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Code of Professional Ethics

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada is a professional organization of public officials united to enhance and promote the professional management of governmental financial resources by identifying, developing and advancing fiscal strategies, policies, and practices for the public benefit.

To further these objectives, all government finance officers are enjoined to adhere to legal, moral, and professional standards of conduct in the fulfillment of their professional responsibilities. Standards of professional conduct as set forth in this code are promulgated in order to enhance the performance of all persons engaged in public finance.


I. Personal Standards


Government finance officers shall demonstrate and be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships to merit the respect, trust, and confidence of governing officials, other public officials, employees, and of the public.
  • They shall devote their time, skills, and energies to their office both independently and in cooperation with other professionals.
  • They shall abide by approved professional practices and recommended standards.

II. Responsibility as Public Officials


Government finance officers shall recognize and be accountable for their responsibilities as officials in the public sector.
  • They shall be sensitive and responsive to the rights of the public and its changing needs.
  • They shall strive to provide the highest quality of performance and counsel.
  • They shall exercise prudence and integrity in the management of funds in their custody and in all financial transactions.
  • They shall uphold both the letter and the spirit of the constitution, legislation, and regulations governing their actions and report violations of the law to the appropriate authorities.

III. Professional Development


Government finance officers shall be responsible for maintaining their own competence, for enhancing the competence of their colleagues, and for providing encouragement to those seeking to enter the field of government finance. Finance officers shall promote excellence in the public service.

IV. Professional Integrity - Information


Government finance officers shall demonstrate professional integrity in the issuance and management of information.
  • They shall not knowingly sign, subscribe to, or permit the issuance of any statement or report which contains any misstatement or which omits any material fact.
  • They shall prepare and present statements and financial information pursuant to applicable law and generally accepted practices and guidelines.
  • They shall respect and protect privileged information to which they have access by virtue of their office.
  • They shall be sensitive and responsive to inquiries from the public and the media, within the framework of state or local government policy.

V. Professional Integrity - Relationships


Government finance officers shall act with honor, integrity, and virtue in all professional relationships.
  • They shall exhibit loyalty and trust in the affairs and interests of the government they serve, within the confines of this Code of Ethics.
  • They shall not knowingly be a party to or condone any illegal or improper activity.
  • They shall respect the rights, responsibilities, and integrity of their colleagues and other public officials with whom they work and associate.
  • They shall manage all matters of personnel within the scope of their authority so that fairness and impartiality govern their decisions.
  • They shall promote equal employment opportunities, and in doing so, oppose any discrimination, harassment, or other unfair practices.

VI. Conflict of Interest


Government finance officers shall actively avoid the appearance of or the fact of conflicting interests.
  • They shall discharge their duties without favor and shall refrain from engaging in any outside matters of financial or personal interest incompatible with the impartial and objective performance of their duties.
  • They shall not, directly or indirectly, seek or accept personal gain which would influence, or appear to influence, the conduct of their official duties.
  • They shall not use public property or resources for personal or political gain.
 
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Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada
203 N. LaSalle Street - Suite 2700 | Chicago, IL 60601-1210 | Phone: (312) 977-9700 - Fax: (312) 977-4806