Ethics Count

By Woody, Marsi; DeCorte, Melinda | The Journal of Government Financial Management, Spring 2017 | Go to article overview

Ethics Count


Woody, Marsi, DeCorte, Melinda, The Journal of Government Financial Management


As chair and vice chair of AGA's Professional Ethics Board, we are honored to help guide the ethics column in a new direction. You will hear from various board members in this column going forward, as we hope to share ways in which ethics touches our daily lives.

One thing we hear often is people don't understand what the ethics board is or why it exists. The quick answer is the board oversees all aspects of AGA's ethics program. It exists to elevate awareness and dissemination of information on ethics for AGA members and individuals who hold the Certified Government Financial Manager® (CGFM®) designation. The nine-member board is also responsible for maintaining and interpreting AGA's Code of Ethics; and the National Executive Committee has delegated us the authority to oversee investigations of alleged violations.

So, what does this mean, on a practical level? It means we expect all members to adhere to the Code of Ethics, and when you witness a violation at an AGA event among members or CGFMs, you should bring it to our attention. This does not include issues that happen in your workplace - those are the purview of your employer.

Ethics is at the core of everything we do, both personally and professionally. Ethics touches every decision we make. And, indeed, ethics is bigger than each person or any community. Ethics shapes the world we live in, and the environment we create for ourselves and those around us.

As such, ethics must be sustainable. Our ethics must not fluctuate or be swayed by outside forces. They must get us through the easiest times - when temptations are few and resources are plenty, and the hardest times - when gray areas abound and what's "right" is murkier.

At its core, sustainability is an ethics issue: the ethics of taking care of the planet, yes, but also the ethics of efficiently using tax dollars in a sustainable manner, and for the greater good. …

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