In 2021, all 43.6 thousand public officials who are required to declare their interest, income and assets have submitted their declarations within the legal deadline. In this regard, Mr. Khashbaatar, Head of Inspection and Analysis Department of Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) made a brief statement to the public.
Declaration of interest, income and assets(DIIA) is an important tool to prevent conflicts of interest and illicit enrichment of public officials and to collect and monitor information necessary to detect such violations. In short, the development and monitoring of the DIIA provide a mechanism for strengthening the discipline and accountability of officials.
DIIA is placed in an electronic system open to the public, which provides an opportunity to monitor the income and assets of the officials elected to represent the citizens to the public. Furthermore, if found a suspicious change in the official’s DIIA, a citizen can file a complaint to the IAAC to inspect and verify the assets and income is whether or not has been obtained in accordance with the law.
It is considered illicit enrichment if the official cannot reasonably explain a significant increase in the assets equal to six months of salary and income. DIIA is one of the largest mechanisms in Mongolia to monitor illicit enrichment. IAAC is gradually developing this system, fully connecting it to some databases of government organizations.
Officials often hide their assets and income by registering them on other people. Therefore, the IAAC is conducting more detailed inspections on DIIA. In particular, as a result of detailed inspection in 2020, seven illicit enrichment crimes have been detected and prosecuted.
In addition to monitoring the income of public officials, the IAAC has set a policy to monitor official’s expenditures as a strategic goal. To this end, a working group has been established to improve the DIIA form, developing necessary procedures.
After all, there is an urgent need to improve some legal frameworks for inspecting DIIA. Currently, the law restricts IAAC’s access to information and inquiries from banks and financial institutions. Therefore, the IAAC has submitted a request to amend the current Bank Law which makes it possible to detect violations through pre-corruption inspection, rather than after-crime investigations. In this regard the IAAC had researched to improve some provisions of the relevant law which regulates the prevention of corruption and conflicts of interest, thus proposed to amend the relevant laws.
The necessary amendments in the law will make it possible to make significant changes in the balanced monitoring of official’s income and expenditures, to impose appropriate penalties for violations, and prevent conflicts of interest