Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Melissa Kuehne

ILG Releases Updated Ethics Resources

Melissa Kuehne is communications and development manager for the Institute for Local Government and can be reached at

State and federal law create a complex set of requirements that guide California elected officials and agency staff in serving their communities. To help local officials navigate these laws, ILG recently updated two of its flagship ethics resources: Understanding the Basics of Public Service Ethics Laws ( and Ethics Law Principles for Public Servants: Key Things to Know ( Both publications are available as free downloads.

The 2016 update ensures that these resources reflect current California law and regulations. The two publications include information about fair processes, transparency, consequences, federal ethics laws and regulations related to personal gain, gifts and other perks.

AB 1234 Ethics Training

California law (AB 1234, Chapter 700, Statutes of 2005) requires local officials to be trained periodically about public service ethics laws and principles. ILG offers training and self-test options, including two one-hour self-study exercises, to help local officials comply with this law. The self-study materials can also be used to make up for time missed at in-person sessions if the official either arrived late or left early. Visit to learn more.

ILG also works with cities to train local officials and staff. Contact for more information on how to schedule an ethics workshop in your area.

The next scheduled AB 1234 training for League members will be conducted in January 2017 at the New Mayors and Council Members’ Academy in Sacramento.

Ethics Webinars and More

ILG recently completed a series of webinars on ethics-related topics, including:

  • Form 700 and Recent Updates to FPPC Regulations;
  • Promoting Personal and Organizational Ethics;
  • Abstentions and Disqualifications: Conflicts of Interest and When to Step Aside; and
  • The Brown Act.

These webinars can be accessed at

The law provides an ethical floor — not a ceiling — for elected officials. To assist cities that want to go beyond the requirements of ethics law, ILG developed the Good Governance Checklist ( The checklist helps local officials and staff:

  • Identify practices they can implement to promote public trust and confidence;
  • Comply with California law; and
  • Minimize the risk of missteps that can undermine public trust.

ILG also offers an archive of informative articles from its “Everyday Ethics for Local Officials” series that appeared in Western City from 2002 through 2014. The articles analyze common ethical dilemmas and offer helpful tips for public officials. Find all of the “Everyday Ethics” columns at

To learn more about ILG’s ethics and transparency work, visit

This article appears in the December 2016 issue of Western City
Did you like what you read here? Subscribe to Western City