Impact | Negative
Probability | Medium
Civicus Rating | Narrowed
6 months after its presentation, the Government, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the National Assembly activated and approved a bill authored by Deputy Gabriel Silva (independent) that seeks to minimize the possibility of conflicts of interests among public officials especially in high ranking positions. It is now pending its second plenary debate.
The initiative covers the ‘principles, prohibitions, obligations and incompatibilities’ that should be hallmarks of public service. In addition, it empowers the Comptroller General of the Republic as the entity charged with ensuring compliance, with the support of the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information (ANTAI, in Spanish).
Although the approval of this bill would, in theory, mark a step forward in transparency and accountability, we are concerned that instead of making the sworn declarations public ANTAI will instead, and only, deliver a general annual report covering the number of declarations received and the list of individuals deemed non-compliant, as implied under the bill’s Article 29. Only the publication of the sworn declarations themselves will allow for meaningful cross-checking and validation of whether such interests exist.