LGMA - Local Government Management Association of British Columbia

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Changes to the LGMA Code of Ethics and Complaint Procedures

As one of its governance goals, the Board of Directors of the LGMA has focused on the ongoing professionalism of the Association, including ensuring we live up to the highest ethical standards in our conduct as professional staff.

We want to reinforce the efforts of the Working Group on the Responsible Conduct of Elected Officials by mirroring their foundational principles for ethical conduct.  At the 2018 AGM, the Board of the LGMA directed that a review of the LGMA’s Code of Ethics and complaint procedures be completed.

At the June 12, 2019 Annual General Meeting of the LGMA, the Board of Directors advised the membership on the upcoming changes to the LGMA Code of Ethics and complaint procedure that will take effect January 2020.

Mandatory Code of Ethics

The first change is that the LGMA is moving to a mandatory Code of Ethics in line with leading practices for professional associations in North America, including those that do not have a regulatory responsibility. Every member will be required to acknowledge that they will abide by the Code of Ethics. You will be required to sign off this acknowledgement when your membership is renewed.

Mandatory Ethics Training for all Members

The second change is that all members will be required to take ethics training.

All first-time members of the LGMA must complete 2 hours of mandatory ethics training in their first year. This training will be provided online and will be complimentary.

Every LGMA member must complete two verifiable hours of ethics training every two years.  There will be multiple options to complete those two hours, including through associations and organizations outside of the LGMA.

If you attend a CAO Forum, a Corporate Officer Forum, an Administrative Professionals Forum, a MATI course, the Annual Conference or a course delivered by another professional association, university, college or credited public institution on ethics, any ethics sessions hours will count towards your two hours of ethics training. 

You will always have an online option as well to meet your requirement for 2 hours of training.

New Code of Ethics

The LGMA Code of Ethics will be updated and rewritten with practice guidelines in time for the 2020 membership renewal. It is our hope that this will assist members to determine what is the appropriate action in a situation and will also assist the Ethics Committee in evaluating complaints against members.

Revised Complaint Procedures

A legal review of the Complaints Procedures will be completed and changes made in time for 2020 membership renewal to bring it in line with human rights law and administrative justice requirements.

Updated Policy

The disciplinary procedures in the Member Policy will be updated to align with the new Code of Ethics and the Complaint Procedures for January 2020, and all members will be informed of these changes.

Exploration of Additional Ethics Supports

The LGMA will explore options for a third-party investigatory mechanism to be used only in cases of a complex complaint. It is rare, but from time to time complaints are received that have multiple components, such as bullying or harassment, which would require, by law, that a third-party investigation be undertaken. Typically, this would happen within the local government itself, but there may be instances where the Ethics Committee is asked to adjudicate a complaint with these complex requirements. We wish to have the option to resort to a qualified third party investigator.

The LGMA will also explore options for an Ethics Hotline for independent, confidential ethics advice. We are assessing whether this is feasible and if other local government associations might be interested in sharing the costs of such a service.

We will report to the membership on our findings and potential costs later in 2020.

Our Commitment

As a professional Association, the LGMA is committed to promoting a culture and philosophy of ethics to shape the values and expected behaviour of its members. As we embark on our next century, we want to ensure that we can, with confidence, demonstrate the highest standards and guidelines for ethical conduct and integrity in all public, professional, and personal relationships in order that each of us merits the trust and respect of our elected officials, fellow administrators, employees, and the public.

The full report of the Ethics Committee can be found on our website.

If you would like to review a recording of our 2019 Annual General Meeting livestream, please visit the LGMA's YouTube Channel.

Any questions can be directed to Nancy Taylor, Executive Director, ntaylor@lgma.ca.

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