NEWS IN SHORT

NGOs seek detailed property info

PUBLIC property declarations need to be more detailed in order to achieve better transparency, a group of non-governmental organisations has written in an open letter to Slovak MPs, calling on them to support the opposition draft amendment to the constitutional law on the protection of public interest.Under the amendment, the directors of the public-service broadcaster RTVS, the state-run social insurer Sociálna Poisťovňa, the Land Property Fund, the president of the Police Corps and state representatives in companies where the state is the majority owner, should all be required to submit property returns.

PUBLIC property declarations need to be more detailed in order to achieve better transparency, a group of non-governmental organisations has written in an open letter to Slovak MPs, calling on them to support the opposition draft amendment to the constitutional law on the protection of public interest.
Under the amendment, the directors of the public-service broadcaster RTVS, the state-run social insurer Sociálna Poisťovňa, the Land Property Fund, the president of the Police Corps and state representatives in companies where the state is the majority owner, should all be required to submit property returns.

Property returns should also list and provide more detailed and specific information on private gifts and rented items. The amendment also introduces fines for public officials who do not announce a conflict of interest.

An amendment to a constitutional law cannot be passed without the support of Smer MPs.

Transparency International Slovakia, the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms and the Slovak Governance Institute in their open letter call on MPs to support the proposal for more detailed property declaration and note that the candidates in the upcoming regional and presidential elections will not be obliged to declare a single euro received from their donors.

“We have serious concerns that if changes are not adopted at the next parliamentary session, the public will continue to be denied a real possibility to check politicians’ income,” the letter reads. “We are therefore concerned whether the potential illegal funding of candidates in upcoming regional and presidential elections is ever discovered and investigated.”

The NGOs also started a petition, which was signed by almost 800 people, as of October 16.

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