If Elected . . . I will be an ethics advocate?

Elected officials are often viewed as self-serving and worse, unethical. The popular chant “to throw the bums out of office” is not without some merit. In an effort to put an end to this unfortunate public image and promote good government, the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission of Northwest Indiana drafted a “Candidate Ethics Action Pledge” in 2014 and secured signed pledges from more than 170 candidates seeking elected office this past November. Here’s the pledge:

If elected to the office I seek, I commit myself to being an advocate for ethical practices within my realm of responsibility. Specifically, I commit to making formal ethics training available to all employees subject to my authority. Further, I will promote and support policies and procedures that include an Ethics Code reflecting the spirit of the Code of Shared Ethics and Values of the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission.

 In addition, I will advocate for and support adoption of enforcement procedures which permit employees to raise ethical concerns in a manner that protects them from retribution.

 Questions to ponder:

Do your local governments have an ethics pledge for candidates seeking elected offices? If not, should there be one?

  1. Please note that the pledge does not ask or require a candidate to be ethical. Rather, the candidate who signs is expected to be an “advocate for ethical practices.” Should a candidate pledge to be ethical?


For more information about the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission, please visit www.sharedethics.com

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