There is fallout from last night’s I-Team report on the mayor’s press secretary, Peter Ragone.
Late today, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin sponsored a resolution that would set a code of conduct for Ragone and other press officers for the city. This comes after we revealed Ragone apparently has been using phony names to post on popular blogs, including the I-Team and SFist.com, building up the mayor and blasting his critics. It was especially troubling for Peskin the lengths we’ve had to go to, to get a comment from Mayor Newsom.
Here is the resolution on the code of conduct in its entirety:
Public Information Officer Conduct Standards
Resolution establishing standards for the conduct of the City’s Public Information Officers.
WHEREAS, The first responsibility of all City employees is to earn and preserve the trust of the citizens it serves; and,
WHEREAS, Public Information Officers are the primary liaisons between the City, its citizens and the media; and,
WHEREAS, Public Information Officers serve a vital public function in our democratic system of government; and,
WHEREAS, It is critically important that Public Information are viewed by citizens and the media as honest and trustworthy brokers of information and to adhere to the highest ethical standards in doing so; and,
WHEREAS, Deception and disinformation severely damages the public trust and limits the City’s ability to serve the public; and,
WHEREAS, The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) lists as one of it’s core principles “protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society”; now, therefore, be it,
RESOLVED, It is the policy of the City and County of San Francisco that its Public Information Officers and Spokespeople hold themselves to the highest ethical standards, including:
1) Advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information to the public and the press.
2) Strive to disclose accurate information, not to hide it from the public.
3) Respond in a timely and professional manner to all inquiries by the press and public.
4) Guard the public trust by disseminating all requested information and avoiding false representations in accordance with the law.
5) Adhere to the PRSA Code of Ethics.
And, be it, FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors provide this resolution as well as the PRSA code of ethics to all Public Information Officers and Department Heads, including elected Department Heads.
As you can see, the resolution refers to the Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics. You can read that here.