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Code of Ethics

Ethics Overview

What follows is the ICMA Code of Ethics, which all ILCMA members must follow. For further information, you may also view:

The mission of ICMA is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering
professional local government management worldwide. To further this mission, certain principles, as
enforced by the Rules of Procedure, shall govern the conduct of every member of ICMA, who shall:
Tenet 1.

We believe professional management is essential to efficient and democratic local
government by elected officials.

Tenet 2.

Affirm the dignity and worth of local government services and maintain a deep sense of
social responsibility as a trusted public servant.

Tenet 3.

Demonstrate by word and action the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in all
public, professional, and personal relationships in order that the member may merit the trust
and respect of the elected and appointed officials, employees, and the public.

Tenet 4.

Serve the best interests of the people.

Tenet 5.

Submit policy proposals to elected officials; provide them with facts, and technical and
professional advice about policy options; and collaborate with them in setting goals for the
community and organization.

Tenet 6.

Recognize that elected representatives are accountable to their community for the decisions
they make; members are responsible for implementing those decisions.

Tenet 7.

Refrain from all political activities which undermine public confidence in professional
administrators. Refrain from participation in the election of the members of the employing
legislative body.

Tenet 8.

Make it a duty continually to improve the member’s professional ability and to develop the
competence of associates in the use of management techniques.

Tenet 9.

Keep the community informed on local government affairs; encourage communication
between the citizens and all local government officers; emphasize friendly and courteous
service to the public; and seek to improve the quality and image of public service.

Tenet 10.

Resist any encroachment on professional responsibilities, believing the member should be
free to carry out official policies without interference, and handle each problem without
discrimination on the basis of principle and justice.

Tenet 11.

Handle all matters of personnel on the basis of merit so that fairness and impartiality govern a
member’s decisions pertaining to appointments, pay adjustments, promotions, and discipline.

Tenet 12.

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

Adopted by the ICMA Executive Board in 1924, and most recently revised by the membership in June 2020


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