Tackling Corruption: Financial Disclosure Systems for Public Officials





Identify ways to enhance the effectiveness of the financial disclosures of senior public officials in the fight against corruption.


Topic Overview

Financial disclosure by public officials has gathered greater attention in recent years as one of the few tools that can serve multiple anti-corruption objectives at once: prevention, detection, evidence gathering, and sanctioning. Disclosures have the potential of being a valuable instrument throughout the anti-corruption value chain as well as in closely related fields, particularly anti-money laundering and asset recovery.


The principle underlying any financial disclosure system is simple: high-level public officials must periodically submit information about their income, assets, liabilities, and interests. Yet, its implementation can be challenging. Implementation challenges may arise from all angles: a restrictive legal framework that prevents access to information, scarce resources, etc.  This may impact information-sharing at a broader scale and the use of declarations as an input in the fight against transnational corruption and money laundering schemes. Moreover, challenges can reduce declarations to a superficial administrative exercise, rendering the data gathered largely underutilized. Yet difficulties do not reduce the potential value of declarations.


Given the important role of financial disclosures, the growing prevalence of these systems, and the advent of relevant new technologies, the potential uses of financial disclosure information deserves greater attention. The panel seeks to share international experiences in financial disclosure administration and data analytics, as well as some of the challenges faced by practitioners when trying to use the information in the declarations and sharing it with other relevant actors.


Areas for proposal submission:  

* Why should countries establish financial disclosure systems?


* What does it take to ensure that a financial disclosure system is effective? Why? What challenges have you faced and what are the main lessons learned as a practitioner?  


* What are the different ways in which financial disclosure information could be used at the domestic and international levels?  


* What type of technological tools have been developed to better gather asset declaration information and improve “mining” it effectively?  


* What are some of your success stories with financial disclosures? What was the key to success?  


* How do you see the future of financial disclosures? What would you recommend?