All ethics commissions serve the same general purpose of encouraging ethics in government, but the powers and duties of individual commissions vary greatly. Some states grant commissions substantial authority and independence, while others serve in a more limited or advisory capacity. Commissions might also have different combinations of responsibilities. Commissions may have the power to issue subpoenas, judicially enforceable orders, make rules, conduct ethics trainings, or more. Powers may vary depending upon the issue and branch of government.
This chart shows statutory powers and duties of ethics commissions, such as the authority to develop forms and manuals, examine reports, monitor compliance, subpoena witnesses, issue advisory opinions and conduct trainings.