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Ethics Best Practices for First 5 Commissions
Sample Policy Included


First 5 commissions can face interesting challenges relating to public trust in their decision-making processes. State law encourages knowledgeable individuals to participate in First 5 decision-making. 

This can result in situations in which individuals either may be (or may be perceived to be) on both sides of the decision-making process:

  • Influencing funding decisions, and
  • Being a part of organizations that benefit from those very same decisions.

Given this, what options are available for First 5 commissions to promote public trust in commissions’ decision-making processes?

The Institute for Local Government, in collaboration with the First 5 Association of California, has identified created a menu of potential best practices for local First 5 commissions to consider (see materials at right).  The Institute also developed a sample policy document to serve as a vehicle for adopting items from the menu (also at right).

The concept underlying these suggested best practices is that county appointing authorities and local First 5 commissions would evaluate them to determine how many, if any, make sense for a given area. For example, a given county First 5 commission could adopt (and adapt) none, a few or many of these practices as make sense for that area’s individual situation.  For that reason, both documents are offered in both Word and Acrobat forms.

Although the policies are tailored to First 5 commissions, the concepts may stimulate thinking on ethics policy options for other kinds of public agencies.



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