Ethics Tools

Overview

Ethics Tools
Mechanisms for Promoting Public Service Ethics

What options are available to local officials who are interested in promoting public service ethics within their agency? Realistically, there is no silver bullet for achieving a culture of ethics within an agency. It takes hard work, strong leadership and a sustained effort. 

Are there other tools out there that have worked for your agency? Please feel encouraged to share your experiences by posting a comment on what has worked and what hasn’t for your agency.

“No great achievement is possible without persistent work”–Bertrand Russel

Overview

Audits

Periodic audits can help elected officials and agency managers make sure that public resources are properly used.  Audits of agency functions are a way local agencies can underscore their commitment to ethics and ensure that any misuse of public resources is detected and investigated. 

Overview

What Is An Ethics Assessment?

To what extent do ethical standards influence decision-making by both the agency and individuals within the agency?   An assessment can help an agency answer this question.

Overview

Local Agency Ethics Codes

Even though California has an extensive set of ethics laws to guide public officials’ behavior, local agencies sometimes find it helpful to adopt their own codes of ethics.  As the materials in this section explain, such codes have a variety of functions.

Overview

Ethics Commissions

What is an ethics commission and should my agency develop one? The materials in this section discuss the role of an ethics commission and issues to ponder if your agency is interested in forming one.

Overview

Local Lobbying Regulations

Some local agencies impose disclosure requirements and other restrictions on those who are paid to influence local agency decision-makers.  Such regulations are another option local agencies have for increasing public trust and confidence in the decision-making process.

Commands