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, assets, liabilities, and interests. Incorporated into several international conventions, including the United Nations Convention against Corruption, financial disclosure systems are 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 has been 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 resource for policy makers and practitioners as they help their countries to build more effective disclosure systems to support inclusive growth and shared prosperity.