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Code of Ethics

The purpose of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers is to improve the knowledge, skills, and performance of individuals responsible for municipal and other local government fiscal policy and management. The organization reinforces the professionalism in financial management and provides a method for meeting the challenges of change and solving problems relating to government finance.

To further these objectives, members are enjoined to adhere to legal, moral and professional standards of conduct. The ethical principles set forth in this code shall govern the conduct of the Municipal members of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers who shall:

  1. Demonstrate and be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships to merit the respect and confidence of the elected officials, other public officials, employees and the public.
  2. Recognize and be accountable for their responsibilities as public officials; be sensitive and responsive to the rights of the public.
  3. Exercise prudence and integrity in the management of funds in their custody and in all financial transactions.
  4. Maintain their own competence, enhance the competence of their colleagues and staff members, and provide encouragement to those seeking to enter the field of government finance.
  5. Seek excellence in the public service; be well informed and well prepared to exercise public authority.
  6. Demonstrate professional integrity in the issuance and management of information; prepare and present statements and financial information fairly, in accordance with law and generally accepted practices and guidelines.
  7. Respect and protect privileged information; be sensitive and responsive to inquiries from the public and the media within the framework of local government policy.
  8. Act with honor, integrity and virtue in all professional relationships; respect the rights of their colleagues and other public officials with whom they work and associate.
  9. Handle all matters of personnel within the scope of their authority on the basis of merit so that fairness and impartiality govern their decisions.
  10. Seek no favor or accept any personal gain which would influence, or appear to influence, the conduct of their official duties.
  11. Protect the public trust, avoid even the appearance of impropriety, and safeguard the integrity of the government they serve.

The California Society of Municipal Finance Officers recognizes three classifications of membership: Municipal, Other Government, and Commercial members. (Additional classifications maybe authorized by the board of directors under the Other Government classification.) . The Code of Ethics specifically addresses the conduct of those who hold Municipal membership. The Society’s Commercial and Other Government members are encouraged to honor and respect the Code as it applies to Municipal members.