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Employee Codes of Ethics


The November 2011 issue of Public Management Magazine includes an interesting article on a bottom-up approach to developing an employee code of ethics. Authors Kevin Duggan and Kevin Woodhouse detail the process of developing and, most importantly, implementing a code of ethics.

Here’s the language of the code the City of Mountain View staff developed for itself:

As a city employee, I will be guided by prudent judgment and personal responsibility, whether serving the public or working with colleagues, and my decisions and actions will be made according to the following ethical principles:

– I will uphold the city’s policies in a transparent and consistent manner at all times.

– I will make unbiased decisions and use my authority fairly and responsibly.

– I will act with honesty and be an advocate for an environment that promotes public trust.

– I will not use city resources or my position for personal gain.

– I will be mindful of how my actions may be perceived by others and avoid conflicts of interest.

The authors note that, unlike some codes, the Mountain View code was not developed in response to a real or perceived lapse.

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