On June 22 during the West Basin Municipal Water District board meeting, the West Basin Board of Directors (pictured left) approved changes to the Code of Conduct as a result of an independent, self-imposed audit conducted by McGladrey LLP. The audit examined several key areas where West Basin could strengthen its policies and procedures which included evaluating director expenses, director sponsorships and outreach programs, along with standardizing forms to ensure better accountability for both West Basin and the organizations who receive our support.
Over the course of several months, the West Basin Board of Directors carefully deliberated the recommendations provided by the auditing firm, and reviewed them extensively during the district’s ethics committees and board meetings. Several recommendations were incorporated into the Code of Conduct such as eliminating individual director sponsorship and outreach funds; establishing a reimbursable expense cap for meals, travel and transportation; and conducting a survey to evaluate per diems, allowances and other expenses.
“I am pleased with the outcome of the audit and the changes that have been implemented into our Code of Conduct,” said Gloria D. Gray, West Basin’s board president. “As board president, it is my top priority to strengthen our processes and improve our transparency and accountability. The changes to the Code of Conduct reflect on our commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards for the communities we serve and ensuring public trust.”
West Basin’s Code of Conduct governs the board of directors in a number of key areas including ethics, conflicts of interest, and travel expenses (including allowable costs, limits and authorization). In addition, it also includes a section on Public Awareness Guidelines that addresses the particular programs including sponsorships and outreach. West Basin’s Ethics Committee meets quarterly or as needed and is responsible to review the Code of Conduct and address compliance related to this policy.
In compliance with the new Code of Conduct, West Basin will conduct a survey at least every three years to assess per diem, allowances and other expenses from comparable agencies. Changes to the board-approved Code of Conduct have also been reflected in West Basin’s Administrative Code.
To view West Basin’s Code of Conduct, please visit www.westbasin.org.