World Bank, UNODC launch handbook on public financial disclosure

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The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR)—a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)—has just issued a handbook based on rigorous data analysis aimed at helping governments who are struggling to implement financial disclosure systems. The book offers practical advice ranging from who should file, how often, and in what form? It also addresses the link from the disclosure process to enforcing it. We have seen cases where countries are unwilling or hesitant to apply sanctions because many disclosure systems have yet to connect all the dots in a way that would make sanctions appropriate, consistent, and just.

As public outrage mounts against public officials who have significantly increased their wealth during their time in public office or hidden their assets through complex ownership arrangements, this guidance is both timely and practical. A financial disclosure system can help build a climate of integrity in public service and prevent abuse of power and, ultimately, it can be an effective tool in the fight against money laundering as well as in efforts to recover assets.

Gloria M. Grandolini, Senior Director for Finance and Markets Global Practice, Finance & Markets, World Bank Group/Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative: http://star.worldbank.org/star/content/it%E2%80%99s-time-make-public-financial-disclosure-efficient-and-effective

Direct link to the World Bank-UNODC handbook, "Getting the Full Picture on Public Officials: A How-To Guide for Effective Financial Disclosure": http://star.worldbank.org/star/sites/star/files/getting-the-full-picture-on-public-officials-how-to-guide.pdf

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