Resources from the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk

Access to information and political parties. Martini, M., 2014. Anti-Corruption Helpdesk Answer, Transparency International.

In the majority of countries, political parties, due to their legal status, do not feature among the institutions required to respond to citizens’ access to information requests, but this does not mean that political parties should not report and disclose information related to their activities. Political funding rules often include provisions requiring political parties to disclose such information. International standards put forward by intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations have called on countries to establish clear rules requiring political parties to regularly disclose information about their operations, in particular about their finances. In addition, to ensure that the information disclosed reflects reality, political parties should be obliged to keep proper books and accounts containing detailed information on all sources of income, donations and expenditures during the financial year and elections. Countries should also provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions to ensure compliance with the law.  

Electoral campaign reporting rules and the role of supervisory bodies. Martini, M., 2013. Anti-Corruption Helpdesk Answer, Transparency International.  

Reporting and disclosure requirements are instrumental to ensuring fairness and avoiding undue influence in the political process. Political parties and candidates should therefore regularly report on donations received and expenditures during electoral campaigns. The frequency of reporting, however, varies from country to country. In order to guarantee the effective implementation of the law, independent and well-resourced supervisory bodies with investigative powers should be established. These bodies should be able to proactively conduct investigations throughout and after the elections to ensure political parties and candidates follow campaign finance rules.  

Political Party Accountability: Intra-Party Democracy, Funding, and Minimum Standards for Candidates. Martini, M., 2012.  Anti-Corruption Helpdesk Answer, Transparency International.  

Intra-party democracy typically relates to how party candidates and leaders are selected as well as how the party defines its programme and policy positions, with issues of inclusiveness, centralisation and institutionalisation at the core of the concerns. With regard to political party financing, there is a broad consensus that countries should seek to regulate public and private funding, establish ceiling on expenditures, limit contributions, as well as ensure great levels of transparency. It is also key to have an independent oversight institution to implement and enforce the legislation. In terms of minimum requirements for candidates, besides age, citizenship and a certain level of educational qualifications, which are often conditions for eligibility, countries should seek to exclude individuals convicted for corruption or other electoral crimes/contraventions from running for public office.

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