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U4 Helpdesk Answer

Improving and enforcing income, interest and asset declaration systems

This Helpdesk Answer provides an overview of how interest, income and asset declaration (IIAD) systems can be designed and implemented to be an effective anti-corruption tool. Seven key elements of IIAD systems – coverage, content, frequency, verification, bodies, sanctions and public access – are discussed and good practices of implementation are highlighted. As the lack of enforcement remains as one of the main obstacles to the success of these systems, six measures are recommended.

28 May 2024
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Improving and enforcing income, interest and asset declaration systems

Main points

  • The causal effect of IIAD systems on lowering corruption is difficult to measure, but studies have shown that the existence of these disclosure laws and mechanisms and public access to declarations are correlated with lower corruption perception levels.
  • In sub-Saharan African countries, poor enforcement of IIAD systems are attributed to a lack of political will, insufficient design and a broader culture of corruption and impunity.
  • Targeting high-level and high-risk officials, filing periodic declarations, strengthening verification, relying on digital systems, ensuring cooperation between agencies and defining a range of enforceable sanctions are good practices to improve IIAD systems frameworks.
  • The incremental approach, naming and shaming, cooperation between national and international agencies, training and associating IIAD systems with broader anti-corruption programmes are indicated as enforcement measures.

Cite this publication

Dominguez, M. (2024) Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2024:23)

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Maria Dominguez


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This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)