The Georgia Municipal Association's Cities of Ethics program is an attempt to raise awareness about ethics issues at the local level and provide a local forum for the airing and resolution of legitimate concerns. The use of a local ethics ordinance allows citizens to raise their concerns and participate in the ethics investigation process at the local level, where the voice and influence of the individual citizen is strongest. The City of Suwanee was first designated a City of Ethics in 2007.
To earn a "Certified City of Ethics" designation, a city must take two actions:
1. Adopt a resolution establishing the five ethics principles for the conduct of city officials:
- Serve others, not ourselves
- Use resources with efficiency and economy
- Treat all people fairly
- Use the power of our position for the well being of our constituents
- Create an environment of honesty, openness and integrity
2. Adopt an ethics ordinance that meets minimum standards approved by the GMA Board.
The ordinance must contain definitions, an enumeration of permissible and impermissible activities by elected officials, due process procedures for elected officials charged with a violation of the ordinance and punishment provisions for those elected officials found in violation of the ordinance.