It takes that much time to ensure the minimum transparency that would be the absolute responsibility of any government to provide. Lacking the needed political commitment, legal background and IT infrastructure we decided to process the hardly legible, scribbled pdf-s into a searchable and comprehensive database.
On 31 January night between midnight and dawn we relied on the support of our colleagues, friends and volunteers to liberate the scanned handwritten asset declarations published at midnight on the website of the Hungarian Parliament. We had a platform to help our work launched for this very goal. In exchange our volunteers could peep in every secret corner of the new office and enjoy the pizza/drinks provided, but most of all the special mood around the event.
You can download the CSV file here.
The platform we used was developed during a Replication Sprint by The Engine Room.
Below you can find the recommendations to reform the system of asset declaration K-Monitor and other NGOs have sent to Hungarian MPs in 2014.
- Forms should be filled electronically and must be searchable and comparable
- Information should be uploaded yearly into a central database where all declarations and its modifications are accessible.
- In case of MPs and political leaders all relatives’ declarations must be public and accessible via internet.
- Financial sources and reasoning of increase in assets shall be provided.
- The declarations must show all social / business mandates the MP holds even if non paid.
- An appendix that reports all the necessary data to identify the certain properties and assets e.g. topographical number, licence plate should be made to the tax authority.
- Declarations must be controlled by the tax authorities
- Asset declarations should be set against tax declarations
- Automatic procedure for the controll of enrichment
- The Criminal Code should regulate the trespassing of the asset declaration as a crime
- There should be a retribution of prohibition against continuing an occupation with public spending and even imprisonment for those taking an unjust declaration or missing handling in one.
- Negligence in complying with regulations must also have a legal consequence