15IACC

8 November 17:30 – 19:30

Strengthening transparency in political financing through innovative methods of electoral observation and oversight.

Session Description

Dirty money is filtered regularly in the world of politics through campaign financing, affecting the fairness and impartiality of democracies.This situation exposes state institutions tothe risk of co-optation by national and transnational organized crime. When legal money enters the political realm through systems that lack social or institutional control, fairness is threatened and the risk of capture by powerful economic groups arises. Strengthening transparency in political financing through innovative methods of electoral observation and control is an alternative means to reduce the danger of money in politics.

The session aims to strengthen ties among the community of practice and actors that oversee, monitor and observe political financing systems. It also aims to create new forms of action to overcome an age-old problem. The session will help connect people from different areas, such as international organizations, public institutions, civil society, and experts or academics. Due to the nature of the problem and the focus of the session, conclusions and recommendations are likely to be replicated in other countries and continents.

The first part of the session will consist of a regional survey on transparency of financial systems in Latin America. The second presentation will focus on innovative methods of observation and oversight to strengthen transparency in financing systems from three complementary perspectives. First we will present the OAS manual for observing political finance systems. Second, the norms and practices of regulating political finance employed by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Costa Rica. Third, the experience from a chapter of International Transparency in social control.

The third part of the session will involve a discussion among experts and the public focusing on possible strategies in communication and coordination in order to improve the results and the impact of existing tools and mechanisms. Communication strategies and coordination will focus on the efforts of the OAS, state institutions and civil society organizations, to generate a minimal agenda of action to strengthen accountability and transparency in political finance systems. We will also discuss how existing tools can be integrated, transferred and replicated on a national, regional and global level.

Session coordinators name:
Alejandro Urízar
Organization of American States (OAS)

Session /Moderator
Alejandro Urízar
Consultant expert in political financing
Organization of American States (OAS)

Experts
Kevin Casas-Zamora
Organization of American States (OAS)
Topic: Transparency in political financing systems in Latin-America.

Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian
Organization of American States (OAS)
Topic: The observation of political financing in the Electoral Observation Missions: methodology and results.

Luis Antonio Sobrado González
Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Costa Rica
Topic: Oversight of political financing by public institutions: norms and best practices.
Represent of Participación Ciudadana, national chapter of Transparency International in Dominican Republic.
Participacin Ciudadana, national chapter of Transparency International in Dominican Republic.
Topic: Oversight of political financing by civil society organizations

Rapporteur
Tyler Finn
Organization of American States (OAS)

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