“CRINIS – shining a light on money in politics” is a three-year project funded by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and being implemented in the Western Balkans (Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia) with the main support of Transparency International Secretariat. CRINIS analyses political financing (legislation and practices), involving stakeholders to assess strengths and weaknesses, give recommendations, and build capacity for increasing transparency.
Project aim and approach:
CRINIS aims to curb corruption in political and campaign finance and to strengthen public trust in democratic institutions.
CRINIS creates a demand for greater transparency and institutional change with the involvement of all key stakeholders through the evaluation of political finance practices.
CRINIS reduces the risk of corruption stemming from the financing of political parties by achieving:
a) A higher level of awareness among key stakeholders about nature and location of corruption risks in their political finance system ;
b) A greater willingness of these key actors to promote reform achieved through increased engagement and support to stakeholders, promoting concrete reform in policy and practice.
This will be achieved by:
Generating detailed information on the strengths and weaknesses of the existing political finance systems through research ;
Encouraging different groups of stakeholders to embrace their respective roles, including reporting, supporting, monitoring, controlling and sanctioning to participate actively and constructively in a dialogue towards reform.
Methodology of research:
The CRINIS tool – Latin for ray of light – was developed by Transparency International (TI) and The Carter Center. Through an innovative research module, the tool assesses levels of transparency and accountability in the political finance system and enables targeted advocacy for reform of the regulatory framework and change in practices. The CRINIS methodology entails assessment of two different types of political financing: non-electoral finances of political parties and election campaign funding for legislative, and where applicable, presidential elections.
The methodology involves examining the regulatory framework on transparency of political financing and its actual implementation vis-à-vis international standards. By providing thorough diagnosis of the legal framework and actual practice, it provides strong empirical evidence to create a clear picture of areas in need of reform.
The information collected during the research was used to build an index on the transparency of political party funding. The level of transparency is quantified taking into consideration the following ten dimensions:
(1) Internal bookkeeping refers to the way in which political parties manage their financial resources internally.
(2) Reporting to the electoral management body evaluates the extent to which parties or candidates report to a government oversight body.
(3) The next three dimensions: comprehensive of reporting;
(4) depth of reporting; and
(5) reliability of reporting centre around the nature of data furnished in the financial reports, and help to determine the quality of data submitted to the electoral bodies. These evaluate crucial areas such as relevant financial activity, including cash, in-kind and other transactions; donor identity; the credibility of submitted data; and the perception of the credibility of reports by key actors.
(6) Disclosure of information to citizens examines public access to political finance information.
(7) Dimensions encompassing prevention;
(8) sanctions; and
(9) state oversight address the monitoring of compliance with established rules and regulations. This includes preventive measures to facilitate effective oversight, the existence of sanctions that can be imposed and the institutions and actors in charge of performing oversight functions.
(10)public oversight address the oversight activities performed mostly by civil society organizations, media and citizens.