is recognized each year from March 14 to March 20. The week was designated as part of a nonpartisan effort for greater government transparency. If You are interested in transparency and ethics, you might start by reading the Ralph M. Brown Open Meetings Act and the California Public Records Act. Also, check out the Voice of OC 101 Civic Guide to local government.
Hold Government Accountable
When assessing governmental ethics compliance, there are four core principles it helps to keep in mind:
- Public officials may not use their offices for personal financial gain.
- Holding public office does not entitle one to personal advantages or perks.
- Transparency promotes public trust and confidence.
- Merit-based decision-making based on fair processes produces the best results for the public.
Irvine Transparency and Ethics Resources
The Transparency Portal – This contains direct links to various information sources, from City records to budget documents to financial reports.
Code of Ethics (Ordinance No. 06-01) – In 2006, the City Council approved a Code of Ethics to support and encourage ethical conduct at every municipal government level.
Ethical Public Service Ordinance (Initiative Ordinance 08-03) – This codified Measure H, was passed by Irvine Voters with 80.9% of the vote in 2018. Irvine Municipal Code Section 1-9-101 through 1-9-104 was amended and an extension of the City’s Code of Ethics.
Sunshine Ordinance (Ordinance18-10) – The Sunshine Ordinance amended Division 15 of the Municipal Code.
Public Document Request Form – Residents can use this form to request any public document similar to a Freedom of Information Request Act (FOI) request. The City will respond within ten working days.
Public Safety Records Requests – In accordance with the California Public Records Act (California Government Code § 6250), any person may request a public record, excluding records exempt from disclosure by law. The Irvine Police Department will respond to your request within ten (10) days of receiving this form.
Conflict of Interest Resolution (Res. No. 20-99) – The Political Reform Act of 1974 (Government Code Section 81000) requires every state or local government agency to adopt a Conflict of Interest Code and conduct a biennial review the code and list of designated positions. The Irvine City Council adopted the model conflict of interest code recommended by the Fair Political Practices Commission of the State of California as outlined in Section 18730 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.
City Integrity Hotline – This anonymous hotline is for employees, vendors, and the public at large to report suspected fraud, waste, or abuse. The City contracted with an independent company, NAVEX Global, to accept calls 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Call 866-428-1509 (toll-free) to report suspected abuse.
Lobbying Ordinance (Municipal Code Division 7) – This ordinance requires registration and regulation of people engaged in lobbying activities that receive compensation of $10,000 or more in a calendar quarter.
Current list of Registered Lobbyists – This list of registered lobbyists compensated $10,000 or more a quarter to lobby the City of Irvine was last updated by the City in July 2019.
Campaign Finance Reporting – Want to track campaign contributions, Political Action Committee (PAC) donations, and Independent Expenditures (Dark Money)? Use these available city resources, but you might also need to access this data through the State of California Transparency Portal.
The California Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) – If you believe a public official or candidate for office may have violated a campaign finance or reporting law, you can easily file an online complaint with the FPPC. The FPPC will review the complaint and determine if it warrants investigation or further action. To search for the status of an existing complaint, go here.
Public Employee Compensation – This public resource provides salary information for public employees. For example, in 2019, the highest-paid Irvine employee was Chief of Police Michael C. Hamel, with total annual pay and benefits of $457,989.28.
Voice of OC Whistleblower Hotlines – If you have information of waste, fraud, abuse, or other inside information of public interest, you can safely and securely contact The Voice of OC. They welcome anonymous tips in a variety of ways:
- Encrypted email: email@example.com
- WhatsApp: 562-301-6281
- Google Voice: 714-558-8642
Participatory democracy requires aggressive public oversight. With the loss of so many local newspapers and the declining number of reporters, the opportunity for local government fraud and abuse has increased. On this Sunshine Week, let’s recommit ourselves to monitoring our local government to keep it transparent, honest, and accountable.