National Ethics Awareness Month comes around in March every year—and that’s a good reminder to stop and reflect on the importance of building and maintaining an ethical culture in every local government organization.

But the need for ethics awareness isn’t limited to March. It’s a year-round responsibility for professional local government leaders and a key pillar in ICMA’s strategic plan.

ICMA and its members have a long track record of ethical awareness and conduct in their personal and professional activities, based on the ICMA Code of Ethics and its peer-to-peer enforcement process. Members have shown their dedication by actively participating in ethics-related sessions at state and national conferences, by engaging in debates and discussions about revising the Code’s tenets and guidelines, by forwarding reports of ethically questionable conduct to ICMA for potential scrutiny, and by a steady stream of requests for ethics consultation and advice.

Ethics Resources from ICMA

ICMA supports members, other local government staff, and elected officials with an array of ethics resources:

  • Ethics Matter! A monthly column in Public Management (PM) magazine offers practical advice on ethics issues and challenges plus insights on real-world scenarios. Read this one: “Stay in Your Own Lane.”
  • Ethics 101. This flexible online ethics training course helps ensure that local government staff have a proper grounding in the organization’s values and can deal with ethics issues that arise on the job. Learn more.
  • Ethics Workshops and Technical Assistance. Review the offerings for leadership, staff, elected officials, boards, and commissions, and select the ones that best serve your organization’s needs.
  • Ethics Enforcement. ICMA’s peer-based enforcement process helps maintain and strengthen the reputation of local government professionals for unimpeachable ethical conduct. See the Rules of Procedure for enforcement.
  • Confidential Ethics Advice. Martha Perego, ICMA’s director of member services and ethics (; 202-962-3668) offers ethics advice on request to help members navigate ethical dilemmas and make sound decisions. Ask before you act!

Tap these resources from ICMA to make every month Ethics Awareness Month.


ICMA Code of Ethics (Full Version with Guidelines)

ICMA Code of Ethics (Tenets Only, Suitable for Framing)



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