Understanding ICMA's Ethics Enforcement Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

By Perego, Martha | Public Management, May 2015 | Go to article overview

Understanding ICMA's Ethics Enforcement Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


Perego, Martha, Public Management


Based purely on the trends, the likelihood that a member will go through the ICMA ethics enforcement process sometime in his or her career is reasonably low. With a total membership of more than 9,500, ICMA receives only 30 to 40 ethics complaints annually.

The lack of familiarity with the enforcement process, though, generates a number of questions when incidents of wrongdoing hit the light of day. Given the profession's commitment to accountability, making sure that the process for enforcing the Code is clear and understood is important.

Here are the answers to 10 frequently asked questions:

Who is covered by the Code of Ethics? As a condition of membership, all ICMA members agree to comply with the Code. Members who are working for a local government, special district, municipal league, or council of governments, on a full-time, part-time, or interim basis, or as an intern, must adhere to the entire Code.

Members who are working in another field, students, and retirees must follow Tenets 1 (Democracy) and Tenet 3 (Integrity).

What constitutes a valid complaint? Filing a complaint with ICMA is a simple, straightforward process: Put it in writing, clearly outline the alleged misconduct, and support the allegation with documentation.

With a valid complaint in hand, the next test is whether the alleged misconduct, if proven to be true, would actually violate the Code of Ethics. If the answer is yes, ICMA will proceed with an ethics inquiry.

Unsure if something is really worthy of review? You can discuss the matter with ICMA staff on a confidential basis. No action is taken until a formal complaint is filed.

Does the ethics complaint process end if the member quits ICMA? No! Once a case has been opened, ICMA will continue the process to its conclusion. That said, ICMA cannot open a case with a former member unless that person agrees to participate.

Who complains? The good news is that ICMA members are the most common source of ethics complaints. That shows a level of commitment by the profession to pay attention and police its own. Complaints also come from elected officials and residents who know about ICMA's standards.

Anonymous complaints get processed as well, but only if supported by the requisite documentation. ICMA has a long-standing practice of taking complaints from individuals who do not wish to go on record as the complainant. They are not anonymous, just confidential.

Is it really confidential? The entire review process is confidential, unless and until it results in a finding by the ICMA Executive Board that a member has violated the Code and the appropriate sanction is a public one. Absent that, every ICMA member must maintain confidentiality about the review.

What about the member's point of view? The process begins with the assumption of innocence. After all, the information presented may not be accurate. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Understanding ICMA's Ethics Enforcement Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.