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Laws

Purpose

The proper administration of democratic government requires that elected officials be independent, impartial, and responsible to the Navajo people; the government decisions and policy be made in the best interest of the Navajo people, the community and the government; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government.

Legislative History

The Navajo Nation Ethics in Government Law was orginally enacted by the Navajo Nation Council on August 9, 1984. (CAU-40-84) Subsequent to this, several amendments were made. Also, in April, 2005, the Navajo Nation Council supplemented the Ethics in Government Law by enacting the Navajo Nation Ethics in Government Law Garnishment Act of 2005. CAP-22-05 (amended for clarification by CJY-18-07). This addition permits, through the Courts, the garnishment of wages for violations of the Ethics in Government Law. In 2012, the function of the Ethics and Rules Committee was formerly delegated to the Office of Hearing and Appeals. (Resolution CO-45-12)

Standards of Conduct

In addition to those prohibitions in the Ethics in Government Law, the Ethics and Rules Committee has adopted supplemental rules and regulations governing the conduct of Navajo Nation Elected Officials. Copies of these amended regulations are available at the Ethics and Rules Office and website.

Conflicts of Interest

A primary purpose of the Ethics law is to address conflicts. Accordingly an important aspect of the Ethics in Government law concerns conflicts of interests. The law contains provisions which address economic interests, incompatible interests, confidential information, government contracts, participation in decision making, gifts and loans, use of public property and money, staff misuse, and the employment of relatives.

Public Awareness

Public awareness through education is critical for purposes of ensuring compliance with the law. A funuction of the Ethics and Rules Office is to inform the public of the following areas of the Ethics law; (including rules and regulations); the investigation process; complaints and hearing procedures; and seeking and obtaining Advisory Opinions. Further, it is important that people of the Navajo Nation have a general understanding of what is required of all elected officials and employees of the Navajo Nation. As with all government funuctions, public awareness helps ensure accountability.

Complaints

The office will investigate matters related to Ethics in Government Law and will determine whether a formal complaint will be filed. If a formal complaint is warranted, a complaint is drafted by the Office. Once the complaint is signed and served to the Respondent, it is generally considered a matter of public information.
The information contained herein is not a complete version of the Navajo Ethics in Government Law. A purpose of the summary made available here is to provide the general public a description of the duties and functions of the Office of Hearing and Appeals and those of the Ethics and Rules Office, as well as providing basic information about areas of the law pertaining to ethics and the conduct of elected officials, as it relates to the Navajo Ethics and Government Law.
The Ethics and Rules Office is available to assist individuals with any questions they may have concerning these restrictions, as well as any other questions involving any other area of the Ethics in Government Law.

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