Ethics Commission

Statement of Purpose and Policy

 The General Assembly of Maryland, recognizing that our system of representative government is dependent in part upon the people maintaining the highest trust in their public officials and officers, have declared that the people have a right to be assured that the impartially and independent judgment of public officials and officers will be maintained. It is evident that this confidence and trust is eroded when the conduct of a County's business is subject to improper influence and even the appearance of improper influence.

For the purpose of guarding against improper influence, the General Assembly enacted Title 15 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland which required local governments to enact a public ethics law to require local officials to disclose their financial interests and to set minimum standards for their conduct of County business. Thus, Howard County enacted Subtitle 2, of Title 22 of the Howard County Code as the Howard County Public Ethics Law.

Howard County Ethics Commission

The Howard County Ethics Commission consists of 5 members who are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. The Commission is responsible for administering the Howard County Public Ethics Law with respect to all public officials, officers and employees. Some of the Commission's major functions include rendering advisory opinions, receiving and reviewing financial disclosure statements, investigating complaints, and receiving and reviewing lobbyist registration and activity reports. The Commission meets on an as-needed basis in both open and closed session.

Contacting the Commission

Howard County Ethics Commission
Kristen Bowen Perry, Executive Secretary
3450 Courthouse Drive
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043
(410) 313-3084

Rules of Procedure

Rules of Procedure - (Updated Jan. 2021)

Financial Disclosure

If you received a notification from the Ethics Commission requiring you to file a Financial Disclosure Statement:   CLICK HERE TO FILE:


Please note that the Ethics Commission must verify and enter your email address into the electronic database before access will be granted.  To be added to the electronic system, please send an email to Rhonda Karafa at or call 410-313-3084.  Include in your email the name of your department or the name of the Board or Commission on which you serve.



Instructions for Employees and Officials

Employees and Officials Financial Disclosure Form

 Instructions for Board and Commission Members