On April 17, the District of Columbia ethics board filed
recommendations for ethics reform with the council (see my
blog post on the recommendations
). Council member Kenyan R.
McDuffie has introduced a bill that includes some of these
recommendations (attached; see below). On
October 7, a hearing on the bill will be held
by the council's
Committee on Government Operations.
For the most part, only the ethics board's miscellaneous
recommendations are included in this bill. These were among its best
recommendations. But the ethics program needs more than changes here
and changes there, especially changes focused on enforcement. It needs to put the essential elements of a
government ethics program into place. It's good to see that there is
a commitment to continuing improvement, but it's not clear that
there is a vision in the District of what the ethics program should be or of what
the priorities are.
Here are the most important changes in the bill, with my comments.