ICMA / Ethics / Enforcement

Enforcing the ICMA Code of Ethics

The ICMA Rules of Procedure, adopted by the ICMA Executive Board, govern the process for enforcing the ICMA Code of Ethics as adopted by the ICMA membership.

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The standards of ethical conduct for the local government management profession are outlined in the 12 Tenets of the ICMA Code of Ethics.  All ICMA members must adhere to the Code although only Tenets 1 and 3 apply to individuals who are elected officials, fully retired or not serving in local government. As a professional association, ICMA enforces the Code of Ethics with its members through a formal review process administered by a peer review body, the ICMA Committee on Professional Conduct.  The Rules of Procedure for Enforcement of the Code are designed to provide a reasonable process for investigating and determining whether a member has violated the Code, and to afford each individual member who is the subject of an investigation a full and fair opportunity to be heard throughout the process.  The confidential review process begins when a written complaint is filed with ICMA accompanied by sufficient supporting documentation.  If the alleged misconduct is a potential violation of the Code, ICMA initiates the review process by providing the member with the opportunity to address the allegation. The process provides for the appointment of a fact-finding committee where additional documentation is required. At the conclusion of the review process, the Committee on Professional Conduct is authorized to close a case where no violation has occurred; issue a private censure for an ethics violation; or recommend that the ICMA Executive Board suspend, publicly censure and/or expel, bar or revoke the credential of a member who has violated the Code of Ethics. Members are afforded the opportunity to appeal any decision or recommendation of the Committee.  

For detailed information on how the process works, please review the ICMA Rules of Procedure for Enforcement of the Code of Ethics.

To file a complaint or obtain additional information about the process, contact Martha Perego, ICMA's Director of Ethics at mperego@icma.org or 202.962.3668 or Jared Dailey, Program Manager at jdailey@icma.org or 202.962.3557.