2011 St. Louis County Government Ethics Quiz

10 Questions | Total Attempts: 48

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2011 St. Louis County Government Ethics Quiz

The quiz consists of 10 ethics scenarios based on actual situations encountered by County employees. Apply the basic principles of public service and your knowledge of the St. Louis County Government to each situation. In each case there is one best response or approach that will resolve the ethical dilemma. Correct responses and explanation appear once you have submitted your answers.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    We are hard-working employees and are doing our best to continue important county initiatives with fewer resources. Each year, our department holds an annual event that is central to our mission. We have always provided refreshments and paid for them out of our budget. This year, we’d like to ask local businesses to help us out with free snacks and coffee. May we solicit these businesses?
    • A. 

      Yes

    • B. 

      No

  • 2. 
    Joe supervises a crew of County employees that pave public streets.  At the end of the day, Joe asks crew members to stop by his house to finish paving his new driveway.  The house is on the way back to the County.  As Joe’s co-worker, how would you advise him?
    • A. 

      The crew can do the job because they finished their assigned work early.

    • B. 

      Using the crew to pave Joe’s driveway is an abuse of his authority.

    • C. 

      It’s okay as long as Joe pays them for the work.

    • D. 

      As a supervisor, Joe is in charge and can tell the crew to do anything he wants.

  • 3. 
    It is holiday time and a vendor that you have been working with through the entire year brings you a bottle of White Zinfandel as a “thank you” for all of your assistance.  Do you:
    • A. 

      Accept the bottle of Zinfandel, but bring it home to share with your family and friends.

    • B. 

      Tell the vendor that you appreciate the thought, but you are not allowed to accept alcohol.

    • C. 

      Tell the vendor that you appreciate the thought, but you cannot accept any gift from a vendor.

    • D. 

      Accept the bottle and bring it to the office holiday party.

  • 4. 
    You were offered 2 tickets to a Cardinal game by a vendor that you have worked with for many years.  Is it ok to accept the tickets and go to the game?
    • A. 

      No. You cannot accept any gift from a vendor.

    • B. 

      Yes. As long as you are going to the game on your own time.

    • C. 

      Yes. You can accept the tickets, provided you bring someone else from work to the game with you.

    • D. 

      Yes. You accept the tickets and sell them. You put the money toward the “adopt a family” program.

  • 5. 
    Several employees in your work area need to use a software program, but the office only has one copy of the program.  Is it ok to copy the program onto each employee’s computer?
    • A. 

      Yes, because it will help expedite the work process and your office has a license

    • B. 

      No. Each employee must take turns using the one copy that you have a license for.

    • C. 

      Yes, provided you only use it while in the office

  • 6. 
    Your manager asked you to review bids from several vendors and recommend one for the department’s business needs.  You notice that one of the lowest bids is from a friend of yours who you know does really good work.  What should you do?
    • A. 

      Tell your manager that you know one of the bidders personally and therefore you should remove yourself from the review process in order to avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest.

    • B. 

      Keep it to yourself and just give your manager your unbiased feedback.

  • 7. 
    You use a county car to conduct an inspection of a local restaurant. On the way back to the office, you want to stop by the cleaners to pick up your work shirts. The store is on your exact route. What’s the right thing to do?
    • A. 

      Take care of the errand on your own time using your own car.

    • B. 

      Park a block from the dry cleaners so no one will know you used a county car.

    • C. 

      Use the county car to do your personal errand on your lunch hour.

    • D. 

      It’s so close – there is no harm in stopping off.

  • 8. 
    You have a co-worker who has a small thriving business selling cosmetics outside of her work for the County.  You notice that she sometimes uses her work computer during her lunch hour and after work to prepare invoices and reply to orders.  Are her activities an ethics violation?
    • A. 

      No. It doesn’t matter what people do on their own time.

    • B. 

      Yes. She is using County resources for profit and should conduct her private business outside of the office, using her own resources.

    • C. 

      No. She has two children and should be commended for being so hard-working!

    • D. 

      Yes. But she’s not hurting anyone so what’s the problem?

  • 9. 
    You have been approved to work from home for the next six months.  You have been issued a County computer and it includes access to the internet.  After a long day, you take a moment to check your listing on eBay to see if you have made a sale.  Is there an ethics issue here?
    • A. 

      No, you’ve worked hard all day and now this is on your own time.

    • B. 

      Yes, you are using a County resource for profit which is prohibited.

    • C. 

      No, the use is brief and infrequent so there should not be a problem.

  • 10. 
    You are secretary to a division manager. A supervisor from another department stops by your desk and asks you to fax some documents for her. She says that she’s in a hurry and could you do it right away? After you’ve faxed the documents, you notice they are for stock purchases and you know the fax machine should not be used for that purpose. What do you do?
    • A. 

      Pull the plug on the fax machine now!

    • B. 

      Send an e-mail to your supervisor right away explaining the situation and asking for resolution

    • C. 

      Don’t tell anyone since you might get into trouble

    • D. 

      Make a stock buy of your own based on the documents.

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