On May 27, 2015, Decree No. 56,130/15 ("Decree") was published establishing a Code of Conduct for Public Agents and Senior Public Administration Managers ("Code of Conduct") within the executive branch of the Municipality of São Paulo ("PMSP"). Additionally, on May 5, the Mayor of the City of São Paulo signed Municipal Law No. 16,193/15, regulating the work of public government managers within the PMSP and introducing a new professional level called "Super Inspectors".
The Code of Conduct applies to, and is binding upon, public agents within the PMSP. Pursuant to the Decree, a public agent is any person who, even if temporarily or without pay, exercises a mandate, position, job or function in the direct or indirect municipal public administration by reason of election, appointment, designation or contract, and it includes senior managers within the public administration who are tasked with specific duties (each a "Municipal Public Agent").
Among other things, the Code of Conduct prohibits a Municipal Public Agent from accepting gifts, benefits or any advantage except those arising from awards. Pursuant to the Decree, a Municipal Public Agent may receive gifts with no commercial value, promotional gifts or other gifts that are distributed during special events or holidays, as long as they do not exceed the amount of R$ 100.00 (one hundred reais). In addition, a Municipal Public Agent is prohibited from receiving remuneration or any other compensation from private entities or individuals, and from receiving transportation, lodging, meals or any other favor that may generate ethical issues for him/her.
A Municipal Public Agent may participate in seminars, conferences and similar events in connection with his/her official position, as long as he/she informs the Municipality's Comptroller General of any possible remuneration for his/her participation in such events. Travel expenses in respect of these events may be covered by event sponsors provided that the sponsor has no interest in any of the Municipal Public Agent's official duties.
One of the highlights of Municipal Law No. 16,193/2015 is the creation of a new level of professionals called Super Inspectors who are responsible for, among others things, promoting public transparency and engaging society in preventing corruption.
These new regulations demonstrate the PMSP's interest in avoiding actions which may be harmful to the municipal public administration and the expectation is that the PMSP will become more effective in combating such actions, particularly corruption.