Training Innovations Are Transforming State and Local Ethics Commissions Nationwide

Nevada State Assembly

Ethics commissions at the state and local levels serve a crucial role in democracy by providing trainings to ensure government officials in every state, city and municipality know how to follow laws and rules that preserve public trust in government.  

Government employees are not the only ones who benefit from ethics training. Journalists, lobbyists, government contractors and more rely on ethics commissions to provide trainings that keep government employees knowledgeable about ethics laws and accountable to the public.

Understanding this important function of ethics commissions across the country, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) focused energy in 2023 on analyzing proven solutions for ethics commissions that are looking to update their own trainings.  

In a recently published report, CLC highlighted 10 tools that have been shown to work in a variety of ethics offices across the country, with hopes that this analysis can help other ethics committees learn and innovate.  
The following 10 training upgrades are highlighted in the report:  

  • Learning Management Software 

  • Training in Lieu of Penalties 

  • Livestreamed Training  

  • Role-Specific Training 

  • Inclusive Training Material 

  • Ethics Liaisons 

  • Ethics Site Visits 

  • Expedited Advice  

  • Expanded Social Media Outreach 

  • Training Compliance Reports 

For each feature, the relevant ethics commissions provided practical insight on why they implemented the feature, the benefits, the resource costs, and lessons from their experience. Any ethics commission can improve their training programs by adopting any one of these tools. 

If you are curious about the people protecting the trust in your state and local governments, you can learn more in our report, which can be read here: “Top Ten Training Upgrades for Ethics Commissions.”

Brendan is a Senior Communications Manager for Campaign Finance and Ethics issues at CLC.