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Madagascar, Colombia, Norway and Panama: dense discussions at the High Authority

Between 12 June and 4 July 2018, the High Authority for transparency in public life received four visitors, including three in the framework of the Invitation programme for future leaders of the Ministry of Europe and foreign affairs and one in the framework of exchanges with the French Embassy in Bogota.

Mr. Héry Rason, political integrity officer at the Fight against corruption observatory in Madagascar, met with Ms. Cazenave, international partnerships coordinator, on 12 June 2018 during a visit focusing on the publication of declarations and how they are reused by civil society. He mentioned that his organization aims at strengthening integrity of public officials through actions of monitoring and control notably related to declarative obligations to the Anticorruption Bureau (BIANCO), he mentioned that the work led by the High Authority on these aspects is a main concern of several civil society organizations such as his in Madagascar.

Mr. Carlos Molina, director of the Studies institute of the Prosecutor’s office in Colombia, met with the deputy secretary general, Ms. Bossière, on 14 June 2018. Colombia, in a post-electoral context, consider adopting reforms in the field of transparency in public life. Mr. Molina was thus peculiarly interested in the genesis of the High Authority and the implementation of the mechanisms set by the Laws of 11 October 2013 and its subsequent evolutions. These exchanges were followed by further discussions in Colombia during Ms. Bossière’s visit in Bogota, in the framework of the franco-colombian day against corruption organized by the French Embassy on 11 July 2018.

On 26 June, Mr. Daniel Torkildsen, advisor to a parliamentary group president in Norway, also came to meet Mr. Adusei and Ms. Cazenave in the framework of a visit focused on « communication and transparency in public life ». He was particularly interested in revolving door regulation for ministers, main local elected officials and members of independent administrative authorities who must, for three years after termination of their functions, ask the High Authority before undertaking new private activities. The discussion then covered the implementation of the lobbying register, an aspect often debated in Norway and that has never been support by a majority in Parliament so far. Yet, trends may change in the near future.

Last, on 4 July, the Deputy Secretary General, Ms. Bossière, met with Ms. Indira Polo, Panamanian lawyer and advisor to M. Miguel Antonio Bernal, a presidential election candidate and one of the strongest civil society actors in Panama, who currently campaigns on the fight against patronage and corruption. The provisions applicable to French members of the Parliament and obligations and sanctions the highest-ranking French public officials face were of particular interest to Ms. Polo. She indicated that a similar scheme exists in Panama but does not benefit from a similar degree of compliance and sanctions.

The discussions with these interlocutors highlighted an increasing interest in the provisions on lobbying regulation, a topic that is rising in numerous countries following suspicions and scandals related to undue influence upon national public decision making processes.

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