making local government more ethical

You are here

Confidential Information

Robert Wechsler
A November audit by Tennessee's Comptroller applies the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to a state procurement situation, since there are no relevant state rules. The particular provision involves "unfair competitive advantage." This is a useful concept to keep in mind with respect to local procurement matters, as well.
Robert Wechsler
Who Should Oversee Nepotism Rules?
According to an article in the Stamford (CT) Advocate last week, Stamford's Board of Representatives voted to amend an anti-nepotism bill to instead require the city's human resources director to draft a nepotism policy. The sponsor of the amendment was quoted as saying, "A one-size-fits-all approach is not...
Robert Wechsler
According to an article in the Washington Post this week, the federal Office of Government Ethics has reminded agencies to tell their furloughed employees that "they remain employees of the Federal Government during furlough periods . . . It is particularly important for employees to understand that ethics provisions regarding...
Robert Wechsler
It came to my attention in an interview with Professor James Svara, for a paper I am writing for the journal Public Integrity, that in March 2013, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) made substantial — sometimes beneficial, sometimes harmful, sometimes baffling — changes to its Code of Ethics (the revised code is attached; see below). This post will look at the changes that involve conflicts of interest.

Personal Interests
The provision "...
Robert Wechsler
Ethics program independence is, as far as I'm concerned, the single most important issue in ethics reform. Nothing gains the public's trust as much as an ethics program that is independent from the officials over whom it has jurisdiction.

It is clear from the second report of the Chicago Ethics Reform Task Force (attached; see below) that the task force members cared about making the Chicago's ethics program more independent. But the task force stopped short of community...
Robert Wechsler
It's a nice coincidence that, just when I was preparing to write a blog post about a trendy thing in the corporate world called "open-book management," the former comptroller of Dixon, IL, Rita Crundwell, pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge that she siphoned more than $53 million from the town of only 16,000 people (over a period of 21 years), according to...