Lumpkin County Code of Ethics
The Citizens and businesses of Lumpkin County are entitled to fair, ethical, and accountable local government. County officials and employees hold positions of public trust and their actions must remain above suspicion. In keeping with the commitment of the county commissioner to excellence of public service, the effective and objective performance of democratic government requires that:
- Public officials, both elected and appointed, comply with the letter and spirit of the laws and policies effecting the operations of government;
- Public officials be independent, impartial, and fair in both their judgments and actions;
- Public office be used for public benefit alone and not for personal gain and;
- Public deliberations and processes be conducted openly in an atmosphere of respect, fraternity, and civility.
In order to preserve respect for local government and promote public trust in the integrity and objectivity of government officials and employees, the Lumpkin County Commissioner shall henceforth adopt this Code of Ethics for the Lumpkin County Government and administration therein. The establishment of this code shall guarantee the citizens of Lumpkin County the fair, ethical, and effective operation of their government.
The Code of Ethics
Sec. 1 The Public Trust
In recognition of the primary concern of the public interest, public officials shall strive for the common good of the people of Lumpkin County and not for any personal or private interest. Public officials shall administer fair and equal treatment of all persons, claims, and transactions, regardless of race, age, sex, or association, petitioning before the Lumpkin County Government.
Sec. 1a “Public official” shall mean any and all employees, elected or appointed to county government
Sec. 1b “Persons” shall mean any individual, government, organization, or business.
Sec. 1c “Claims and transactions” shall mean any contract or negotiated legal exchange between persons and Lumpkin County government.
Sec. 2 Compliance with the Law
The public officials of Lumpkin County shall comply with all laws, statutes, and ordinances of the national, state, and local government in the performance of their duties.
Sec. 3 The Conduct of Public Officials
The professional and personal conduct of Lumpkin County officials shall avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Officials shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges, or verbal affronts upon the character, motives, or intents of other officials or public citizens.
Sec. 4 Conflicts of Interest
In order to assure independence and impartiality on behalf of Lumpkin County citizens, officials shall not use public positions to influence of otherwise effect government decisions or actions in which they possess a material financial interest, or where there is deemed an organizational responsibility or personal relationship interest which may present an apparent or real conflict of interest. Officials shall disclose investments, interest in real property, and sources of income and gifts that present conflicts of interest in decision-making. Officials shall abstain from participation in deliberations or decision-making where any conflicts are deemed to exist.
Sec. 4a “Conflicts of Interest” shall mean any decision, deliberation, advisement, or other association that presents an apparent or real conflict between an official’s performance in government and that same official’s performance in a private capacity.
Sec. 4b “Organizational responsibility” shall mean any responsibility to an organization other than the administrations of Lumpkin County government
Sec. 4c “Personal relationship” shall mean any relationship, whether of immediate kinship and blood relation or that of sustained or material friendship
Sec. 4d “Gift” shall mean any material or otherwise arrangement in excess of $50.00 that, in design, is an attempt to afford special interest in any transaction pertaining to the actions of any official of Lumpkin County government.
Sec. 5 Gifts and Public Favor
Officials shall not accept any special advantage of services or opportunities for personal gain, by virtue of public office, that is not available to the public at large. Officials shall not accept any gift, favor, or promise for future benefit that may influence or compromise their independence of judgment or action, or that may appear to influence such judgment or action.
Sec. 5a “Favor” shall mean any non-monetary action, article, or arrangement that attempts to influence or direct an official in public deliberations.
Sec. 5b “Promise for future benefit” shall mean any arrangement, offer, or otherwise understanding that attempts to influence the present deliberation of public officials through the promise of future benefit for either the public official or said official’s associations, outside interests, acquaintances, or relatives.
Sec. 6 Use of Public Resources
Officials shall refrain from the use of public resources, not available to the public at large, for private gain or personal purposes.
Sec. 7 Advocacy
Officials shall represent the policies and positions of the county government to the best of their abilities when designated as delegates for such purpose. When representing their own individual opinions or positions, officials shall state explicitly that such information is not representative of the position of any administrative body within the Lumpkin County government and shall not allow such an inference to occur.
Sec. 8 Policy Role of Officials
Officials shall respect and adhere to the administrative of county government. Officials shall not interfere with the administrative functions or the professional duties of government officials or impair the ability of staff to implement the decisions of administrative government.
Sec. 8a “Interference” shall mean any action with the motive not conductive to the management of established administrational policy direction.
Sec. 9 Independence of Boards and Commissions
Recognizing the value of boards and commissions in the public policy decision-making process, officials shall refrain from using public position to improperly influence the deliberations, administrations, or decisions of established board of commission proceedings.
Sec. 10 Positive Work Environment
Officials shall support and contribute to the maintenance of a positive and constructive workplace environment. Recognizing their special role in the public trust, officials shall refrain from creating the perception or realty of inappropriate direction or action toward other government officials and staff.