Countries failing to regulate flow of money into politics

Global Integrity Report

Most countries around the world are failing to regulate the flow of money into politics, posing serious threats to global governance issues, a new report has revealed. The 2011 Global Integrity Report says the absence of meaningful reforms to curb political financing could hinder many other initiatives to promote transparency and good governance. “We remain deeply concerned by the lack of progress globally on effectively regulating the flow of large sums of private money into the elections process in many countries,” Global Integrity executive director, Nathaniel Heller said.

For example, a total of 29 countries out of 31 covered in the 2011 report indicate that little is being done to regulate individual and corporate donations to political parties, as well as auditing of donations and campaign expenditures.
Furthermore, government monitoring agencies tasked with enforcing such laws typically lack investigative power and often have limited authority to impose sanctions. Some of the countries faced with such challenges include the United States, Armenia, India, Malawi and Mexico. According to the report, political financing is rated as the weakest component of most countries anti-corruption framework.

Other key findings of the report are that most countries continue to allow anti-corruption or good governance Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to accept funding from any foreign or domestic source. Of the 31 countries covered, only Jordan and Venezuela place restrictions on foreign sources of funding for domestic NGOs. With regard to internet censorship, the reports suggest that direct online censorship by the government in most countries is relatively insignificant. “Government restrictions and monitoring of Internet usage are non-existent, undocumented, or isolated incidents,” the report says. The 2011 Global Integrity Report was produced by the Global Integrity – an international nonprofit organization that tracks governance and corruption trends globally.

The 2011 report sought “to assess the medicine applied against corruption rather than the actual disease of corruption at the national level” and also assessed other areas of government transparency and accountability such as conflicts of interest regulations, freedom of the press, and law enforcement accountability. The report covered 31 countries. These are Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Macedonia, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

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