Innovations in the fight against corruption in political finance

In the past years, two main areas have been considered promising in the fight against corruption in political finance. They include the involvement of civil society, media and voters in general in external oversight and the use of technology and open data sources by both government and non-governmental organisations[1] to better monitor implementation with the law, identify potential corruption risks and wrongdoings and help voters to make informed decisions.

In addition to monitoring political party financing, civil society organisations can also play a role in advocating for appropriate political finance rules. This role can also be successfully played or supported by international donors operating in developing countries. The international community can provide support in building impetus for reform and providing technical assistance to governments attempting to regulate this sector; strengthening enforcement capacity of dedicated national bodies; and providing funding for civil society activities in this area.

Fighting corruption in political finance: the role of civil society

In Colombia, Transparencia por Colombia, with the support of USAID and the government of Colombia, developed a web tool(Cuentas Claras) that allows political parties to submit campaign finance information. The tool was officially adopted by the National Electoral Council and is now used for its own monitoring of party finance. The website also allows citizens to consult through searchable database real time information on political finance.

In Hungary, in the absence of adequate legislation requesting political parties to publicly disclose information on income and expenditures and ensuring proper oversight, Transparency International Hungary, and K-Monitor launched a campaign called (which means hypocrisy in Hungarian) to collect data and information on political parties campaign spending, including expenditures on advertisements and media appearances, among others. The monitoring effort found that almost all parliamentary parties running for the last elections exceed the spending limit set by the law by HUF 3.5 billion (approximately US$ 14 million) and that political parties failed to report on how state subsidies were used[2].  


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