(As Amended by the Board of Directors April 2001)
Ethics is defined by Webster as the rules or standards governing the conduct of the members of a
profession. Ethical conduct must be based upon justice and fair play in the fullest sense.
The purpose of this code is to assemble a body of principles to guide members of the California
Municipal Treasurers Association as they confront ethical problems when carrying out their
duties and responsibilities.
According to Henry J. Wirtenberger, S.J. author of "Morality and Business", two virtues stand
out in evaluating the quality of human conduct. They are justice and prudence.
(1) St. Thomas Aquinas defined justice as "a cardinal virtue whereby one has the constant and
perpetual will to give to others whatever is due them."
(2) Prudence is the ability by which a person learns to differentiate between what is good and
what is evil, i.e., capable of exercising sound judgment in practical matters. According to
Aristotle's brief definition, "Prudence is a reasonable way of doing things."
Using the foregoing principles of justice and prudence as guides, the following Code of Ethics
shall govern the professional conduct of active members of the California Municipal Treasurers
(1) To protect, preserve and maintain intact cash, investments and other assets placed in trust
with the Treasurer on behalf of the residents of the community.
(2) To promote principles of good government. To be dedicated to the concepts of effective and
efficient local government service being provided by elected and appointed Treasurers.
(3) To maintain personal conduct in such a manner as will enhance the stature of the profession
and its ability to serve the public.
(4) To observe the profession's technical standards and continually strive to improve the
Treasurers' level of competence.
(5) To be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor, integrity, and objectivity in all public and
professional relationships, and to function within existing legal guidelines.
(6) To promote cooperation, good relations, bonds of friendship and mutual understanding
among the membership.
(7) To encourage the development of clear lines of communication between residents and
elected officials, administrative officers and employees.
(8) To resist encroachments upon areas of responsibility, as the Treasurer must be free to carry
out official duties without interference.
(9) To seek no personal advantage or gain as a result of the position occupied, or due to the
commission of a questionable act.
By accepting membership, each member agrees to be bound and governed by the Code of Ethics
and the Code of Professional Conduct as adopted by CMTA.
CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
(As Amended by the Board April 2001)
I. THE ASSOCIATION
The California Municipal Treasurers Association (CMTA) is a professional association of public
treasurers organized in 1959.
The purpose of the Association shall be to promote professional standards for publicTreasurers
and a fraternal fellowship among the members.
III. GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT
The code was prepared as a policy statement regarding how a member of CMTA approaches
matters involving professional conduct. It is a fundamental principle that professional conduct
for a public treasurer should exist at a level well above the minimum required by law.
IV. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES
The Treasurer performs at least the following basic functions:
(1) Acts as trustee and custodian of all jurisdiction monies.
(a) The Treasurer's primary responsibility is to maintain the safety of monies placed in
his/her public trust.
(b) In order to limit exposure to risk, investment transactions should be executed with bankers
and brokers with adequate capital resources, and purchases should be limited to a
small percentage of the firm's capital and surplus.
(2) Disburses public monies in accordance with prescribed statutes in a timely manner.
(a) The receipt of revenues and maturities of investments should be scheduled so that
adequate cash will be available to meet disbursements.
(b) An adequate percentage of the portfolio should be maintained in liquid short-term securities
to be converted to cash if necessary.
(c) The weighted average life of the general governmental portfolio should be maintained
within limits dictated by the cash flow needs of the jurisdiction.
(d) Yield becomes a consideration only after the basic requirements of safety and liquidity
have been met.
(3) Invests temporarily idle monies in accordance with State or local statutes, regulations and administrative
directives. (Section 53601 et seq. of the Government Code.)
(a) Purchase of securities should be made on the basis of competitive bids when practical.
(b) Security purchases and holdings are to be maintained within statutory limits imposed by
the Government Code or local ordinance.
The Treasurer shall file reports as required by various sections of the Government Code.
VI. HEARINGS RELATED TO ALLEGATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
A violation of CMTA's code of professional conduct is grounds for suspension and/or
termination of CMTA membership. Upon receiving allegations that a CMTA member has
violated provisions of CMTA's code of professional conduct from another CMTA member, the
President and board shall do the following:
(1) Board Notification by President. The President shall notify board members that an
allegation has been made and shall forward all background information provided. The
Board will then determine by conference call or fax vote if a Board hearing should be
(2) Discussion at Board Meeting. If the Board determines a vote is required, the Board
shall schedule the matter for discussion and action at a regularly scheduled CMTA Board
(3) Notice and Opportunity to Be Heard. The President shall notify the delegate/member
whose conduct is at issue of the fact and nature of the allegations, as well as the
delegate/member's opportunity to provide the Board additional information relating to
the allegations. Such notice shall occur at least four weeks prior to the Board meeting at
which the allegations will be discussed. The member may provide the Board information
orally at the board meeting, or in writing at least four days prior to the Board meeting, or
(4) Board Deliberation and Discussion. After considering all of the information received,
the Board may, by a majority vote, do one of the following:
a. Find that no violation occurred and continue the delegate/representative's
membership in good standing.
b. Depending on the severity of the violation(s) the Board find occurred:
i. Suspend delegate/representative's membership for a specified period, or
ii. Terminate the delegate/representative's membership.
Suspensions and terminations shall be effective immediately.
(5) Reinstatement. Any delegate/representative who has been terminated may, for good
cause shown, petition for reinstatement.
(6) Notice to Agency. If the Board determines that suspension or termination is appropriate,
it may provide written notice of its decision and the basis therefore to the