Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Codes of Ethics and Values

These materials were prepared for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics program in Government Ethics by Senior Fellow Judy Nadler and Communications Director Miriam Schulman. The Center provides training in local government ethics for public officials. For more information, contact Judy Nadler.

A code is a set of principles that encapsulate the values a government body believes should inform its work. Yet, however laudable these principles, a code will have no impact on the behavior of government officials unless it is woven into the culture of the municipality.

In 1999, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics worked with the city of Santa Clara to develop a process not only for creating a code, but also for putting that code into practice. Santa Clara's Code of Ethics & Values was, according to its framers, "designed to provide clear, positive statements of ethical behavior reflecting the core values of the community. The Code includes practical strategies for addressing ethical questions and a useful framework for decision-making and handling the day-to-day operations of the municipality."
The city's "Ethics and Values" Web site provides access to the code, as well as information for other local government bodies interested in the process of infusing ethics into municipal government.

Other useful Web sites on codes of ethics and values

All Cases on Government Ethics
Articles About Government Ethics on This Web Site
Articles About Ethical Decision Making on This Web Site
Introduction to Government Ethics Homepage


September 2006


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