CGA Government Administration and Elections Committee; March 19, 2012 Public Hearing
Comments Submitted by Pat Reilly, Connecticut League of Women Voters, Ethics Specialist
Comments On: H.B. 5523 AN ACT ELIMINATING A CONFERENCE ON ETHICAL ISSUES
I am Pat Reilly, Ethics Specialist for the League of Women Voters of Connecticut. Thank you for the
opportunity to submit comments for House Bill 5523 AN ACT ELIMINATING A CONFERENCE ON ETHICAL ISSUES
The League of Women Voters of Connecticut, a statewide organization with over 1800 members,
believes that the public should have confidence in the integrity of its government. Government officials and employees should be held accountable for carrying out their duties in both an effective and ethically responsible manner. As The Codes of Ethics are the means to accomplish these ends, the League has a keen interest in any efforts to reform, strengthen or clarify The Codes.
While the League believes education and training of public officials, state employees, lobbyists and
other groups about the Code of Ethics is critical to compliance with The Codes and therefore to better
government, we do not oppose HB 5523 for the following reasons.
Significant reductions to the staff and budget of the Office of State Ethics (OSE) resulting from its consolidation into the Office of Accountability mean OSE activities should be revaluated for return on cost and time. The conference may not be the best use of limited staff time and reduced appropriations. In its HB 5523 testimony, the OSE indicates that current statutory mandate covers its responsibility for education and training and would not prevent the OSE from conducting conferences as needed within available appropriations.
We regret that budget cuts and reorganization are forcing the elimination of this educational program
and we hope that OSE will be able to provide comparable opportunities within their available budget
Thank you for your consideration.