What is the monitoring process ?
Upon reception of a declaration, a first formal check of the disclosed data is operated. It is a double check, making sure on the one hand that public officials submitting a declaration fall within the scope of the High Authority (eligibility check) and on the other hand that declarations are complete (completeness check).
After reception and the first formal systematic verification of both the declarations of assets and the declarations of interests, the completeness, accuracy and consistency of the content is later checked to ensure there are no omissions, misevaluations or shortcomings.
The monitoring of a declaration of assets answers to three objectives: verify the coherence of the declaration, detect any important omissions or inexplicable variation of assets and prevent illicit enrichment.
The monitoring of a declaration of interests allows to prevent conflicts of interests. Indeed, the identification of potential such situations in the control process can lead to several outcomes depending on the type of conflict of interests.
The Board of the High Authority defines and adopts a yearly control plan. It is based on risk exposure, occupied functions and seniority of the different categories of public officials. Control priorities are also bound to legal publication deadlines for the public officials whose declarations are made public on the website of the High Authority. All declarations are checked but some of them are subject to a more thorough control.
Five motives can lead to such an in-depth verification proces
_ A specific exposure;
_ The fact that, upon formal verification, the declarations are visibly incomplete, sent after the delays or erroneous (35% of in-depth controls in 2016);
_ Red flags (civil society organizations, citizens, other administrations, etc.);
_ A random check, selected across all categories of filers by random computer generated draws (25% of in-depth controls in 2016);
_ Abnormalities revealed in controlling assets variation during the mandate or time in office (40% of in-depth controls in 2016).
A very important partner of the High Authority in its control missions is the tax administration. In 2016, the High Authority and the tax administration signed a protocol to clarify their relations. Since January 2017, the High Authority staff members are allowed to connect directly to some of the tax administration databases and applications to carry out routine checks, especially to value real estates, to access the list of registered bank accounts or to access cadastral information. But the tax administration remains a powerful partner to check public officials’ income, access and gather other information (bank or notarial information, international assistance for assets held abroad, etc.) .
In addition, cooperation between the National anti-money laundering service and the High Authority has been subject to legislative developments in December 2016. The anti-money laundering service and the High Authority can now share relevant information to their respective controls and investigation procedures. A protocol between the two institutions was signed in September 2017. Regarding cooperation with courts, a memo of the Directorate for Criminal Matters and Pardons and an instruction of the Attorney General for financial magistrates have been drafted and signed to formalize information sharing procedures with prosecutors and audit courts.
The High Authority also uses a number of publicly available databases (open or upon subscription) such as commercial registries, etc. An internal software has been designed and is currently being used to centralize all information (news, social media, databases, etc.) on public officials falling in the scope of the missions entrusted to the High Authority.
In the contradictory phase of the control procedures, public officials are allowed to justify the content of their declarations and to update their declaration of interest if needed. Only for 2017, 606 declarations of assets. This figure includes such updates and corrections after exchanges with the services of the High Authority but also substantial modifications declared by public officials as they occurred, in order to notify them to the High Authority as foreseen in the law.
Information sources, interinstitutional partnerships and results of the control procedures