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Mongolia

Transparent Funding of Political Parties (MN0025)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Mongolia Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Central Government Authority

Support Institution(s): National Audit Authority, General Authority for Tax, Independent Agency Against Corruption; Civil society organisations who actively work and research on government transparency, corruption and governance issues. MNB, MNCCI, political parties;

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Legislation & Regulation, Money in Politics, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Mongolia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment: Funding of political parties is a contentious issue not only in Mongolia but also in other countries as well. According to survey data and study reports, political parties have the highest risk of exposure to corruption. There are still cases of violations related to election funding; This shows that the system is not comprehensive enough to handle these issues. Various international studies reveal that corruption in political parties is the base of defects in the political system, and has a negative effect on the development of parties and creates a foundation for future corruption. Therefore, there is an immediate need to address the issues of funding to political parties and make these channels more open, transparent, monitored and accountable. Amend law on political parties of Mongolia and reflect the issue of funding transparency of political parties in the new amendment to the law. Main Objective: Amend the law on political parties of Mongolia to reflect the issue of funding transparency of political parties in the new amendment of the law. Brief Description of commitment (140 character limit) Make an Amendment to the Law on Political Parties of Mongolia to reflect the issue of funding transparency of political parties in the new amendment of the law.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Develop a legal environment that ensures transparency in the funding of political parties

Commitment Text:

Make an Amendment to the Law on Political Parties of Mongolia to reflect the issue of funding transparency of political parties in the new amendment to the law.

Status quo or problem addressed:

Funding of political parties is a contentious issue not only in Mongolia but also in other countries as well. According to survey data and study reports, political parties have the highest risk of exposure to corruption. There are still cases of violations related to election funding; this shows that the system is not comprehensive enough to handle these issues. Various international studies reveal that corruption in political parties is the base of defects in the political system, and has a negative effect on the development of parties and creates a foundation for future corruption. Therefore, there is an immediate need to address the issues of funding to political parties and make these channels more open, transparent, monitored and accountable. Amend the law on political parties of Mongolia and reflect the issue of funding transparency of political parties in the new amendment to the law.

Main Objective:

Amend the law on political parties of Mongolia to reflect the issue of funding transparency of political parties in the new amendment to the law.

Milestones:

4.1. Design the draft amendment of the Law of Political Parties in accordance with the processes outlined in the 'Law on Legislations and Law on Public Hearing' while engaging stakeholders of the OGP in the process.

4.2. Reflect detailed regulations regarding the funding of political parties in the legal draft and organize actions to advocate the approval of legislation, which clearly states how to ensure transparency and accountability in the funding issues in the law.

4.3. Organise advocacy activities in cooperation with OGP stakeholders until the approval of the draft legislation.

Responsible institution: Central Government Authority responsible for Justice

Supporting institutions: National Audit Authority, General Authority for Tax, Independent Agency Against Corruption, civil society organizations who actively work and research on government transparency, corruption and governance issues, MNB, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), political parties

Start date: 30 June 2016

End date: 30 June 2018

Context and Objectives
Regulations on the funding of political parties in Mongolia remain weak. The OSCE found in its 2015 report on anticorruption reforms in Mongolia that the 'lack of effective supervision over political finances promotes political corruption and vested interests controlling government institutions,' and that 'existing basic provisions on party finances are not enforced and are easily circumvented in practice.'[Note58: Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 'Anti-Corruption Reforms in Mongolia: Joint First and Second Rounds of Monitoring of the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan,' 2015, pg. 7, https://www.oecd.org/corruption/acn/Mongolia-Round-3-Monitoring-Report-ENG.pdf.] While the 2005 Law on Political Parties regulates non-election party financing and requires that political parties report their financing, it lacks clear provisions to monitor compliance with the law and ensure accounability, which in turn incentivizes the use of illicit funding and disincentivizes reporting income and expenditure.[Note59: Dr. Bat-Ölzii Erdenedalai, 'How are political parties in Mongolia financed?' The Mongolian Observer, 6 April 2016, https://mongolianobserver.mn/political-parties-mongolia-financed/. For Mongolia’s 2005 Law on Political Parties, see: http://www.legislationline.org/topics/country/60/topic/16. ] Additionally, there is growing public distrust of political parties in Mongolia, as evidenced by the findings from recent surveys by Transparency International[Note60: See: https://www.transparency.org/gcb2013/country?country=mongolia.] and the Asia Foundation regarding popular corruption perceptions in the country.[Note61: The Asia Foundation and Sant Maral Foundation, 'Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption: Strengthening Democratic Participation and Transparency in the Public Sector in Mongolia Project,' 2017, pg. 56, https://asiafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/MG-SPEAK2017_ENG.pdf.] To address these issues, this commitment calls for increasing transparency in political party funding. Specifically, the commitment includes amedending the 2005 Law of Political Parties, passing new regulations on political party transparency, and organizing advocacy activities with OGP stakeholders.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information and civic participation because it has a clear objective on increasing the transparency of political party financing while involving OGP stakeholders in the process of drafting an amendment to the Law on Political Parties. While the commitment calls for drafting an amendment to the Law on Political Parties and drafting new regulations regarding the funding of political parties, it does not explain what aspects of the law will be amended or what the new regulations will entail. Also, the commitment does not explain how OGP stakeholders will be consulted during the drafting of the amendment, or how the consultations will impact the final wording of the law. Therefore, the specificity is coded as low. Given that the commitment does not specify the extent of the amendments to the Law on Political Parties, the commitment will have only a minor potential impact on this issue. While the consultations with stakeholders are important, it is not clear how stakeholders will affect the final legislation.

Completion

In December 2015, former President Ts. Elbegdorj initiated a draft Law on Political Parties to replace the existing law.[Note62: 'What requirements must political parties meet?,' News.mn, 2 December 2015, https://www.news.mn/?id=210971.] According to the Office of the President, the draft amendments included a provision that would require political parties to publish their budget information online through the Glass Accounts system.[Note63: See: The Office of the Present of Mongolia, Discussion on Draft Law on Political Parties Held, 2 December 2015, http://eng.president.mn/newsCenter/viewNews.php?newsId=1757.] However, Parliament rejected the draft law. A civil society representative informed the IRM that a number of discussions on the draft law took place before it was rejected, though the composition of these discussions is unclear. The new parliament created a new task force to draft the amendments to the Law on Political Parties in December 2017.[Note64: Email exchange between IRM and representative of the Open Society Forum in Mongolia, 4 May 2017.] There are two task forces, one composed of parliamentarians representing all parties with seats in parliament, and a sub-task force comprised of researchers and parliament secretariat staff.

As these events were carried out after the first year of the action plan cycle, they will be assessed in the IRM End of Term Report. However, because the sub-task force has completed a draft framework document for the draft amendments, the commitment is assessed as having limited implementation, but is on schedule.

Next Steps

While improving the transparency of political party financing addressed both a major open government issue in Mongolia as well as a major stakeholder priority for the second action plan, this commitment does not clearly delineate which aspects of the Law on Political Parties will be amended, or how stakeholder consultations will impact the final wording of the amended law. Moving forward, the IRM recommends carrying this commitment forward, but with a clearer overall objective for the draft amendments, such as introducing greater transparency of income and revenue for political parties, establishing an independent oversight mechanism, and involving civil society in campaign financing monitoring and oversight.


Commitments

  1. Mobile Application for Citizens Feedback and Requests

    MN0022, 2016, E-Government

  2. Starred commitment Improve Provision and Quality of Education and Health Services

    MN0023, 2016, E-Government

  3. Civic Engagement in Decision Making

    MN0024, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  4. Transparent Funding of Political Parties

    MN0025, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  5. Create Favourable Environment for Media and Journalism

    MN0026, 2016, Civic Space

  6. National Action Plan for Combating Corruption

    MN0027, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Transparency of Loans and Aid from Foreign Countries

    MN0028, 2016, Aid

  8. Online Registration of VAT

    MN0029, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Improve Glass Account System

    MN0030, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  10. Make Government Procurement Process Transparent

    MN0031, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  11. Transparency of Contracts of Public Resource Exploiting

    MN0032, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  12. Information Transparency of the Owners of the Entities with Rights to Use Mineral Resources

    MN0033, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  13. Make Licenses, Information and Activities of the Companies Transparent and Effective by Government

    MN0034, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  14. Monitor and Ensure Implementation of Information Transparency and Information Access Right Act by Establishing National Information Transparency Committee and Creating Structure of Information Commissary.

    MN0001, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  15. Modernize Performance Indicators of Information Transparency of Public Organizations Into ―”Citizen Targeted” Ones.

    MN0002, 2014, Capacity Building

  16. Starred commitment Launch ―Transparent Account Systemǁ in Order to Enable Consistent, Transparent Reporting to the Public and to Provide Comprehensive Information on Budget Revenue Collection, Income and Expenditure Details, as Well as Public Procurement and Investments.

    MN0003, 2014, Fiscal Transparency

  17. Develop Central Information Database of Minerals, Oil, and Land Tenure License Owners, Open to the Public.

    MN0004, 2014, E-Government

  18. Ensure Transparency All Agreements on Investment, Stability and Production- Sharing of Public-Owned Resources Such as Water, Minerals, Oil and Land.

    MN0005, 2014, Extractive Industries

  19. Starred commitment Publish List of Mandatory Public Information on Environment Such as Information Regarding Any Action Harmful to Natural Environment and People’S Health.

    MN0006, 2014, Environment and Climate

  20. Starred commitment Disclose Information to the Public Relating to Foreign Loan Assistance Projects and Programs, Including the Total Amounts, Terms, Payback Duration and General Provisions Related to the Loan Rate, Board Members, and Implementation Bodies. Information About the Terms of Implementation of the Projects as Well as General Conditions of Contracts Between Suppliers and Buyers Shall Be Disclosed as Well.

    MN0007, 2014, Aid

  21. Disclose Budget Funded Procurement Contracts Above 80.0 Million MNT

    MN0008, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement

  22. Ensure Civic Engagement in Planning and Developing Public Services at Central and Local Levels by Introducing Communication Channels Such as Organizing e-Conferences, Public Hearings, and Open Meetings.

    MN0009, 2014, Public Participation

  23. Launch “Smart Government” Program, for Delivering e-Public Services to the People Regardless of Distance and Location Through the Public Service Portal.

    MN0010, 2014, E-Government

  24. Create a Single Access Public Service for Citizens Without Requiring Supplementary State Registered Data, Based on Principles of “One Citizen-One Public Servant”.

    MN0011, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  25. Improve and Develop Smart e-Service Capability for “One Window-Public Service” and Introduce It as a Standard Unit of Public Service.

    MN0012, 2014, E-Government

  26. Increase Number of “Public Service Online Machines” at Local Levels for Delivering Public Services to Individuals in Remote Areas, as Well as Increase the Content of Its Data.

    MN0013, 2014, E-Government

  27. Report Public Feedback on Government Performance Received from the Government’S “11-11” Center. Government Shall Also Establish a Data System That Responds to and Tracks Petitions and Enquiries.

    MN0014, 2014, Public Participation

  28. Develop and Publish E-Mapping of Crime Occurrence.

    MN0015, 2014, E-Government

  29. Create a United Information Database on Law Enforcement Activities, Crimes and Violation Records, and Ensure That the Database Is Accessible to Relevant Bodies.

    MN0016, 2014, E-Government

  30. Introduce a System of Random Disclosure to the Public of Asset and Financial Statements of Any Public Servants.

    MN0017, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  31. Publish the Asset and Financial Statements of Officials Who Work in Organizations with a High Likelihood of Corruption Index on Websites and Ensure Citizen Monitoring.

    MN0018, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  32. Create Regulation That Repeals Decisions Made Without Due Participation of Citizens and Contradict Public Interests, as Well as Hold the Officials at Fault Accountable.

    MN0019, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  33. Deliver the Draft Laws, Acts, Amendments and Administrative Rules to Public Attention in Due Time. in Particular, Create an Opportunity for People to Access Such Information from “Public Service Online Machines”, Citizens Chambers, and the Public Libraries at Each Provincial Level.

    MN0020, 2014, Capacity Building

  34. Strengthen the Capacity of Citizens by Implementing Certain Projects to Enhance Legal Knowledge of Target Groups Using Simple Language.

    MN0021, 2014, Capacity Building