The City of Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has created an Office of Ethics and Business Conduct to establish new ethical standards for the city department that operates the four city airports — Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) — and to oversee all complaints of suspected ethical misconduct.

The commissioners directed airport officials Monday, October 17th, to establish and maintain an Office of Ethics and Business Conduct to create and oversee a code of ethics.

The airport department was also directed to provide a confidential means for employees, contractors, consultants and others to report instances of suspected misconduct, without fear of reprisal.

“The Office of Ethics and Business Conduct will establish the highest standards of conduct to enhance the public’s trust in our local government,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “Public service is an honor and with it goes responsibility.”

“Every decision must be made in the public’s best interest,” the mayor emphasized.

One of the first actions of the new ethics office will be to conduct an all-employee survey to measure employee attitudes, knowledge and perceptions of the current ethical climate within the airport department.

“High standards of ethics and business conduct are a prerequisite for everything we want to achieve at our airports,” airport executive director Lydia H. Kennard said.

Kennard said she will appoint an interim director of ethics and business conduct shortly.

The resolution approved unanimously by the airport commission also directed the airport department to:

n publish and distribute a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct;

n develop an initial module for training all employees on their responsibilities under the Code of Conduct;

n develop tools and communication devices to reinforce the airport department’s commitment to the highest standards of ethics and business conduct;

n establish a convenient and confidential means for employees, contractors, consultants and others to inquire about ethics issues, raise concerns, and report instances of suspected misconduct, without fear of reprisal; and

n provide a series of on-line training modules to educate employees on rules, regulations and laws they need to know to properly do their jobs.

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