Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Governmental Accountability Act Training a Success

Attorney General Gary King began making good on his promise to help ensure that every state and local government body in New Mexico knows about changes to a state ethics law.

One of Attorney General King's most important legislative accomplishments last year was SB 432, sponsored by Senator Tim Eichenberg. The bill was passed during the last legislative session. It amends the Governmental Conduct Act to do away with the patchwork of ethics laws that currently apply to government by creating a uniform body of ethics laws that apply to all public bodies, officials, and employees.

Among other things, the bill expands and clarifies the definition of a public officer or employee covered by the Act and the prohibition against certain designated political activities to include elected or appointed officials and employees of state and local government agencies. The bill also extends to local government agencies the prohibitions against state agencies entering into contracts with former state agency employees. 

The Attorney General's Office formulated a training program to explain the Act to state and local government agency employees who are now subject to the stronger Governmental Conduct Act provisions. The training is designed to educate county and municipal officers and employees about their new responsibilities under the law. The first of these training sessions was held this week at the Capitol in Santa Fe. About 40 public employees attended the training conducted by Attorney General King and his Chief Deputy Al Lama. A few photos of the event are posted below.

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