Hawaii State Ethics Commission Celebrates 50th Anniversary!

Posted on Jan 26, 2018 in Main

In January of 1968, Hawaii established the first state ethics commission in the United States. This year, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Hawaii’s constitution reflects our state’s commitment to government ethics and to the belief “that public officers and employees must exhibit the highest standards of ethical conduct.” State Constitution, Article XIV. In furtherance of this, the constitution requires the adoption of a code of ethics for state officers and employees. This code of ethics is found in Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 84. The State Ethics Commission is responsible for administering the ethics code to promote ethical conduct and public confidence in state government.

Over the past fifty years, the Commission has provided ethics guidance to thousands of state officials, investigated and prosecuted violations of the ethics code, and administered financial disclosure laws that enhance transparency and accountability in state government. The Commission also has established a statewide program to educate state officials about the ethics laws, and has advocated for the passage of laws to improve and strengthen Hawaii’s ethics code.

The citizens of Hawaii established a strong foundation for state government by making the ethics code a constitutional requirement and establishing the first state ethics commission in the country. In our 50th anniversary year, we extend our sincere appreciation to the many individuals and organizations – state legislators and employees, good government organizations, and private citizens and other advocates for ethics — who have supported the Commission and its work to promote ethics and integrity in state government