The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey introduced a lessee code of ethics Wednesday as part of its comprehensive integrity program adopted by the board of commissioners in September 2017.
The Lessee Code of Ethics requires that lessees and lessee employees comply with Port Authority guidelines and standards, including:
- Maintenance of accurate books and records
- Following all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations
- Honest reporting including reporting of Minority, Women-owned, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation
- A zero-tolerance policy toward offering gifts to Port Authority employees
- Fair employment practices and interactions with the public and all workers
- Guidance on the treatment of confidential information, intellectual property, Port Authority information technology
- Whistleblower protections
The code prohibits lessees from causing any former Port Authority employees to violate their post-employment obligations, such as a new two-year bar on marketing business to the Port Authority including solicitations, bids or proposals seeking new leases, new contracts or new business arrangements with the Port Authority.
“The Port Authority has committed to building a culture of compliance and integrity and continues to take concrete steps essential to meet this foundational pledge to the public we serve,” said Kevin O’Toole, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The Lessee Code of Ethics along with the previously released ethics codes ensure the highest standards of ethical and legal compliance not only within the agency but with our many private sector partners.”
The Lessee Code applies to a broad range of contractual relationships that allow third party business entities to occupy, use, or access Port Authority property for the purpose of conducting their business. This includes but is not limited to leases, sub-leases, concessions agreements, and space and privilege permits at transportation facilities operated by the Aviation, Rail, Port, Real Estate, and Tunnels, Bridges, and Terminals departments. Because all these entities play roles in maintaining the orderly and safe operation of Port Authority facilities and properties, the Port Authority has issued the Lessee Code to align all businesses operating at Port Authority facilities with the agency’s high standards of integrity.
More than 1,193 lessees and third-party entities are registered to do business with the Port Authority and will be subject to the Lessee Code of Ethics.