Update on Revising Tenet 12

The Committee on Professional Conduct thanks all who took the time to respond to the survey and offer comments.

ARTICLE | Sep 10, 2014

More than 1,200 ICMA members took the time to respond to the survey launched in late July seeking feedback on proposed options for revising the language of Tenet 12 (Seek no Favor) and the related guidelines. 

Survey Results

Based on feedback gathered from members at the regional summits and state association meetings earlier this year, the Committee on Professional Conduct determined that the language of Tenet 12 should be updated. The first question in the survey presented members with two options for new tenet language drafted by the committee. Sixty-eight of those who responded preferred the second option:

“Public office is a public trust. A member should not leverage his or her position for gain or benefit.”

While members preferred this option, many offered comments on how to strengthen or improve upon the approach.

The committee also proposed changes to the existing guidelines addressing gifts, investments, confidential information, and endorsements. Again, based on feedback from members, the committee drafted a new guideline on the use of social media. The majority of members responding to the survey agreed, often by wide margins, with the proposed changes. Members also offered more than 1,000 comments on how to improve upon the draft language.

Next Steps 

The committee began reviewing the survey results and comments at its meeting on September 12, 2014, and plans to make recommended changes in order to place the matter of a new tenet before the membership for a formal vote early in 2015. Proposed guidelines will be presented to the ICMA Executive Board for approval in 2015.

Thanks to the members who took the time to participate in the ongoing dialogue designed to ensure that the ICMA Code of Ethics remains relevant to the profession.  


Contact  Martha Perego, ICMA director of ethics, at 202-962-3668 or mperego@icma.org.

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