“A key reason for voters’ overwhelming support of an ethics commission was to build trust in state government. That trust can only exist if the commission operates in an open and transparent manner,” said Melanie J. Majors, executive director of NM FOG.
NMFOG strongly supports aspects of HB 4 that allow complainants and those accused to speak openly from the beginning.
The bill also appears to require the commission to release a complaint once it is found to have probable cause and will be investigated, a position FOG believes is crucial to building the public’s trust. Hearings from that point should be open to the public.
But as lawmakers continue working on this bill, NMFOG urges them to improve transparency even further by requiring the commission to release all complaints at some point in the process, even if they are deemed unfounded. Out of fairness for the accused, one suggestion NMFOG has supported is to release them along with the responses.
“As lawmakers move forward in shaping this important commission, FOG urges them to keep transparency at the forefront,” said Majors.