Holding local governments accountable is the responsibility of every government employee and citizen. The real issue is how do you report wrongdoing.
It’s in a local government’s best interest to maintain a high ethical standard. This makes the people happy, leads to re-elections and helps the entire area thrive. The best way to do this is by implementing an ethics hotline.
From lobbying to powerful individuals, government officials have accepted bribes since the beginning of time. However, this is highly unethical. Local governments may not be in charge of as many people as federal governments, but the people still rely on them to do the right thing. When someone bribes government officials, they’re taking the rights of the people away. Whenever there is proof of this, it should be reported immediately. Using an ethics hotline makes it easy to report bribes so they can be investigated.
Tax payers work hard and their money shouldn’t be taken away from them. However, local government officials and employees may commit money fraud or even embezzle. Both issues may happen during campaigns or while in office. Of course, they may also misuse government funds for personal reasons, such as traveling. Often times, a second person knows about it because they’re responsible for forging the books. It’s this person’s responsibility to be honest and report the unethical financial behavior. Of course, citizens also have the right to ask for proof of what they’re money is being used for.
Mistreatment Of Personnel
Sometimes, local governments ask their personnel to work long hours without extra pay. They’re asked to take home the work of their supervisors and government officials. Sometimes, they’re even threatened with being fired if they don’t comply.
The problem is local government officials may even block their employees, some of which may be volunteers, from working elsewhere if they don’t do what they ask. In small areas, everyone knows everyone else, which makes blacklisting easy.
Employees have the right to report this mistreatment. Ethics hotlines give them a voice when no one else will listen. An anonymous hotline may also empower those afraid to speak to report this unethical treatment of personnel.
Abuse Of Power
Of course, a catchall when it comes to holding local governments accountable is the abuse of power. This includes any unethical behavior where a local government official or employee uses their position to get their way. A simple example might include a government official cutting the line because they’re in charge. Or, an employee might refuse to help a customer simply because they don’t like them. This could prevent them from renewing a driver’s license or registering a car.
Whenever anyone suspects an abuse of power, especially something major, it should be reported. If they’re abusing power in one way, they’re probably doing it in others.
Reporting Through An Ethics Hotline
Whenever you report local governments, ensure you provide as much detail as possible. Every report helps to make the government better. With an ethics hotline, governments of all sizes can be held accountable and improve for the betterment of the people.