|DECATUR, GA—DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson introduced a resolution on April 11 designed to establish a Business Code of Conduct that will make it mandatory for vendors and contractors to report any pending litigation or violations of federal, state and municipal laws, as well as any material changes in their corporate structure within 14 days of the change.
The proposed ordinance was heard on April 11 in the Finance, Audit and Budget Committee.
The policy is designed to make effective governance possible by enforcing a responsible procurement policy to ensure the DeKalb Governing Authority is fully aware of matters involving contractors.
The resolution was drafted following reports of pending litigations against DeKalb County contractors that were first revealed through local news sources.
“One of the fundamental responsibilities of the DeKalb Governing Authority is to award essential contracts to provide needed goods and services,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “As the Governing Authority, we must actively seek to prevent improper business practices and personal conflicts of interests in contracting, and provide safeguards for the maintenance of procurement integrity, public trust and equity in the purchasing process. This resolution seeks to ensure we do not learn of pending litigation and changes in the corporate structure of contractors and vendors on the news or in a newspaper article.”
The new Code of Conduct will become part of the DeKalb County Procurement Policy if passed by the Board of Commissioners. To ensure best practices, the policy requires all companies seeking to do business with DeKalb County to receive a Business Code of Conduct that must be read, signed, dated and returned to the county as a part of the vendor application process. New businesses that fail to sign the document will not be approved as vendors, while existing vendors will be required to sign the Business Code of Conduct or have their approved status revoked until the document has been received.
In addition, contractors facing a federal, state or municipal lawsuit must report such litigation in writing within 10 days to DeKalb County. Failure to provide such notice may result in the termination of all contracts and permanent revocation as a vendor with DeKalb County.
“My only goal is good policy and full disclosure by vendors, so the County can monitor outcomes and make necessary decisions with full knowledge,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson
To view the Mandatory Vendor Reporting Resolution, click here.