making local government more ethical

Best practices in municipal ethics programs

Cities across the United States are creating and expanding Ethics Commissions, Ethics Offices and Inspector Generals in order to fight corruption and establish higher ethical standards for their governments.

I will be posting some of the best ideas from these programs on this site.

If you have comments on what is written, good, bad or just a stray idea, please comment!

Carla Miller, president, City Ethics.

The first BEST PRACTICE entry is "Ethics Program Essentials".
These are key points to consider when starting an ethics program. Click HERE to go to the full description.

Ethics Program Essentials

  • Ethics Officer
  • Transparency
  • Hot Lines and Whistle-Blower Protection
  • Values Based Program
  • Ethics Code
  • Advice
  • Independent Ethics Commission
  • Training
  • Financial Disclosure
  • Campaign Financing, Elections

10 problem areas

(From the Josephson Institute)

  • Gifts/Golf/Sports Events/Freebies
  • Special Loans/Deals
  • Consulting Fees
  • Government Contracts
  • Honoraria and Speaking Fees
  • Using Government Resources (Internet; Cars)
  • Hiring Relatives
  • Leaving Government (who do you work for?)
  • Political Intervention
  • Whistle-Blowing/Retaliation

Visitor says:

Thanks for your post. I'm a citizen of a municipality that is so corrupt, even the officials joke about it. I'd like to put together a group of people to pressure the city council to form an ethics commission but didn't know where to start.

This looks like a good starting point.