Reinvent Albany Commends Council For Passing Bill Requiring Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB) Make Ethics Laws Clear
Int. No. 735 Requires the Conflict of Interest Board to Publish Rules to Make Ethics Laws Clearer
Reinvent Albany commends the City Council for passing Int. No. 735-2018 today, a bill which will make ethics laws clearer to public servants who must follow them. The bill will require COIB promulgate rules for any Advisory Opinion issued which applies to public servants more broadly. COIB rulings are often buried in numerous Advisory Opinions and can be unclear to city employees and the public.
During the 2018 Charter Revision Commission process, numerous upset members of the public and community boards testified about community board members’ conflicts of interest. The COIB has issued several lengthy Advisory Opinions on community board ethics, and it is difficult to determine what the ethics policies are for community boards, and if these decisions are binding. COIB determinations are also very nuanced and include detailed exceptions to the spirit of the ethics law in the city charter.
Reinvent Albany believes it is essential for public confidence in government that ethics policies are clear and understandable, with bright lines demarcating proper conduct from illegal behavior. Int. No. 735 will help achieve this important goal.