In Poland, about 800.000 persons are obliged to submit declarations of assets. Institutions such as the Central Anticorruption Bureau control only about 1 percent of them. The role of such institutions can, of course, to a limited extent, be supplemented by citizens and journalist.

The civic control is particularly visible and needed at the local government level. There are examples of cases where, thanks to the work of citizens and journalists, it turned out that a person performing a public function had made a false declaration of financial interests.

At present, most of declarations of assets are public and available on the websites of relevant offices. This is, however a facade because often the way to fill them makes it impossible to read any content.

That is why we are pleased with the initiative taken by the Ministry of Digitization, thanks to which by using the application www.aplikacje.gov.pl the declaration of assets can be filled out electronically. However, this voluntary tool can at the most improve readability of the completed form while actually not implementing the idea of digitisation: the completed form must be printed and passed on paper and will be placed on the office website in the form of non-editable scan.

Poland remains one of the last states in Europe where declarations of assets are filled in manually and are published in the form of scans.

This prevents rapid and machine analysis of declarations, and thus makes over 90% submitted declarations not subjected to external control. In order to make all those who are obliged to submit declarations of assets to do that in electronic manner, it is necessary to regulate it by the law, also by introducing a new, uniform model of declaration for all obliged groups.

We do not find justification why this has not been done so far, despite many changes in the regulations concerning assets declarations. We are pleased to hear that such works will be undertaken. However, we believe that if policymakers are concerned about counteracting corruption and publicity, then the proposed solution should be adopted as soon as possible. The introduction of these amendments to the legislation should take place before 2018 and be combined with regulating  a uniform format for all persons required to submit declarations of assets.

If you wish to sign it please send your name and the name of the organization you are representing at: krzysztof.izdebski@epf.org.pl 

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