Today’s guest post is by Shruti Shah and Alex Amico, respectively President and Legal Fellow at the Coalition for Integrity, a civil society advocacy organization focused on corruption in the United States.
The unprecedented health crisis has demonstrated yet again the importance of strong ethics and transparency laws—not only on the national level, but at the sub-national level as well. In the United States, citizens are looking to their state legislators and governors to provide leadership, even as the large sums of government being spent on the pandemic response raise concerns about corruption and self-dealing. It is essential for the public to have confidence that public officials will adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. One way to ensure this is with a strong state-level framework for ethics laws. To improve our understanding of the existing frameworks, and to highlight priority areas for improvement, the Coalition for Integrity recently released the second edition of the States With Anti-corruption Measures for Public employees (S.W.A.M.P.) Index. This report updates and expands on our 2018 report, with two new questions to better reflect the state of ethics regimes. Continue reading