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Ethics and Public Confidence

Overview

Ethics and Public Confidence

The Institute has produced a number of publications designed to help local officials meet both the legal requirements and the public’s expectations of public servants.

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Understanding the Basics of Public Service Ethics Laws

Ethics laws are designed to preserve the public’s trust in its public institutions and those who serve in them by setting a framework to guide conduct and behavior. This guide discusses several types of ethics laws and principles and their important role in public service.

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Ethics Booklets

These are other resources the Institute has produced over the years to assist local officials on various aspect of ethics.

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Ethics Pamphlets

These are short-format pieces designed to convey information quickly to busy local officials.

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Developing a Local Agency Ethics Code: A Process-Oriented Guide

To respond to local agencies’ interest in understanding more about the hows and whys of adopting ethics codes, the Institute developed a guide to walk them through the process.

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Ethics Codes versus Local Conflict of Interest Codes

California’s Political Reform Act requires local agencies to adopt local conflict of interest codes.

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Codes of Campaign Conduct

A public commitment to campaign honorably can promote the right tone in campaigns. 

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Tips to Keep in Mind When Creating an Ethics Commission

San Diego’s Ethics Commission Executive Director helpfully shared this advice with the Sacramento City Charter Review Commission.

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Assessing An Agency’s Ethics Culture: A Tool

A key question for local agencies is the degree to which ethical standards influence decision-making by both the agency and individuals within the agency.  The Institute for Local Government and International City/County Management Association have developed a tool to assist agencies in answering this question.

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Local Regulation of Lobbyists
August and October 2012

This two-part article by Institute volunteer attorney Dan Purnell explains the regulatory tools some local agencies have used to create more transparency relating to efforts to persuade local decision-makers.

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Understanding Transparency Laws

This piece explains California ethics laws relating to public agency transparency.

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Ethics Systems Toolkit
George Mason University Student Project

Ethics Survival: A Local Government Manager’s Guide to Assessing Ethical Health and Administering Necessary Care to Ethics Programs is a graduate student group project.

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Readings on Ethics

The Institute’s thinking on values-based leadership has been influenced by the writings of Rushworth M. Kidder at the Institute for Global Ethics.  

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