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Understanding Fair Process Laws and Merit-Based Decision-Making


This piece explains California ethics laws relating to fair processes laws and public office.

Designed for local officials, the material covers issues such as:

  • The Public’s Right to Fair and Unbiased Decision-Makers
  • The Prohibition Against Vote-Trading
  • Restrictions on Personal Loans to Public Officials
  • Restrictions on Participation in Decisions that May Benefit an Official’s Family
  • Disqualification from Decision-Making Based on Receipt of Campaign Contributions
  • Restrictions on Campaign Support from Agency Staff
  • Restrictions on Holding Multiple Public Offices
  • Requirements for Competitive Bidding Processes for Public Contracts
  • Protections for Whistle-Blowers

This piece is chapter five of a more extensive publication (Understanding the Basics of Public Service Ethics) that explains all California ethics laws.


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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