GMA appointed an Ethics Task Force in 1998 to address concerns over a trend toward less confidence in public officials. The Ethics Task Force was comprised of municipal elected officials, community and industry leaders and academics. The result of their work was the publication of a "Model Code of Ethics for Georgia City Officials" in September 1999 and the implementation of GMA's Certified City of Ethics program.
Certification under this program program is not in any way approval of past or present conduct by the city or any city official. Instead it is an attempt to raise awareness about ethics issues at the local level and provide a local forum for the airing and resolution of legitimate concerns. The use of a local ethics ordinance allows citizens to raise their concerns and participate in the ethics investigation process at the local level, where the voice and influence of the individual citizen is strongest.