Enforcing Income and Asset Declaration Laws
While many nations have enacted laws requiring public servants to disclose their income and assets, effective enforcement has often been a challenge. Detecting when a public servant's lifestyle is inconsistent with his or her disclosure statement is time-consuming and difficult, and public prosecutors may not have either the resources or skills to conduct such investigations. This gap can sometimes be filled by civil society groups, As the attached document explains, a researcher for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism made onsite inspections of tax officials' home (or homes) and other tangible assets and compared their value against what the official earned as a tax collector.
Income and Asset Disclosure Laws in Bank Client Countries
Requiring public servants to periodically disclose their income and assets is an important tool for combatting corruption. It demonstrates a leaders commitment to anti-corruption. It helps the public to hold the government accountable, can be used effectively to curb conflicts of interests, and warns against illicit enrichment. The study summarizes the income and asset disclosure requirements of heads of state and governments of 147 World Bank client countries - disclosure being required in 101 countries, 31 of which are public, and 70 non-public. The relevant laws that set out the requirements, and the agencies responsible for the disclosures are also listed. This is a living document, corrections, updates and forms would be greatly appreciated. Please send updates and corrections to Law and Justice TG, Mail Stop 4-416, World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.w., Washington, D.C. 20433.
CORIS -- The Corruption Online Research Information System
CORIS is Transparency International's web-based initiative to meet the research needs of anti-corruption practitioners in accessing both published and grey literature on corruption and governance. It includes the texts of laws on subjects such as freedom of information and whistleblower protection laws.
Writing an Effective Anticorruption Law
The success of anti-corruption legislation depends crucially on the caliber of the agency that will enforce it. Where enforcers are themselves open to bribery or subject to political manipulation, the law should leave them little or no room to exercise discretion.
The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery
The OECD Convention requires nations adhering to it to make it a crime to offer, promise or give a bribe to a foreign public official in order to obtain or retain international business. A related text effectively puts an end to the practice of according tax deductibility for bribe payments made to foreign officials. The Convention commits signatory countries, which include the world's largest economies, to adopt common rules to punish companies and individuals who engage in bribery.
Fostering Institutions to Combat Corruption
Implementing anti-corruption measures requires an institutional framework. But endemic corruption is a systemic disease that can only be controlled with a systemic cure—no single institution will do. Effective and durable corruption control requires multiple, reinforcing, and overlapping institutions of accountability. And where corruption is endemic, these institutions need to be of three kinds: horizontal accountability, vertical accountability, and external accountability.
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