Members serving in local governments may leverage their expertise to serve as a consultant or engage in other outside employment as long as the activity does not create a conflict with their official position or prevent them from effectively carrying out all aspects of their permanent position. Members should obtain prior approval of the organization, comply with any internal regulations regarding outside employment, ensure that no public resources are used for private employment, and be clear and accurate in taking vacation or other leave as appropriate. For members serving as the local government manager, there is the added concern that significant absences from the office might create the appearance that your focus and full attention is no longer on your organization. 

Tenet 12.  Public office is a public trust. A member shall not leverage his or her position for personal gain or benefit.

Guideline on Private Employment.  Members should not engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or promise to accept private employment, nor should they render services for private interests or conduct a private business when such employment, service, or business creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of their official duties.

Teaching, lecturing, writing, or consulting are typical activities that may not involve conflict of interest, or impair the proper discharge of their official duties. Prior notification of the appointing authority is appropriate in all cases of outside employment.


Ethical scenarios from PM’s Ethics Matter!

The Moonlighting Employee (2004)