Government Law Center Releases Report on State Ethics Commissions

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A new report from the Government Law Center (GLC) at Albany Law School compiles the various and diverse independent government ethics commissions across the United States and its territories into a single succinct volume that is available to lawmakers across the country. 

 “Our research shows that state and territorial governments across the U.S. employ a myriad of strategies to promote ethics and address corruption in government,” said the Hon. Leslie E. Stein ’81 (Ret.), who is the Director of the Government Law Center. “Our goal is not to make judgment calls on the various models, but to provide the relevant information in a useable format for lawmakers to evaluate their own state or territory oversight systems.”

A preliminary version of the report was presented to New York Governor Kathy Hochul to inform the administration’s efforts to overhaul the embattled Joint Ethics Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), which was replaced by the New York Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government in July of 2022. 

"Effective government ethics oversight is a complicated and difficult problem to solve,” said Patrick A. Woods ’12, who is the Deputy Director of the Government Law Center. “We hope that this report will help policy-makers both here in the United States and abroad by showing a large number of structural options available to them when reforming their own systems.”

The final report is the culmination of a nationwide survey of the structure, procedures, and authority of ethics commissions. The report covers jurisdictions in forty-seven states and two U.S. territories. 

Read the report here.