What is the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission?
Founded in 2005, the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission represents local government entities of Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties which have voluntarily committed themselves to the Shared Code of Ethics and Values.
These cities, towns and counties work together to achieve the Commission’s primary goals of:
*Heightening awareness of ethical issues within municipal government.
*Assisting municipal employees with the practical tools to make ethical decisions.
This mission is accomplished through a variety of methods, including regular training sessions, printed training materials, advocacy articles and an ongoing collaborative effort to enhance ethical behavior within participating governments.
For upcoming meetings, training and events, please visit our Calendar section.
What Does SEAC Do?
This is our main focus. We ask member communities to identify 2 or 3 of their employees whom we train as trainers in a half-day session. We then ask these trainers to train all their co-workers using our training materials. Also, once every 3 years we survey municipal employees to measure the effectiveness of the training as well as the ethics climate in each community. The survey results are shared with our member communities and used to continuously improve our training.
For employee training to be successful, we believe that department heads and supervisors need to be “on board.” This is a training session done every other year, facilitated by an experienced professional trainer.
Realizing that boards and commissions make important decisions for their communities, we provide a training session for them every other year. At this training and the other two as well, we use the case study and discussion approach.
We host an annual Ethics Summit to which we invite the general public as well as public officials. The program typically includes a keynote address by a well-known individual, followed by audience participation in the form of case study discussion demonstrating the subtle complexities of practical ethics situations.
During each election season, we ask all candidates running for local public office to sign a Candidates Ethics Action Pledge. This Pledge is focused on promoting and supporting the Ethics Code, getting support for continued employee ethics training as well as support for enforcement of procedures which permit employees to raise ethical concerns in a manner protecting them from retribution.
The following communities have joined the Commission: Counties: Lake County, LaPorte County, Porter County, Cities: Crown Point, East Chicago, Gary, Hobart, Lake Station, Portage, Valparaiso, Whiting, Towns: Burns Harbor, Cedar Lake, Chesterton, Dyer, Hebron, Highland, Lowell, Merrillville, Munster, Ogden Dunes, St John, Schererville and Westville.
Note: Our training programs are provided to member communities free of charge. Their annual membership fee covers the cost. The annual Ethics Summit is a free event open to the public.