Atlanta City Council approves plan for task force to improve public trust

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The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved a resolution to create the Bottoms’ Administration’s Task Force for the Promotion of Public Trust. The task force will evaluate the City’s legislative and administrative policies and procedures with regard to ethics, transparency and compliance. Appointments to the task force will be chosen by both the Mayor and City Council.

“Strengthening public trust requires a shared responsibility from not only the executive and legislative arms of government, but the people of Atlanta as well,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “That is why I wanted to ensure that the Task Force for the Promotion of Public Trust not only held public meetings, but included opportunity for public comment. Restoring and building full faith and confidence in City government will require buy-in from the very residents we were all elected to represent.”

The task force will be comprised of 12 members as follows:

·  Two former prosecutors, preferably federal, one appointed by the city council and one appointed by the mayor;

·  Two recognized professors or members of academia with emphasis in the areas of government or corporate transparency, compliance, or ethics, one appointed by the city council and one appointed by the mayor;

·  Two former local government attorneys with experience in a city or county law department, one appointed by the city council and one appointed by the mayor;

·  Two residents of the City of Atlanta, one appointed by the city council and one appointed by the mayor;

·  Two former Judges one appointed by the city council and one appointed by the mayor; and

·  Two members appointed by the council president from any of the five professional categories listed above.

The task force will conduct its first meeting within two weeks of the appointment of all members and make written recommendations to the mayor, the council president, and the city council for meaningful reforms in the areas of ethics, transparency and compliance, no later than four months from the first meeting thereof and shall terminate automatically 30 days following the presentation of its recommended reforms.

The creation of the task force builds upon multiple reforms ushered in by Bottoms to build a more transparent and accountable government, including the launch of Open Checkbook, the passage of sweeping credit card reform policies, the expansion of oversight of the awarding of performance bonuses for City of Atlanta personnel and the appointment of the city’s first ever Chief Transparency Officer.

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