The Ethics Act and the Commission
The initial version of the first Pennsylvania Public Official and Employee Ethics Act("Ethics Act"), Act 170 of 1978, primarily became effective January 1, 1979. The Ethics Act was amended and reenacted in 1989 by Act 9 of 1989 and was codified in 1998 by Act 93 of 1998, 65 Pa.C.S. § 1101 et seq. The Ethics Act was further amended by Act 134 of 2006. The Ethics Act provides that public office is a public trust and that any effort to realize personal financial gain through public office, other than compensation provided by law, is a violation of that trust. The Ethics Act was passed to strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of the Commonwealth in their government. The Ethics Act established the State Ethics Commission to administer and enforce the provisions of the Ethics Act and to provide guidance regarding the standards established by the Ethics Act.