Reports should be timely, public, detailed, and comprehensive and should be understandable to the public at large.
- There are four primary principles underpinning successful regulation on public disclosure. The information provided to the public needs to be: Timely, in the sense that information on election expenditure published long after the elections can neither affect the voters’ choice on election day, nor serve as a good basis for reasonable sanctions.
- Effective reports should be detailed and comprehensive. They should include accounts of both donations to and expenditure by the party.
- There are four primary principles underpinning successful regulation on public disclosure. The information provided to the public needs to: ...Include the right amount of detail, and not overburden the reader with a level of detail that is not useful. If the reports are to be read by an informed public, they need to be presented in a way and with a level of detail to make them understandable to a non-professional.
- There are four primary principles underpinning successful regulation on public disclosure. The information provided to the public needs to be: ...Publicly available, not only on public display in a government office in the capital during office hours, but rather published in a way that gives the maximum number of citizens the chance to read the reports. Depending on the country, this may mean publication in main newspapers or on the website of the enforcement agency (EMB or other) or even posting summaries on public notice boards.
- Such information should be presented in a timely fashion, on an annual basis, but particularly before and after elections. It should list donors and the amount of their donations, including in kind contributions and loans, and should also list destinations of expenditure. The information should be made publicly available in a timely manner so that the public can take account of it prior to elections.
- Each information holder must create, keep, organise and maintain its information in a manner which facilitates the right of access to information, as provided in this Act.
- Public bodies and relevant private bodies must proactively publish information.
- Reports should be timely. Reports should be public. Reports should be detailed and comprehensive. Reports should be understandable to the public at large.
- Information provided to party members, state agencies and the public must...clearly identify all individual contributions made by donors and parties, including the names of contributors. Information provided to party members, state agencies and the public must be: ...Reliable: State as well as social control heavily relies on having parties and other relevant actors provide the correct information. Given its importance, submitting false data is considered a crime in a number of countries. Timely: Reporting should be done as close to when the transaction was completed as possible since time allows for manipulation. Any information provided in the run-up to elections must be made available immediately to citizens. Intelligible: Information has to be presented in a user-friendly way. Background on different sources as well as searchable databases is necessary to empower individual citizens and the media to understand, interpret and use political finance data. Accessible: Data should not only be available upon request, but disclosed actively through a variety of channels. Modern information technologies allow state agencies to implement automated reporting and online monitoring via searchable datasets.
- Disclosure requirements, which in order to be effective must require timely and public disclosure, must have equal application. Enforcement mechanisms should be included that also provide due process protections and safeguards to ensure nondiscriminatory application.
- ...[I]n order to be effective disclosed information should be accurate, publicly available and comprehensible to potential users. An essential prerequisite is timely information which attracts the attention of the media and public debate, and has a potential impact on voting behaviour.
- For campaign finance laws or regulations to be meaningful, it is essential for them to require disclosure through clear, detailed and periodic reporting on contributions and expenditures.
- Transparency International recommends that governments make the following four commitments: Apply comprehensive disclosure regulations to the finances of parties and candidates and ensure that all information is regularly published via a single online portal.
- Reports should clearly distinguish between income and expenditures. Further, reporting formats should include the itemization of donations into standardized categories as defined by relevant regulations and should be easily accessible and user-friendly and not overly burdensome, while also allowing the relevant data to be processed electronically afterwards.
- Transparency in reporting requires the timely publication of parties’ financial reports; the reports need to remain public for an appropriate amount of time, to allow for proper public scrutiny. The fulfilment of this requirement means that reports need to contain enough details to be useful and understandable for the general public and can be facilitated through digitalization of the process.
- The obligations to promote the enjoyment of the right to freedom of opinion and expression require that States guarantee the transparency of all aspects of political and electoral processes, and should particularly put in place measures to: (a) Enact regulations requiring the submission of periodic financial reports by parties, political organizations and candidates, entailing full disclosure of all resources collected, in monetary form or in kind, and their origin, and all expenditure, in order to promote public scrutiny and informed voting by citizens. Political finance reporting should be comprehensive, timely, available to the public, and subject to stringent sanctions for inadequate disclosure or timeliness.