Income and asset declarations for NGOs – U4 Expert Answer
Upon the request of the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative the U4 has prepared an expert analysis on income and asset declarations for NGOs: the international experience.
What is the international established legal practice with regards to asset/wealth declarations of persons other than public officials, such as members of non-governmental organisations? Of interest are existing systems in member states of the EU, OECD and in the Eastern European/post-Soviet context. Also, what is the status of international scholarly discussion on the inclusion of members of non-governmental organisations in asset/wealth declaration systems?
Since the practice of subjecting members of civil society to the same type of asset declarations public officials are often required to file is not common, this Expert Answer focuses on the potential damages and risks of such an approach.
This Expert Answer covers the use of income and asset declaration (IAD) regimes for nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and discusses whether this system is suitable for the sector. The first section gives a brief overview of the role of civil society in a democratic state. The second part covers the ways in which the space for civil society around the world has been threatened over the past two decades, including, for example, the restriction of foreign funding for civil society organisations (CSOs). This is then followed by a discussion on whether IAD systems, – originally designed for the public sector – are an appropriate tool to increase transparency and accountability among CSOs, based on the principles of democracy and the existing accountability relationships of civil society and different actors. The final section of this Answer provides an overview of different mechanisms to increase the levels of transparency in NGOs.
Author(s): Roberto Martinez B. Kukutschka, firstname.lastname@example.org
U4 is a web-based resource centre for development practitioners who wish to effectively address corruption challenges in their work. Expert Answers are produced by the U4 Helpdesk – operated by Transparency International – as quick responses to operational and policy questions from U4 Partner Agency staff.