Only 43% of countries disclose public officials’ financial assets — World Bank
UNITED STATES: World Bank has disclosed that only 43 per cent of countries disclosed their public officials’ financial assets.
The bank stated that financial disclosure laws requiring public officials to file a statement of their assets, liabilities and interests can make corruption easier to detect.
However, a new World Bank database finds that although 78 per cent of countries covered by the database have financial disclosure systems, only 36 per cent systematically check public servants’ disclosures for irregularities and inconsistencies.
To support countries in their fight against corruption, the World Bank is launching the Financial Disclosure Law Library to help policymakers and practitioners establish strong financial disclosure systems. The Library compiles over 1,000 laws and regulations on financial disclosure and restrictions on public officials’ activities from 176 countries.
Financial disclosure by public officials provides law enforcement with information and evidence for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of corruption, illicit enrichment and tax crimes. It also gives citizens the information they need to hold public officials accountable for their actions.
The Library shows that not all public officials are obligated to declare their assets and interests. High-level officials are generally included; 93 percent of covered countries require disclosure for cabinet members, 91 percent for Members of Parliament and 62 percent for high-ranking prosecutors. However, only 43 percent of countries provide the public with open access to public officials’ financial disclosures.