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ASPA Adopts New Code of Ethics

For the past two years, a 31-person working group initiated by ASPA Past President, Erik Bergrud has been reviewing the ASPA Code of Ethics. The group, co-chaired by Jim Nordin and Jim Svara, reviewed the ASPA Code of Ethics which had not been revised for almost twenty years.  Building on the 1994 code, the working group recommended a number of changed in content and presentation.  The following code was approved by the ASPA National Council on April 16, 2013.  Italics highlight changes in the Code.

ASPA Code of Ethics

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) advances the science, art, and practice of public administration.   The Society affirms its responsibility to develop the spirit of responsible professionalism within its membership and to increase awareness and commitment to ethical principles and standards among all those who work in public service in all sectors. To this end, we, the members of the Society, commit ourselves to uphold the following principles:

  1. 1.       Advance the Public Interest. Promote the interests of the public and put service to the public above service to oneself.
  2. 2.       Uphold the Constitution and the Law.  Respect and support government constitutions and laws, while seeking to improve laws and policies to promote the public good.  
  3. 3.       Promote democratic participation.  Inform the public and encourage active engagement in governance.  Be open, transparent and responsive, and respect and assist all persons in their dealings with public organizations.   
  4. 4.       Strengthen social equity. Treat all persons with fairness, justice, and equality and respect individual differences, rights, and freedoms. Promote affirmative action and other initiatives to reduce unfairness, injustice, and inequality in society.
  5. 5.       Fully Inform and Advise.  Provide accurate, honest, comprehensive, and timely information and advice to elected and appointed officials and governing board members, and to staff members in your organization.
  6. 6.       Demonstrate personal integrityAdhere to the highest standards of conduct to inspire public confidence and trust in public service.
  7. 7.       Promote Ethical Organizations:  Strive to attain the highest standards of ethics, stewardship, and public service in organizations that serve the public.
  8. 8.       Advance Professional Excellence:  Strengthen personal capabilities to act competently and ethically and encourage the professional development of others.

A separate document contains practices that serve as a guide to behavior for members of ASPA in carrying out its principles. To view the code’s practices, click here.

An interim committee on implementation appointed by ASPA Past President Tom Liou, President Stephen Condrey, and Vice President Allan Rosenbaum will initiate activities to promote and implement the Code and will develop the recommendations for a standing committee in more depth for submission to the National Council.   Comments and suggestions to committee chair Jim Svara at [email protected] about future steps are invited.

 

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

3 Responses to ASPA Adopts New Code of Ethics

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  3. Arthur Asbury Reply

    December 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I like the old Code of Ethics- it was clear and concise. ASPA has “softened” its code to the point that it appears to be unattainable…..

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