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Code of Ethics

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Advice

The Board of Ethics gives advice to officials and employees on how the city's ethical standards apply to them.  Advice may be given in writing, by telephone, or in person.  

Formal Advisory Opinions

The Board of Ethics issues formal, written opinions to any official or employee who is personally involved in a matter requiring interpretation of the ethics code.  The request must be in writing, provide specific facts, and seek guidance on future conduct or actions.  Persons who fully disclose all relevant facts may rely on the board's formal opinions for guidance, and compliance with the opinion serves as mitigation in any proceeding brought against the individual for violating the ethics code. In addition, the Board issues formal opinions that interpret and clarify the law. 

Formal advisory opinions are issued within 90 to 120 days.  The code does not provide for waivers of formal advisory opinions.  

Informal Advisory Letters

The Ethics Officer renders informal advisory letters.  The request must be in writing, provide all relevant facts, and state a specific question.  Informal advisory letters generally are issued within 30 days.  

Other Advice

The Ethics Office gives informal advice by email, telephone, and in person.  The Ethics Office generally responds to telephone requests for advice within one business day and to email requests for written advice within seven days.  

Outside Employment Requests

The Code of Ethics gives the Board responsibility for approving any outside employment of persons who work as department heads, deputy department heads, and bureau directors.  The request must be in writing and state the type of employment, employer’s name and address, and proposed work hours.   

Viewing Advice

All written advice is available to the public, and the Board provides online access to formal advisory opinions issued since 2003.  These opinions provide helpful guidance about how the Code of Ethics applies in specific circumstances.  Immunity in an enforcement action, however, is limited to the person who originally requested the advice.  

Getting Advice

To seek advice, persons may contact the Ethics Office in any of the following ways:

  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Tel:    404-330-6286
  • Fax:   404-658-6077
  • Mail:  68 Mitchell St., SW, Suite 12130, Atlanta, Georgia 30303

 

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Latest Description

About Us

The Ethics Department is an independent city agency that works to ensure honesty, integrity, accountability, and trust in city government through enforcing the city’s ethical standards.

Headed by the Ethics Officer, the Department is responsible for bringing the City into compliance with the Code of Ethics and instilling a culture of ethics within city government.  It educates and advises city officials, employees, board members, and citizens about conflicts of interest and gift rules; investigates ethics complaints and brings enforcement actions for violations of the Ethics Code; and administers the financial disclosure program.

The Ethics Officer reports to the seven-member Board of Ethics, which is composed of city residents selected by business, civic, educational, and legal organizations.

68 Mitchell Street, SW
Suite 1100
Atlanta, GA 30303