Ethics Laws Succeed Only if they Are Applied

Chapter 52. Alaska Executive Branch Ethics

Section 10. Declaration of Policy.

Section 110. Scope of Code; Prohibition of Unethical Conduct.

Section 120. Misuse of Official Position.

Section 130. Improper Gifts.

Section 140. Improper Use or Disclosure of Information.

Section 150. Improper Influence in State Grants, Contracts, Leases, or Loans.

Section 160. Improper Representation.

Section 170. Outside Employment Restricted.

Section 180. Restrictions On Employment After Leaving State Service.

Section 190. Aiding a Violation Prohibited.

Section 210. Declaration of Potential Violations By Public Employees.

Section 220. Declaration of Potential Violations By Members of Boards or Commissions. .
No ethics law succeeds unless citizens and citizen candidates work actively to be credible and responsible for their own behavior. The easiest way to do damage, perhaps fatal damage, to the Code is for the leadership to say one thing in public, and to do something different in private. It is very true that what the public official does speaks more loudly to citizens than what he or she says.

Far fewer people believe that candidates will act ethically unless there is some clear sanction for unethical behavior during a campaign, that in some cases may not reveal their true self.
The word “accountability” most often comes up in this context—someone has crossed the
line and done something very wrong. What happens to this person? In the recent past American society held those individuals accountable, to the letter of the law.

This captures one very common usage of the word “accountability”: the process of assigning blame and punishing wrong-doing (apply the law) . There is, however, a different—and more positive–way to conceive of accountability . “

“In contrast, modern governance and public administration literature, and in some cases practice, see accountability more as a positive incentive—as an opportunity
to demonstrate achievements and stewardship. In this view, accountability (positive when the law is applied) is an integral and indispensable part of establishing effective relationships for getting things done and taking responsibility”

There is a clear link between accountability (positive when the law is applied) and public trust. The public expects that those who govern will work for the best interests of all and not their own individual interests; they expect honesty, integrity and fairness, and a commitment the common good. When a public official fails in one or more of these, the public themselves has a very effective mechanism to hold the officials accountable and that is at the ballot box or file a greivence, complaint.  Within the public domain citizens are aware of the process.
Holding government officials accountable … They are the ones who violate the the public trust. … It seems to me that the incidence of accountability has to rest on the government official.  Those filing the grievances – should always be preceived with merit, never considered "frivilous". Is it now considered even higher ethical standards if you deny and act desperate? Does it lend even more creditablity to the offical that the complaints are raising questions about?  Being that we are a land rule by law it is the legal right to hold a public officials accountable for what they see as abuses of power or immoral, unethical behavior .

But the public also expects officials who operate on the public’s behalf to hold each other
accountable. This is even more the case once a individual goes on the record as being
committed to a specific Code of Ethics. Once the behaviors are made this explicit, public
trust requires appropriate accountability.

There is no doubt of this. There is also no doubt that ethics laws succeed only if they are applied. “Positive when Applied” means we are clear about the behaviors we expect consistent with the Alaska Executive Ethics Act; as citizens we celebrate successes and engage in positive reinforcement of the set of standards legislated; we tell stories of values-centered behavior and recognize people who went beyond our expectations. We should expect the highest of moral character and integrity in those who say they want to lead.  

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View
Jul 10, 2007 … ALASKA EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS ACT. Article 01. DECLARATIONS. Sec. 39.52.010. Declaration of policy. (a) It is declared that ……/ethics/Statutes-AlaskaExecutiveBranchEthicsAct_AS39.52_.pdf

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ken
    Jul 12, 2009 @ 12:17:00

    oh hell what did she do this time wear her hat backwards..there goes another lawsuit,and another and another.


  2. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jul 12, 2009 @ 18:05:00

    Hey freakazoid, take the inside passage to educate yourself, none are deemed a law suit.The only one is the LAW SUIT that Palin filed AGAINST HERSELF!!!!!!!!! There are some issues coming to the surface. Subpoenas were ignored, under someone's authority or tyranny!!!! Why do everyone of you cultist think you know Alaska law, Alaska energy, Alaska? Because SaRAH told you? She's the most disgusting representation of my Alaska and her people. Stupid is what STUPID does. Alaska has had enough stupid
    They're all [ethics complaints] filed by Alaskans, against the big cheese of the state using the proper process. Now what's left of the 'half baked' alaskan who wanted to be governor, but couldn't. She's a pathetic media whore. Sarah is lacking in intellegence she's inarticulate, idiotic and quite repulsive. I can't, I need, I want, I, I, I, Sarah (mentally ill) Palin is going down for the count. She and the rest of you should go ahead and TAP OUT…… Palin is an embarrassment to GOD, COUNTRY and FAMILY.


  3. Inside_Passage
    Jul 12, 2009 @ 18:58:00

    You're going to give yourself a coronary trying to respond to Ken, Syrin. Don't bother.


  4. ken
    Jul 12, 2009 @ 19:20:00

    yes,and just because your state allows the town wino to file a complaint doesnt make it right,i have a neighbor who calls the police or code enforcement once a they don't even send a real cop ,they send trainees to practice on the town busybody.its all over the mass media that all these are is nuicence complaints, if anything alaska is getting laughed at.maybe when your older you'll wake up and see who's purpose 's you have served…


  5. ken
    Jul 12, 2009 @ 19:26:00

    that you are a phony is very easy to see.withen a couple of weeks of obama being accused of something new,you put out the same statement with palin's name switched for obama' are as transparent as he is not..i'll be waiting for your blog on how palin is checking out this guy or that guy's butt.i'm sure you'll have pictures to prove it.


  6. Inside_Passage
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 08:47:00

    Or better yet, you can simply delete his reply like you did mine. When the going gets tough, the tough get bailin' like Palin, right?


  7. xango_xango
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 09:36:00

    Dear Ken,

    I suggest you get your own head out of your butt – you and your Palinistas are the only one people in the world are laughing at in this State…hahahahah


    Alaskan Sisu


  8. ken
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 11:17:00

    any state that allows their people to file that many complaints that do nothing other then bog down the system is laughable,and fox,cnn,abc,cbs and nbc agree with me,they have all put out comments about how palin was attacked with mostly garbage ethics complaints.everyone of them getting a chuckle out of it ,no matter what side of the fence they are on…


  9. Bones AK
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 18:17:00

    Who oversees the Ethics committee? The Governor, the AG (Throw up in my mouth)?


  10. Inside_Passage
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 22:02:00

    The committed is made up of the Board of Personnel, which is part of the Department of Administration (same dept as the DMV). The board itself has a supervisor, and any decisions they come to may be appealed by the superior court.


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