Ethics Educational Outreach Program
FEI’s Ethics Educational Outreach Program has three major components—on-line ethics training initiatives; ethics seminars and webinars; and the continued development and publication of ethics educational materials including the Florida Ethics Law Handbook.
Ethics Training Initiatives
The FEI provides in person educational opportunities to public officials, public employees, attorneys, and citizens on Florida’s ethics, public records, and open meetings laws. FEI will provide individual seminars upon request featuring presentations tailored to the needs and specifications of the participants.
The Institute also provides webinars as well as on-line training programs to facilitate and certify compliance with annual ethics, public records, and open government training requirements and to provide opportunities to the public to better understand Florida’s tools of governmental access and accountability.
If you are interested in having the Institute’s Executive Director, Caroline Klancke, come speak or provide a training to your organization, please fill out this brief form and an FEI representative will be in touch with you shortly.
Florida Ethics Law Handbook
In January 2023 the Institute established itself as a leader in ethics education via the publication of the “The Florida Ethics Law Handbook: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees,” the only comprehensive guide to ethics laws in Florida.
The Florida Ethics Law Handbook is the only guide written by an ethics attorney with more than a decade of experience interpreting and enforcing the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees on the State level and published by an independent, non-partisan nonprofit formed to advance ethics in government through education.
The Florida Ethics Law Handbook provides a brief but rigorous review of Florida’s ethics laws, and related constitutional provisions, by topic—including gifts and bribes, conflicts of interest, nepotism, financial disclosure, voting conflicts and more. Further, the Florida Ethics Law Handbook uses an array of examples taken from ethics complaint proceedings, advisory opinions, and appellate courts cases to help public officers and employees, practitioners, and the public they serve to better understand the law.
The Florida Ethics Law Handbook was made available to the public for purchase via FEI’s website in February 2023 and is an invaluable tool for government officials and agencies seeking to meet and exceed the standards of conduct for public officials in Florida. Sales tax exemption available for public agencies and other nonprofit organizations seeking to purchase the Florida Ethics Law Handbook today.
Ethics Legislative Reporting
Florida’s constitution provides for the existence of ethical standards applicable to public officers, public employees, and candidates for public office, as set forth by law. See Art. II, s. 8, Fla. Const. Pursuant to this requirement the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees has been adopted and is found in Part III, of Ch. 112, F.S. As the only organization in Florida dedicated to preserving and protecting the state’s ethics laws, FEI tracks all ethics-related legislation during the legislative process. Many of the ethics bills tracked by FEI are designed to limit ethics regulations by creating new exemptions to conflicts of interest prohibitions and gifts restrictions currently in effect.
In furtherance of promoting the public’s awareness regarding legislative initiatives impacting Florida’s ethics laws, whether beneficial or detrimental, FEI is actively tracking proposed legislation having ethics law implications. Prior to the commencement of each legislative session FEI will facilitate the public’s awareness of proposed bills having ethics implications through the publication of its Pre-Session Florida Legislative Ethics Report. The Pre-Session Florida Legislative Ethics Report will contain an analysis of the Florida Commission on Ethics’ Legislative Proposals, as well as a list of proposed ethics-related bills which the Institute will be tracking throughout the Florida legislative session.
Further, throughout the legislative session, FEI will track legislation impacting ethics laws in Florida and provide an analysis of ethics bills in a series of Legislative Ethics Reports for the benefit of all in Florida.
At the end of each Legislative Session FEI will prepare a Final Florida Legislative Ethics Report detailing the significant actions which occurred during the legislative session relating to ethics in government.
Increasing public awareness regarding proposed legislation impacting Florida’s ethics laws in real time and during the critical period prior to and during each legislative session is essential to the protection and advancement of ethics in Florida. To ensure broader awareness of FEI’s Florida Ethics Legislative Tracking Program we will extend communications regarding the program and legislative reports to community ethics advocates via FEI’s Florida Ethics Updates. We also ensure that all FEI reports are posted on our website and shared through social media.