Getting the Full Picture on Public Officials: A How-To Guide for Effective Financial Disclosure

Getting the Full Picture on Public Officials: A How-To Guide for Effective Financial Disclosure

by Ivana Maria Rossi, Laura Pop, Tammar Berger


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Getting the Full Picture on Public Officials: A How-To Guide for Effective Financial Disclosure by Ivana Maria Rossi, Laura Pop, Tammar Berger

Financial disclosure asset disclosure, income and asset declarations, wealth reporting and interest declarations-despite the variations in name, all of these mechanisms are bound by a common and simple principle a public official must periodically submit information about his or her income assests, liabilities and interests incorporated into serveral international conventions, including the United Nations Conventions against Corruption, financial dislosure systes the widespread across regions and are recognized as a key tool in the fight against corruption and in promoting transparency. By now 161 countries around the world have introduced financial disclosure systems, Although the rules are on the books, many practitioners are still struggling with the intricacies of the rules and how to implement them in the socioeconomic, historical, and legal context of their own country. Little guidance is available to assist them. Getting the Full Picture on Public Officials A How-To Guide for Effective Financial Disclosure aims to fill that void and provide practitioners with practical scenarios to consider before deciding on a particular course of action. This book contains short chapters that elaborate each topic and provide clear guidance on the issues that policy makers and those involved in the implementation of financial disclosure obligations will need to take into account before making a decision. How do you decide who should file? Everyone in the civil service ? Only ministers? And what about their spouses, children or extended family? And how often? Online or in hard copy? And what exactly? Everything they own directly-or also those apartments they own indirectly? And How can this information be analyzed? This is the sort of practical guidance that this book aims to provide. With the integration of new technologies and enhancements in coordination with other areas, the potential for using disclosures to fight corruption is growing. This Guide aims to capture and contribute to this momentum, while also helping countries make full use of this tool. Written in nontechnical language, this book will be a valuable resources for policy makers and practitioners as they help their countries to build more effective disclosure systems to support inclusive growth and shared prosperity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781464809538
Publisher: World Bank Publications
Publication date: 12/16/2017
Pages: 148
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.32(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Authors xv

Abbreviations xvii

Glossary xix

Introduction 1

Notes 5

References 6

1 Why DO Countries Embark on Financial Disclosure? 7

Global and Regional Trends Observed in the Adoption of Disclosure Systems 8

What Are the Objectives of a Disclosure System? 9

Illicit Wealth Focus 10

Conflict of Interest Focus 10

Legal Foundations of Disclosure Systems 12

Domestic Legal Foundations 12

International Conventions and Other Instruments 12

Expectations: The Nonlegal Key to Successful Objectives 14

Notes 15

References 17

2 Who Should File a Disclosure? How Often? 19

Who Should File a Disclosure? 19

Targeted Categories of Officials 20

Put a Name to It: Creating and Updating a List of Filers 22

Size Matters 23

Family Members 24

How Often Should Filers Declare? 26

Notes 28

References 28

3 What to Declare? 29

What Makes a Disclosure Form Strong or Weak? 30

What Categories of Information Are Included in Financial Disclosure Forms? 33

Personal Identification Information 35

Declaring Immovable and Movable Assets 37

Declaring Income 40

Declaring Securities 41

Declaring Business Relationships with Financial Institutions (Bank Accounts) 42

Declaring Liabilities 42

Declaring Cash 42

Declaring Interests 43

Declaring Gifts 43

Beneficial Ownership 44

Notes 48

References 48

4 The Submission Process 49

Key Elements of the Submission Process 50

The Register of Filers 51

Communication with the Filer 52

Completing and Submitting the Form 55

Ensuring Compliance and Quality Control 58

Data Collection and Management 59

Analysis and Reporting 60

Electronic versus Paper-Based Submission 61

Challenges in Transitioning to Electronic-Based Submission 63

Notes 65

Reference 66

5 Verification of Information 67

Objectives of Verification 68

Verification Methodology 70

Determining Which Disclosures to Verify 70

The Verification Process 75

What Happens When Irregularities Are Found? 77

Public Access and Verification 78

Interagency Cooperation for Effective Verification 80

Mapping Sources of Information for Verification (Domestically and Abroad) 80

Prioritizing Sources of Information 81

Ensuring Effective Interagency Cooperation 83

Using Electronic Tools in the Verification Process 85

Notes 87

References 87

6 Why and How to Provide Access to Information in Disclosures 89

Public Availability of Information 90

Approaches to Public Availability 91

What Information Is Made Available? 93

Information Contained in Public Officials' Declarations 93

Sharing Information about the Disclosure System 94

Sharing Information with Other Agencies and Institutions 97

Sharing Information with Other Government Agencies 97

Sharing Information with Foreign and Private Sector Institutions 99

Notes 103

References 103

7 How Are Disclosures Used for Enforcement? 105

Section 1 Enforcement of the Disclosure System 106

Connecting the Dots 106

Who Is Sanctioned? 113

Cooperation and Coordination 113

Challenges in Imposing Sanctions 114

Section 2 Disclosures as Part of a Bigger Puzzle: How Can Disclosure Support the Broader Fight against Corruption and Asset Recovery? 116

Illicit Enrichment 117

Asset Recovery 117

Notes 119

Appendix A Sample 1 and Sample 2 Data 121

Sample 1 Legislation 121

Sample 2 Practices of Disclosure Agencies 123

Notes 125

Reference 125


1.1 Who Are We? 3

1.2 A Little Bit More on Our Data 3

3.1 Keeping the Truth (and Luxury New York Apartments) Hidden, while Not Lying 45

5.1 Verifying Abroad: International Cooperation and Open Sources 84


1.1 Adoption of Financial Disclosure Laws Spiked in the Last Three Decades 8

1.2 Financial Disclosure Laws Are More Widespread in Some Regions 9

1.3 Systems Combine Elements of Both Illicit Wealth and Conflicts of Interest Objectives 11

1.4 International Anticorruption Instruments and Adoption of Financial Disclosure Laws 14

2.1 Share of Public Officials Required to Disclose, by Category 20

2.2 Filing Population Size 23

2.3 Size of Disclosure Population 24

2.4 Share of Jurisdictions Requiring Disclosure of Family Members 25

2.5 Frequency of Disclosure Requirements 27

3.1 Disclosure Form Example, Income 30

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