Report 2015-102 Recommendation 2 Responses

Report 2015-102: Central Basin Municipal Water District: Its Board of Directors Has Failed to Provide the Leadership Necessary for It to Effectively Fulfill Its Responsibilities (Release Date: December 2015)

Recommendation #2 To: Central Basin Municipal Water District

To better address potential ethical violations, the district should implement by June 2016 a means for investigating board members' and staff's potential violations of the district's code of conduct and conflict-of-interest code that would insulate those investigations from undue influence from either the board or the general manager.

60-Day Agency Response

On January 25, 2016, the Board of Directors adopted revisions to the Administration & Ethics Committee Policy (Administrative Code Part 3, Chapter 9, Article 1, Section 1.4) which addresses a process for handling potential ethical violations of the District's code of conduct and conflict of interest code. The revisions consist of the following: 1) Language to provide clarity on the roles of the Committee members, staff and General Counsel; 2) Explanation of the two part system and process to be put in place; 3) Language to provide clarity on how alleged ethics violations on the part of the General Manager, General Counsel or the Administration and Ethics Committee will be reported; and 4) Language to provide clarity on possible penalties if a violation is determined.

The two part system includes an independent and confidential ethics hotline service provider and an independent review of potential ethics violations by a third party investigating law firm.

In December 2015, the Board was informed by staff that an informal solicitation process was conducted and that the District would be entering into a contract under the General Manager's authority with Lighthouse to serve as the independent ethics hotline provider. Additionally, after solicitation of Statement of Qualifications from four investigating law firms by the District's General Counsel (Nossaman) and interviews conducted by the Board on January 15, 2016, the Board has selected Nixon Peabody as the independent investigative law firm (selection was approved on January 25, 2016).

  • Completion Date: February 2016
  • Response Date: January 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented

All Recommendations in 2015-102

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.