The High Authority for Transparency in Public Life published its 2022 activity report, a year of important political and electoral events that had a major impact on the exercise of its missions.
The control activity mainly focused on declarations made by members of Parliament and members of Government. The quality of the declarations was significantly improved by the control and support provided by the High Authority.
Out of 4,170 declarations controlled, ten cases were referred to the courts. The number of declarations complying with the requirements of completeness, accuracy and sincerity remained stable, while the vast majority of controls on declarations of interest led the High Authority to request measures to prevent situations of conflict of interest. In addition, 41 cases, mainly concerning local elected representatives, were referred to the public prosecutor for failure to make declarations.
In terms of control on revolving-door movements between the public and private sectors, 2022 was marked by a record number of referrals (over 600).
Regarding revolving-door movements towards the private sector, almost 80% of the opinions issued were compatibility opinions with reservations, illustrating the High Authority’s ongoing quest to strike a balance between the need to enable transfers between the public and private sectors, to defend the impartiality of the administration’s operations, and to protect the individuals concerned against criminal or ethical risks that may result from their professional projects. Incompatibility opinions are issued when no preventive measures can be taken to prevent such risks, and mainly concern plans to move to the private sector, where there is a risk of illegal interest-taking and a likeliness of compromising the administration’s independence and impartiality. Four cases have been referred to the courts.
Regarding lobbying, 2022 saw a sharp increase in the number of formal notices. For the first time, eight cases were referred to the courts for failure to make declarations.
2022 has also been the year of the extension of the rules governing the representation of interests to local authorities and certain public officials, which came into force on July 1. The High Authority produced a number of documentary resources to help interest representatives understand the system.
Ten years after the creation of the High Authority, the system of transparency in public life must be able to evolve to go even further.
Changes are needed to reinforce the effectiveness of its action, the legal security of public officials and interest representatives, as well as the transparency owed to citizens and their trust in representatives. The High Authority has put forward 11 proposals to this end, most of which have already been formulated in previous activity reports.