Obligation

Prevention of Corruption

International and regional treaties are clear that states should take measures to prevent corruption.[1] Anticorruption instruments such as the U.N. Convention Against Corruption include important provisions regarding the behavior of public officials, aimed at ensuring that they are honest and responsible. Treaty sources define corruption as including:

  • The solicitation or acceptance of something of value in exchange for an advantage;[2]
  • The offering or granting of something of value in exchange for an act or omission in the performance of a public function;[3]
  • Fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities;[4]
  • Participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities;[5]
  • Any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits;[6]
  • The use of state property for purposes other than those for which they were intended for the benefit of the public official or a third party;[6]
  • Improper influence.[7]

International and regional treaties encourage states to implement or maintain effective policies to prevent corruption, including transparency in procurement, decision making, and recruitment of officials as well as public participation as a means of discouraging corruption.[8] Further, states are encouraged to promote campaign and political finance regulation and to promote public participation in decision making.[9] In the context of elections, these obligations are relevant to issues regarding the use of public resources by incumbents.

Issues


Recruitment of Electoral Management Body Staff

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

The appointment to and membership of the electoral management body were regulated by law

  • The bodies appointing members of electoral commissions must not be free to dismiss them at will. [?]

The recruitment and appointment of electoral management body staff were transparent, efficient, and equitable and instilled public confidence in the body

  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • States must ensure transparency, efficiency, and equity in the recruitment of officials. [?]
  • Recruitment of election authority staff that is transparent, efficient, and equitable should instill public confidence in the body. [?]
  • The bodies appointing members of electoral commissions must not be free to dismiss them at will. [?]

Anticorruption Policies Within the Electoral Management Body

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

The electoral management body, as an organ of the state, implemented effective policies to discourage acts of corruption

  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • Electoral legislation should include procedures and a range of penalties aimed at preventing corruption in various sectors. [?]
  • Corruption includes the solicitation or acceptance of something of value in exchange for an advantage. [?]
  • Corruption includes the offering or granting of something of value in exchange for an act or omission in the performance of a public function. [?]
  • Corruption includes fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits. [?]
  • Corruption includes the use of state property for purposes other than those for which they were intended for the benefit of the public official or a third party. [?]
  • Corruption includes improper influence. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]
  • States should establish effective laws and mechanisms to facilitate the recovery of illicitly acquired assets and the proceeds of corruption. [?]

Prevention of Corruption and Voting Operations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

The electoral management body maintained and implemented policies to prevent, address, and penalize acts of corruption, including during the voting process

  • Corruption includes the solicitation or acceptance of something of value in exchange for an advantage. [?]
  • Corruption includes the offering or granting of something of value in exchange for an act or omission in the performance of a public function. [?]
  • Corruption includes fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits. [?]
  • Corruption includes the use of state property for purposes other than those for which they were intended for the benefit of the public official or a third party. [?]
  • Corruption includes improper influence. [?]
  • States should promote transparency in public decision making as a means of combating corruption. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]
  • States should ensure transparency in procurement. [?]

Transparency in Electoral Management Body Decision Making and Procurement

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Election Management

The electoral management body ensured transparency in its decision making; for example, through open meetings and the use of public and competitive tenders

  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • States should promote transparency in public decision making as a means of combating corruption. [?]
  • It is desirable that electoral commissions make decisions by a qualified majority or by consensus. [?]

Prevention of Corruption in Vote Counting

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

The electoral management body maintained and implemented policies to prevent, address, and penalize acts of corruption, including during the voting process

  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • Electoral legislation should include procedures and a range of penalties aimed at preventing corruption in various sectors. [?]
  • Corruption includes the solicitation or acceptance of something of value in exchange for an advantage. [?]
  • Corruption includes the offering or granting of something of value in exchange for an act or omission in the performance of a public function. [?]
  • Corruption includes fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits. [?]
  • Corruption includes the use of state property for purposes other than those for which they were intended for the benefit of the public official or a third party. [?]
  • Corruption includes improper influence. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]

Misuse of State Resources

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework
  • Candidacy and Campaigning
  • Electoral Dispute Resolution

Public resources were not abused in support of a particular party or candidate

  • Public resources should not be abused in support of a particular political party or candidate. [?]
  • No party may receive clandestine or fraudulently obtained financial aid. [?]
  • When public resources are permitted to be used during campaigns, they should be available to all parties and candidates without discrimination. [?]

The law was clear regarding the extent to which public employees could be involved in a campaign. Public employees were not coerced into voting for a particular candidate or party

  • Electoral legislation should include procedures and a range of penalties aimed at preventing corruption in various sectors. [?]
  • The law should be clear regarding the extent to which public employees may be involved in a campaign. [?]
  • The legal framework should provide for a general prohibition of abuse of public resources and of official position, clearly stipulating permissible and prohibited practices. [?]
  • Regulations against misuse of public resources and of official position may include a prohibition for public officials to campaign while on duty. [?]

There was a balanced and transparent system for political party financing

  • A balanced and transparent system of political party financing should be fostered. [?]

The electoral management body maintained and implemented policies to prevent, address, and penalize acts of corruption, including during the voting process

  • A designated independent body should oversee compliance with regulations against misuse of public resources and of official position. [?]

The state acted to investigate and address violations of rights. It provided appropriate judicial and administrative means for addressing claims of rights violations, including allegations of electoral fraud

  • Misuse of public resources and of official position should be subject to appeals to a judicial or another authorized body. [?]

Sanctions for violations of the electoral law were proportionate, appropriate, and effectively enforced

  • Effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions should be envisaged for misuse of public resources and of official position. [?]

Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

Party agents and accredited observers were given copies of the protocols and tabulation sheets from the results center

  • Observers should be given copies of all protocols and tabulation sheets. [?]
  • Results centers should be established and accessible. [?]

The vote-counting process was transparent and observable

  • Electoral legislation should include procedures and a range of penalties aimed at preventing corruption in various sectors. [?]
  • Corruption includes the solicitation or acceptance of something of value in exchange for an advantage. [?]
  • Corruption includes the offering or granting of something of value in exchange for an act or omission in the performance of a public function. [?]
  • Corruption includes fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits. [?]
  • Corruption includes the use of state property for purposes other than those for which they were intended for the benefit of the public official or a third party. [?]
  • Corruption includes improper influence. [?]
  • States should promote transparency in public decision making as a means of combating corruption. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]
  • It is desirable that electoral commissions make decisions by a qualified majority or by consensus. [?]
  • Public resources should not be abused in support of a particular political party or candidate. [?]
  • A balanced and transparent system of political party financing should be fostered. [?]
  • Votes should be counted and reported honestly. [?]
  • Observers should be given copies of all protocols and tabulation sheets. [?]
  • Ballot tallies must be transmitted to higher levels in an open manner. [?]
  • Results centers should be established and accessible. [?]

Transparency in Decision Making and Procurement in the Voter Registration Process

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

The electoral management body promoted transparency in its decision making and procurement processes, including with regard to voter registration processes

  • States should promote transparency in public decision making as a means of combating corruption. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]

Independence and Impartiality of the Electoral Management Body

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Legal Framework
  • Election Management

There was an independent and impartial electoral management body

  • The bodies appointing members of electoral commissions must not be free to dismiss them at will. [?]

Steps were taken to institutionalize efficient and effective public administration

  • Civil servants and public officials should be obliged by law to act neutrally and impartially. [?]

Disclosure of Campaign Finances

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning
  • The Media

Limits on advertising spending (as political speech) were instituted only in the interests of promoting equality between candidates or parties

  • Laws should address the applicability of regulations on paid political advertising in traditional media, including rules on placement, financing, and transparency, to such advertising online. [?]

Campaign finance reporting requirements were realistic, and disclosure requirements struck a balance between transparency and the privacy of donors

  • A balanced and transparent system of political party financing should be fostered. [?]
  • Laws should address the applicability of regulations on paid political advertising in traditional media, including rules on placement, financing, and transparency, to such advertising online. [?]

Disclosure provisions should clearly identify what counts as campaign expenditure

  • Regulations should clearly identify what counts as a campaign expenditure and what does not. [?]
  • Regulations should establish a campaign period for the purposes of expenditure. [?]

The funding received by a political party and/or candidate was disclosed in regular reports

  • Parties should offer access to their foundational documents, procedures, and accounts. [?]
  • Parties should submit reports at regular intervals. [?]

Paid content in media and other information sources, including online, was clearly marked and distinguishable from editorial and user-generated content

  • Laws should address the applicability of regulations on paid political advertising in traditional media, including rules on placement, financing, and transparency, to such advertising online. [?]

Transparency in the Reporting, Transmission, and Publishing of Election Results

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Vote Counting and Tabulation

Tallies were transmitted to higher levels of tabulation in a transparent and open manner

  • Ballot tallies must be transmitted to higher levels in an open manner. [?]

Votes were counted and reported honestly

  • Votes should be counted and reported honestly. [?]

Campaign Expenditures

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

There were limits imposed on campaign expenditures

  • Campaigning and spending by third parties may be regulated, in particular to ensure transparency and accountability. [?]

Regulation of Campaign Contributions

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Candidacy and Campaigning

There was a balanced and transparent system for political party financing

  • Campaigning and spending by third parties may be regulated, in particular to ensure transparency and accountability. [?]

Sources

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