BISHKEK, 14 May 2012 – Requiring public officials to declare their assets as a way of increasing transparency and trust in public administration and preventing conflicts of interest and corruption is the theme of a two-day OSCE expert seminar that started today in Bishkek.
“An effective income and asset declaration regime can help prevent abuse of power, reduce corruption and increase public trust in institutions and government,” said Anders Troedsson, the Deputy Head of the OSCE Center in Bishkek. “There are solid research findings which indicate that countries where wealth disclosure is combined with content verification and public access to declarations are significantly associated with lower perceived levels of corruption.”
Government experts dealing with the development and operation of asset declarations for public officials based in anti-corruption agencies, public service and integrity agencies and tax services from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Mongolia and Iran will discuss how to develop and reform their asset declaration systems to make them an effective tool to detect illicit enrichment and prevent misconduct and corruption among public officials including senior executives. Participants will learn about international standards as well as national practices in Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia and the United States. Civil society representatives will also take part.
“Building an honest civil service is a priority of the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Nurkhanbek Momunaliev, the Head of Kyrgyzstan’s Personnel Service.
Nina Lindroos-Kopolo, the Head of the OCEEA’s Economic Governance Unit, underlined the importance of making information available to the public on interests and assets of senior public officials to build and maintain citizens’ trust in public administration.
The seminar is organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) and the OSCE Centre in Bishkek in co-operation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and hosted by Kyrgyzstan’s Personnel Service.
Promoting good governance and transparency initiatives in the OSCE participating States is one of the priorities of the work of the OCEEA.