In December 2018, the High Authority received public officials from Paraguay and South Korea. These foreign guests wanted to better understand the French system for fighting corruption and promoting public integrity. Therefore, they were particularly interested in the role of the High Authority in the prevention of probity breaches.
On 3 December 2018, Ms. Anne de Moussac, deputy head of the Legal and Studies Division, and Ms. Izadora Zubek, international partnerships officer, met with Ms. Kattya Gonzalez, a Paraguayan Member of Parliament. The latter was invited to France by the French Embassy in Paraguay, with the support of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. Before being elected on 22 April 2018, Ms. Gonzalez chaired the Coordination of Paraguayan lawyers, whose initiatives helped to expose several corruption cases involving local politicians.
Following a general presentation of the High Authority’s missions, discussions focused on the scope of public officials subject to the disclosure requirements established by the laws of 11 October 2013 on transparency in public life. Indeed, this scope is wider in Paraguay, where all public officials must file asset declarations. By contrast, French legislators decided to prioritize asset declarations of high-ranking public officials because their decision-making power, but also their exposure to corruption risks, are considered more important and thus requiring a thorough control.
Moreover, the ways of publishing declarations were mentioned. Since a bill on this subject is currently under consideration in Paraguay, Ms. Gonzalez was especially interested in the promotion of transparency in France. The issue of balancing the need for transparency and the protection of privacy was raised.
In addition, questions were asked about the applicable sanctions for non-submission of a declaration, for substantial omission of assets or interests, and for false declaration.
On 7 December 2018, Ms. Emilie Cazenave, international partnerships coordinator, and Ms. Izadora Zubek received a South Korean delegation comprised of the director and the deputy director of the Legislation Bureau of Administrative Affairs of the Ministry of Government Legislation.
The two public officials, who are in charge of examining the bills proposed by the South Korean government, wanted to know about the laws adopted in France to prevent and fight corruption. They were particularly interested in the context of the adoption of the laws of 11 October 2013, and the expansion of the High Authority’s activities given the legislative developments that have occurred since its creation.
Furthermore, the delegation and the officials of the High Authority exchanged views on the regulation of revolving doors. The opinions issued by the Authority, which examine both the risks of unlawful taking of interest and the respect of ethical standards concerning former public officials, were explained in more detail. The High Authority’s power of injunction to put an end to conflicts of interest also attracted the attention of the delegation.
Finally, the definition of interest representatives and the regulation of their activities, which were introduced by the law of 9 December 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life, were mentioned.