It'll Take Until Fall 2013 to Create "Culture of Ethics" at City Hall. First, Call the Consultants.
|City Auditor Craig Kinton|
But now to the floor show, as Kinton just wrapped up giving the council's Budget, Finance & Audit Committee a measured talking-to. He was intro'd, of course, by Jerry Allen, chair of the committee and the man charged by Mayor Mike with giving the code of ethics the once-over. "Clearly there's been an image problem," said Allen, and citizens view their elected officials in something less than a positive light. Which, he acknowledged, is probably well-deserved.
"We're not in dire straits," Allen said at the end of Kinton's talk. "But this is the city of Dallas, and the city of Dallas always likes to be out front." Which is why, 12 years after the council voted on a code of ethics, the city's about to hire a consultant to show the city how to be ethical.
You read that right: "They intend to hire an outside consultant to access the effectiveness of the city's ethics program," Kinton told the council, "and address detected efficiencies" by September 2013.
To which Chipperfield later added, that consultant -- who'd be hired after the city puts out a request for proposals that's yet to be defined -- would "look at how we would work on creating this culture of ethics and putting in place a training program, more of an ongoing program, for employees to refresh themselves on the ethics program and how it works and, once the program's been put in place, review the effectiveness" of said program.
"It would appear maybe communicating, educating and oversight are areas for improvement," said Allen. So now the Ethics Advisory Commission, already a little confused about its duties, will get the audit, after which chair Randy Skinner and his group will come back to the council with their own best-practices recommendations to establish "a culture of ethics," as Allen explained it. Because "that's what we're working on -- a culture of ethics."
Not only that, said Allen, but he wants to put together a blue ribbon commission on ethics. "Dallas has a wealth of individuals that are out there that can give us guidance and direction that we can learn from," Allen said. "Establishing a blue ribbon commission, I think, will be important."
Oh, Jim?City's Ethics Audit