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Colombia

In law
84
In practice
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There is a strong legal framework in place in Colombia to regulate political finance issues. Systems of direct and indirect public funding exist, and are equitably enforced in practice. Non-financial resources are occasionally abused during campaigns, but such occurrences are the exception, rather than the norm. Legal restrictions on contributions are substantial, though no law restricts cash donations. Spending during election campaigns is also capped. Interestingly, in spite of the equitable provision of direct public funding, private contributions still account for the bulk of campaign expenditures. Further, violations of limits on contribution and expenditure were reported during the 2014 elections. Reporting requirements in Colombia are stringent, and largely respected in practice. Most political actors adhere to the law, and report the majority of contributions received. In practice, a good deal of political finance information is available to the public, in large part due to the use of Cuentas Claras, an online platform on which financial reports are immediately published upon submission. Violations of the regulatory framework, including vote buying, were present during the 2014 elections. Third party actors are not hugely influential in Colombia, but their independent activities are not regulated by law. The National Electoral Council (NEC) is charged with monitoring and enforcing political finance, but some appointees appear to lack the merit and independence necessary for successfully carrying out their duties. Still, the NEC investigates potential violations, and has sufficient capacity to do so, but is not totally transparent about its investigation results. The body imposes sanctions, most of which are complied with.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Colombia has a mixed system for financing electoral campaigns. Public funds are allocated both to political parties and individual candidates for campaigns. The Article 109 of the Political Constitution establishes that: “The State will attend the political and electoral funding of Political Parties and Movements with legal status, in accordance with the law. The electoral campaigns in which candidates participate backed by parties and movements with legal status or significant groups of citizens will be partially funded with state resources. The law shall determine the percentage of votes needed to qualify for financing”. The National Electoral Council is the entity in charge of securing the electoral campaigns finances through the National Fund for Campaign Financing Office, according to the Article 265 of the Political Constitution.

        The Article 20 of the Law 1475 of 2011 identifies the valid sources for campaign financing; one of these sources is the public funds in accordance to the laws. Article 21 explains the conditions for political parties and movements, as well as significant groups of citizens to register candidates for the elections in order to receive funds by a system of replacement of campaign costs by valid votes. Article 22 of this law defines the conditions for receiving public funds in advance: “parties, movements and significant groups of citizens who register candidates may justifiably ask the National Electoral Council to an 80% of advance funding for internal consultation and electoral campaigns in which they participate”.

        There are some specific provisions for the public funding of Presidential Elections. The Law 996 of 2005 regulated by the Presidential Decree No. 863 of 2006 encourages state funding as the main source for funding the presidential elections. The Article 10 of this Law identifies the conditions that presidential candidates need to comply to have access to state funding prior to the election date. These funds have to be destined for electoral propaganda and other campaign expenditures. Article 11 of this Law regulates the access of public funding through the system of replacements of campaign costs by valid votes.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Chapter IV Articles 109 and 256. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Articles 20, 21 and 22. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        3. Law 130 of 1994. “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements is dictated, other campaign financing rules electoral provisions are dictated” Chapter II. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4814

        4. Law 996 of 2005 "by which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        5. Decree 863, 2006 "by which the Chapters III and IV of the Law 996 of 2005 are regulated in relation to the previous state funding of presidential elections" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=19828

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        YES
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        In Colombia, direct public funding for political parties and candidates is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable and has defined eligibility criteria. The public funds are given in two basic forms; prior to the election date by advances to the campaigns and after the election day, by a system of restocking valid votes which aims to replace part of the costs incurred by the candidates in developing their campaigns.

        Article 21 of the Law 1475 of 2011, states that all the political organizations that register candidates are entitled to state funding for electoral campaigns, by the system of restocking valid votes obtained as long as the list that participated for the public corporations (in this case the legislative) obtains 50% or more of the threshold for the respective corporation. The Legislative Act 01 of 2009 defined this threshold of 3% of the valid votes received for the corporations. This article also indicates that "state funding of election campaigns include the expenditure incurred by the political parties or movements and by the candidates”. The system of restocking valid votes takes into account all the votes cast in the legislative election, the number of valid votes that every candidate and list received, and the report of total expenses that each candidate in a list presents. The paragraph of the Article 21 of the law 1475 of 2011, indicates that the National Electoral Council (NEC) will determine for every electoral process the price of the vote for the calculation of the total amount of public funds that every candidate can receive. The National Fund of Campaign Financing of the NEC, calculates how much every candidate in a list is entitled to receive by multiplying the number of votes obtained (if they are more than the threshold defined), by the value defined for each valid vote. If that amount is less than the total expenses of the candidate, this is the amount he is entitled to receive. But before that the NEC discounts the amount of money given in advanced to the campaigns (that will be explained in the following paragraph). The delivery of these funds after the elections are done through political parties or movements, and the distribution is made in accordance with its statutes. The Resolution 0398 of 2014 fixed the value of the valid vote for campaigns to Congress in COP $ 4,726 (USD $ 2.625). Resolution 0288 of 2014 sets the value of valid votes for presidential elections as follow: for first round COP $ 2,313 (USD $ 1,285) for runoff COP $ 1.155 ($ 0.641 USD). The definition of the value for each valid vote by the NEC is updated by a system of monetary correction which is applied annually based on changes in the consumer price index.

        Regarding the funds permitted in advance, article 22 of Law 1475 of 2011 allows for the request of public funds for up to 80% of the total expenditures allowed per election. The political organizations can request these funds if they complied with the requirements on the funds they received in the former elections for the same office or corporation, or if they did not participate, this calculation is based on the least amount delivered to a political organization in the prior elections. For the presidential elections, the Law 996 of 2005 (Chapters III and IV) authorizes all political parties, movements and significant groups of citizens who register candidates to receive through advances public funds for the first round and runoff, to be spent mainly on political propaganda. It also determines to "receive via restocking valid votes a sum equivalent to the number of valid votes multiplied by a monetary value”. For the political organizations to receive this fund, "candidates in the election must obtain at least 4% of the valid votes cast."

        The system that determines the eligibility criteria for public funds is regulated by the National Electoral Council through the resolutions issued by them which are public and accessible through the website of the entity. The Resolution 2442 of September 2013 and amended by Resolution 3760 and 3098 of 2013 defines the following requirements for access to state funding for legislative and presidential elections: - Certificates issued by the National Civil Registry and the National Electoral Council stating the candidate's name, name of the political organization that endorses the candidate and campaigns manager name. Certificates will be given to political parties and movements if they prove to have obtained at least 4% of the votes in the Senate or House of Representatives in the last election. For social movements or significant groups of citizens, they would have to demonstrate a number of valid signatures equal to 3% the total number of votes cast in the previous election. - Insurance policy, Bank Guarantee or contract pledging of certain resources. It is required to return policy or guarantee issued by an insurance company, financial corporation or banking institution, supervised by the Financial Supervision. Political Organizations with legal status may sign contract pledging of certain resources as long as they cover the obligations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Chapter IV Articles 109 and 256. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Legislative Act 01 of 2009 (July 14). "Amending and supplementing some articles of the Constitution of Colombia". http://www.registraduria.gov.co/Reforma-Politica-de-2009-Acto.html

        3. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Articles 20, 21 and 22. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        4. Law 130 of 1994. “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements is dictated, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated” Chapter II. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4814

        5. Law 996 of 2005 "by which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        6. Decree 863, 2006 "by which the Chapters III and IV of the Law 996 of 2005 are regulated in relation to the previous state funding of presidential elections" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=19828

        7. Resolution 2442, 2013 issued by the National Electoral Council. "By which aspects related with the state funding prior to the election date are regulated". http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%202442.PDF

        8. Resolution 3760, 2013 issued by the NEC. "By which aspects of advances in state funding for election campaigns are regulated". http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203760.PDF

        9. Resolution 3098, 2013 issued by the NEC. "By which aspects of advances in state funding for election campaigns are regulated". http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203098.PDF

        10. Resolution 0398, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the legislative elections of 2014, is actualized”. http://192.185.116.146/~polo1970/auditoria_interna/Auditoria%20Interna/Normatividad%20Electoral/CONGRESO/Resolucion%20No%200398%20del%202014.PDF

        11. Resolution 0288, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the presidential elections of 2014, is actualized". http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200288-14.PDF

        12. Resolution 0283 of January 27th, 2014, issued by the NEC. “By which the advance funds for parties, movements and significant groups of citizens are authorized for the elections to be held on March 9, 2014”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200283.PDF

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        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        Although the legal framework contemplates all the procedures necessary for the access to public funding for electoral campaigns in a transparent, equitable and consistently applied form, in practice it not easy for all parties or candidates to have access to these funds, particularly to the funds given in advance. Political organizations faced some difficulties in order to comply with the mandatory requirements of having a bank guarantee or the constitution of a Certificate of a Term Deposit, CDT as a support of the funds that they were requesting. Not all the political organizations had the money needed to back up the CDT or were able to have these bank documents on time for requesting the funds. However most of the political parties and movements were able to request the funds in advance.

        The resolution 0283 issued by the NEC authorizing the advanced funds for the legislative elections of March 2014 highlighted this difficulty (page 5): “the political organizations who were authorized for advances of state campaign finance expressed verbally and in writing the difficulty in granting the policy or bank guarantee required for rotation, whatever that insurers requesting the establishment of a CDT, trust or security for 100% of the payment authorized”. The Magistrates of the NEC in the same resolution gave a solution to this situation by allowing the presentation of a promissory note or title signed by a person of recognized economic and moral solvency, in accordance with a balance marked by a public accountant.

        In both cases as the Financial Manager of the Liberal Party mentioned, the candidates and the political organizations that wanted to have access to the advanced funds needed to back them up with their own money and for the cases of the small movements or the groups of significant citizens they don´t have the sufficient resources needed to back up their request for state funding. The interview with the manager of the web tool “Clear Account” confirmed that the significant groups of citizens that presented candidates for the special ethnic minority circumscription were not able to have access to these funds because they didn't meet the financial requirements or when they had them, the deadline for the request was already over; for example the group MAIS, in their case the Resolution 0283 details why they were not able to receive the funds. Another political organization that requested the funds but did not meet the requirements was the Party Union Patriotica (Patriotic Union). In terms of equitable access to these funds, the NEC approved them in January 2014, a month after the legislative elections started (December 2013). The electoral authority had to review with care all the requests presented by the political organizations because in some cases they were asking for funds that they did not had the right to as the article published in the journal El Espectador mentions.

        For the Presidential Elections of May 2014 (first round) and June 2014 (second round), all the campaigns that requested their advance funds were approved and able to use them. In that case it was not so difficult to back up with the Political Party funds the request for the advanced public funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Jorge Muñoz Pinzón, Financial Manager, Liberal Party, July22, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. Interview: María Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        3. Millionaire Electoral Advances, the National Electoral Council authorizes amounts for campaigns. By Natalia Herrera Durán. El Espectador. January 8th, 2014. Available at: http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/millonarios-anticipos-electorales-articulo-467561

        4. Resolution 0283 of January 27th, 2014, issued by the NEC. “By which the advance funds for parties, movements and significant groups of citizens are authorized for the elections to be held on March 9, 2014”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200283.PDF

        5. Accountability forms 7B of revenue and expenditure campaigns. These formats are submitted by candidates, political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and they can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com. The formats are available for the March 2014 legislative elections and t the May and June 2014 presidential elections.

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        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council makes the decisions regarding the disbursement of public funds for campaign financing issuing resolutions. All the resolutions are public and are published on the NEC web page: www.cne.gov.co. The Resolution issued for the approval of the funds for the legislative campaigns is dated January 27, 2014 it includes the amount solicited and the amount approved by the NEC for each one of the political organizations that requested the funds as well as the explanations of why some political organizations requests were not approved. It is not possible to determine the date when this resolution was uploaded to the web page of the NEC, however, this institution communicates directly to the political organizations when the Resolution is signed so they are aware of the funds approved and the process of transferring these funds to them, as the assessor of the National Fund of Campaign Financing explained in her interview.

        Citizens can also ask for this information directly to the NEC. The main challenge is to find this information publicized by the electoral authority in other sources or even to find the resolutions in the web page of the CNE since it doesn´t have a user-friendly navigation as the Legal National Coordinator of the NGO, Electoral Observation Mission, MOE stated in his interview. It can, however be accessed by a determined search.

        Although this is not information directly publicized by the electoral authority, they have made the usage of the web base tool “Clear Accounts” (www.cnecuentasclaras.com) mandatory for the submission of the incomes and expenses reports for the legislative and presidential elections of 2014 through the Resolution 3097 of 2013. In these formal reports that candidates and political organizations submit with their campaign financing information, they have to report on the amount of public funds received. This web base tool created to facilitate the process of accountability of the electoral campaigns also allows the public consultation of the information reported in real time by candidates and political organizations. Through the consultation of the information reported in this site, some articles and reports analyzing the usage of these advanced funds were made by journalists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources
        1. Interview: María Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. Interview: Ariel Cortés Rocha, Manager of the web base tool Clear Accounts. National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        3. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview

        4. Report on Media Coverage on “Clear Accounts”. Transparencia por Colombia. June 2014

        5. Resolution 0283 of January 27th, 2014, issued by the NEC. “By which the advance funds for parties, movements and significant groups of citizens are authorized for the elections to be held on March 9, 2014”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200283.PDF

        6. Accountability forms 5B, 6 and 7B of revenue and expenditure campaigns. These formats are submitted by candidates, political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and they can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com. The formats are available for the march 2014 legislative elections, and may and June 2014 presidential elections.

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        The law in Colombia bans the usage of state resources in favor or against political parties and individual candidates. The Statutory Law 1475 of 2011 in the article 20 clearly defines the permitted sources for campaign financing. Also the article 27 indicates the forbidden sources including the funds derived from persons performing public functions or that manage public funds or tax funds. The only exception is the funds given by the members of public corporations elected by popular vote whom are able to make contributions to the political campaigns in which they participate.

        The Disciplinary Code, Law 734 of 2002, regulates the behavior of all public officers. The Article 48 of this law present a list of very serious sanctions for public officers including: “authorize or enact the misuse of rents or funds that have a specific destination in the Constitution or in the law”. Also the Penal Code, Law 599 of 2000, includes in the Article 422 the intervention in politics as one of the electoral offenses of public officers: “Intervention in Politics. A public servant who exercises jurisdiction, civil or political authority, by administrative direction, or play in, electoral, judicial, supervisory bodies, which forms part of committees, boards or political directories, or use his power to help or hurt electorally a candidate, political party or movement, will incur a fine and loss of public office.

        Regarding the presidential elections, the Law 996 of 2006 includes in the chapter VII some specific limits to regulate the access to state funds that the President might have, in case he or she is running for presidency again. Within these limits, the usage of state resources for the electoral campaign is forbidden. Also the funds for state publicity cannot be increased during the electoral period, nobody can be added to the state payroll and also there restrictions to public procurement during the months previous to the election date are implemented. All these provision seek to inhibit the misusage in electoral campaigns of state funds destined to other purposes.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources
        1. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Articles 20 and 27. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        2. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated". Chapter VII. Special regulations during presidential campaigns. Articles 30 – 33. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        3. Law 734 of 2002. Unique Disciplinay Code. Article 48. Description of disciplinary errors. http://www.procuraduria.gov.co/portal/media/file/codigo2012.pdf

        4. Law 599 of 2000. Penal Code. Chapter 8 “Of abuse of authority and other offenses”. Article 422. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=6388

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        50
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Although the law is clear about the prohibition of the usage of public funds to support electoral campaigns, in practice the use of state resources to finance campaigns is observed. To document this situation for the 2014 elections we reviewed the reports of electoral irregularities submitted through the web site link “Pilas con el Voto” (www.pilasconelvoto.com). In this site, citizens and electoral observers can report on possible electoral anomalies and irregularities, and at the same time, they can see the reports that other citizens have done, with the option to locate in a map of Colombia the places of origin of the information reported.

        As the Legal Assessor of the Electoral Mission Observation MOE indicated, citizens have reported for the 2014 elections the usage of public offices, cars or human resources in favor of the political campaigns. Also there have been other reports regarding the pressure to subordinates to gather votes. Other types of reports indicate the usage of state funds and social assistance programs with electoral purposes.

        For the 2014 legislative elections through Pilas Con el Voto 181 citizens made reports regarding intervention in politics, and for the presidential elections (1st and 2nd round) 85 reports were submitted. These reports are redirected to the authorities in charge of investigating these reports. However since the 2014 legislative and presidential elections just passed, there is no official information regarding current investigations on these issues.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. There were also reports that the office of the Grand Inspector General - who has the unique task of being the watchdog of public officials, even elected ones - or Procuraduría asked to dig into the presidential campaign of Juan Manuel Santos. Essentially, the complaint came as Santos was allegedly using his post as President to meet with regional and municipal authorities in order to garner support for his re-election campaign. Former President, Alvaro Uribe, blasted at his now main political enemy, President Juan Manual Santos, for allegedly using state power. He said there was a “publicity trap” claiming there was overlapping between state advertising and campaign advertising during the Santos’ campaign for re-election. Also, see comment in question 31.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview

        2. “The State as a swag to fund political campaigns”. By Digna Irene Urrea. At Confidencial Colombia, Digital Journalism. April 1st, 2014. Article with an interview to Alejandra Barrios Director of the Electoral Mission Observation, MOE.
          http://confidencialcolombia.com/es/1/2031/11635

        3. “Report of Electoral Irregularities in Colombia, 2014 Congress and Presidential Elections”. Electoral Observation Mission. July 2014. http://moe.org.co/home/doc/moejuridica/2014/presentacionpilasconelvoto.pdf

        4. "Pilas con el Voto", website created and managed by the Election Observation Mission for citizen reports on irregularities. Accessed on August 27, 2014. www.pilasconelvoto.com.

        Reviewer's sources: Mauricio Beltrán, "Procuraduría pide investigar a Santos por presunto uso de recursos públicos en su campaña", CMi.com.co, 5 May 2014, http://www.cmi.com.co/procuraduria-pide-investigar-a-santos-por-presunto-uso-de-recursos-publicos-en-su-campa%F1a/228838.

        Centro Democratico, "Coincidencia de mensajes en publicidad del Estado y campaña reeleccionista, por eso hubo abuso del poder", 26 August 2014, http://www.centrodemocratico.com/coincidencia-de-mensajes-en-publicidad-del-estado-y-campana-reeleccionista-por-eso-hubo-abuso-del-poder/.

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        7
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The Colombian Political Constitution in the article 11 states that all political parties and movements with legal status are entitled to use the media channels within the electromagnetic spectrum. The Law 130 of 1994 allows free access to the public media for both "political outreach" (which is defined in Article 21) or "electoral propaganda" understood as "the engaged parties, movements politicians and candidates for elected office and those who support them, to seek for electoral support ". This is permitted only during the three months prior to the election date regardless if it is in free public spaces or payed private spaces as indicated in the article 22 of the same law. For the Legislative elections this started on January 9th, 2014.

        Likewise, the Law 1475 of 2011 in the articles 35 and 36 regulates the access to airtime for electoral propaganda. Within two months prior to the date of any election, and until forty-eight (48) hours before the election dates, the parties and political movements, social organizations and groups of citizens who have registered candidates and promoters of the blank vote, are entitled to free airtime for electoral propaganda in media in accordance with the number of elected officials. Also, this Law gives the responsibility to the NEC to allocate the spaces giving the appropriate coverage for each constituency after the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications and / or the National Television Commission indicates the available spaces for electoral publicity. It also determines that the NEC will establish the number, duration and slots for the broadcast of these spaces and assign them to the political organizations participating in the elections within the following guidelines: 1. Equal number of spaces will be given to each of the lists or candidates in each transmission slot, and the number of required spaces will be allocated to ensure equality. 2. The duration of the spaces may be different given the variable nature of the elections. 3. Air spaces will be drawn by time slots considering the audience of each slot ensuring spaces in prime time. 4. The spaces must be raffled between all the political organizations to guarantee that any campaign can´t repeat the same slot until all the campaigns have had a chance to air their propaganda. 5. Air spaces are not cumulative, therefore the political organizations or candidates will lose them if they don´t use them in the respective campaigns. 6. Production costs will be borne by the campaigns that are beneficiating of these spaces. 7. During the electoral period the free airtime granted to political parties and political movements for institutional propaganda can be used for electoral campaigns as long as they observe the regulations indicated by the NEC.

        For the presidential elections, the Law 996 of 2005 in the article 23 includes additional spaces for all presidential candidates. They are entitled to three free spaces of 60 minutes each for conducting debates, a space of five minutes in the week after the beginning of the presidential campaigns for each candidate and eight days before the election, a space of up to 10 minutes for each candidate.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Article 111. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 130 of 1994. “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements is dictated, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated” Articles 21, 22 and 25. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4814

        3. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 36. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        4. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated". Article 23. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        5. Resolution 3781 of 2013 issued by the NEC. "By which the number and length of free electoral spaces for political movements, social organizations and significant groups of citizens who have registered candidates for Congress is assigned at TV public service for the period between January 9th and March 6th, 2014, circumvent the order of emission and regulate its use. " http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203781(1).PDF

        6. Resolution 3782 of 2013 issued by the NEC. "By which the number and length of free electoral spaces for parties and political movements, social organizations and significant groups of citizens who have registered candidates for Congress is assigned at commercial stations for the period between January 9th and March 6th, 2014, circumvent the order of emission and regulate its use." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203782(1).PDF

        7. Resolution 1326 of 2014. "By which the participation of the candidates for President of the Republic for the constitutional period of 2014 to 2018 in the public television service is regulated." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/Resolucion%201326%20de%202014.pdf

        8. Resolution 1327 of 2014. "By which the participation of the candidates for President of the Republic for the constitutional period of 2014 to 2018 in the public radio service is regulated." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/Resolucion%201327%20de%202014.pdf

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        8
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        In practice, the free or subsidized access to air time is assigned in a transparent and equitable way to political organizations and candidates for electoral campaigns. The radio and TV access are regulated under the law and there are specific dispositions for legislatives and presidential elections as it was explained in the indicator no. 7. The access to these spaces are allocated by the NEC by a raffle between all the political organizations to guarantee that any campaign can´t repeat the same slot until all the campaigns have had a chance to air their propaganda. For the 2014 elections, the public hearings for the adjudication of these spaces took place on January 7th for the legislative elections and on April 8th for the presidential elections.

        Four resolutions issued by the NEC regulated the free spaces for the 2014 elections. Resolution 3781 and 3782 of 2013 assigned the number and duration of television and radio space for parties and political movements, social organizations and significant groups of citizens who have registered candidates to Congress. For 2014 elections political organizations obtained for each of their candidates a space of 20 seconds on TV and 20 seconds of radio. The Senate candidates received the TV slots in the 6 national channels and the candidates for the House of Representative in the regional and local channels. The issuance of these spaces began on January 9 and ended on March 6, 2014. Meanwhile Resolution 1327 of 2013 and Resolution1326 and 2014 determined the spaces in both national and private channels to all presidential candidates. Radio spaces candidates obtained between 7:00 and 7:02, and 18:00 and 18:02 on weekdays for the period between April 11th and May 13th. On television spaces obtained between 20:00 hours and 20:02 hours on weekdays for the period between the same dates.

        Regarding the presidential elections, the article 25 of the Law 996 of 2005, imposed some requirements to the operators of private channels for electoral propaganda in order to guarantee informative balance between all the presidential campaigns. These private operators during the presidential campaigns have to submit a report to the NEC informing the amount of time and the slots in prime time where the electoral propaganda has been aired. At the same time, the NEC has to published these weekly reports. Thus, at the NEC web page it is possible to consult the reports submitted by the principal radio and TV channels.

        Nevertheless it is important to highlight that, through the monitoring of media for the presidential elections of 2014 the Electoral Observation Mission concluded that in comparison between the 5 presidential campaigns, the candidate-president Juan Manuel Santos appeared 40% more times than the other candidates in private media channels. This over exposure is related with his dual status of being the President of Colombia at the same time as he is running for presidency again and although some restrictions are imposed under the law 996 of 2005, in practice he had more exposure in media than the other candidates. This distorts the principle of guaranteeing informative balance for all the presidential elections.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. This is regulated so by the CNE, which means it is transparent enough. However, it is important to stress out what the reseacrher says in the last paragraph, which could perhaps support a lower scoring. One has to take into account that the re-election of Juan Manuel Santos has been just the second in the country's history, after that of former President Alvaro Uribe in 2006. Colombia's constituion was amended in 2004 to alow for the immediate re-election of the incument, hence there is not much experience when dealing with re-election campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources
        1. Electoral Propaganda for Presidential Elections. Electoral Observation Mission. 2014 http://moe.org.co/home/doc/moe_juridica/2014/propagandapresidenciales.pdf

        2. Report of electoral propaganda, presidential campaigns. Report published by the National Electoral Authority in accordance with the article 25 of the law 996 of 2005.
          http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/informespropagandaelectoral.page

        3. Results of the Presidential Elections 2014. This document includes a preliminary media monitoring of the first round of the 2014 presidential elections.
          http://moe.org.co/home/doc/moe_mre/2014/resultados.pdf

        4. Resolution 3781 of 2013 issued by the NEC. "By which the number and length of free electoral spaces for political movements, social organizations and significant groups of citizens who have registered candidates for Congress is assigned at TV public service for the period between January 9th and March 6th, 2014, circumvent the order of emission and regulate its use. " http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203781(1).PDF

        5. Resolution 3782 of 2013 issued by the NEC. "By which the number and length of free electoral spaces for parties and political movements, social organizations and significant groups of citizens who have registered candidates for Congress is assigned at commercial stations for the period between January 9 and March 6, 2014, and circumvent the order of emission and regulate its use." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203782(1).PDF

        6. Resolution 1326 of 2014. "By which the participation of the candidates for President of the Republic for the constitutional period of 2014 to 2018 in the public television service is regulated." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/Resolucion%201326%20de%202014.pdf

        7. Resolution 1327 of 2014. "By which the participation of the candidates for President of the Republic for the constitutional period of 2014 to 2018 in the public radio service is regulated." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/Resolucion%201327%20de%202014.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Juanita León, an award-wninning investigative journalist and editor and founder of La Silla Vacía, lasillavacia.com, a highly popular and respected website that publishes investigative pieces, via phone on 23 Sept 2014.

        CongresoVisible.org, "Presidential Reelection", last accessed on 24 November 2014, http://www.congresovisible.org/democracia/reformas/reeleccion/

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

    More about category
    composite
    82
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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
      More about category
      • expand button!
        9
        Score
        NO
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        In Colombia cash contributions are not banned for electoral campaigns financing. The law 1475 of 2011 includes in article 20 as an approved source for campaign funding the contributions made in cash or in kind from private individuals or corporations. This applies both for legislative and presidential elections. The limits for the cash contributions are equal to the in kind contributions and are defined within the maximum expenditure that each campaign is allowed to make. For the legislative elections the 10% of the maximum expenditure is allowed by each private contributor, they can either be in cash or in kind. For the presidential elections the limit is in 20% of the total of private contributions made by individuals either in cash or in kind.

        The cash contributions are managed through the opening of a specific bank account in which all the campaigns contributions have to be deposit. In this sense the article 25 of the Law 1475 of 2011 indicates: “Cash resources will be received and managed through a single account that has to be opened by the campaign manager at a financial entity legally authorized”. Likewise, the article 15 of the Law 996 of 2005 indicates for the presidential elections that: "The resources of the presidential campaigns will be received and managed through a single account opened exclusively for this purpose, it will work for receiving contributions and donations and also for the management of campaigns expenses and for the reception of the public replacement expenses for valid votes”.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 996 of 2005, "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and dictate other provisions". Articles 14 and 15. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Articles 20, 23 and 25. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

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        10
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        In Colombia there is a ban on anonymous contributions, regardless of the amount. The Law 1475 of 2011 in the article 27 lists all the prohibited sources for campaign financing, including anonymous contributions.

        Furthermore, all the contributions need to be properly listed in the formats for the submission of campaigns incomes and expenses by candidates and political organizations that is why the law 130 of 1994 indicates that parties and movements must maintain a list of all the grants and loans received including complete information of the address, phone and identification number of the individual or the company doing these contributions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements is dictated, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictate” Article 20. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4814

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 27. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

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        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        The in kind contributions to political organizations and candidates must be reported. The Law 130 of 1994 in the article 20 indicates the following: “The accountability reports shall show at least the following categories of incomes: ….- f) In kind contributions valued in its commercial value”. The paragraph of this article also indicates that in the accountability reports it is necessary to include a list of grants and loans relating the amount received in each case, and the name of the individual or corporation giving the donation.

        The Law 1475 of 2011 in the article 25 indicates that the: National Electoral Council regulates the procedure for the reporting of campaigns incomes and expenditures. This includes establishing the obligations and responsibilities of individual parties, movements, candidates or campaign managers. The Resolution 0330 of 2007 sets the procedures for the management of the accountant books. The article 5 of this Resolution indicates that these books should include a chronological record of the transactions relating each concept, indicating the date, individuals or companies involved, details of the transaction and value. Also the article 9 indicates that the NEC must design the formats for the revenue and expenditure reports.

        Consequently, the Resolution 3097 of 2013 issued by the NEC, made mandatory the reporting of the campaign incomes and expenses through the web base tool Clear Accounts, adopted as the official channel for the submission of such reports. The formats 5B and 6 require the processing of the annex 5.2 B and 6.2 describing the cash or in kind contributions received, and from whom they received them.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Article 20. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 25. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        3. Resolution 0330 of 2007, issued by the National Electoral Council “By which the procedure for the registration of accountability books and the reporting of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses and the internal party referendums are set”. Articles 5 and 9. http://www3.terra.com.co/elecciones2007/documentacion/download/Res0330rendiciondecuentas.pdf

        4. Resolution 3097 of 2013 issued by the National Electoral Council, “By which is defined as mandatory the usage of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses reports”.
          http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203097.PDF

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        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported in the revenues and expenses reports required by law. Article 20 of the Law 1475 of 2011 includes two types of loans allowed for the funding of electoral campaigns; the loans made by private individuals and the credits obtained from legally authorized financial entities.

        The incomes and expenses formats have two different codes for the reporting of these loans. In the code 102 of the formats 5B and 7B it is required to report the contributions, donations or loans made by particulars being individuals or corporations (including non-profit organizations). In this code it is necessary to fill the annex 5.2 B, 6.2 or 7.2B. In the code 103 of the formats 5B,6 and 7B it is necessary to report the loans obtained by legally authorized financial entities informing in the annex 5.3 B, 6.3 and 7.3 B if these loans were made by a pledge of the credit and, if they will be paid directly by the National Electoral Council with the system of reposition of expenses by valid votes.

        Regarding the latter loans, the article 17 of the Law 130 of 1994 indicate that the Board of the Bank of the Republic will order to the banks to open special lines of credit at least three (3) months before the elections, in order to provide loans to political parties and movements participating in the campaigns, guaranteed preferentially with the pledge of duty resulting from the replacement of expenses for valid votes made by the State in accordance with the provisions of article 13 of this Law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Article 17. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 20. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        3. Resolution 0330 of 2007, issued by the National Electoral Council “By which the procedure for the registration of accountability books and the reporting of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses and the internal party referendums are set”. Articles 5 and 9. http://www3.terra.com.co/elecciones2007/documentacion/download/Res0330rendiciondecuentas.pdf

        4. Instructions for the presentation of incomes and expenses reports through Clear Accounts. Guiding Manual developed by the National Fund for Political and campaign Financing of the National Electoral Council, 2014.
          http://www.cnecuentasclaras.com/irc2014.pdf

    • expand button!
      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
      • expand button!
        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        Colombia promotes a mixed system of political financing, in this regard the article 14 of Law 130 of 1994 allows contributions from individuals to candidates and political organizations, as well as for the significative groups of citizens with candidates running in a particular election. These contributions can either be donations or credits.

        For the legislative elections, the Law 1475 of 2011 in the article 23 limited the individual contributions by donation to a maximum of 10% of the total value of expenses allowed by the NEC. However, this limit for individual contributions is not applicable to the contributions of the candidate and his or her family, nor to loans made by private individuals: "The funding originated by spouse, life partner or relatives in the extent authorized by law, shall not be subject to individual limits. But in any case the sum of such contributions or credits cannot overpass the total amount of campaign expenses allowed by law. The value of credits from any source will not be subject to the individual limits."

        The limits for legislative elections 2014 are set in the Resolution 0389 of 2014. For elections to Congress the expenditure limit was set by the list of candidates aspiring either for the Senate or the House of Representatives. Every list to the Senate was allowed to maximum COP $ 74,053,868,791 ($39,964,311,274 USD) per list. In this case, for example a political organization with a list of 100 candidates for the Senate each candidate would have been able to spend COP $ 740,538,687 ($399,643,112 USD). Therefore, the maximum amount of contribution allowed by an individual to Senate was the 10% of the limit per candidate, in this case COP $ 74,053,869 ($ 39,964,311 USD). The Resolution 0389 of 2014 also includes the maximum expenses for the House of Representatives which is set depending on the electoral census.

        In the case of presidential elections, the article 14 of Law 996 regulates the maximum amount of contributions that individuals can make to these campaigns. This law sets a limit for individual contributions (donations) of 20% of the total of campaign expenses allowed by law. Also the contributions of one single person cannot exceed 2% of the maximum amount of expenditure set by the NEC. Unlike the standard for the legislative elections, in the presidential campaigns the contributions of candidates and relatives to the fourth degree of consanguinity, affinity, or first civil may not exceed 4% of the expenditure ceiling.

        The limits for the individual contributions for presidential elections are enclosed in the Resolution 0289 of 2014. The maximum amount of donation of an individual to the president running again for presidency was of COP $ 271,059,074 (USD $ 146,281,206) and to the other candidates was of COP $ 406,184,552 ($ 219,203,752 USD). The maximum contribution of the candidate or family was COP $ 542,118,147 ($ 292,562,411 USD) for the president-candidate and COP $ 812,369,104 ($ 438,407,504 USD) for the other candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 130 of 1994. “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements is dictated, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictate ” Chapter II, III and IV. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4814

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 23. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        3. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        4. Resolution 0398, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the legislative elections of 2014, is actualized”. http://192.185.116.146/~polo1970/auditoria_interna/Auditoria%20Interna/Normatividad%20Electoral/CONGRESO/Resolucion%20No%200398%20del%202014.PDF

        5. Resolution 0289 of 2014 issued by the NEC."By which the maximum amount for campaigns expenses is adjusted for the first and second round of the Presidency of the Republic elections to be held in 2014." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%20289%20de%202014.pdf

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        14
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        As with the limits of individual contributions to legislative elections, contributions from corporations (legal entities), to the campaigns are limited to 10% of the total value of allowable expenses. The article 24 of the Law 1475 provides that: "No party, movement, significant group of citizens, candidate or campaign may obtain loans or raise resources derived from private sources for more than the total value of expenses allowed in the respective campaign. Nor may raise contributions or individual donations greater than 10% of that value”. The maximum allowable amount is given by the NEC for each of the election processes. In the case of the legislative election of 2014, the article 27 of this law states that contributions from foreign corporations are prohibited.

        For the presidential election, contributions from corporations are completely prohibited as indicated by Law 996 of 2005. On this issue, the judgment of the Constitutional Court C-1153/05 indicated that the contributions and donations from legal persons to presidential campaigns are unconstitutional because political rights are only for individuals, and allowing such contributions distorts the "balance that must prevail in the rules adopted by the statutory legislature."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 23. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        2. Resolution 0398, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the legislative elections of 2014, is actualized”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200389-14.PDF

        3. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        4. Judgment C-1153/05, Constitutional Court of Colombia, 2005. "Constitutional control to the draft of the Constitutional Law No. 216/05 Senate- House of Chambers No. 235," through which the election of President of the Republic is regulated, in accordance with Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions”. http://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/relatoria/2005/c-1153-05.htm

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        15
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        In law contributions from foreign sources are banned for the financing of electoral campaigns as it is stated in the article 109 of the Colombian Constitution: “It is forbidden for political parties and movements and for significant groups of citizens, receive funding for their electoral campaigns from foreign individuals or corporations".

        Also the Law 1475 in the article 27 includes in the list of prohibited sources for campaign financing the: “Contributions than come directly or indirectly from foreign governments, individuals or corporations, with the exception of the funds delivered for technical cooperation for the implementation of activities different from the electoral campaigns”.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Chapter IV Articles 109. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 27. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

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        16
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        The contributions from the third party actors which are under the category of non-profit organizations are allowed for financing the legislative campaigns, but they are limited to a maximum amount. The article 19 of the National Tax Statute indicates that depending on the purpose of each non-profit organizations they can invest their incomes in activities that are part of its purposes, therefore the non profit organizations that include in its description activities or functions related with democracy, participation, civic engagement or community activities among others are allowed to make contributions to political campaigns. The Law 1475 of 2011 in the article 23 indicates the limits for private contributions up to 10% of the total amount of expenses allowed for each campaign. As it was explained in the indicator no. 13, the maximum amount of expenditures is set by the National Electoral Council for every electoral process. For the legislative elections 2014 the Resolution 0389 of 2014 defined the limits for the Senate and the House of Representatives.

        For the presidential elections contributions from corporations or third party actors are banned. Only the contributions from individuals are allowed, but they as well, are limited to a maximum amount of 2% per each individual or 20% in total from all the contributions, as the Law 996 of 2005 indicates in the article 14.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. National Tax Statute, Decree 3258 of 2002. “By which places and deadlines for submission of tax reports and payments, advances and withholdings are fixed and other provisions are defined”. Article 19.

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 23. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        3. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        4. Resolution 0398, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the legislative elections of 2014, is actualized”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200389-14.PDF

      • expand button!
        17
        Score
        YES
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The campaign spending for individual candidates and political organizations is limited by law to a maximum amount. Article 109 of the Colombian Constitution specifies that the amount of expenditure on all political organizations is limited for political parties, movements or significant groups of citizens and candidates. The article 14 of the Law 130 indicates that the National Electoral Council shall set the maximum amount to invest in campaigns, and the Law 1475 of 2011 in the article 24 broadened the regulations on this matter defining the process for setting the maximum expenditures allowed for electoral campaigns, taking into account the following considerations: a) real campaign costs; b) voter registration, and c) budget appropriation for State.

        For the 2014 legislative elections the Resolution 0389 of 2014 issued by the NEC, defined the following maximum expenses per election: - Senate: COP $ 74,053,868,791 (USD $ 39,416,564) - Senate campaigns for special indigenous communities: COP $ 1,481,077,364 (USD $ 788,331) - Andean Parliament: COP $ 3,702,693,410 (USD $ 1,970,828) - International Chamber of Representatives: COP $ 2,032,722,512 (USD $ 1,081,955) - House of Representatives for minority ethnic groups: COP $ 1,481,077,375 (USD $ 788,331)) - House of Representatives (depending on the electoral census it is defined as follows): 1. Departments with higher census to 5,000,000: COP $ 15,465,258,565 (USD $ 8,231,675) 2. Departments with an electoral census between 4000001-5000000: COP $ 12,033,565,982 (USD $ 6,405,092). 3. Departments with an electoral census between 3000001-4000000: COP $ 11,532,895,447 (USD $ 6,138,600) 4. Departments with an electoral census between 1500001-3000000: COP $ 5,968,287,762 (USD $ 3,176,733) 5. Departments with an electoral census between 885001-1500000: COP $ 4,314,912,436 (USD $ 2,296,698) 6. Departments with an electoral census between 690001-885000: COP $ 3,007,360,732 (USD $ 1,600,724) 7. Departments with an electoral census between 400001-690000: COP $ 2,032,722,513 (USD $ 1,081,955). Also, this Resolution allowed the political organizations to expend up to 20% of the amount permitted in each one of the circumscriptions in which they have presented lists of candidates, for the implementation of institutional electoral campaigns.

        In the case of the presidential elections, articles 12 and 13 of the Law 996 of 2005, regulate campaign expenditures for the first and second rounds. This law indicates that these limitas have to be adjusted annually taking into reference the consumer price index. Thus, the resolution 0289 of 2014 issued by the NEC determined for the 2014 presidential election the following maximum amount of expenditures: - First round President - candidate: COP $ 13,552,953,683 (USD $ 7,213,814) - First round other candidates: COP $ 20,309,227,598 (USD $ 10,809,968) - Second round all candidates: COP $ 9,499,285,340 (USD $ 5,056,173).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Chapter IV, Article 109. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Article 14. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        3. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 24. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        4. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated". Articles 12 and 13. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        5. Resolution 0398, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the legislative elections of 2014, is actualized”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200389-14.PDF

        6. Resolution 0289 of 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the maximum amount for campaigns expenses is adjusted for the first and second round of the Presidency of the Republic elections to be held in 2014." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%20289%20de%202014.pdf

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        18
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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        In Colombia the national laws regulating political finance also apply to the sub national units. The principal Law regulating political finance is the 1475 of 2011 which regulates the organization and functioning of political parties and movements and the electoral processes both at the national and sub-national levels. The title II of this law develops the principles of financing policy, specifies the allowed and prohibited funding sources for campaigns and also provides the criteria to guide the public funding. These regulations fully apply for the legislative elections and the local elections for Governors, Mayors, Deputies and Council members.

        The law 996 of 2005 includes other specific regulations that apply only for the presidential elections regarding the maximum expenditure allowed and the sources of campaign financing. For example, for all the other electoral processes the contributions from companies are permitted within a limit of the 10% of the maximum expenditure allowed, but for the presidential elections this private contributions from companies are prohibited.

        The NEC is in charge of regulating each electoral process by issuing resolutions regarding the definition of the maximum expenditure allowed for each campaign. For the political financing the amount is defined taking into consideration if the electoral process is for a single election or for a corporation, if it is at the national level, the department or the municipality, and depending upon the electoral census of each department and municipality. These differences are not related with the application of diverse laws, but to the regulation of these laws.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources
        1. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        2. Law 996 of 2005 "by which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance of the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and dictate other provisions" http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        3. Resolution 0398, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the legislative elections of 2014, is actualized”. http://192.185.116.146/~polo1970/auditoria_interna/Auditoria%20Interna/Normatividad%20Electoral/CONGRESO/Resolucion%20No%200398%20del%202014.PDF

        4. Resolution 0289 of 2014 issued by the NEC."By which the maximum amount for campaigns expenses is adjusted for the first and second round of the Presidency of the Republic elections to be held in 2014." http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%20289%20de%202014.pdf

        5. Resolution 0078 of 2011 issued by the National Electoral Council. “By which the maximum amounts that can be invested by candidates in election campaigns for governor, district and municipal authorities for the 2011 elections, are set”. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=41661

        6. Resolution 0079 of 2011 issued by the National Electoral Council. “By which the maximum amount of money allowed for campaigns to the 2011 departmental assemblies, municipal and district and local boards are fixed and other regulations”. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=41671

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        19
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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        For the legislative elections of 2014 a review of all the 5B reports submitted by candidates through the web-based tool Clear Accounts indicated that the principal sources for financing the campaigns were the private funds reported under the following codes in a decreasing order: - Code 101. Funds received from the candidates, their spouse, life partner or relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity, totaling 38% of the campaign revenues. - Code 102. Contributions and / or credits and grants in cash or in kind of natural and legal persons (corporations), equivalent to the 32% of the total revenues. - Code 106. Transfers made by political organizations to candidates’ equivalent to 13% of the revenues. These resources mostly come from private contributions to political organizations and they in turn, reinvest these funds in their campaigns. It is observed that political organizations moved about COP $ 7 billion (USD $ 3,626,630) more to support the Senate campaigns in comparison with the House of Representatives campaigns. - Code 103. Loans with financial institutions which contributed 12% of total revenue. These loans are paid partly with the funds received by the system of reposition of expenses by valid votes when the candidate is entitled to it (when he/she gets 50% or more of the minimum threshold of votes). - Code 105. State funds delivered in advance for the campaigns. This source was only the 5% of the total revenues. In this case the Senate candidates received approximately twice the amount than what the candidates for the House of Representatives received. - Code 104. Revenues from public activities, publications or any other lucrative activity of the political organization. These resources only represented 1% of the total incomes.

        This information indicates that the principal sources for campaign financing in the 2014 legislative elections were private funds coming from the candidate him/herself or his/her family and from private individuals or corporations. These two sources combined are equivalent to the 70% of the total revenues. The article 23 of the Law 1475 of 2011 imposes a limit on the amount of contributions made by individuals or corporations equivalent to 10% of the expenditure ceiling allowed by campaign; but this limit does not exist for the candidates ‘own resources or his/her family contributions. For Transparencia por Colombia this is a risks in the electoral process because of all the campaign funds, the candidates own resources are the most difficult ones to track down since they are almost never deposited in the campaign bank accounts and in most cases, are in kind contributions. Moreover, excessive funding from private sources affects the free and healthy competition among candidates and limits the opportunities for new leaders to participate in campaigns if they don´t have access to these resources.

        For the presidential elections the Law 996 of 2005 defines the proportion of public funds that each campaign is entitled to receive. In this case the amount of public funds delivered in advance to the campaigns supports a proportion of 80% of the campaign costs funded with public sources and 20% with private sources. A review through Clear Accounts of the reports submitted by each one of the 5 candidates that ran for the 1st round of the presidential elections showed the following: - Three candidates principally financed their campaigns with the public funds received in advanced. - One candidate didn´t requested the public funds and financed his campaign mainly with a credit obtained in a legal financial entity and also with private individual contributions.
        - The president-candidate had a lower limit for the public funds delivered in advanced. This campaign requested the advanced funds and also obtained a loan in a bank. No private funds or contributions were reported in this case.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources
        1. Accountability forms 5B,6 and 7B of revenue and expenditure campaigns. These formats are submitted by candidates, political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and are available for the March 2014 legislative elections, and the May and June 2014 presidential elections They can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com

        2. “How much money the campaigns have? Who are the biggest Contributors?”. Data Analysis Unit. El Tiempo.com, Especial Report on 2014 Elections. March 19th, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014/presidencia/cunta-plata-mueven-campaas-quines-son-los-grandes-aportantes/14007198

        3."2014 Congress elections, Analysis of campaigns financing and public reports.” Document elaborated by Transparencia por Colombia. http://bit.ly/CuentasClarasCongreso2014

        1. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        2. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated". http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        3. Resolution 0288, 2014 issued by the NEC. "By which the value of the vote for the replenishment of the valid votes casted in favor of the candidates for the presidential elections of 2014, is actualized". http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200288-14.PDF

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        20
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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        Within the time frame of this study there are some documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or the laws regarding the functioning of campaign financing, for the recent electoral processes: legislative elections (March 2014) and presidential elections (May and June 2014). Regarding the principal violations the Director of the National Electoral Fund indicated that they generally are related with: - Exceeding the maximum expenditure allowed for campaigns - Private contributions that overpass the limit set by law, - Incompliance with the requirements regarding the inclusion of a campaign accountant and manager - Campaigns´ incomes or expenses not reported. - Violations of the limits established for campaign publicity.

        For the latter violation, the former Mayor of the city of Bogotá submitted to the NEC a denounce addressing the possible violations of the electoral publicity regulations by exceeding the amount of billboards that candidates were allowed to have in the city.

        Other violations that are not detected through the disclosure of the incomes and expenses reports are related with the inclusion of prohibited sources for campaign financing such as funds that must be destined for public procurement. In this matter a former Interior Ministry German Vargas Lleras (who recently has been elected Colombian Vice- President) indicated that never before we have had a campaign to elect the Congress of Colombia in which such big amounts of money circulated: “In the 2014 legislative elections some campaigns are costing more than what a Presidency campaign costs”; in the same interview he indicated that a big part of these resources are obtained from the deviation of public procurement funds for campaign finance: "What is the origin of those resources? Public procurement of course, fully captured for campaign finance". This statement can be supported with the findings of the study developed by Transparencia por Colombia for the 2014 legislative elections in which it was possible to see that among the principal campaign private donors, there were former public contractors.

        The study presented by the NGO Electoral Observation Mission, indicated that through the web tool developed for the citizens reporting of possible electoral violations called Pilas con el Voto, received in total 756 reports equivalent to the 28.64% of the total reports addressing violations of electoral publicity and access to media channels, and 18 reports regarding irregularities in campaign financing, equivalent to the 0.68% of the total reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Maria Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. Electoral Risks Maps. Electoral Mission Observation. 2014 elections. http://moe.org.co/investigaciones/datos-y-mapas-electorales/mapas-de-riesgo-electoral

        3. “National Electoral Council considers whether to open investigation for electoral finance limits. Political editorial. News Report, Journal El Espectador, April 16th, 2014. http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/consejo-nacional-electoral-estudia-si-abre-investigacio-articulo-487428

        4. “Campaigns for Senate are more expensive than Presidential Campaigns”. Interview with the ex minister of interior German Vargas Lleras. News report National Channel RCN. Com. May 9th, 2014. http://www.noticiasrcn.com/nacional-elecciones/campanas-al-senado-cuestan-mas-una-presidencial

        5. “Report of Electoral Irregularities in Colombia, 2014 Congress and Presidential Elections”. Electoral Observation Mission. July 2014. http://moe.org.co/home/doc/moejuridica/2014/presentacionpilasconelvoto.pdf

        6. "2014 Congress elections, analysis of campaigns financing and public reports. Document elaborated by Transparencia por Colombia . http://bit.ly/CuentasClarasCongreso2014

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    75
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        21
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        In Colombia the political organizations with legal status have to report in an itemized format their contributions and expenditures during elections and outside electoral campaigns. The title V of Law 130 of 1994 focuses in the regulation for the presentations of accountability reports and its disclosure which applies to all political organizations both during campaigns and outside electoral campaigns. The article 18 of this Law indicates that the reports must be submitted to the National Electoral Council with the following itemized information: a) Every political organization with legal status must comply with the submission of their annual income and expenses reports b) Destination and execution of the public funds that were allocated to them, and c) The revenues and expenditures during electoral campaigns.

        The articles 20 and 21 of the same Law requires the inclusion in the public reports of at least the following information: contributions from members, donations, investment performance, net income from activities carried out to raise funds, loans, in-kind contributions and public funds received. Regarding the expenditure, they are required to report on the following items: administrative expenses, office and acquisition expenses, investment in equipment for the public work of the political organization, expenditures at public events, transportation services, training and policy research costs, legal and accountability costs, political advertising expenses, cancellation of loans and all other expenses exceeding the amount fixed by the NEC.

        Regarding the date for the submission of reports the Law 1475 of 2011 in the article 19 indicates that they have the first 4 months of the year for the submission of such report to the NEC including their assets declaration and incomes and expenses reports. The format designed by the NEC for that purpose is the Form 1B which includes all the items mentioned above.

        For the electoral processes, the Resolution 330 of 2007 issued by the NEC regulates the reporting of campaigns contributions and expenditures. For the single member elections such as Presidency as well as for the corporate elections such as Congress, the candidates along with their campaign manager and public accountant are responsible to comply with the itemized reporting of the contributions and expenditures, observing the requirements of having this information actualized. The Law 1475 gave up to two months after the election date for the submission of the incomes and expense reports to the NEC. During the first month individual candidates have to put all the information together and submit it to the political organization that endorsed them in the form 5B (this form is send automatically also through Clear Accounts to the NEC). The second month, the political organizations compile the information of all their endorsed candidates and submit them to the NEC in the form 7B. For the Presidential Elections these reports are submitted in the Form 6. The Resolution 3097 of 2013 of the NEC made mandatory for the reporting of the contributions and expenditures the usage of the Software tool "Clear Accounts" observing all the standards established by the law for the management and reporting of campaign funds.

        Regarding the electoral period, it is important to note that the article 34 of the Law 1475 of 2011 indicates that political organizations can start collecting contributions for campaigns six months before the Election Day, and they must report these contributions in their campaign´s incomes and expenses reports. However, this same article indicates that individual candidates can only start collecting contributions for their campaigns once they inscribe as candidates. For the Legislative elections, the inscription period started on November 9th, 2013 and it closed on December 9th, 2013. For the Presidential elections it started on January 25th 2014 and it closed on March 7th 2014 (three months before the Second Round of Presidential Elections). Taking into account this Law, it is clear that individual candidates are not required to report outside of the electoral periods since they are not allowed to collect contributions for campaigns outside of the periods mentioned above.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Articles 18, 20 and 21 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        2. Resolution 0330 of 2007, issued by the National Electoral Council “By which the procedure for the registration of accountability books and the reporting of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses and the internal party referendums are set”.
          http://www3.terra.com.co/elecciones2007/documentacion/download/Res0330rendiciondecuentas.pdf

        3. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 18, 19, 25 and 34. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        4. Resolution 3097 of 2013 issued by the National Electoral Council, “By which is defined as mandatory the usage of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses reports”.
          http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203097.PDF

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        22
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        There is not a specific law requiring a monthly reporting of the financial information during electoral campaign for political parties and individual candidates. However, the requisites defined in the Resolution 0330 issued by the NEC indicates that both candidates and political organizations must have accountant books that must be registered in the National Registry Office or its local dependency before they start filling it. The registration of the books is a procedure in which at the NRO all the book pages are numerated in order to assure that no pages will be added or taken out of the revenue books during the inventorying of all the incomes and expenses of the campaigns. The article 5 of this Resolution indicates that the management of the incomes and expenses book must be made in an appropriate and timely manner, so as to reveal the economic facts properly documented with accounting supports (receipts, contribution acts…), in accordance with the accounting principles accepted in Colombia. In all cases the information must be included no later than the week following the day on which the income or the expenditure took place. As well, the article 5 of the Resolution 3097 of 2013 issued by the NEC indicates that the "accounting entries must be made no later than eight days after the transaction has been effected". This Resolution also made mandatory the usage of the module of the accountant book inside the web base tool Clear Accounts along with the book registered at the NRO. Therefore in law, campaigns must fill in the web base tool Clear Accounts the information of incomes and expenses on a weekly period. Since this tool is online the Electoral Authority is able to review the information as soon as the campaigns introduce the information in the online accountant book. Also, this information automatically is reflected in the incomes and expenses reports (forms 5B) through Clear Accounts.

        The dates for the final reporting of incomes and expenses are established in the article 25 of the Law 1475 of 2011, stating that: "The political parties and movements and the significant groups of citizens shall submit to the National Electoral Council consolidated reports of the incomes and expenditure of the electoral campaigns in which they have been involved in the two months after the election date. Campaign managers and candidates must submit to the respective party, political movement or significant group of citizens’ individual reports of their incomes and expenses within the month following the date of the election. And in the second month the political organizations must organize all the information and submit it to the NEC".

        Taking this into account the political organizations and candidates in law are required to report the financial information in an accountant book that must be updated within a week after the financial event took place, and also to report the same information on the same timeline electronically through Clear Accounts. For the final submission of the incomes and expenses report the law gives them maximum two months (one for individual candidates and one more for political organizations).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 25. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        2. Resolution 3097 of 2013 issued by the National Electoral Council, “By which is defined as mandatory the usage of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses reports”.
          http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203097.PDF

        3. Resolution 0330 of 2007, issued by the National Electoral Council “By which the procedure for the registration of accountability books and the reporting of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses and the internal party referendums are set”.
          http://www3.terra.com.co/elecciones2007/documentacion/download/Res0330rendiciondecuentas.pdf

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        23
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Individual candidates are not required to report on a quarterly base outside of the electoral campaign period. They only have to comply with the law once they are officially inscribed as candidates for a specific election and thus start with their reporting of incomes and expenses.

        As for the political parties and movements with legal status, their reporting of incomes and expenses outside the election period must be submitted on a yearly basis. The article 19 of Law 1475 of 2011 gives them the first 4 month of the year for the submission of such reports to the NEC : "within the first (4) months of each year, political parties and movements with legal status must present to the National Electoral Council a declaration of assets, incomes and expenses, using the format designed for that purpose by the NEC". The format 1B designed by the NEC for the yearly presentation of incomes and expenses include all the itemized information they need to submit. These yearly reports of the political organizations are a requisite for the reception of state funds to support the functioning of these organizations.

        Regarding the expenditure of the political organization functioning, the law 1475 of 2011 included in the article 18 some specific destination for the state funds that they are allowed to receive. In this case they have to destine at least 15% of their public funds for the promotion of political and electoral training and effective inclusion of women, youth and ethnic minority groups.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Articles 18, 20 and 21 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 19. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        3. Resolution 0330 of 2007, issued by the National Electoral Council “By which the procedure for the registration of accountability books and the reporting of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses and the internal party referendums are set”.
          http://www3.terra.com.co/elecciones2007/documentacion/download/Res0330rendiciondecuentas.pdf

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        24
        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        During the electoral period, candidates have to report their information on campaign financing through their incomes and expense accountant books. The resolution 0330 of 2007 issued by the NEC commands the candidates and political organizations to have their financial campaign information updated. Within a week after the income or the expenditure has taken place they should compile it in their accountability books.

        In practice there are two ways of knowing if candidates are observing these requirements as Maria Luisa Prado Director of the National Fund of Political Finance at the NEC noted in her interview. Through “Clear Accounts” it was possible to observe if they were presenting their reports. Also the Electoral Tribunals established for the controlling of the campaigns are able to go to the campaigns and personally review their incomes and expenses reports and accountant book, regardless if they have uploaded the information in “Clear Accounts”. For the legislative elections of 2014 a follow up of the reporting made by Transparencia por Colombia showed that not all the campaigns were reporting on a weekly base. Three weeks before the election date (March 9) only the 33.06% of the candidates were uploading their financial information in “Clear Accounts”. However, since the law 1475 requires the candidates to submit to their political organizations their incomes and expenses reports one month after the election date, this percentage increased on April 10th to 84.14%. Finally, two months after the election date, candidates and political organizations had to submit their reports to the NEC, therefore on May 9th 92.8% of the candidates complied with this requirement within the due date. For the presidential elections all the five campaigns submitted their information through “Clear Accounts” before the election date.

        When it is not an electoral period, political organizations their annual submit financing report within the first 4 months of the year. They have to fill it in the format 1B registering all the information required. The Financial Manager of the Liberal Party indicated to us that it is mandatory for all the political organizations with legal status, to comply with this requirement if they want to receive the public funds for their functioning.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources
        1. Resolution 0330 of 2007, issued by the National Electoral Council “By which the procedure for the registration of accountability books and the reporting of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses and the internal party referendums are set”.
          http://www3.terra.com.co/elecciones2007/documentacion/download/Res0330rendiciondecuentas.pdf

        2. Interview: Jorge Muñoz Pinzón, Financial Manager, Liberal Party, July22, 2014. Personal Interview

        3. Interview: Maria Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        4. Formats 5B,6 and 7B for the reporting of incomes campaigns incomes and expenses. These formats are submitted by candidates, political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and they can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com. The formats are available for the 2014 legislative elections and the May and June 2014 presidential elections.

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        75
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        The contributions to electoral campaigns have to be reported by individual candidates in the formats 5B and 6. Contributions to the electoral campaigns can be in cash or in kind and might come from the candidates own families; individuals and/or corporations, political organizations that endorse them and public funds. It is important to mention that candidates for presidential election can´t receive contributions from corporations. At the same time the political organizations have to report their incomes, including their contributions in the format 7B and annexes. The contributions for the political organizations can come from individuals or corporations and also from the public funds translated for their functioning and for supporting the electoral campaigns in which they are participating.

        When electoral campaigns or political organizations receive contributions, specifically donations from individuals or corporations, they elaborate a document to support the donation. This document proves that the donation took place and it can be taken as a tax deductible expense for the contributor to up to 30% of the net income of the donor, as the article 16 of the Law 1475 of 2011 indicates. This constitutes one of the incentives for companies to make contributions to electoral campaigns and also to report those contributions to the respective authority. To all the individual candidates and political organizations is mandatory to report all their incomes, including the contributions received, describing the name and identification number and personal information of the donor (address, phone) and the amount received. In practice, such information is always included in the reports. However the formats do not have a space to indicate if the contribution was made in kind or in cash since the law required to report the in kind contributions in accordance to their commercial value. One of the principal incentives for candidates and political organizations for reporting their incomes, including the contributions received is that it is necessary for the approval of the state funds. The financial manager of the Liberal Party affirmed in his interview that from the accountant point of view the formats for reporting the incomes and expenses are complete and enclose all the information needed regarding the contributions received, also he highlighted that these reports are signed by a public accountant and with this, they are stating that the information is complete and reliable.

        It is noteworthy to mention there are some contributions that are not reported by candidates or political organizations due to the fact that the origin of such funds is not legal. For example, in accordance with the electoral risk maps elaborated by the NOGO MOE, in the legislative elections of 2014 risks associated with electoral fraud, clientelism and corruption with state resources were present and manifested mainly through illegal financing of candidates and political organizations. Although it is not possible to accurately determine the actual contributions (legal and illegal) that occurred in the 2014 legislative elections, it is possible to know the amount officially reported by individual candidates and political organizations through the application Clear Accounts in compliance with the law requirements.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Jorge Muñoz Pinzón, Financial Manager, Liberal Party, July22, 2014. Personal Interview

        2. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview

        3. Accountability forms 5B, 6 and 7B of revenue and expenditure campaigns. These formats are submitted by candidates, political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and are available for the March 2014 legislative elections, and the May and June 2014 presidential elections They can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com

        4. Resolution 0330 of 2007, issued by the National Electoral Council “By which the procedure for the registration of accountability books and the reporting of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses and the internal party referendums are set”.
          http://www3.terra.com.co/elecciones2007/documentacion/download/Res0330rendiciondecuentas.pdf

        5. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Article 16. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        6. Electoral Risks Maps. Electoral Mission Observation. 2014 elections. http://moe.org.co/investigaciones/datos-y-mapas-electorales/mapas-de-riesgo-electoral

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        YES
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        In Colombia the financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public. The article 107 of the Political Constitution indicates that transparency and publicity must be guiding principles for the functioning of the political organizations. Also, the recently sanctioned Law 1712 of 2014 – Transparency and Access to Information- included the political organizations as entities obliged to provide public information under the requisites of this law, including timely, objective, accurate, complete and reusable information.

        Regarding the publicity of financial information, the Law 996 of 2005 states in the article 5 that the National Electoral Council is in charge of regulating the system for the presentation of electoral information, the periods for evaluating these reports, the content of such reports and the disclosure of this information. Likewise the Law 130 of 1994 in the article 18 states that the financial reports of political organizations and candidates during electoral period and the political organizations annual reports must be published in a newspaper of national circulation, after being reviewed by the NEC to guarantee public access to them.

        Thus the Resolution 3097 of 2013 in article 14 also indicates that the NEC is in charge of regulating the disclosure of this information: “Formats and authorized annexes for the reporting of campaign incomes and expenses must be duly completed by the parties, political movements or significant groups and citizens may accessed to these reports through the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com." Through this web site the available information can be downloaded at no cost.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Constitution, 1991. Articles 107 and 209. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated". Article 20. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

        3. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Article 18 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        4. Resolution 3097 of 2013 issued by the National Electoral Council, “By which is defined as mandatory the usage of electoral campaigns incomes and expenses reports”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203097.PDF

        5. Law 1712 of 2014. Transparency and Access to Information. Article 5 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=56882

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        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        According to the Law 1475 of 2011, the deadline for submitting the incomes and expense reports of campaign financing is two months after the election take place. However prior to the election date it is possible to make a public consultation of the information that is being reported through “Clear Accounts”.

        A review made by Transparencia por Colombia during the prior months for the legislative elections yielded the following results: In February 27 the 27.6 % of the total of candidates participating in the legislative elections (2347), were uploading their campaign financing information in “Clear Accounts”, in February 23rd, 33.06% and in February 27, 39.83%. After the election date (March 9th, 2014) we reviewed again then information in Clear Accounts and we found the following: on April 10th, 84.14% of the candidates were already registering their information in “Clear Accounts” and finally in May 9th when the deadline was over, the 92.8% had submitted their information by this web base tool. For the presidential elections all the five campaigns submitted their information through “Clear Accounts” before the election date. This information is all available for download in pdf and xls formats.

        For the 2014 elections many analyses of campaign financing were carried out downloading the information by this web-based tool. In fact some local and national journals requested to the NCE direct access to the information so they can link the web site form their own sites as the manager of “Clear Accounts” mentioned in his interview. One example that can be consulted is the report made by the journal El Tiempo.com regarding the presidential election.

        Since the information reported through “Clear Accounts” depends in part on the discipline that candidates have on uploading their incomes and expenses information in a timely manner prior to and following the election date, the information available before the final due date was not continuously updated and this in some cases hindered the follow up in real time of civil society organizations of the usage of campaigns funds.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Juanita León, editor and founder of La Silla Vacía, lasillavacia.com, a highly popular and respected website that publishes investigative pieces, told me this is "very hard" to acces. "The law demands they present this information AFTER the elections" She stresses the importance of the initiative by Transparencia por Colombia (Cuentas Clara) in which they present their financial information voluntarily. "However, the reality is that financing happens a long time before the reporting period starts."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. Formats 5B, 6 and 7B for the reporting of incomes campaigns incomes and expenses. These formats are submitted by candidates, political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and they can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com. The formats are available for the 2014 legislative elections and the May and June 2014 presidential elections. http://www5.registraduria.gov.co/CuentasClarasPublicoCon2014/Home/

        2. Resolution 3097 of 2013. Mandatory usage of the web base tool “Clear Accounts” for all the 2014 elections. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203097.PDF

        3. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview.

        4. Interview: Ariel Cortés Rocha, Manager of the web base tool Clear Accounts. National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        5. How much money electoral campaigns move? Who are the mayor campaigns’ donors? Data Unit. Journal El Tiempo.com. May 19th, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014/presidencia/cunta-plata-mueven-campaas-quines-son-los-grandes-aportantes/14007198

        6. El Tiempo.com. Special report on Presidential Campaign Financing
          http://www.eltiempo.com/multimedia/infografias/ingresos-y-gastos-de-las-campanas-electorales/13998197

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Juanita León, an award-wninning investigative journalist and editor and founder of La Silla Vacía, lasillavacia.com, a highly popular and respected website that publishes investigative pieces. Phone, September 23, 2014.

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        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        In practice the financial information is published in a standardized format. For the electoral campaigns the Resolution 3097 of 2013 issued by the National Electoral Council made mandatory the reporting of campaign incomes and expenses of individual candidates and political organizations through the Software tool “Clear Accounts" in standardized formats. This Resolution also states that the accountant books must be filled through Clear Accounts and automatically the web application will upload the information required in the incomes and expenses formats 5B or 6 and annexes for candidates, and 7B formats and annexes for political organizations. Also through this software application the internal audit report must be filled in accordance with the indications included in the Resolution 330 of 2007 and the Resolution 3476 of 2005 and must be submitted along with the 5B, 6 and 7B reports.

        The Guiding Manual for the reporting of incomes and expenses explains in detail how the reports must be filled in the standardized formats that have specific codes for the reporting of all the incomes and expenses. The format 5B contains all the financial information of the individual candidates, this information has to be detailed in the following annexes: - Annex 5.1B or 6 contains the information of credit or contributions coming from the candidate, his/ her spouse or life partner, or relatives. - Annex 5.2B or 6.2 contains information on contributions, grants and loans in cash or in kind, made by individuals or corporations. - Annex 5.3B or 6.3 contains information of the credits obtained in legally authorized financial entities. - Annex 5.4B or 6.4 contains information of the public funds received in advanced. - Annex 5.5B or 6.5 contains information of the resources that political organizations translated to their endorsed candidates. - Annex 5.6B or 6.6 records all the obligations that need to be paid (such as credits with financial entities or with particulars). - Annex 5.7B or 6.7 contains information of the expenditures made for electoral propaganda.

        The political organizations must report in the same itemized formats but in this case in the 7B formats and annexes they must consolidate the information of all the candidates inscribed per list and also the incomes and expenses that the political organization had during the implementation of the electoral campaigns.

        It is possible to have access and download each one of the candidates 5B reports of the 2014 legislative and presidential elections through the public consultation module of the web base tool “Clear Accounts”. The same applies for the reports of the political organizations that participated in the 2014 legislative elections. A review of informaiton on Cuentas Claras proves that all of this information is indeed available online in standardized, comparable formats.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources
        1. A review of the webside Cuentas Claras, http://www.cnecuentasclaras.com/consulta_publica.htm. Site accessed on August 27, 2014.

        2. Formats 5B, 6 and 7B for the reporting of incomes campaigns incomes and expenses. These formats are submitted by candidates, political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and they can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com. The formats are available for the 2014 legislative elections and the May and June 2014 presidential elections.

        3. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview.

        4. Interview: Ariel Cortés Rocha, Manager of the web base tool Clear Accounts. National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        5. Instructions for the presentation of incomes and expenses reports through Clear Accounts. Guiding Manual developed by the National Fund for Political and Campaign Financing, National Electoral Council, 2014.
          http://www.cnecuentasclaras.com/irc2014.pdf

        6. Resolution 3097 of 2013, issued by the NEC. “By which is set the mandatory use of the software application named “Clear Accounts” as the official mechanism for reporting incomes and expenses of the election campaign”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203097.PDF

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        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Mainstream journalism media outlets in Colombia used the information available in the web-based tool “Clear Accounts” to track the financing of legislative and presidential campaigns during the 2014 elections. According to a review of the media coverage of the campaign financing information through this tool, Transparencia por Colombia found that from February to July 2014, thirteen mass media channels used the web-based application to have access to financing information. Of these, ten were national media channels and three were regional channels.

        It was important to have had access to relevant information of the campaigns at the regional level. For example a print journal, La Opinión, of the department of Santander used this tool regularly during the months prior to the election day to track the information submitted by the candidates aspiring to represent this department in the House of Representatives. Also, the administrator of the web-based tool “Clear Accounts” mentioned that during the first semester of 2014 he received several requests from major media outlets such as the national journal El Tiempo to redirect the link to access to Clear Accounts through their news web portals. Thus, for example, the Journal El Tiempo used the campaign finance information taken directly from the application Clear Accounts for their special 2014 elections coverage. This work can be seen in the link http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014.

        Although the tool Clear Accounts is the main source to have access to the 2014 campaigns finance information, and it is available for everybody, some of the persons interviewed indicated that the use of this information for the reporting of the mainstream journals is still very poor and weak, because they don´t track down with more details the information available on campaign funding, comparing it with what they are able to see in practice. Dora Montero, a journalist expert on the coverage of electoral issues in Colombia explained in her interview that the media in Colombia is not used to conducting a thorough research and to monitoring the information of campaign and political financing, in part because this subject is very technical, there is not a set of norms and the journalists prefer not to explain this topic to the citizens since it is hard to understand. Also, the legal assessor from the NGO MOE stated that the mainstream media do not follow this subject because in part their interests would be affected since they are some of the principal contributors to campaigns. However although the channel RCN appears as one of the principal donors for the 2014 legislative campaigns with COP $ 1,499,798,390 (USD $ 819,561) they also made a series of 7 specials about the funding of the electoral campaigns that were released in prime time: http://www.noticiasrcn.com/videos/congresistas-liberales-tuvieron-poca-financiacion-empresas-privadas.


        Peer reviewer comment: Disagree. Even if the scoring critera does point to a 100 score, I would suggest a lower score of 75. The research points at some clear examples of how media outlets used political finance data in their reporting. However, as the researcher notes there is much more to be done, especially as Cuentas Claras appears to be the main source of information. Form a journalist's point of view, more digging and nagging is required. Although concrete proof was never submitted to the prosecutors' office, and the story was widely covered in the media -local and foreign- accusations by former President Álvaro Uribe of alleged payment of drugs money to a campaign adviser of President Juan Manuel Santos in the 2010 presidential campaign (accusations also said some of that money was channeled into the campaign) highlights the need for more in depth reporting when it comes to the financing of political campaigns. Juanita León of La Silla Vacía says it is not a common practice for mainstream media to use political finance data.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources
        1. “60% of the candidates for Congress haven´t report how they finance their campaigns”. Data Analysis Unit. El Tiempo.com, Especial Report on 2014 Elections. March 6, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014/congreso/60-de-candidatos-al-congreso-no-ha-reportado-cmo-se-financia/13597295

        2. “How much money the campaigns have? Who are the biggest Contributors?”. Data Analysis Unit. El Tiempo.com, Especial Report on 2014 Elections. March 19th, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014/presidencia/cunta-plata-mueven-campaas-quines-son-los-grandes-aportantes/14007198

        3. “These were the expenses of the 9 elected to Congress”. Lucy Araque. Local Journal La Opinión, Santander. May 2nd, 2014. http://m.laopinion.com.co/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=440543&Itemid=1

        4. Interview: Ariel Cortés Rocha, Manager of the web base tool Clear Accounts. National Electoral Council, July 24th, 2014. Personal Interview.

        5. Interview: Dora Montero, investigative journalist and expert in electoral issues. RCN, July 29, 2014. Personal Interview.

        6. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23rd, 2014. Personal Interview

        7. Media Coverage of Campaign Financing information through Cuentas Claras. Report made by Transparencia por Colombia, July 7th 2014.

        8. Special reports on Congress Campaign Financing broadcasted in the channel RCN. http://www.noticiasrcn.com/videos/congresistas-liberales-tuvieron-poca-financiacion-empresas-privadas.

        9. RCN - 'NoticiasRCN.com. The TV network produced a series of 7 specials about the funding of the electoral campaigns that were released in prime time. http://www.noticiasrcn.com/videos/congresistas-liberales-tuvieron-poca-financiacion-empresas-privadas. Website accessed on August 27, 2014.

        10. El Tiempo special website on the 2014 Elections. http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014. Website accessed on August 27, 2014.

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Juanita León, an award-wninning investigative journalist and editor and founder of La Silla Vacía, lasillavacia.com, a highly popular and respected website that publishes investigative pieces.

        Laura Ardila Arrieta, "El pierde-pierde del Fiscal en estas elecciones", Lasillavacia.com, 22 May 2014, http://lasillavacia.com/historia/el-pierde-pierde-del-fiscal-en-estas-elecciones-47447

        Elespectador.com, "Uribe dice que J.J. Rendón entregó US$2 millones a campaña de Santos en 2010", 8 May 2014, http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/uribe-dice-jj-rendon-entrego-us2-millones-campana-de-sa-articulo-491135

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        25
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        By reviewing news and reports it is possible to determine that some possible violations of the financial laws occurred during the last elections. For the past legislative elections there are two particular cases that were reported on mainstream media on several occasions. One related to a claim by the Mayor in charge of Bogotá, Rafael Pardo, on possible violations of the number of political advertising through billboards that political organizations and candidates are allowed to post in the city. The second case happened in Bello, a municipality of the department of Antioquia, were some reports indicated that public officials were being forced by armed groups outside the law to donate part of their salary to the campaign of a specific candidate to the Senate. Other news reports addressed allegations regarding the high costs of campaigns and how illegal funds were fueling the campaigns mainly funds coming from public contractors or by big corporations that were giving high contributions to campaigns.

        During the legislative elections a phenomenon baptized the “jam” started to be described in news reports and analysis. This phenomenon is related with the aspiration that the president of Colombia had for being reelected. For this purpose he designated resources to some specific regions of Colombia were he had allied candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives. The allegations around this situation are that the funds were not destined for regional development or invested but rather for campaign financing. Some analysis made regarding the votes obtained by these candidates indicate that they used these funds to assure the votes they needed for being elected, because all of them received a lot of votes although they do not have had previously a big political or electoral capital. In turn they have committed to assure that voters in these regions will vote for the president in the following presidential elections (see sources no. 6 and 7). These examples are documented incidents produced within a deeper research by news, journalists and analysts.

        Other reports of possible violations to the political financing laws were submitted by citizens through the web tool Pilas con el Voto. In total 18 reports on this issue were submitted but for the NGO Electoral Observation Mission, they remain as accusations and they need to be further investigated before determining if they can be taken as documented violations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Dora Montero, investigative journalist and expert in electoral issues. RCN, July 29, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. “NEC investigates complaints against political parties made by Rafael Pardo”. News Report La F.M. April 6th, 2014.
          http://www.lafm.com.co/noticias/cne-investiga-denuncias-de-159042

        3. “Farc and Bacrim might be sponsoring candidates, 221 municipalities are exposed to the acceptance of the illegal armed groups”. News Report Journal El Tiempo. Research Unit. March 9th, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014/congreso/farc-y-bacrim-estaran-apadrinando-candidatos/13619274

        4. “Campaigns for Senate are more expensive than Presidential Campaigns”. Interview with the ex minister of interior German Vargas Lleras. News report National Channel RCN. Com. May 9th, 2014. http://www.noticiasrcn.com/nacional-elecciones/campanas-al-senado-cuestan-mas-una-presidencial

        5. “Electoral Maximum Expenditure, a Mock King?” News Report, National Journal La República. February 8th, 2013. http://www.elnuevosiglo.com.co/articulos/2-2013-topes-electorales-%C2%BFrey-de-burlas.html.

        6. “The Ravages of the Jam”. News Article published in the regional journal El País.com March 14, 2014. http://www.elpais.com.co/elpais/opinion/columna/maria-elvira-bonilla/estragos-mermelada

        7. “Landscape of Risks for the 2014 Congress elections” Gustavo Duncan. Political Analyst. Perspectiva Magazine No. 3/02/2014. FESCOL. http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/kolumbien/10606.pdf

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        25
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        In Colombia, authorities lack proper technologies needed for real-time surveillance over elections. Consequently, short period documentation of incidents falls upon the media and a few NGOs. During the past elections the Electoral Observation Mission through the web tool Pilas con el voto (www.pilasconelvoto.com) received 621 reports of actions that affect the will of the voters. From these reports 437 addressed situations related with vote buying. This crime as reported by the Legal Assessor of the NGO Electoral Mission Observation MOE, occurred between January and March and also during the election day. In addition the foundation Peace and Reconciliation launched in early August a study entitled "Heirs of evil clans, mafias and jam Congress 2014-2018" which includes a description of how the former legislative elections were captured and the vote buying worked in the Caribbean region of Colombia.

        The Colombian media gave coverage to these reports which were presented in news channels and the directors of these NGOs participated in several news reports and investigation programs explaining the violations of the electoral process, including what was happening with vote buying. In the media there were also news and reports regarding possible misusage of public funds for controlling the voters and vote buying in a practice that was denominated the repartition of the government jam.

        Since it is not possible to have hard evidence of the past 2014 elections, in the past 2011 elections an emblematic example can be found in the Supreme Court’s judgment against former Guainía department governor Mr. Ivan Vargas Silva. The governor was found guilty of vote buying in the Guainía department. According to the Court’s findings, vote-buying usually takes places in several locations, widely known by the populace as vote-buying locations during elections. In any such location, an unofficial campaign member is likely to offer a given candidate’s propaganda to pedestrians offering a “collaboration” if they were to vote for their candidate. Such “collaboration” is only given after the offeree hands-in a his or her voting certificate and informs the offerreur in which table the vote was deposited so the campaign can keep a record and an estimate of whether the offerees are being truthful or not.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. There is also the widespread use of the term “mermelada” (or jam) in the media and by politicians. This is attributed to a mechanism in which the central government, allegedly under the suggestion of certain lawmakers, allegedly granted budget quotas to certain local and regional authorities, allegedly in order to win votes although, also allegedly in the form of development or other funds or sometimes political posts - essentially, clientelism. One particular lawmaker from the region of Córdoba allegedly received some U$D57 million from the “mermelada".

        One decisive vote turner in the second round of this year’s presidential election was the so-called government “machinery” that, allegedly, Juan Manuel Santos got out to grease his campaign’s wheels, particularly on the Caribbean Coast. Reports say that even not directly vote–buying, local politicians help in mobilizing and transporting voters to polling stations, while providing food and beverages. As a thorough report from La Silla Vacía said in June: “And what the President is going to give you in return (for mobilizing votes)?” “Hopefully investments for the region… One expects the government to treat us later on,” responded a Senator.” This appears to be a common practice and not only restricted to presidential elections, and not only restricted to Juan Manuel Santos. Former President Alvaro Uribe also made allegations of vote-buying and "abuse of power", such as "delivering money to lawmakers for vote-buying, offering government money to mayors and governors to force them to intervene ilegally in the campaign in favour of the President-candidate, among other abuses."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. “Report of Electoral Irregularities in Colombia, 2014 Congress and Presidential Elections”. Electoral Observation Mission. July 2014. http://moe.org.co/home/doc/moejuridica/2014/presentacionpilasconelvoto.pdf

        2. “Heirs of Evil, Clans, Mafias and Jam”. Peace and Reconciliation Foundation. August 11th, 2014. http://www.pares.com.co/carrusel/herederos-del-mal-clanes-mafias-y-mermelada/

        3. “Vote buying: the most reported crime: MOE. News Report National Journal El Tiempo. News Editor. March 9th, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/elecciones-2014/congreso/compra-de-votos-el-delito-ms-reportado-moe/13621277

        4. “First captures for votes buying in Congress elections 2014”. Radio News Channel Caracol. Caracol.com. March 9th, 2014. http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/actualidad/primeras-capturas-por-compra-de-votos-en-elecciones-de-congreso-2014/20140309/nota/2118596.aspx

        5. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview

        6. Supreme Justice Court. Criminal Cassation Chamber, Judgment of September 21, 2011 Judge Speaker: Maria del Rosario Gonzalez de Lemos. http://190.24.134.121/webcsj/Documentos/Novedades/Archivo/Penal/32136%2821-09-11%29.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Laura Ardila Arrieta, "Santos, his Ñoño and Musa", March 31, 2014, http://lasillavacia.com/historia/santos-su-nono-y-su-musa-46982

        Laura Ardila Arrieta, ""Si es por mermelada, estaría votando por Uribe”: Ñoño Elías", May 13, 2014, http://lasillavacia.com/historia/si-es-por-mermelada-estaria-votando-por-uribe-nono-elias-47402

        Laura Ardila Arrieta, "Así se mueve la maquinaria que definirá las elecciones (en la Costa)", June 4, 2014, http://lasillavacia.com/historia/asi-se-mueve-la-maquinaria-que-definira-las-elecciones-en-la-costa-47713

        "Uribe se pronuncia en contra de los abusos, delitos y presión de campaña Santos", costanoticias.com, http://costanoticias.com/uribe-se-pronuncia-en-contra-de-los-abusos-y-delitos-electorales-de-la-campana-reeleccionista/

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        32
        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        In practice there is not a wide usage of the political finance data by civil society organizations to raise awareness of the importance of this issue for electoral democracy in our country. There are two principal Non- Governmental Organizations that usually support part of their advocacy activities with the financial information of candidates and political organizations: The Mission of Electoral Observation and Transparencia por Colombia.

        The first one dedicates all their effort to monitor the electoral processes identifying the principal electoral risks and seeking to guarantee more transparent elections. In their monitoring activities they have used the information available mainly through Clear Accounts, but as the legal assessor of this NGO stated, the information available still is not complete or accurate. In many cases they have been able to observe that what the candidates report on the mandatory formats is not congruent with what is observed in practice in the different regions of the Colombia. Transparencia por Colombia dedicates to fight against corruption. Part of its efforts are focused on preventing political corruption by the promotion of a more transparent and qualified access to political campaign information, that is why they developed the web base tool Clear Accounts and donated it to the National Electoral Council. Also during the 2014 elections they have been using the information reported in Clear Accounts to raise awareness among the candidates, the political organizations, the electoral authority, the private contributors and the civil society on the importance of being transparent and have access to campaign finance information.

        In the interview made to the journalist specialized in political issues Dora Montero, she confirmed that the only work on this issues widely known is the one that MOE and Transparencia por Colombia implement. She explained than in part this situation is based on the lack of interest that civil society in general has on these issues as she stated: “Civil Society is more interested in the issues regarding political power than in studying the finances that support the politics”. In this case there are other organizations that, for example, make a close monitoring to the functioning of the Congress but they don´t relate this work with the finance information reported by the candidates to Congress. Finally it is noteworthy to mention that other type of organizations such as the international cooperation agencies have requested information directly from the web base tool Clear Accounts to the manager of this tool. For example the National Democratic Institude, NDI, has requested some information regarding the 2014 legislative elections candidates and the submission of information through Cuentas Claras.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview

        2. Interview: Dora Montero, investigative journalist and expert in election issues. RCN, July 29, 2014. Personal Interview.

        3. Interview: Ariel Cortés Rocha, Manager of the web base tool Clear Accounts. July 24th, 2014 . Personal Interview

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        33
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        Since the Political Constitution of Colombia was approved in 1991 it has passed through numerous reforms. Within the political reforms the Legislative Act 001 of 2003 and the Legislative Act 001 of 2009 as well the Law 1475 of 2011, have included significant changes in the functioning of the party system and in the political finance regulations. However the most relevant political reform in the last ten years for Colombia is the Legislative Act 002 of 2004 which reformed the Constitution for the approval of the immediate presidential re-election in Colombia. The Law 995 of 2006 regulated this constitutional modifications including some particular dispositions for the campaign financing of presidential elections, seeking to guarantee equity among the candidates and the president-candidate.

        Prior to these reforms, some situations in the Colombia political scenario made evident the necessity of including some political reforms to the Constitution. Although the Constitution strived for broadening the political participation of new parties, movements and significant groups of citizens, in practice, this opportunity developed into a proliferation of political parties dividing the electorate and weakening the political organizations. For example in the year 2002 for the legislative elections 321 lists were inscribed for Senate and 906 for the House of Representatives.

        As a result, the Congress presented the Legislative Act 001 of 2003 aiming for the adoption of measures to limit the high number of political organizations and lists of candidates in electoral competitions, making mandatory for political parties and movements to submit a single list to public corporations. Also, this reform instituted a threshold that political organizations must comply to run for elections, legislative decisions made by political parties’ and the removal of double militancy in political parties.

        Then the 2006 – 2010 Congress was immersed by multiple scandals most of them related with the nexus between paramilitary groups and elected Congressmen. Through these illegal groups financial support, in many regions of the country these Congressmen were elected with the purpose of assuring a better political scenario and guaranteeing the private interests of these illegal groups.
        Two years passed within all the Congress scandals during which two drafts of legislative-reforms were discussed. A first draft legislation was filed in 2007 by the Executive. However, it sank in the seventh debate due to a decision made by the representatives of the government coalition.

        Within this context of a very illegitimate Congress, a new political reform of 2009 initiated once again presented by the Executive branch. The 2009 reform included measures to sanction the political organizations that endorsed candidates who were involved in offenses related to membership, promotion or financing of illegal armed groups or illegal drug trafficking. For the strengthening of political parties and movements, and especially for control over campaigns funding, measures were taken to prevent and punish illegal links with actors.

        The government of President Juan Manuel Santos presented an initiative to implement the political reform of 2009 which ended in the Law 1475 of 2011. This law includes most of the current regulations of political financing including the legal and prohibited sources for political and campaign funding, the approval of public funds in advance for all the electoral processes, public funding of political organizations with specific destination and new limits to private campaigns financing. One aspect that was constantly discussed during the legislative debates for the approval of this Law was the limit for private contributions and, if they were supposed to be applied to the candidate's own funds and to their families. Finally a limit of 10% of the maximum expenditure allowed was approved for private contributions but no limits were imposed for the funding of campaigns with the candidate's own funds or their families.

        Regarding these reforms it is important to mention that for some political analysts such as Clara Rocio Rodriguez, the constitutional changes adopted through the political reforms of the last ten years, have responded more to particular situations, agreements and transactions among political actors largely reflecting their particular interests to remain in power, than to a conscious decision of adopting reforms for the strengthening of Colombian democracy. However other analysts, as Jose Ricardo Puyana indicated that within the most important effects of these reforms are the greater responsibility of the parties in the selection of their candidates and increasing gender equality in politics. These changes have helped the parties become more accountable and institutionalized organizations.`

        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. It is also worth mentioning that the government of Juan Manuel Santos, just weeks after taking office for the second time, presented a bill to end presidential re-election. This would limit future presidents to a single four-year term, reversing a 2004 change in the law which allowed Santos and former President Alvaro Uribe to serve second terms in office. Laura Wills of Congreso visible said the move is aimed curbing the presidency’s dominance over other branches of state. Essentially, preventing “caudillos,” or strongmen, from gaining too much power.

        The first article of the bill recently submitted to Congress to reform the electoral system also stresses the sanctions on political parties or movements that back candidates that have been condemned for links to illegal armed groups or drug-trafficking activities. This may include financing from drugs money. The sanctions on the parties could range from loosening its judicial status, and vetoing that party from participating in the next election.

        If the current peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC rebels succeed, as many expect they would do so, the National Electoral Council would need to be reformed. This, largely, to allow demobilized guerrillas enter the political life and even be voted into offices. According to the agreement on the point about political participation in the negotiations in Havana, the government and the FARC agreed on the need to reform the country's electoral organisation, "reform the electoral organisation" with the goal of securing more autonomy and indpendence". [See also research and comments on questions 40 and 42.]

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources
        1. The Political Reform, Devils making Host? Rodriguez, Clara Rocío. Web Article, January 2011. In La Razón Pública.com. Political and Journalism analysis web site. http://www.razonpublica.com/index.php/politica-y-gobierno-temas-27/1674-la-reforma-politica-idiablos-haciendo-hostias.html

        2. Puyana José Ricardo. “The Political reforms in Colombia, 2003-2011: Towards more responsible parties? “ In: Politics and Territory. Analysis of the sub national elecciones in Colombia, 2011. UNDP – IDEA- NIMD Bogota 2012. http://pnud.org.co/imgupload/61626461626434343535373737353535/2013/politicay%20territorioversion_final.pdf

        3. Legislative Act 01 of 2003. “By which a political reform is adopted and other dispositions are set” July 2003. http://www.registraduria.gov.co/IMG/pdf/ActoLegislativo01de2003.pdf

        4. Legislative Act 02 of 2004, “By which some articles of the Political Constitution are modified and new ones are adopted” (December, 2004) http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=15519

        5. Legislative Act 01of 2009. “ By which some articles of the Political Constitution are modified and new ones are adopted” (July, 2009) http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=36844

        6. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Laura Wills of Congreso Visible, a respected research centre within the Universidad de Los Andes, via phone and email, 23 Sept 2014 and 24 Sept 2014.

        Andrea Jaramillo, ""Santos Presents Bill to End Colombia Presidents’ Re-Election"", Businessweek, 3 September 2014, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-09-03/colombia-government-presents-bill-to-end-presidents-re-election.

        Miguel Galvis, ""The new National Electoral Council"", Las2Orillas, 2 September 2014, http://www.las2orillas.co/el-nuevo-consejo-nacional-electoral/

        ""Magistrado electo del CNE dice que hay que recuperar la credibilidad del organismo"", El Pais, 10 Sept 2014, http://www.elpais.com.co/elpais/colombia/noticias/magistrado-oposicion-dice-hay-recuperar-credibilidad-cne

        Andres Schipani, ""Colombia takes next step in Farc peace plan"", Financial Times, 6 Nov. 2013, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0434b71c-4736-11e3-b4d3-00144feabdc0.html

        Javier Revelo Robolledo, ""El Consejo Nacional Electoral: peligro para la democracia"", Razonpublica.com, 8 Sept 2014, http://www.razonpublica.com/index.php/politica-y-gobierno-temas-27/7869-el-consejo-nacional-electoral-peligro-para-la-democracia.html"

  • expand button!

    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    0
    • expand button!
      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
      • expand button!
        34
        Score
        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        In Colombia foundations, think tanks, trade unions and political action committees are comprised within the concept of non-profit organization. The National Tax Statute indicates that these non-profit organizations must register at the local level in its respective Chamber of Commerce, the Secretary of Treasury of the department or municipality in which the entity is organized and have to process the Single Tax Registration with the National Direction of Taxes and Customs (DIAN). Also, they are required to submit annually their account books to the Chamber of Commerce and municipal or district Mayor accordingly. The unions and associations of employers and workers are excluded from the registration requirements and presentation of taxes to the Chamber of Commerce; they must be registered at the national level in the Ministry of Labor but are not required to file tax incomes and assets or accounting records in accordance with the stipulations of article 598 of the National Tax Statute. Depending on the activity that each non-profit organization carries out the authorities at the territorial level: Governors, Mayors and Chambers of Commerce at the local level have control over the granting, renewal and termination of the non-profit organizations legal status as it is indicated in the Law 50 of 1990.

        There is not a specific limitation for the non-profit organizations to make political contributions in kind or in cash. They are allowed to contribute to campaigns for candidates and political organizations because they are encompassed within the regulations that apply for the juridical persons (entities). This means that only in the Presidential Elections they cannot give contributions, but in all the other electoral processes they are allowed. The National Tax Statute in the article 19 indicates that the non-profit organizations can not invest their incomes in activities that are not part of its purposes, but if the non-profit entities have in the definition of its purposes activities or functions related to democracy, participation, civic and community activities and so on, are allowed to make contributions to political campaigns.

        A difference between these third party actors and other private corporations that can contribute to campaigns is that in Colombia there is no regulation regarding a requirement for the non-profit entities to disclose and make public the contributions they receive from their contributors and benefactors and their expenditures. But the Law 1475 of 2011 and the Law 130 0f 1994, make mandatory for the political organizations and candidates that receive private contributions, including the ones from non-profit organizations, to disclose them in their incomes and expenses reports detailing the name of the contributor and the amount received. These candidates and political organizations´ reports are public.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. National Tax Statute, Decree 3258 of 2002. “By which places and deadlines for submission of tax reports and payments, advances and withholdings are fixed and other provisions are defined”. Articles 19, 23, 364 and 598. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=7418

        2.Law 50 of 1990. “By which reforms to the Labor Code and other provisions are introduced”. Article 44 and 45. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=281

        1. Law 1475 of 2011. "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        2. Law 130 of 1994. “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements is dictated, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4814

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        35
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        The non-profit organizations (third sector actors) are not required to disclose the contributions they receive from their contributors and benefactors, in fact the supervision and control of these organizations is very scattered, because there is no national entity that brings them together and oversees them. Indeed, the financial reports that third party organizations make are not addressed to the electoral oversight authority; instead, they are made with the purpose of providing information for tax payments and not for campaign financing accountability. The information publicly available regarding campaign financing in kind or in cash from third party organizations is only available through the reports made by candidates and political organizations. Foundations or think tanks that are legally constituted must submit only a yearly report to the Colombian Agency in charge of Taxes DIAN. In it as any other corporations they must indicated their incomes (including the contributions they received) and their expenditures (including among other expenditures, their contributions to a candidate or a political organizations). [It is important to mention that unions and associations of workers and employers are excluded of the requirement of submitting their accountant records.]

        This information is reported on specific formats but the accountant books with the itemized information are not submitted to the DIAN; only in case this State agency requires them the organization must submit them. The information sent to the DIAN is required for setting the amount of taxes that each entity must pay or if it a non-profit organization, to receive the certificates that excuse them from paying such taxes. However in Colombia the information for taxes submitted to the DIAN is not public. Besides this, among the third party actors, the unions and associations of workers and employers are not required to submit the yearly report to the DIAN.

        In practice, the contributions from third party actors to political organizations or candidates are allowed as they are part of the sources that come from private corporations. The contributions can be made in cash or in kind including in the latter ones the direct purchase of stuff for the campaign but then they have to donate it to the campaign. It is important to insist that the third party actors are not required to report these contributions to other agency but the DIAN. Therefore the reports that candidates and political organizations submit to the National Electoral Council detailing their campaigns incomes and expenses, is the principal source to determine whether third party actors made contributions to campaigns. In the case of the Political Organizations, most of them include in their statues and internal regulatory frame some dispositions regarding receiving contributions from private sources (individuals, corporations or non-profit organizations) which include the disclosure of the origin of these funds and the signing of a deed of gift.

        An example of the participation of third sector actors in campaigns can be seen through the revision of the incomes and expenses reports made by candidates and political organizations in the web base tool Clear Accounts. For example in it is possible to identify well known foundations such as Fundación Bancolombia which receives its incomes from the economic group that represents one of the biggest banks in the country, Banco de Colombia. However there are other nonprofit organizations identified in the candidates reports but it was not possible to establish its purpose or where they funds come from, such as Fundacion Propublica. Another example: The Banana Workers Union supported only one candidate for Senate. Also the Fund of Congress Workers only supported one Senator who was aspiring to be reelected for this period. Another example is the Foundation Colombia Participativa which was created in the city of Medellin last year as an organziation created for the promotion of activities related with political participation. They specifically through these activities supported candidates of one political movement created as well in Medellín.

        Moreover, during the Presidential elections it was possible to identify through news reports that campaign billboards bought by third party organizations appeared supporting certain candidates. There was also a news report where the National Army had to clarify that they were not supporting any of the candidates since through online messages a campaign was being displayed trying to portray them as supporters of one of the presidential candidates.

        Although the third party actors don´t have to make this information public it was possible to track it down through the information presented by candidates. These examples indicate that indeed some of these third sector actors act in behalf of the candidates and even more are created with that specific purpose.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources
        1. Chamber of Commerce of Bogota, 2014, Effects of enrollment of records, books and documents, paragraph 2, Bogota. http://camara.ccb.org.co/contenido/contenido.aspx?conID=4215&catID=73

        2. Accountability forms 5B, 6 and 7B of revenue and expenditure campaigns. These formats are submitted by political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and are available for the March 2014 legislative elections, and May and June 2014 presidential elections. They can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com

        3. Interview: Jorge Muñoz Pinzón, Financial Manager, Liberal Party, July22, 2014. Personal Interview

        4. Interview: Alvaro Arturo Nossa, Coordinator of the Measurement of Corporate Transparency of Public Services Companies. Bogotá, July 28th, 2014. Phone Interview.

        5. Colombian Liberal Party. “Guidelines for the accountability process and the submission of incomes and expenses reports.” 2014 elections. This document can be downloaded at: http://www.partidoliberalcolombiano.info/documentos/rendiciondecuentas/rendicion.pdf

        6. "Colombian Army complaints against a photomontage of soldiers supporting political campaign. The Army calls not be engage in activities beyond their mission and asked the prosecutor to investigate". El Tiempo. News Reports. June 8th, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/justicia/ejercito-denuncia-fotomontaje-de-apoyo-de-soldados-a-campana-politica/14091897.

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        36
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        The third sector actors such as nonprofit organizations are not obliged to report on their incomes and expenditures to any other agency but the Nation Tax Direction (DIAN) which isn't required to make such information public. In practice, very few non-profit organizations make public their accountability reports on their own will. It is more an activity framed in a good practice or a self-imposition rather than a mandatory law. Unless there is a complaint of irregularities and there is an investigation by the territorial authorities in charge of the inspection and supervision of these organizations, the disclosure of their incomes and contributions is very limited, as the Coordinator of the Measurement of Corporate Transparency of Public Services Companies mentioned in his interview.

        The non-profit organizations to keep their legal status (different from Unions which are not under this obligation) yearly must submit to the Chamber of Commerce and to the local authority (Governor or Mayor), their annual incomes and expenditures balance. These balances although are not as detailed as the accounting book, have information regarding the contributions that these organizations receive as well as their yearly expenditures, as is stipulated in the article 364 of the National Tax Statute. Once the balances are submitted to these State authorities they acquire the status of public documents and the citizens can request to the local authority access to them through certificates issued by the Chamber of Commerce.However, in the case of unions is much more complicated, because these entities are not required to report to any entity their accountant books, as it was explained in the indicator 35.

        In practice it is very difficult to have access to this type accountant information of the third party organizations and also to assess from where they receive their contributions. Regarding the campaign contributions that these entities do, in the interview with a journalist focuses on political and electoral issues she indicated that is very difficult to have access to this information. For example for the last legislative elections of 2014 she formally requested to non-profit organizations and other private corporations to present their records of any political donation from a list of about 30 companies, but no one responded to the request since it is not mandatory in Colombia. To have access to the information of privates contributions to campaigns currently, the principal source of information is through the web base tool “Clear Accounts” (Cuentas Claras) were the reports of incomes are expenses are submitted by candidates and political organizations, but this information is not always complete or with enough detailed information regarding if the contribution was made in cash or in kind.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. Accountability forms 5B, 6 and 7B of revenue and expenditure campaigns. These formats are submitted by political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and are available for the March 2014 legislative elections, and May and June 2014 presidential elections. They can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com

        2. Interview with Alvaro Arturo Nossa, Coordinator of the Measurement of Corporate Transparency of Public Services Companies. Bogotá, July 28th, 2014. Phone Interview.

        3. Interview with Dora Montero Colombian journalist in charge of Political Issues at the national channel RCN. July 28th, 2014. Personal Interview

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        37
        Score
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        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        In Colombia foundations, think tanks, trade unions and political action committees are included within the concept of non-profit organizations. They are legal entities constituted by the will of their members and perform various activities with multiple purposes; social, cultural, athletic, recreational, unions among others. As its name indicates, in these entities there is no profit sharing among the partners or founders. The Colombian normative frame divides them into the following categories: Foundations, Associations or corporations or Entities of the Solidarity Sector. It is important to highlight the role that some of these non-profit organizations have in Colombia. They can obtain many funds from different sources such as International Cooperation. Also some of them are able to influence or raise awareness among several issues in the public sector. As the article of the web portal La Silla Vacía, indicates: “One of the sectors that have a high influence in government decisions and public policies are Non-Government Organizations and Think Tanks”.

        Generally, the nonprofit institutions receive funds from public sources and private donations to fund their charitable objectives. These non-profit organizations traditionally operate in the social sectors to solve or ameliorate social problems such as hunger, homelessness, lack of health, environmental pollution, domestic violence, child care, etc. They also focus on the promotion of civic activities such as democratic participation; minority rights claims or civic education. Likewise they can provide social goods like education, arts, health care. Another category for the third sector entities in Colombia are the unions and associations of workers and employers.

        The National Tax Statute in the article 19 indicates these entities can´t invest their income in activities that are no part of its purposes. Thus depending on their activities and purposes the non-profit organizations can or can´t make contributions to political campaigns. These contributions have to be framed in accordance with the limits for private funds and they can either be contributions or loans. In the case of the contributions as any other private corporations they can either made them in cash or in kind. In case it is an in kind contribution, the candidates or the political organizations must indicate the commercial value of it and what was it and what was it for. However through the reports that candidates and political parties submit it is not possible to assess if the third party contributions were made in kind or in cash since they are all valued in their commercial value. However it is noteworthy to highlight that among the major donors for the 2014 legislative elections were foundations and unions of workers. For example, some foundations in charge of implementing the civic and social responsibility efforts of big economic groups in Colombia such as Fundacion Bancolombia and Fundacion Suramericana, made contributions to the 2014 legislative campaigns between approximately US$125,000 and US$100.000. Further, as previously mentioned in indicator #35, during the Presidential elections it was possible to identify through news reports that campaign billboards bought by third party organizations appeared supporting certain candidates. There was also a news report where the National Army had to clarify that they were not supporting any of the candidates since through online messages a campaign was being displayed trying to portray them as supporters of one of the presidential candidates.

        Within the non-profit organizations that gave funds to the campaigns also appear other entities created for the purpose of promoting political activities. In accordance with the interviews made to the Coordinator of the Measurement of Corporate Transparency of Public Services Companies, the issue behind the funds given by some of these organizations is that in some cases these non-profit organizations are created merely as a channel for the reception of funds for the campaigns but there is no clear form to know where these funds are coming from and also in some cases there is an expectation towards receiving some support from the elected officials candidates once they are elected. However it is important to mention that since the 2014 elections just recently passed there aren’t any investigations yet regarding these issues.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources
        1. “The super powerful of the NGO´s world”. Juan Esteban Lewin. Web-site La Silla Vacía. September 27th, 2013 http://lasillavacia.com/historia/los-super-poderosos-de-las-ong-45724

        2. Interview with Dora Montero Colombian journalist in charge of Political Issues at the national channel RCN. July 28th, 2014. Personal Interview

        3. Interview with Alvaro Arturo Nossa, Coordinator of the Measurement of Corporate Transparency of Public Services Companies. Bogotá, July 28th, 2014. Phone Interview.

        4. Accountability forms 5B, 6 and 7B of revenue and expenditure campaigns. These formats are submitted by political parties, movements and groups of significant citizens and are available for the March 2014 legislative elections, and May and June 2014 and presidential elections. They can be downloaded in the website www.cnecuentasclaras.com

        5. "Colombian Army complaints against a photomontage of soldiers supporting political campaign. The Army calls not be engage in activities beyond their mission and asked the prosecutor to investigate". El Tiempo. News Reports. June 8th, 2014. http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/justicia/ejercito-denuncia-fotomontaje-de-apoyo-de-soldados-a-campana-politica/14091897.

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
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    74
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      Monitoring Capabilities
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        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        The political finance information in Colombia is monitored and supervised by the National Electoral Council. The Political Constitution in article 265 gives to this electoral body the duty of enforcing the rules on political parties and movements and the development of the electoral processes, and the Constitution also mandates that the NEC distribute the state contributions established by the law to finance electoral campaigns and to ensure the citizens´ political participation rights. Therefore the Law 130 of 1994 and the Law 996 of 2005 give the NEC the power to monitor and supervise the financial information and accountant information of political organizations and candidates; and also to conduct research and apply monetary fines to those who violate the electoral regulations regarding political financing.

        Particularly the article 39 of the Law 130 of 1994 states that the CNE can constitute tribunals or guarantee monitoring commissions, order and practice tests, review the accountant books as well as public and private documents and examine the accounts of financial institutions. They can also cite people to present evidences and present reports related with the compliance or enforcement of such laws. Similarly the Law 996 of 2005 in the article 20 ordered the NEC to establish the single tax system for the electoral accountant information, define the periods for reports evaluations, contents of these reports, reports disclosure and audit and monitoring system. This Law also includes in the article 21 the capacity for the NEC of conducting at all times audits or revisions over the incomes and expenses of the electoral campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Constitution, 1991. Article 265. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Article 39 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        3. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated". Articles 20 and 21. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

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        MODERATE
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council is the supreme authority of the electoral organization in Colombia. Its mission is to regulate and monitor in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and the electoral law and the democratic participation, the preservation of the rule of law, and ensuring the conditions for the exercise of voting rights and the strengthening of a democracy and participation.

        In terms of the merits required for being appointed in this oversight authority the article 264 of the Political Constitution indicates that: "The National Electoral Council shall consist of nine (9) members elected by the Congress in full, for institutional period of four (4) years by the electoral quotient system, upon application of the parties or political movements with legal status or by coalitions between them. Its members are public servants dedicated exclusively to this appointment and have the same qualifications, disabilities, incompatibilities and rights of the judges of the Supreme Court, and may be reelected only once. The NEC should reflect the political composition of Congress."

        The election of the Magistrates of the NEC requires that the political parties or movements or coalitions postulate candidate and the Congress of the Republic in full shall then choose the magistrates for a period of four years. They can only be re-elected for one more period.

        The appointment of the magistrates of the NEC are based on the following requirements: a) to be Colombian by birth and have full citizenship rights; b) be a lawyer; c) not have been condemned by court to deprivation of liberty, except for political crimes; d) have had performed for at least ten years in positions of the Judiciary Branch or the Public Ministries or have practiced their lawyer profession, with good credit for about the same time, or being a law university professor at an officially recognized establishments, as it is stated in the article 232 of the Colombian Political Constitution. No explicit prohibitions on conflicts of interest or a public appointment process are enumerated in the law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Articles 264 and 232. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991
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        25
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council is part of the High Courts of Colombia and they are not appointed by a system of merits. However, the requirements for the appointment of the magistrates of the NEC are defined in the article 264 of the Political Constitution. In this article, the requirements regarding their professional background as well as the mechanism to elect them are specified. The appointment of the magistrates includes a process to check/ verify the candidates’ backgrounds, experience and qualifications and the Congress elects them by public vote.

        Despite these law requirements, in practice the appointments for the oversight authorities are based on political interests. As the legal assessor of the NGO MOE stated, the law opens spaces for the control of the political parties over their appointed magistrates. This high dependence on the political parties for being nominated and appointed to the NEC reduces the capacity of action of the oversight authority and the magistrates become agents representing the interest of the political parties to which they belong. In practice the requirement of being a lawyer is not enough for the type of responsibilities that this oversight authority has, it would be necessary to include a requirement of being a lawyer expert in electoral issues in order to be appointed for the NEC. The most recent appointment just took place the past month.

        The process of nominating the candidates for being elected in the NEC revealed how there is a considerable political bias in it. As the article published in the web site La Silla Vacia (an independent journal web site that makes political analysis) the political organizations with representation in Congress were making agreements to assure that they will have representation in the NEC through the election of the magistrates and also how the minority political organizations due to these agreements finally dind´t had a magistrate representing them.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Fernando Cepeda, a respected political scientist and former government minister and diplomat stresses that "the composition (of the CNE) “is absolutely party-led,” adding that there is “no real independence.” He noted that “at last the new CNE... has representatives from the opposition.” The members of the CNE are chosen from the midst of political parties that have majority in Congress, sometimes leading to internal struggles within those parties, as it happened during the last appointments in August.

        Javier Revelo, a Colombian electoral scholar at the University of Pennsylvania noted that “there’s not much to say when it comes to a conflict of interest” as the Constitution regulates that the parties will be represented at the CNE. “All of the new members, without exception, are close to the central leaders of the parties, but this is not a conflict of interest, at least in the sense the law generally identifies conflicts of interests.” He stresses that one thing which generates suspicions is the re-election of magistrates, as “these magistrates took decisions in the last Congressional election and were re-elected by the new Congress”. Generally speaking, he says “those magistrates who acted based on what was said to them by the party, were re-elected.” There were allegations about those magistrates who were not re-elected because they acted outside the party, such as José Plata, but this has not been confirmed. The newly formed party of former President, Alvaro Uribe, said the CNE should be eliminated and replaced by a an electoral tribunal independent of poliitcal pressures.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Maria Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, July 23, 2014. Personal Interview

        3. Political Constitution, 1991. Articles 265 and 232. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        4. And who will have the Electoral Council?. By Journalist Laura Ardila. Analysis published in the web site La Silla Vacia. http://lasillavacia.com/historia/y-quien-se-queda-con-el-consejo-electoral-48258

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        YES
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        The Political Constitution of Colombia gives autonomy and independence to the National Electoral Council. Colombian jurisprudence establishes that the state is divided in three branches of public power (executive, legislative and judicial), and also there are other bodies independent of these branches, among which the electoral authority is included. Article 113 of the Constitution establishes that: "… there are other, autonomous and independent organs, for the fulfillment of other state functions. The different organs of the State have separate functions but cooperate harmoniously to achieve their ends." In accordance with this, the article 120 of the Constitution also indicates that "The electoral organization is made by the National Electoral Council, the National Civil Registry and other bodies established by law. It is responsible for organizing the elections, its direction and control, as well as on the process related with the identification of the people." Particularly, the National Electoral Council is responsible for the supreme inspection and supervision of electoral organization.

        The article 265 of the Constitution states that the National Electoral Council, headed by nine magistrates (judges), would enjoy budgetary and administrative autonomy, with the purpose of carrying out the best way its powers. The magistrates are elected by the Congress for a period of four years. They can only be re-elected for one more period. As for the protection of judges article 264 states that those belonging to the CNE will have equal treatment as Supreme Court judges. This entails that during their tenure, they can only be investigated and indicted by the House of Representatives and removed from their post by a 2/3 majority vote in the Senate, as established by article 120, Law No. 5/1992. The mentioned indictment can take place when a judge is found to have committed a crime whilst in office, but can also happen due to bad conduct, as defined by a prosecutor who has engaged in a prior investigation and process to establish whether in fact there has been such conduct.

        The decisions made by the NEC are not judicial decisions but instead administrative acts, therefore they are subject to the administrative litigation jurisdiction, as article 264 of the Constitution indicates: "The administrative court will decide the election annulment action within a maximum of one (1) year." This means that the decisions of the National Electoral Council regarding sanctions may be reaffirmed or revoked by the bodies that are part of the administrative jurisdiction; primarily by administrative judges, secondly on appeals by the courts and thirdly, as the highest organ by the State Council.

        The same article includes in the functions of the NEC the following: - To know and finally deciding appeals lodged against decisions of its delegates in general elections and in such cases, to make the declaration of election and issue the appropriate credentials.
        - In addition, by part of its functions or upon request, review the scrutinies and the electoral documents regarding any stage of the administrative process of the elections in order to guarantee the veracity of the results. - Decide the revocation of the registration of candidates for public corporations or elected officials when there is full proof that those are disqualified on grounds of disability under the Constitution and the law. In no case shall declare the election of these candidates. - Establish the NEC own regulations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Chapter V Articles 113 and 120; Chapter IX Articles 264 and 265.
          http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 5th of 1992. Congress Regulations. Article 120. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=11368

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        The independence of the National Electoral Council is widely questioned mainly for two reasons: the process of nomination and election of the nine magistrates (judges) and because in budgetary matters the National Civil Registry is in a bridge between the Ministry of Finance and the NEC for its budget allocations.

        Maria Luisa Prado, Director of National Fund for Financing Policy, says the NEC has complete autonomy for applying their investigative and punitive function. However, she says that such independence can be undermined in practice by the fact that the magistrates are in charge of monitoring those who elect them. The political parties with representation in Congress, through the electoral quotient formula are allowed to nominate their magistrates and then the Congress in full is in charge of appointing them. The legal assessor of the NGO MOE also indicates that by law the process of naming and appointing the magistrates is so closely dependent upon the political parties with representation in Congress, this opens the door for the electoral body to make decisions seeking to benefit those parties who are part of the Congress and / or harm those who are not. In theory the law aimed to have a balance between the NEC and the Congress but in practice the Congress is formed by a few political parties with the majority of the seats, leaving aside small parties or movements who end up not having representation in the NEC. As an example of this latter situation, in recent days, the media have reported that the National Electoral Council is considering the possibility of maintaining legal status to a political organization that failed to obtain the threshold required of 3% (required to maintain the parties’ legal status). But on the other hand the NEC endorsed a congress candidate who was questioned due to his ties to illegal actors, finally he end up being elected by many votes. These issues are sensitive because the news reports have insinuated that there is a close relationship between this congressman and a magistrate of the NEC who, despite the allegations, is giving the legal status to the political movement created by this congressmen for running to this legislative elections (See source No. 3).

        Another element that possibly undermines the independence of the NEC is related with the fact that any administrative act may be reviewed and revoked by the State Council at the request of any citizen. Since the State Council is above the electoral authority, any sanction the NEC issues may be affirmed or reversed by this higher judicial instance.


        Peer Reviewer comment. Agree. According to Javier Revelo, "the independence of the CNE is not guaranteed, mainly because the appointemt [of its members] is purely political." However, he says, there are some "minor guarantees," such the members have some stability and cannot removed at any time, the body has administrative and financial independence. He also agreed that it is hard to identify specific examples of influence. Revelo stressed the clearest example of political pressure happened in 2010 when there was hard to reach agreement on revising votes in the Congressional elections and some parties complained when the member who did the revision was not from their own party.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Maria Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, August 15, 2014. Personal Interview

        3. “100%...of Yahir Acuña”. By Political Editor. News Report. National Journal El Espectador. August 11th, 2014. http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/100-de-yahir-acuna-articulo-510037

        4. The National Electoral Council Under Suspicion. News Report, Weekly National Magazine Semana. February 23, 2014
          http://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/piden-reforma-al-consejo-nacional-electoral/378469-3

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Fernando Cepeda, a respected political scientist and former government minister and diplomat, via email, 25 September 2014.

        Javier Revelo, a Colombian electoral scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, via phone and email, 25 Sept 2014.

        "Democratic Center filed proposed Electoral Reform", Radio La FM, February 2014, http://www.lafm.com.co/noticias/centro-democratico-radico-167460

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        --
        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        In order to describe the process of decision-making in the National Electoral Council it is important to start by reviewing the mission of this oversight authority: Regulate, inspection, vigilance and control of the political organizations and candidates electoral activities; exert the vigilance and control of the Electoral Organization and seek for the development of the electoral process in conditions of full guarantees. To accomplish these missions there are some specific functions that the law has defined for the NEC. The articles 265 of the Constitution includes among that they have to serve as an advisory body to the Government in matters within its competence, submit draft legislation and laws, and recommend draft decrees.

        Likewise, the law 130 indicates that for the impositions of sanctions the Council will press charges and the accused shall have a period of fifteen (15) days to respond. In exercising the oversight function the NEC can establish tribunals or commissions of guarantees or monitoring, order and practice tests, review the accountant books and public and private documents and inspect the accounts of financial institutions; call persons to present evidences and present reports related to the implementation or enforcement of such laws; issue concepts interpreting the legal provisions mentioned; and set the amounts for the fines.

        The process of decision-making in the National Electoral Council is expressed by issuing administrative acts. This Council can receive consultations, specific requirements of other public entities, accusations and requests of information among others. Aside from this, there are also the investigations that the NEC conducts to the electoral process. All the cases that arrive to the NEC are distributed between the 9 Magistrates by draw. Then they have to prepare the cases and the decisions are taken with all the magistrates present in a Complete Court. When there are denounces the magistrates either accept them or reject them; when they are admitted they are sent to one of the Magistrates, and then a period of recalling proof is opened. Then another Magistrate is in charge of preparing the resolution for the sanction and the decision in taken by all the Magistrates.

        The administrative acts issued by the National Electoral have to be numbered and dated, and must be duly motivated and legally voted. After a decision is voted, it may not be changed or revoked. Before making a decision, the NEC can ask to the functionaries public and documented proof. Before resolving on an issue the NEC must hear all the parties in open court. After hearing the parties, the Council will convene a public hearing in Court to notify their decisions, once they have been discussed in closed session and approved by its members.

        To do this work they are supported by the different areas of the NEC. The organogram of this entity (approved in the Resolution 1903 of 2013); has in the first place the Complete Court (Sala Plena) composed by the 9 magistrates, parallel to it is the National Funds of Campaigns Financing. Under the court there are the Offices of the Magistrates, the President of the Magistrates (the presidency rotates among the 9 magistrates from periods of 6 months each) and the Vice-presidency of the Magistrates (that also rotates every six months); they are in charge of signing all the administrative acts issued during their periods. Each office of the magistrates has external assessors and an executive secretary. There are also administrative, legal, press and communications and electoral inspection and vigilance, areas. Each of these areas has specific functions which are described in the Resolution 3629 of 2013. Some of these functions are crucial for the process of decision-making at the CNE; for example the legal assessor area is in charge of orient in juridical term the Magistrates of the NEC trough the elaboration of concepts, preparing answers to the consults presented to this Court and administrative acts, among other documents.

        However, as the legal assessor of the NGO MOE mentioned in his interview, there is no unified line for decision making inside the electoral authority and the criteria varies between each Magistrate. Also the regulatory frame is widespread in the constitution, laws and resolutions and also some issues regarding the electoral process are not fully developed in the regulatory frame. With this incomplete frame the NEC has to regulate and fulfill all the functions that this Court has.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, August 15, 2014. Personal Interview

        2. Resolution 3629 of 2013 issued by the National Electoral Council “By which is established the Operations Manual for the different areas of the NEC”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%203619.PDF

        3. Objectives and Functions of the National Electoral Council. April 14, 2014. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/OBJETIVOS_FUNCIONES.page

        4. Resolution 1903 of 2013 issued by the NEC “By which the mission, vision and organogram of the National Electoral Council are adopted” http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/Resolucion%201903.pdf

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        75
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        The electoral organization monitors political finance regulations by the establishment of Sectional Courts of Guarantees and Electoral Monitoring. The function and mandate of these courts are defined in the resolution 2544 of 2013 including monitoring the exogenous and endogenous agents involved in the electoral process by exercising the powers of inspection, supervision and control of the electoral organization, the activities of political organizations and ensure the compliance with current electoral regulations.

        Among these functions the Courts have to monitor and verify the origin, destination and amount of the campaign revenues and expenses, as well as the compliance with the electoral advertising regulations. To do so, the article 9 of this Resolution indicates that the Sectional Courts are allowed to require periodic reports on the source, amount and allocation of resources in cash or in kind destined for campaign funding; ask candidates about bank accounts that are used for the management of the campaign funds; and, visits to campaign offices or public or private entities that might be useful to identify the source, volume and destination of the funds to finance campaigns.

        However, in practice, the Magistrates of the NEC indicated that they don´t have enough capacity for monitoring the electoral process throughout the entire country. For example, these courts ideally should be present in the 32 department of Colombia, but since the NEC didn´t had enough funds to do so, at least for the prior legislative elections, they were established only in the 18 departments ranked with the highest risks of electoral violations. Also there are not sufficient elements to establish if in fact there have been violations to the financing frame as the magistrate Carlos Ardila Ballesteros indicated in his interview (source no. 2). The socioeconomical and logistical problems that face these courts made impossible to determine the quantity and possible electoral violations made by candidates in the 2014 electoral period.

        Within this scenario and with the purpose of contributing to the capacity of monitoring and controlling campaign financing, the web base tool “Clear Accounts” was developed by Transparencia por Colombia. Currently it is the mandatory channel for the registration of all campaign financing movements as well as for the submission of the final reports of incomes and expenses. The manager of this web base tool in the NEC stated in his interview that “Clear Accounts” has become a principal source for monitoring the campaign financing information by political parties, the National Electoral Council and also by other specialized organs or State agencies such as the Ministry of Interior, the National Comptroller Office and the National General Attorney Office and by the Unit of Information and Financial Analysis UIAF. For the 2014 election period, 100% of the financial reports sent by the political organizations have been reviewed by the National Fund of Political Finance of the NEC. This is mandatory in order to certify that they have a proper presentation of the information and determine if the candidates have or not the right of receiving the repositions of expenses depending on the amount of votes obtained. The Director of the National Fund explained that all the reports of incomes and expenses pass through an audit revision at the National Fund of Campaign Financing.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The CNE has an office called the Campaigns Fund which is in charge of verfying the expenses reports submitted by political organisations, hence the candidates, and it is from here where most of the information that backs investigations comes from.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources
        1. Resolution 2544 0f 2103 issued by the National Electoral Council. “By which the Sectional Courts of Guarantees and Electoral Monitoring are constituted”.
          http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%202544%281%29.PDF

        2. “Electoral Maximum Expenditure, a Mock King?” News Report, National Journal La República. February 8th, 2013. http://www.elnuevosiglo.com.co/articulos/2-2013-topes-electorales-%C2%BFrey-de-burlas.html.

        3. Interview: Ariel Cortés Rocha, Manager of the web base tool Clear Accounts. National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        4. Campaign Incomes and Expenses reports. www.cnecuentasclaras.com. Accessed in August, 2014.

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Fernando Cepeda, a respected political scientist and former government minister and diplomat, via email, 25 September 2014.

        Interview with Camilo Mancera, who is the judicial coordinator at the Misión de Observación Electoral, via email 27 Sept 2014.

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        The most recent elections held in Colombia were the Legislative elections (Congress and the Andean Parliament) on March 9th, 2014 and the Presidential elections May 9th, 2014 (first round) and June 15th, 2014 (second round). The audit process of the reports of incomes and expenses has three stages. First, the reports submitted by candidates to the political organizations that endorsed them have to be approved by an accountant certifying that the information submitted is real. Second, the political organizations have to conduct an internal audit of all the candidates' reports, as well as the incomes and expenses incurred by the political organizations for the development of the electoral campaigns. The third stage of the auditing of the information takes place through the National Fund of Campaign Financing of the NEC and an external auditor hired to revise the reports as it is stated in the second chapter of the Resolution 3476 of 2005 issued by the NEC. Along with this, the external auditor can do further revision of the information including visits to the political organizations or the campaigns headquarters. This Resolution in article 9 includes more details regarding the auditing of campaign information: In the case of presidential elections, the auditor must begin when the campaign elections starts. For the other electoral processes the audit of the campaign incomes and expenses is based on the reports submitted by the candidates and political organizations, including the reviewing of other information that the external auditor of the National Fund might consider necessary for the proper performance of its work.

        The Director of the National Fund of Campaign Financing explained in her interview that upon completion of the auditor's reports, they must submit to the NEC statements regarding the revenues and expenditure of political organizations and/or candidates accurately detailing the findings and indicating the laws that support these findings. On the basis of those statements, in case the NEC decides that there is a need of conducting an administrative investigation, they will request the National Fund and the external auditor to expand or clarify their statements. On September 2013, the Secretariat of Transparency and office adscript to the Presidency of the Republic in charge of fighting against corruption, released a statement urging the electoral organ to issue sanctions; because as it was stated since 2010 there hasn´t been any; although the media had published possible violations of campaign finance regulations. However as the Director of the National Campaigns Fund indicated, these investigations might take up to three years before a final sanction is placed; and therefore to know about the investigation.

        In October 2014, the researcher sent a petition to the NEC to determine whether the entity had opened investigations in regards to the campaign finance reports submitted during the 2014 Congressional elections. The NEC responded, and stated that they'd opened 33 investigations, but have yet to impose any sanctions.

        Regarding the Presidential elections, currently the General Prosecution Office opened an investigation to the campaign of the former candidate to Presidency Oscar Ivan Zuluaga. His campaign was involved in a scandal of hiring a hacker to infiltrate Juan Manuel Santos campaign. In this scenario the NEC reviewed the campaign accountability reports to determine if there were irregularities in the management of their financing and they decided not to open an investigation. This decision prompted a debate within the corporation because one magistrate (Armando Novoa) insisted that it was necessary that the issue be debated by all the magistrates, since the first revision indicated some inconsistencies in their candidate’s reports. As Elisabeth Ungar, executive director of Transparencia por Colombia stated in an interview: “the NEC and the Prosecutor should speed up the relevant research for a real electoral democracy, especially because it allows the citizens, authorities, and media, to know who is behind the campaign and what purposes they are looking for". The NEC must indicate within the next days if they are going to open a further investigation.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Maria Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. Resolution 3476 of December 22, 2005, issued by the NEC. “By which the systems of internal and external audit of the incomes and expenditures of political parties and movements with legal and electoral campaigns is regulated”. http://moe.org.co/home/doc/moe_juridica/Normatividad/R%203476%20%202005.doc.

        3. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Article 49 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        4. “National Electoral Council warns loss of investiture to Congress for violation of limits of electoral finance. National Media Channel Caracol. Caracol.com.co, April 16th, 2014. Available at: http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/actualidad/cne-advirtio-perdida-de-investidura-a-congresistas-por-violacion-de-topes/20140416/nota/2181117.aspx

        5. “National Electoral Council considers whether to open investigation for electoral finance limits. Political editorial. News Report, Journal El Espectador, April 16th, 2014. http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/consejo-nacional-electoral-estudia-si-abre-investigacio-articulo-487428

        6. “NEC certified no Congressman is under investigation and they can vote”. By News Editor. Caracol´s Radio Channel web page. August 28, 2014. http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/actualidad/cne-certifico-que-no-hay-congresistas-investigados-y-pueden-votar/20140828/nota/2387677.aspx

        7. Does the National Electoral Council Applies Sanctions?. News Report published in the web site of the State Agency Secretary of Transparency. September 2013. http://wsp.presidencia.gov.co/secretaria-transparencia/boletines/2013/septiembre/Paginas/20130923_06.aspx

        8. Magistrate of the NEC asks for an investigation to the campaign of Zuluaga. Published on January 31, 2015. http://www.noticiasrcn.com/nacional-politica/magistrado-del-cne-pide-investigar-campana-presidencial-zuluaga

        9. NEC Response to a petition, October 17, 2014. https://www.dropbox.com/s/acummxvykynbkz0/Respuesta%20derecho%20de%20peticion%20CNE.pdf?dl=0

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        46
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        25
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        The results of investigations can be consulted only after the sanction has taken place and the results of audits can be requested after the electoral process has passed. The National Electoral Council often takes too long investigating the potential irregularities. The journalist and expert in electoral issues, Dora Montero, indicated the chance of applying a timely sanction usually is lost due to the delay in the investigations and sanctioning. For example a former mayor of the city of Sincelejo, elected for the period of 2008 – 2011, four months after leaving office was sanctioned by the NEC for exceeding the allowable expenditure at the 2007 local elections.

        In terms of the publicity of the results of these investigations as well as the auditory results it is important to mention that they are not published in the web page of the Electoral Authority but they can be requested upon a Petition Right as it is stated in the Article 23 of the Colombian Constitution, since they are public information. The Law 1474 of 2011 in the article 76 also indicates that all the Colombian entities must have an office in charge of receiving these requests of information and respond them within the legal time (15 days).

        As it was mentioned by functionaries of the National Fund of Campaign Financing the results of the investigations are available upon request once the electoral body issues only once the resolution with the sanction imposed. Since the information of the results of investigations is not published in the web page of the NEC in practice the way of having access to this information is through the publication of news reports and articles of journalist who have previously requested this information from the NEC. For example, the results of an investigation of a Mayor elected in 2011 who had irregularities in his campaign financing, were found through the revision of news reports published in a local news paper (see source 5). Although the resolution issuing the sanction is not published by the NEC it is hosted in its web page and through a google search we were able to obtain it (see source no. 6). This resolution summarizes the investigation process and the rationale behind the decisions taken in this case giving indeed complete information about the result of the investigation. However the public accessibility to these results is very limited and it is not proactively published by the NEC.

        Within the period of this study there are no public results of investigations, since they are still under investigation and the electoral processes of 2014 took place 5 months ago (legislative elections) and, two months ago (presidential elections). As it was mentioned by functionaries of the National Fund of Campaign Financing the results of the investigations are made public once the electoral body issues the resolution with the sanction imposed. For the prior electoral periods these resolutions can be requested to the NEC.

        The sources interviewed as well as the reports reviewed highlighted the difficulty related with gathering evidence to sustain irregularities in the campaign financing. This is what takes more time in the development of the investigations. Once a denounce of an irregularity is presented there is a limit of three years maximum to start the investigation. The investigation can take as long as it is needed. Then the sanction can take also years, so it is also slow. After all this is done, the results of the investigations are indeed published.

        It is important to highlight that this delay in the investigation and sanctioning of the violations of campaign financing regulations generate a lack of credibility in the oversight and sanctioning capacities of the NEC as the Journalist Dora Montero mentioned. In a news article published by a national journal (source no. 4) on February 2013, the former president of the NEC said that investigations for alleged violations of maximum expenditure on the 2011 elections were moving forward, although with great difficulty because there is no effective mechanism to verify that a campaign exceeded its expenses plus the NEC does not have the means or aid to advance in this task: "The truth is that there is no easy to prove that the limits were violated, it is a very complicated legal research.... There are progresses but it is not easy for the NEC to produce a resolution stating that the limits of campaign expenditure have been violated. "


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The Tribunals for Electoral Guarantees are appointed by the CNE to advance in investigations in the regions, forwarding those to Bogotá to be sanctioned by the magistrates of the CNE. The CNE has an office called the Campaigns Fund which is in charge of verfying the expenses reports submitted by political organisations, hence the candidates, and it is from here where most of the information that backs investigations come from. All of the CNE rulings are public, however,according to Camilo Mancera, accessing this information is "of great difficulty for a regular citizen" because it cannot be found in their Internet page, which means one has to go to their office and ask for such information. There are also other hurdles, as the search has to take place in big file room containing all the resolutions since 2003, which are more than 35,000. Additionally, "there has not been a policy of the entitty [the CNE] to show the results of its investigations", reason why even if the MOE knows candidates have been sanctioned based on studies the CNE has done, "citizens in general do not, which generates a feeling of impunity surrounding politics and campaigns." Also, he explains, that "even if we know there were sanctions, we don't know how long did the investigation took in order to come out with a ruling, and even we are less aware if those sanctions were ever executed"

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources
        1. Law 1474 of 2011. Anti-Corruption Statute article 76 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43292

        2. Colombian Political Constitution, 1991. Article 23 http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        3. Interview: Dora Montero, investigative journalist and expert in electoral issues. RCN, July 29, 2014. Personal Interview.

        4. “National Electoral Council warns loss of investiture to Congress for violation of limits of electoral finance”. News report Caracol. National Media Channel. Caracol.com.co, April 16th, 2014. http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/actualidad/cne-advirtio-perdida-de-investidura-a-congresistas-por-violacion-de-topes/20140416/nota/2181117.aspx

        5. “National Electoral Council sanctions Mayor and Councilman of Turbaco” News Report, Regional Journal El Universal. February 6th, 2014. http://www.eluniversal.com.co/politica/consejo-nacional-electoral-sanciona-alcalde-y-un-concejal-de-turbaco-150760

        6. Resolution 2032 of 2014 issued by the NEC “By which open administrative investigation and formulate charges against the Social Independent Alliance Party”. http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%202032%20de%202014.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Camilo Mancera, who is the judicial coordinator at the Misión de Observación Electoral, via email 27 Sept 2014.

        Interview with Fernando Cepeda, a respected political scientist and former government minister and diplomat, via email, 25 September 2014.

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        47
        Score
        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        Sanctions in response of violations of the political financing laws in Colombia generally are monetary but in some cases the sanctions can even lead to the loss of investiture once the candidate is elected. The Law 130 of 1994 in the article 39 designates the National Electoral Council as the entity responsible for the definition of the fines for the political parties, movements and candidates. To do so they must carry out administrative investigations to verify the strict compliance to the regulations encompassed in this Law. Also, this Law in the article 40 indicated a range for the value of the monetary sanctions which must be adjusted annually in accordance with the increase in the consumer price index.

        Also, the Law 1475 of 2011 extends the range of violations to the political financing system including the following: Private contributions (contributions or donations) exceeding the 10% of the allowed campaign expenses (art. 23), campaign expenditures beyond the allowed spending limit set by the resolutions issued by the NEC (art. 24), inconsistencies in the administration of campaign resources or if the presentation of the financial report and accounting of the campaign does not meet the requirements of the law (art. 25) and, discovering the use of resources for campaign funding banned by law (art. 27). The article 27 of this Law goes beyond stating that once the violations to the amount of expenses is established and the investigations conducted by the authority is concluded, the NEC will present to the relevant authority depending on each case the loss of investiture. In the case of candidates elected to public corporations the procedure for the loss of investiture is defined in the Constitution and the Law.

        The Resolution 00005 of 2013 set the fines from COP $ 10,482,533 (USD $ 5,728) to a maximum of COP $ 104,825,330 (USD $ 57,281). The Resolution 0284 of 2014 issued by the NEC established the fines from COP $ 10,685,894 (USD $ 5,839), to a maximum of
        COP $ 106,858,941 (USD $ 58,392).

        For the presidential elections, the article 21 of the Law 996 of 2005 indicates that: If irregularities in the campaign financing are proved fines will be imposed in accordance to the assessment of the faults, keeping the following order: 1. Fines between (1% and 10% of the funds disbursed by the State for the respective campaign. 2. Stopping the respective funds for the development of the campaign. 3. In case of exceeding the maximum amount allowed for private contributions it may be impose a partial or full repayment of the state contributions provided. 4. In case the irregularities are presented by the winner of the presidential elections, the Congress may order the removal from office through the procedure required for the investigation and prosecution of political unworthiness.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Articles 39 and 40 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        2. Resolution 00005 of 2013 issued by the NEC “BY which the amounts for the monetary sanctions signaled in the literal a of the article 39 of the Law 130 of 1994 are readjusted” http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200005.PDF

        3. Resolution 0284 of 2014 issued by the NEC “BY which the amounts for the monetary sanctions signaled in the literal a of the article 39 of the Law 130 of 1994 are readjusted” http://www.cne.gov.co/CNE/media/file/RES%200284(1).PDF

        4. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Articles 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        5. Law 996 of 2005 "By which the election of President of the Republic is regulated in accordance with the Article 152 paragraph f) of the Constitution of Colombia, and in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative Act 02 of 2004, and other provisions are dictated". Article 21. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=18232

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        48
        Score
        YES
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council has the power to apply administrative sanctions but is not allowed to prosecute the violators in court because this entity does not have judicial functions. The Law 130 of 1994 indicates in the article 39 that the National Electoral Council can impose monetary sanctions to candidates and political organizations after conducting the required administrative investigations. There are also other sanctions such as losing the legal status for political organizations or not receiving the complete amount of public funds for their functioning or for campaigns.

        The sanctions don´t need to be approved by the executive or legislative branch, but in cases that the administrative investigation conducts to a loss of investiture, or if it is identified that there have been violations to the dispositions of the article 27 of the law 1475 of 2011 regarding the banned sources for campaign financing, the NEC must send the findings of the investigations to the Council of State in the first case or to the Attorney General´s in the second case for the respective prosecution.

        In accordance with the article 250 of the Colombian Political Constitution, the investigations and denounces of violations of campaign financing submitted to the Attorney General's Office must be further investigated and they are in charge of accusing the suspects before the competent courts.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The Colombian law has very strict rules when it comes to financing. It grants the NEC the competece to impose sanctions in cases of violation to those regulations (but the CNE does not have a direct competence in investigating financing issues). Within those norms, there are limits on expenditures, restrictions to financing campaigns by individuals, etc. However, Camilo Mancera notes (in line with comments to questions 40 and 42) that "in Colombia the issue of the formation of the CNE has been repeatedly a matter of public debate... it lacks guarantees for independence and objectivity one would wish to have in a body with the functions to impose electoral sanctions." As we have already seen, currently its members are chosen by Congress through lists coming from political organisations, "granting it a supremely political character and generating suspicions over the decisions they may take."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Constitution, 1991. Article 184 and 250. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/derecho/constitucion-politica-de-colombia-1991

        2. Law 130 of 1994, “By which the basic statute for political parties and movements, other campaign financing rules and other electoral provisions are dictated”. Article 39 http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=4815

        3. Resolution 1487 of 2003 issued by the CNE “By which the procedure for conducting administrative investigations in the National electoral Council are regulated”. http://moe.org.co/home/doc/moe_juridica/Normatividad/R%201487%202003.doc.

        4. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Articles 26 and 27. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Camilo Mancera, who is the judicial coordinator at the Misión de Observación Electoral, via email 27 Sept 2014.

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        49
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        According to the article 8 of the Law 1475 of 2011, political organizations are required to respond to any violation or contravention of the rules regarding the electoral process including campaign financing. Article 12 states that the political organizations that break the rules may be subject to suspension or withdrawal of state funding or free political propaganda in media space, suspension or cancellation of its legal status or suspension of the right of candidates’ registration for elections.

        There are few penalties associated with violation of the rules of electoral funding and little advertising of them, therefore, it is difficult to determine whether these sanctions were observed and in what percentage they are not repeated either by candidates or political organizations. However, the Liberal Party Finance Manager Jorge Muñoz ensures that all sanctions enforced by the NEC are fully obeyed and the fine is paid within the resolution sanctioning commands. He says that this is not only a practice in the Liberal Party, but also among all the political organizations with legal status. Failing to comply with these sanctions brings setbacks for the annual state funding and state funding for elections. In this case it can be said that the sanctions, mainly fines, are complied with by political organizations with legal status. Regarding the sanctions to candidates, Jorge Muñoz also explained that when a candidate is sanctioned and fails to comply with it, the party blocks him or her endorse him or her again. This happened in the last 2011 territorial elections. But unfortunately, not all political organizations care that the candidate hasn´t comply with a sanction or are in debt with the political party and end up endorsing them.

        There is another perspective regarding this issue from the civil society organizations since there is little enforcement of the sanctions imposed by the NEC and there are so many instances to appeal such decisions. The legal adviser to the MOE, Camilo Mancera says it is not possible to know the percentage of compliance with sanctions and believes that these are followed in some cases neither by candidates nor by political organizations particularly the significant groups of citizens who do not have legal status. The parties that are sanctioned by the NEC have to pay fines but none of them have been sanctioned up to the point of losing their legal status. Therefore, in other electoral processes they might get sanctioned again for irregularities in their campaign financing reporting. The same situation happens with the candidates they have monetary fines but this doesn´t take from them their right of participating in other electoral processes.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Jorge Muñoz Pinzón, Financial Manager, Liberal Party, July22, 2014. Personal Interview.

        2. Law 1475 of 2011 "By which rules are adopted for the organization and functioning of political parties and movements, electoral processes and other provisions are set". Articles 8 and 12. http://www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co/sisjur/normas/Norma1.jsp?i=43332

        3 Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, August 14, 2014. Personal Interview

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        50
        Score
        --
        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        The National Electoral Council as the oversight authority in charge of enforcing the electoral laws has some weaknesses that prevent them to achieve this function. Principally the CNE is composed of 9 Magistrates (judges) who are nominated by political parties depending on their representation in Congress, and this same body is responsible for choosing them. The fact that the magistrates are appointed based on the names proposed by the political organizations implies that these delegates are committed to their parties, which makes it difficult to exercise their functions with impartiality.

        This form of election of the magistrates has been also questioned by the political parties that are declared in opposition to the government, and have no meaningful representation in Congress, because they end up not having representation in the electoral tribunal as well. This has placed the NEC in a position of being examined repeatedly because their decisions are perceived as being politically biased. For example, in the past presidential elections, many allegations were presented regarding the NEC decisions, suggesting that the CNE is controlled by the parties that made a covenant for the re-election of the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, and that their decisions aimed to favor those interests, over the interest of other candidates. Currently the NEC is 80% controlled by parties who are in favor of reelection (see source no. 4).

        A second aspect that prevents a stronger enforcement is related with the nature of the decisions they make. The decisions made by the NEC are not judicial decisions but instead administrative acts, therefore they are subject to the administrative litigation jurisdiction and their decisions may be reaffirmed or revoked by the State Council. As Maria Luisa Prado, Director of National Fund for Financing Policy, says the NEC has complete autonomy for applying their investigative and punitive function. However, this independence can be undermined because any administrative act may be reviewed and revoked by the State Council at the request of any citizen.

        Regarding these two aspects, along the lines of the political reform that is being discussed by many sectors in the country, it is necessary to include some adjustments to the functions and capacities of the National Electoral Council. The main proposal is to depoliticize the election of the Magistrates, seeking that the nomination is based in merit with the purpose of freeing the body of the direct influence of political parties and ensuring the presence of both the opposition and minor parties to provide all guarantees in elections. This suggests that the Magistrates should be elected similarly to the manner the members of the Constitutional Court are appointed. Another proposal is to concentrate the electoral justice in one body that is part of the judicial branch of power. This will make the NEC strong enough for issuing sanctions related with campaign financing, political responsibility, electoral results and electoral crimes and enforce them through the possibility of having more investigation resources as well as the support of a judicial police.

        Other elements that keeps the NEC from having a stronger enforcement of the law, especially regarding campaign financing laws is related with the issuing of sanctions a long time after the elections have passed and also, by not strengthening their monitoring capacity of the financing information through the web-based tool Clear Accounts. In this case, in order to strengthen the control capacity of the NEC for the campaign financing reporting, there should be issued, prior to each electoral process, a Resolution stating the sanctions for not complying with the reporting in real time of the incomes and expenses reports through the web base tool available for this (www.cnecuentasclaras.com) and conduct periodic reviews of the information being submitted comparing it with the information gathered in the Departments were the Sectional Courts of the NEC are established.

        Finally regarding the political financial system that needs to be reformed, it is important to address the following issues (among others) in an open dialogue between candidates, political organizations, the electoral authorities and private campaigns contributors:
        - The setting of the maximum expenditures allowed by law are perceived as very low, forcing the candidates and parties to sub-report their real incomes and expenses.
        - The limits set for private contributions should be applied as well as to the candidates own resources, since this has become the principal source for campaign financing in Colombia, - The private contributors should also be responsible for disclosing the funds they are giving to the campaigns - The electoral authority should review the itemized reports formats in order to make them more accurate.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. However, Camilo Mancera notes (in line with comments to questions 40 and 42) that "in Colombia the issue of the formation of the CNE has been repeatedly a matter of public debate... it lacks guarantees for independence and objectivity one would wish to have in a body with the functions to impose electoral sanctions." As we have already seen, currently its members are chosen by Congress through lists coming from political organisations, "granting it a supremely political character and generating suspicions over the decisions they may take."

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources
        1. Interview: Camilo Mancera, Legal National Coordinator, Electoral Observation Mission MOE, August 15, 2014. Personal Interview

        2. Interview: Jorge Muñoz Pinzón, Financial Manager, Liberal Party, July22, 2014. Personal Interview.

        3. Interview: Maria Luisa Prado, Director of the National Fund of Political Finance, National Electoral Council, July 24, 2014. Personal Interview.

        4. The National Electoral Council Under Suspicion. News Report, Weekly National Magazine Semana. February 23, 2014 http://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/piden-reforma-al-consejo-nacional-electoral/378469-3

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Camilo Mancera, who is the judicial coordinator at the Misión de Observación Electoral, via email 27 Sept 2014.

Colombia has national elections for a bicameral Legislature and a Presidential executive. The Congress is composed by two Chambers: Senate and House of Representatives. Political Organizations must inscribe candidates in lists for each electoral district in which they are aspiring to be elected. The Colombian Electoral System allows political organizations to choose over two types of lists: open and closed. In closed lists, citizens choose over an unchangeable order of candidates depending on the amount of votes received. In open lists (or as it is called “with preferential vote”) citizens can vote for the candidate of their preference without regard of the position he/she has in the list or they can only vote for the political organization in which the order of the candidates matter.

The Senate of the Republic is composed by 102 members, 100 members are elected by national constituency and two by indigenous communities, for a term of 4 years and can be reelected indefinitely. For being elected the political organization must first obtain certain number of votes to met the 3% threshold; with this minimum threshold achieved the candidates get the possibility of access to the distribution of seats. The House of Chambers is composed by 162 members elected in representation of each one of the Colombian Departments (32) and the Capital District Bogota. The amount of seats for each department depends on its population. There are also special 5 seats given in the following way: two to Afro-Colombian communities; two more to Colombians that live abroad and one seat to Indigenous communities. Through the D´Hondt System the electoral quotient is established to know how many seats from each list. It is calculated by dividing the number of votes for each list that exceeded the threshold between the total numbers of seats, from 1 to N, then those numbers higher N, where N is the number of seats available is chosen. When only one seat is given the threshold is not applied and the winner is the one who gets more votes. In districts where two seats are given the threshold is applied equivalent to the 30% of the valid votes, and for the districts where more than two seats are given a threshold of 50% of the electoral quotient is applied.

Regarding campaign financing for legislative elections, public funds are allocated and managed both by candidates as well as political organizations. Candidates can raise contributions from private donors and also political organizations. The last ones are also in charge of receiving the request of advanced public funds from the candidates they endorsed. At the same time they must present the request of funds to the electoral authority. Likewise they receive these funds and give them to the candidates that asked for them if the met the requirements established by law.

Political Parties and Movements or Significant Groups of Citizens, that prove they are been support by a minimum number of signatures, can present candidates for presidential elections by a formula of President / Vice-president. The candidates must be Colombian by birth, be 30 years or older and exercise his/her rights as citizens. The formula President / Vice-president is elected for a term of four years and may be reelected for another single term. The electoral systems provides two rounds for presidential elections, the first is open to all the candidates. In case no candidate receives at least half plus one of the total valid votes casted, a second round is held only with the two formulas that received the greater voting. The winner is the candidate who receives more votes.

The Law 996 of 2005 regulated by the Presidential Decree No. 863 of 2006 encourages state funding as the main source for funding the presidential elections. The access of public funding is through advanced funds and also by the system of replacements of campaign costs by valid votes. These funds have to be destined for electoral propaganda and other campaign expenditures. Contributions made in cash or in kind by private individuals (no corporations) are allowed, but limited to a 2% of the maximum amount of expenditure set by the NEC. Individual contributions must not exceed the 20% of the total campaign expenditures. The campaign funds may be managed through a specific bank account open exclusively for this purpose, where the manager of the campaign is responsible of the movements made through it.

The most recent Legislative Elections (Congress and Andean Parlament) took March 9th, 2014. The Presidential first round was held on May 25th, 2014 and the second round on June 16th, 2014.