Promoting Ethics in Local Government

A summary of ICMA’s training and technical assistance opportunities, support to members, and ethics enforcement activities.

Martha Perego, ICMA-CM, Director Member Services and Ethics

Promoting an ethical culture is a key leadership responsibility. ICMA promotes the highest standards of ethical conduct in the local government management profession by providing advice, education, and training to members and enforcing the ICMA Code of Ethics through a peer review process. In addition, ICMA provides training and technical assistance to local governments to promote ethical conduct by local government staff, elected officials, and those appointed to serve on boards and commissions.

Ethics Training and Technical Assistance for Local Governments 

Experienced trainers and local government experts are available to provide workshops and other services for your local government. Workshops offer a framework, complete with practical strategies and tools, to help your organization build a more ethical workplace and culture. Special programs are available for elected officials and other targeted groups. Local governments may also work together to offer a multi-jurisdiction program. The ICMA approach is interactive, motivational, and grounded in public service values. Using real world examples, participants will learn how to build ethical habits to deal with the difficult situations that arise.

ICMA offers web and onsite workshops for staff, leadership, elected officials, and boards and commissions on:

§  Ethics at Work

§  Promoting an Ethical Culture

§  The Role of Leaders in Building an Ethical Culture

§  Elected Officials and the Public Trust

§  And more!

For more information about local government ethics workshops and technical assistance services,  contact Martha Perego, Director of Member Services and Ethics at or 202-962-3668.

Ethics Workshops for State Associations

As part of the mission to promote ethical leadership, ICMA offers ethics sessions for state association and affiliate meetings. Two new offerings are   “Ethical Survivor” and “Ethical Jeopardy”.   Both are designed to build knowledge about the ICMA Code of Ethics and ethical issues in a fun and engaging format.  ICMA can also tailor the content of a session to suit the interests and needs of the state association.  For information on how to bring an educational session on this vital topic to your members, please contact Martha Perego, ICMA’s Director of Ethics, 202-962-3668 or via email

Ethics Enforcement

ICMA enforces the Code of Ethics through a formal review process administered by a peer review body, the ICMA Committee on Professional Conduct (CPC).  For the most recent fiscal year, the Committee on Professional Conduct reviewed 19 ethics complaints filed against ICMA members. The reviews resulted in:

  • 2 public censure and membership bar;
  • 1 public censure and Credential revocation;
  • 2 public censures;
  • 5 private censures; and
  • 9 closed cases with or without advice

ICMA Ethics Annual Reports

For more detailed information on ethics violations and efforts to promote ethics in local government, please read the ICMA Ethics Annual Report.

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