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Integrity Authority proposes reforming asset declarations

The Integrity Authority has reviewed Hungary's asset declaration system and concluded that it is not fit for purpose, the authority's head said on Thursday, adding that the authority has proposed reforms to increase efficacy.

Noting that authority has compared Hungary’s system with that of several other countries, Ferenc Biro told a press conference that international best practice showed that an independent body oversaw asset declarations and had the power to carry out inspections and investigations, with direct access to all relevant databases. The authorities currently have no such access, he added.

The authority has also proposed digitalising asset declarations within 3-4 months, with a uniform system for the recording, managing and auditing declarations, Biro said.

Declarations must include domestic and foreign assets and interests, including income, goods, real estate, intangible assets, gifts, investments, financial claims and liabilities, he said.

Also, declarations should be made according to a fixed schedule, at least once every 4 years, he said, adding that in the case of high-risk cases an inspection should be carried out annually. Biro said sanctions must be consistent and loopholes closed.

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