Use of City Property

No Use for Private Advantage
City property cannot be used for personal gain or the private advantage of any official, employee, other person, or a private entity.  City property includes city vehicles, equipment, materials, labor, services, and records.

Example:  An employee who sells cosmetics may not operate her business during city hours or using city equipment.  She may not send city emails to co-workers about the latest products, post flyers next to the elevator, or take orders during her work hours.


Example:  An employee whose personal vehicle is being repaired cannot reserve a city vehicle to drive to and from work while his personal vehicle is in the shop.

Official City Business
There is an exception that allows officials and employees to use city property when the City has a stated public policy that the use is for official city business.  City officials and employees are conducting official city business when they act in an official capacity and perform official duties on behalf of the City.

The city’s official business does not include an activity or event done solely for the personal benefit of an individual, such as a political campaign activity, a private business transaction, or an event sponsored by a private or non-city group.  To determine whether the use of city property or city funds serve a public purpose or is official city business, it is important to examine the purpose of the event, project, or expenditure, and whether it furthers a city policy or departmental mission contained in the City Charter, ordinance, resolution, administrative or executive order, or court order.

Example:  A member of the City Council may use the Atrium to host a reception honoring volunteers who serve on city boards and as neighborhood planning unit officers, but may not use it to host a fund-raiser for a private school without paying the rental fee normally charged the public.

Example:  An employee may not use a city-issued credit card to pay for personal purchases.  It does not matter that the employee intends to reimburse the City for the charges made.

No Use for Politics or Private Fundraising

City property generally may not be used to advocate any candidate for political office.  There are exceptions to this general rule when the property is made available for political forums where the forum is open to all candidates in a specific race or where the general public is invited to attend the event.

City employees may not endorse candidates, participate in political advertisements, or engage in political activity while on duty, wearing an official uniform, or using a city vehicle.  

City letterhead cannot be used to solicit donations or raise funds on behalf of a non-profit community group that is not affiliated with the City.  It may be used to solicit donations for the Mayor’s Cup and Mayor’s Bowl to benefit two city programs for young people, Camp Best Friends and The First Tee.

Code of Ethics

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68 Mitchell Street, SW
Suite 1100
Atlanta, GA 30303