The California Government Code provides numerous powers and duties to local agencies, including cities and counties, as well as to their officers and employees. These local agency officers and employees and required to have ethics training. Government Code Section 53234 defines the terms “legislative body,” “local agency,” “local agency official,” and “ethics laws.”
Section 53235 requires all local agency officials to receive training in ethics if that local agency provides any type of compensation or reimburses expenses for members of a legislative body. Each local agency official is required to receive at least two hours of training in general ethics principles and ethics laws relevant to his or her public service every two years.
The Fair Political Practices Commission and the Attorney General must be consulted regarding the sufficiency and accuracy of any proposed course content. A local agency, or group of agencies, may offer training courses, including self-study materials with tests, and these courses may be taken in any location. The training has to be offered at least once annually.
Section 53235.1 requires new agency officials to receive their training within the first year of employment. Thereafter, they must receive training at least once every two years.
Section 53235.2 requires the local agencies to maintain records of attendance and providers for at least five years after local officials receive their training and these records and public records subject to disclosure.
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