Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler will be a panelist at the conference Nov. 2, "Ethics, Trust & Transparency," at the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility at Southern Methodist University.
The goal of the conference is to provoke debate on the current state of trust in business and government, and how that may affect the 2012 elections. The conference focuses on what business leaders and economic policy makers have done--and what more they can do--to ensure transparency in financial reporting and to recognize the interests of multiple stakeholders.
Lessig, an expert on technology and law, has recently focused on institutional corruption in his latest book, Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It. He is the director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
A dynamic new city manager comes into conflict with the previous city manager, now elected to the city council, in this new case in government ethics, written by Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler. One policy they disagree about: the need for a city code of ethics and values.
Some citizens object to the atmosphere at a chain restaurant that wants to locate in a vacant restaurant space in this case study of the fictional city of Weldon. Scantily clad waitresses and a "Las Vegas" vibe have some residents up in arms. But can the city council refuse a use permit to a legal business in an area that is zoned commercial? On what basis?
While many people think government budgeting is about accounting, the hardest part of the process, according to John Ellwood, is to build consensus on the basis for making budget decisions. That is, he argued, a political process, where necessarily people will have to make compromises about things they value.
Ellwood is professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC-Berkeley. He spoke at the summer quarterly meeting of the Public Sector Roundtable.
A recent report from the California State Auditor highllighted problems that some interpretted as widespread fraud and abuse? Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler argues that the auditor's report should be seen more as an example of checks and balances working properly in this op-ed for the San Jose Mercury News.
Sam Liccardo, city councilmember from San Jose, Calif., talks with Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler about the hard decisions public officials must face when budget cuts are inevitable.
The Associated Press talked to Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels' decision to bring in an outside firm to investigate the collapse of a stage at the Indiana State Fair, which resulted in the death of five people.
"'There's this sort of automatic default to say, we have people here internally who can take a look at this ... but for something so closely affiliated with the state, it would be wise to call upon someone who doesn't have any even perceived conflict of interest,'" said Nadler, a former mayor of Santa Clara, Calif.
"'I think it really is such a significant event ... it requires a level of independence to fully discern the facts and to fully convey to the public that this was a fair and thorough and impartial and nonpolitical look at what happened,' she said."
In a story picked up by USA Today, the Indianapolis Star reports on Indiana's top utility regulator's possibly over-friendly relationship with Duke Energy.
Reporter John Russell consulted with Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler, who commented:
"It's really inappropriate for a regulator to get involved in personnel decisions with a utility," said Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California, and the former mayor of Santa Clara, who frequently dealt with regulators concerning the city's electric utility, Silicon Valley Power.
She said regulators should always keep a professional distance from utilities, and any conversation about personnel decisions could raise concerns of favoritism and back-scratching. For example, a utility that receives a note from a regulator pushing a candidate for a job might feel pressured to go along for fear of antagonizing the regulator. On the other hand, a utility that goes along with such a recommendation might expect to get favors in return.
When people move from jobs as regulators to jobs in the regulated industry and vice versa, the relationship between the regulated and the regulator can become too cozy. An article in today's San Francisco Examiner reports, "Consumer advocates and a Peninsula lawmaker have raised questions about whether a revolving door exists between California Public Utilities Commission and the company it is supposed to regulate."
Reporter Katie Worth discussed the issue with Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler, who commented:
“The perception to the public is that insiders are making all the decisions and they’re all looking out for one another because they’re all interconnected,” she said.