Policy on Publishing Ethics Sanctions

AGA Professional Ethics Board (PEB), January 2020

The purpose of Member Discipline Proceedings is to protect AGA, the public, government offices, and officials from members who have not discharged, will not discharge, or are unlikely to properly discharge their professional duties to their clients, the public, their employer, and the government financial management profession.1

Publication of sanctions furthers this purpose by:

  • Letting AGA members and CGFM credential holders know that the ethics enforcement process is taken seriously;
  • Protecting the reputation of the AGA;
  • Protecting the reputations of AGA members and CGFM credential holders;
  • Protecting the public;
  • Protecting organizations that employ AGA members and CGFM credential holders.

AGA’s policies regarding publishing sanctions are set forth in the following paragraphs.

Sanctions of Suspension and Termination

Upon conclusion of an ethics investigation resulting in a determination that the Code of Ethics has been violated and a sanction of either termination or suspension of AGA membership has been decided upon, the PEB should2 publish that decision as follows:

  • The decision will be published one time in the routine communications to members and leaders (I.e. Topics, Leadership Matters and the AGA Journal.)
  • The decision will be published on an “Ethics Decisions” page on the AGA web site and generally remain on that web site page for 5 years in the case of terminations and 1 year in the case of suspensions.

The published decision will be limited to:

  • The sanction(s) imposed,
  • A brief, factual statement of the respondent’s action(s) that resulted in the sanction, and
  • Reference to the specific Code of Ethics provision(s) that those action(s) violated.

AGA’s legal counsel will review and approve each disclosure before it is published.

In the event that an allegation against a member or CGFM leads the PEB to conclude that the member or CGFM should be suspended pending completion of the investigation (interim suspension), such suspension will not be published until and unless the completed investigation has concluded that a suspension or termination sanction is warranted.

Normally, the name of the respondent will not be published. However, the PEB may include the name of the respondent if the PEB decides that doing so would be important to protect the reputation of AGA or AGA members and CGFM credential holders, protect the public, or protect organizations that employ AGA members and CGFM credential holders. AGA’s National Governing Board (NGB) will review and approve each disclosure that includes the name of the respondent before it is published.

Sanctions of Other Than Suspension and Termination

For ethics investigations resulting in a sanction of other than termination or suspension (i.e., reprimand or reciprocal discipline), the PEB will decide on a case-by-case basis whether the sanction will be published after consideration of the nature and seriousness of the offense.  If the PEB decides that such sanctions will be published, the published decision will be limited to:

  • The sanction(s) imposed,
  • A brief, factual statement of the respondent’s action(s) that resulted in the sanction, and
  • Reference to the specific Code of Ethics provision(s) that those action(s) violated.

Such decisions will be published as follows:

  • The decision will be published one time in the routine communications to members and leaders (currently Topics, the AGA Journal, and Leadership Matters.)
  • The decision will be published on an “Ethics Decisions” page on the AGA web site and will remain on that page for 1 year.

AGA’s legal counsel will review and approve each disclosure before it is published.

Normally, the name of the respondent will not be published. However, the PEB may include the name of the respondent in a published decision if the PEB decides that doing so would be important to protect the reputation of AGA or AGA members and CGFM credential holders, protect the public, or protect organizations that employ AGA members and CGFM credential holders. AGA’s NGB will review and approve each disclosure that includes the name of the respondent before it is is published.

1 AGA Ethics Handbook, 2018, Appendix B, A, 1.1.

2 “Should” denotes a presumptively mandatory requirement.  If the PEB determines that any particular termination or suspension sanction decision will not be published, the basis for that determination will be documented.