ICMA Code of Ethics

Promoting an ethical culture in local government management has been at the very core of ICMA’s mission since the membership adopted the first ICMA Code of Ethics (Code) in 1924. The Code expresses the professional and personal conduct expected of ICMA members as well as defines the values that serve as the basis for building and maintaining trust in the local government management profession.


As a condition for joining ICMA, an individual agrees to adhere the Code. An ICMA member in service to a local government, or special district, municipal league, or council of governments regardless of whether it is on a full-time, part-time, or interim basis, or as an intern must comply with the entire Code. Members who are working in another field, students, or retirees must follow Tenets 1 (Democracy) and Tenet 3 (Integrity). Tenet 7 (Political activity) does not apply to elected officials.

ICMA has no jurisdiction to review the conduct of non-members. Before proceeding to file an ethics complaint with ICMA, please verify the membership status of the individual through the Who’s Who database. There will be a banner indicating “ICMA Member” for those current members. Please note many individuals have created a profile in Who’s Who but this does not necessarily mean the individual is a member of ICMA.


ICMA encourages individuals who have questions about filing an official complaint to contact Camilla Posthill, ethics senior program manager, at cposthill@icma.org.