The County Voice

ILG Offers Updated Ethics Resources

State and federal law create a complex set of requirements that guide California elected officials and agency staff in serving their communities. To help local officials navigate these laws, the Institute for Local Government (ILG,) in conjunction with CSAC, recently updated two of its flagship ethics resources: Understanding the Basics of Public Service Ethics Laws and Ethics Law Principles for Public Servants: Key Things to Know. Both publications are available as free downloads. 

The recent update ensures that these resources reflect current California law and regulations. The two publications include information about fair processes, transparency, consequences, federal ethics laws and regulations related to personal gain, gifts and other perks.

AB 1234 Ethics Training

California law (AB 1234) requires local officials to be trained periodically about public service ethics laws and principles. ILG offers training and self-test options, including two one-hour self-study exercises, to help local officials comply with this law. The self-study materials can also be used to make up for time missed at in-person sessions if the official either arrived late or left early. Visit www.ca-ilg.org/ab1234selfstudy to learn more.

ILG also works with counties to train local officials and staff. Contact ethicsmailbox@ca-ilg.org for more information on how to schedule an ethics workshop in your area.

Ethics Webinars and More

ILG recently completed a series of webinars on ethics-related topics, including:

  • Form 700 and Recent Updates to FPPC Regulations;
  • Promoting Personal and Organizational Ethics;
  • Abstentions and Disqualifications: Conflicts of Interest and When to Step Aside; and
  • The Brown Act.

These webinars can be accessed at www.ca-ilg.org/pastwebinars.

The law provides an ethical floor — not a ceiling — for elected officials. To assist counties that want to go beyond the requirements of ethics law, ILG developed the Good Governance Checklist (www.ca-ilg.org/goodgovernance). The checklist helps local officials and staff:

  • Identify practices they can implement to promote public trust and confidence;
  • Comply with California law; and
  • Minimize the risk of missteps that can undermine public trust.

ILG also offers an archive of informative articles from its “Everyday Ethics for Local Officials” series. The articles analyze common ethical dilemmas and offer helpful tips for public officials. Find all of the “Everyday Ethics” columns at www.ca-ilg.org/everydayethics.

To learn more about ILG’s ethics and transparency work, visit www.ca-ilg.org/ethics.

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