Control of declarations: increased activity
More than 16,000 public officials (ministers, elected officials, senior officials) must submit to the HATVP:
- a declaration of interests upon taking office;
- a declaration of financial situation at the start and end of functions.
The High Authority monitors declarations to prevent and detect illicit enrichment during office, conflicts of interest and criminal offenses. In 2020, it checked 1,178 declarations of interest and 1,279 asset declarations . The HATVP published 836 statements on its website(new window). And she sent ten cases to justice.
The High Authority also delivers ethical advice to public officials and institutions that request it (24 opinions issued in 2020) and makes them aware of these issues. Among the opinions delivered, five concerned the combination of a public function with a private professional activity and five others on a conflict of interest linked to the family situation.
The rise of ethical control
The law of August 6, 2019 relating to the transformation of the civil service entrusted the HATVP with a new function that it has exercised since February 1, 2020, the ethical control of public officials in the event of:
- mobility between public and private;
- accumulation of activities for the creation or takeover of a business;
- appointment to certain strategic positions.
This control is carried out in principle by the hierarchy of the agent. The High Authority intervenes when a serious doubt cannot be removed by the ethics referent(new window). For agents occupying a strategic position, it is entered directly.
In this context, the HATVP registered 511 referrals and issued 465 opinions , of which 94.5% were in favor of the agent’s project. Nevertheless, 50.4% of favorable opinions are accompanied by reservations intended to prevent a criminal or ethical risk. The High Authority monitors reservations and notices of incompatibility during the three years following its decision, to verify compliance.
Lobbying supervision: better informing citizens
The HATVP manages the digital register(new window)where lobbies must register and specify their activities each year. The High Authority then checks that they comply with their reporting and ethical obligations.
In 2020, 2,183 entities registered (11.6% more than in 2019), often after relaunching the HATVP. However, the latter considers the legal framework of the register too complex and recommends legislative and regulatory changes to provide more complete and reliable information on lobbying and the development of public decisions.
In order to boost the use of the register, which is seldom consulted, the High Authority has taken several actions and will launch in 2021 a digital platform dedicated to lobbying .