Georgia is one of the 42 states with an ethics commission, known in-state as the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. As the sole agency tasked with administering and enforcing the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act, Georgia’s Commission plays a critically important role in protecting the public interest and serves an essential purpose: to provide an independent watchdog on public officials. With an eye toward potential reforms for Georgia’s Commission, Common Cause Georgia examines in this report how ethics commissions in other states are appointed, funded, and statutorily empowered, and then compares those commissions with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission in these critical areas. Common Cause Georgia then makes recommendations for reform based upon best practices and innovations related to ethics commissions in other states.
Common Cause Georgia examined four key factors in considering potential reforms for Georgia’s ethics commission: appointments, partisan balance, jurisdiction, and funding.