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Germany

In law
43
In practice
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Germany's lightly regulated political finance system provides direct public funding for parties and candidates, but full information on exactly when disbursements are made is not available to the public. During elections, parties are granted free access to advertising, both in law and in practice. During the 2013 elections, some parliamentary groups, in contravention of the law, deployed their parliamentary staff in campaign events. Contributions are largely unrestricted, and there is no spending limit during campaigns. Nevertheless, parties appear to rely primarily on state funding and members' fees, while corporate and private donations are less important. Reporting requirements are scant, as only parties are required to submit any financial information -- according to the law, they are supposed to do so annually. Contributions listed on those reports are not itemized, and may not be complete. Received reports are published on the parliamentary website, but are usually in pdf format, and are often quite out of date. Third party actors, including unions and party foundations, are politically active, but are not subject to any regulation. The responsibility for oversight of political finance is split between the President of the Bundestag and the Federal Audit Office. Though the FAO is generally independent, the President of the Bundestag is a political figure. The two bodies generally have the capacity to carry out their duties, but investigations into potential violations are rare, and no information on those investigations is released to the public in a timely fashion. Sanctions are imposed when necessary, but repeat offenders are frequent. Germany's relatively weak legal framework and the opacity of its system, as well as the lack of a strong independent monitoring authority, inhibit the strength and transparency of enforcement.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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

        There is direct public funding for political parties and for independent candidates.

        Political parties: Section 18 of the Political Party Act (Parteiengesetz) stipulates in paragraph 1 that: "The State shall grant the parties funds to partly finance their general activities pursuant to the Basic Law. The criteria for the distribution of public funds shall be the parties' performance in European, Bundestag (national) and Landtag (state parliament) elections, the sum of its membership contributions and the amount of donations received."

        Funding is available for parties who have won over 0.5 per cent of votes during the previous European or Federal election, or over 1% in the previous State election. This percentage must be won of the second votes (explanation: in the German election system, every voter has two votes: the first is given for one direct candidate of the voter's constituency; the second, and more important vote, is for a party whose candidates are put together on party lists. The second vote thus determines the number of seats each party gets in Parliament/ the Bundestag).

        • Independent candidates Direct funding for independent candidates is available for candidates who win over 10% of the votes of their constituency, according to paragraph 49b of the Federal Election Law:

        "(1) Candidates for a constituency nomination, submitted pursuant to Articles 18 and 20 by persons entitled to vote, who receive at least 10 per cent of the valid votes cast in a constituency shall receive EUR 2.80 (USD 3.75) per valid vote cast. Provision is to be made in the Federal Budget for these funds. (2) The candidate shall apply in writing for assessment and payment of the government funds to the President of the German Bundestag within two months of the first meeting of the German Bundestag; any applications received after this period shall not be considered. The sum shall be assessed and paid by the President of the German Bundestag."

        This direct funding for parties and independent candidates is for political work and can thus be used both for election campaigns and between elections.

        It should perhaps also be noted that Germany has a strong party system. Since 1953, there have been only about half a dozen independent candidates who have achieved over 10% of the vote. None has ever been elected to the Bundestag as an independent (non-party) candidate.

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section18 (direct funding) https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation as used in the comment is taken from: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

        Source 2: [Law] Bundeswahlgesetz / Federal Electoral Law (7 May 1956, last amended on 3 May 2013), Paragraph 49b, available here: http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/de/bundestagswahlen/downloads/rechtsgrundlagen/bundeswahlgesetz.pdf English translation: http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/en/bundestagswahlen/downloads/rechtsgrundlagen/bundeswahlgesetz_engl.pdf

        Source 3: [Interview] - Werner Fischer, Bundestag candidate for Die Unabhaengige (The Independent) party in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013 for constituency 258, written answers on 23 July 2014).

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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

        German law stipulates the exact amounts of funding for political parties and independent candidates. The process is equitable as all parties and candidates who meet the requirements (mainly number of votes and number of party members) receive the funding, and the law states transparently how much is paid.

        Germany's Political Party Act, Section 18 Para. 3 Nr. 3 sets concrete amounts of direct funding for political parties, which can be used for electoral campaigns but also for the general running of the party:

        " Political parties shall, within the framework of partial public funding, receive an annual amount of 1. Euro 0.70 (USD 0.95) for each valid vote cast for the respective party list; or 2. Euro 0.70 (USD 0.95) for each vote cast for the respective party in a constituency or polling district if a list for that party was not admitted at the Land level; and 3. Euro 0.38 (USD 0.51) for each euro received from other sources (membership dues, contributions from elected office-holders, or lawfully obtained donations); only donated amounts of up to 3,300 (USD 4450) euros per natural person will be taken into account. In derogation of numbers 1 and 2 above, a party shall receive 0.85 (USD 1.15) euro per vote for up to four million valid votes received. "

        There is an annual cap to the amounts that can be recieved by political parties. This cap is determined by the Bundestag, tthe legal basis for which is Paragraph 18 of the Political Parties Act. In 2013, the total amount of state funding to be disbursed to political parties was Euro 154 million (USD 203 million).

        On the eligibility, the Political Party Act stipulates in Paragraph 1 that: " (1) Political parties shall receive funds as partial financing of the activities generally assigned to them under the Basic Law. The criteria for the allocation of public funds shall be the proportion of votes won by a political party in European, Bundestag and Landtag [State parliament] elections; the total amount of its membership dues and contributions from holders of elected public office, and the amount of donations received. "

        This means that newly established parties that run for the first time in a national election and have not successfully run in state or local elections before, are not eligible for direct party funding.

        For independent candidates, paragraph 49b of the Federal Election Law states that: "(1) Candidates for a constituency nomination, submitted pursuant to Articles 18 and 20 by persons entitled to vote, who receive at least 10 per cent of the valid votes cast in a constituency shall receive EUR 2.80 (USD 3.75) per valid vote cast. Provision is to be made in the Federal Budget for these funds. (2) The candidate shall apply in writing for assessment and payment of the government funds to the President of the German Bundestag within two months of the first meeting of the German Bundestag; any applications received after this period shall not be considered. The sum shall be assessed and paid by the President of the German Bundestag."

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Parties Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 18, Paragraph 3 (on the amount of direct political party funding); Paragraph 1 on the eligibility for direct political party funding : https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf

        Source 2 [Law] Bundeswahlgesetz / Federal Electoral Law (7 May 1956, last amended on 3 May 2013), Paragraph 49b, available here: http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/de/bundestagswahlen/downloads/rechtsgrundlagen/bundeswahlgesetz.pdf

        Source 3 [official website}: Deutscher Bundestag press release: "Obergrenze für staatliche Parteienfinanzierung steigt auf gut 154 Millionen Euro" (upper limit for public party funding increases to 154 million), 15 May 2013, available at: http://www.bundestag.de/presse/hib/2013_05/05/255114

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        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

        In practice, the amount of direct political funding to parties is made public, and is for example available on the website of the Bundestag. The mechanism is transparent and consistently applied, and equitable within the remit of the law.

        As laid out in the Political Parties Act, the office of the President of the Bundestag is in charge of determining the amount to be remitted to each political party by checking the annual reports of the parties and calculating the amount on the basis of the accounts and previous election results.

        For the last federal election in 2013, no finance reports by the political parties have yet been published, as it takes 12 months or more on average for financial information of parties to become public after the end of the financial year.

        However, the figures for 2012 are public and no news reports have been made alleging that there were irregularities in how the funding was disbursed. None of the interview partners suggested that there were irregularities or issues with the direct funding of political parties and candidates..

        For further information, direct political funding for political parties in 2012 (as reported in 2013) was around Euro150m (USD 202m). Adjusted to the number of German population, this is around Euro 1.85 (USD 2.50) per person living in Germany (80.5m inhabitants), or Euro 2.30 (USD 3.10) for each person eligible to vote (64.5m people who are eligible to vote as of 2014).

        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

        Source 1 [official report] (of party financing in 2012, as self-reported by the parties, checked by the President of the Bundestag, put together, and published): "Unterrichtung durch den Praesidenten des Deutschen Bundestages: Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (1. Teil – Bundestagsparteien)" (translation: Information by the President of the German Bundestag (House of Representatives): Notice of the accounts report of political parties for the calendar year 2012), 5 February 2014, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800400.pdf

        Source 2 [official article] Bundeszentrale fuer politische Bildung (Federal agency for political education): "Staatliche Parteienfinanzierung I" (Federal party finance I), 28 August 2013, available at: http://www.bpb.de/politik/grundfragen/parteien-in-deutschland/42240/staatliche-parteienfinanzierung-i

        Source 3 [news article]: Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten: "Klamme Parteien lassen sich Wahlkampf vom Steuerzahler bezahlen" (translation: Cash-strapped parties have their election campaigns paid by the tax payer), 15 May 2013, available at: http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2013/05/15/klamme-parteien-lassen-sich-wahlkampf-vom-steuerzahler-finanzieren/

        Source 4 [anonymous]: academic, telephone interview on 14 August 2014.

        Source 5 [Interview] Ministerialrat Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        Information on the amount of public funding to political parties is made available on the website of the President of the Bundestag, and in the statements of accounts by the political parties (both on the Bundestag website and generally also on the websites of the political parties themselves). The information is then also used by the media. Information on the amount of political funding can thus be obtained without costs.

        For calendar year 2013, the amounts to be transferred to the political parties were made public by the Bundestag in February 2014. However, the actual date on which those funds were disbursed is unclear.

        According to the press desk of the Office of the Comptroller, information on disbursements of public funds is not published within four months of disbursement. Further, interviews confirmed that the disbursement date and details such as the bank account it went into are not information that is eventually made available to the public.

        However, the law (Political Party Act, paragraph 21 sentence 2) states that the Office of the Comptroller General verifies whether the President of the Bundestag - who is responsible for disbursing the money - has transferred the direct funding in accordance with the law.

        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

        Source 1: [interview] Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative journalism at Der Stern (German Weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 2: Deutscher Bundestag (website): Festsetzung der staatlichen Mittel fuer das Jahr 2013 (calculation for the amount of state funding for 2013), 21 February 2014, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/195536/cbe31f83de48d58d9973662c534ca7fe/finanz_13-data.pdf

        Source 3: [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 4: [interview]: Written response to request via e-mail on 23, October, 2014 from press desk of the Comptroller (Bundesrechungshof), in response to reques.

        Source 5: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2013)152nd%20InterimGermany_EN.pdf

        Source 6 [law]: Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 21, sentence 2 (direct funding), available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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

        The Political Parties Act regulates the use of state resources in favour or against a political party or candidate. This is done in two ways: a) by forbidding the use of personnel and b) by ensuring that where state resources are legally made available, all resources be made available to all parties (and candidates).

        a) Using party personnel (ie Parliamentary staffers) for election campaigns is illegal.There is a strict distinction between Parliamentary staffers - who are paid by the member of the Bundestag they serve - and party work. This is in line with the distinction between parliamentary parties / 'Fraktionen' and the political party as a whole. Article 12 Section 3 of the Abgeordnetengesetz / Law on Members of Parliament is interpreted as prohibiting using staffers of Members of Parliament in election campaigns (see Source 2): "Using personnel as described in § 12 Section. 3 Abgeordnetengesetz for party ('Fraktions') related tasks is without a doubt prohibited as this would constitute an act of unconstitutional concealed party finance."

        b) By law, all candidates and parties must be treated the same. If resources were to be made available for one party, they would equally need to be made available to other parties and candidates:

        Paragraph 5. Equality of Treatment

        (1) Where a public authority provides facilities or other public services for use by a party, it must accord equal treatment to all other parties. The scale of such facilities and services may be graduated to conform with the importance of the parties to the minimum extent needed for the achievement of their aims. The importance of a party is judged in particular from the results of previous elections for central or regional government. In the case of a party represented in the Bundestag by a Parliamentary Party, the significance accorded to it must amount to at least half that granted to any other party. (2) As regards the granting of public services in connection with an election Para. (1) applies only for the duration of the election campaign to parties which have submitted election proposals. (3) The public services referred to in Para. 1 may be made dependent upon certain preconditions which all parties have to fulfil. (4) Section IV shall remain unaffected.

        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

        Source 1 [law]: Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 21, sentence 2 (direct funding), available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf English translation available at: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm#5

        Source 2: [legal comment] Braun, Werner Braun u. a: Abgeordnetengesetz, Kommentar, (law on Members of Parliament, Commentary); 2002, § 12 Rn 44.

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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

        State resources are not generally used or known to be used in favour or against political parties' or individual candidates' election campaigns.

        However, there have been reports during the last election (2013) around indirect campaigning. The news media reported that parliamentary groups (ie the party block in Parliament) have supported their parties' / members of parliaments' campaigns through the use of state resources. For example, staffers of members of Parliament went to the MPs' constituencies to help with the campaign. This is against party finance regulation and the separation of the parliamentary work and the party work of members of parliament and their staff. This is problematic as staffers are paid from a bulk sum that members of parliament get on top of their salary out of tax payers' money. The German Bundestag believes that auditing how an MP spends this money is outside the remit of the Bundesrechnungshof.

        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

        Source 1: [news]: Stefan Maas, Deutschlandfunk: Der Wahlkampf und das Geld ("The campaign and the money"), 7 August 2013, available at: http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/der-wahlkampf-und-das-geld.724.de.html?dram:article_id=256900

        Source 2: [interview] Werner Fischer, Bundestag candidate for Die Unabhaengige (The Independent) party in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013 for constituency 258, written answers on 23 July 2014).

        Source 3: [news/documentary]: A documentary of an investigative team of reporters of the public television show 'Report Mainz' found that staffers of members of Parliament were (against party finance rules) put on election campaign duty in the last months before the election. The documentary is entitled "Wahlkampf auf Staatskosten" / campaigning on tax payers' money, aired on 17 September 2013, and is available at: http://www.swr.de/report/teaser/-/id=233454/nid=233454/did=12063582/twgot0/index.html

        Source 4: [anonymous]: academic, telephone interview, 14 August 2014.

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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

        Political parties have transparent, strictly regulated and free access to air time during election time. Within limits, air time is equitably distributed: parties get air time proportionally to their importance, and there must not be strong differences for the national parties that are represented in Parliament.

        The legal basis for the access of parties to air time is quite complex due to the complex legal nature of German public tv and radio stations: simply speaking, public stations are run at the state (Laender) level, although many programmes are broadcast nationally.

        For national level private broadcasting stations, Article 42 Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 of the interstate treaty for broadcasting and telemedia stipulates that that parties are to be given adequate air time for their participation in elections if they are on at least one state list. Parties or other political associations further are entitled to air time for the national and European elections if they have proposed at least one candidate. The station can refuse airing the spot if it is not deemed an election spot or if its content is obviously and profoundly against the law.

        There are two major national public tv broadcasters, ARD and ZDF:

        The ZDF's interstate broadcasting treaty, similar to the national interstate treaty, states in Article 11 that parties are to be given adequate air time for their participation in elections if they are on at least one state list. Parties or other political association further are entitled to air time for the national and European elections if they have proposed at least one candidate. The station can refuse airing the spot if it is not deemed an election spot or if its content is obviously and profoundly against the law.

        With the exception of one state radio law, all of the state public broadcasting laws have some kind of regulation on the equitable access of political parties to air time.

        What constitutes equal or equitable is not stipulated in national law but is regulated by state laws. The amount of air time depends on the importance of the political party and their election results in the previous election. In Bavaria, for example, Paragraph 3 of the statute on election campaigns (Wahlwerbesatzung (WWS)), campaign spots may be run from 31 to 2 days prior to the election. The biggest party (as in importance and previous election results) are entitled to 25 minutes of air time on the state and regional level. Other parties' air time is then calculated on the basis of importance and previous results - political parties that are in the Bundestag must be given at least half the time (12 minutes 30 seconds).

        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

        Source 1 [law]: Article 42 Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 Staatsvertrag für Rundfunk und Telemedien RStV (interstate treaty for broadcasting and telemedia) dated 31 August 1991 (last amended on 1 January 2013), available at: http://www.media-perspektiven.de/fileadmin/downloads/media_perspektiven/PDF-Dateien/2-Rundfunkstaatsvertrag.pdf

        Source 2 [law]: Article 11, ZDF-Staatsvertrag (ZDF interstate treaty on broadcasting and telemedia), dated 31. August 1991, last amended on 1 June 2009, available at http://www.zdf.de/ZDF/zdfportal/blob/26073604/1/data.pdf

        Source 3: [public information]: Bundeswahlleiter (Electoral Management Body): Wahlwerbung (campaign advertising), dated April 2011, available here: http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/de/glossar/texte/Wahlwerbung.html

        Source 4: legal website]: Telemedicus: "Startschuss für Wahlwerbung im Rundfunk" (kick-off for election campaigns on air), 26 August 2009, available at: http://www.telemedicus.info/article/1426-Startschuss-fuer-Wahlwerbung-im-Rundfunk.html

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        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

        Access to air time was allocated transparently and consistently, as required by law.

        For the last 2013 elections there were news articles describing what the content of smaller parties' campaign spots were, indicating that these spots existed and were aired for the 2013 election. The second public national station, ZDF, showed 74 spots for example.

        For public stations, air time is free for the parties. On private stations, parties pay only production costs, which come in at around 35% of what a commercial client would pay. One of the media corporations that runs some of the big private stations (Sat1, Pro7) published their information on election campaigning, stating how much air time the various parties had, ranging from 12 minutes (SPD, CDU), to 6 minutes (FDP, Greens, etc), and 1.5 minutes (individual candidates). They state that the spots are shown between 17:00 - 23:00 after main commercials.

        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

        Source 1: [news}: Markus Ehrenberg, Tagesspiegel: "Wie kleinere Parteien mit ihrer Sendezeit umgehen" (translation: what smaller parties do with their air time), 13 September 2013, available at: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/medien/tv-wahlwerbespots-wie-kleinere-parteien-mit-ihrer-sendezeit-umgehen/8787738.html

        Source 2: [news] Der Westen: "Was Parteien duerfen, und was nicht" (what parties are allowed to air, and what not), 29 April 2014, available at: http://www.derwesten.de/politik/was-parteien-in-wahlwerbespots-duerfen-und-was-nicht-id9291288.html

        Source 3: [private station information]: Bundestagswahl 2013 - Wahlwerbung (national elections 2013 - campaign advertising), information collated by SevenOne media group, 22 Aug - 20 Sept 2013, available at: file: https://www.sevenonemedia.de/EckpunkteWahlwerbungBundestag_2013.pdf

        Source 4: [Interview] - Werner Fischer, Bundestag candidate for Die Unabhaengige (The Independent) party in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013 for constituency 258, written answers on 23 July 2014).

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
      More about category
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        MODERATE
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        Under the Political Parties Act, cash donations can be made up to a limit of Euro 1,000 (USD 1,350): "Donations of up to 1,000 euros may be made in cash. Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s financial matters. Donations shall be considered acquired by a party when an Executive Committee member responsible for the party’s financial matters or a full-time staff member of that party has obtained power of disposal over them; donations that are returned to the donor immediately after their receipt shall not be deemed as having been acquired by the party. "

        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

        [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 25, Paragraph 1 (donations) https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf

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        10
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        NO
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        Anonymous donations are allowed unless they exceed Eur 500 (USD 670), or unless they are donations that are merely forwarded by a named donor from an unnamed donor. This applies to donations to political parties or candidates of political parties. No such law or threshold exists for non-party or independent candidates.

        Section 25, Paragraph 2, sentence 6:
        "The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: [...] any donations exceeding 500 euros each, which are made by an unidentified donor or which evidently are passed on as a donation by unnamed third parties, or which can be determined to be a forwarded donation of a non-named third person."

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 18 (direct funding), Section 25, Paragraph 2, sentence 6, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation as used in comments below is taken from: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

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

        In-kind donations must be treated as donations and thus reported in parties' annual reports to the President of the Bundestag.

        According to German Basic Law (Article 21) and the Political Parties Act (Article 23), donations (and thus in-kind donations) must be reported to the Bundestag and then made available to the public. However, this does not apply to all donations, but only to donations exceeding Euros 10,000 (reported during the calendar year), or exceeding Euros 50,000 (reported and published immediately). It is then made public in the Bundestag printed paper.

        Under section 26 of the Political Parties Act, in-kind donations are to be treated the same as monetary donations. The law defines the term 'income' or donation as:

        "(1) Where no special stipulation is made for individual types of income (Article 24 (2)), income is all monies or payments in money value made to the political party. Release from obligations arising in the usual manner and from the assumption of responsibility for functions and measures by others which explicitly canvass for a political party are also regarded as income.

        (2) All receipts are entered in their full amount in the place provided. Article 27 (2) shall remain unaffected.

        (3) Goods and services of a non-monetary nature are assessed at the prices normally paid in commercial transactions for identical or comparable services.

        (4) Party work shall be voluntary. Any contributions in kind, practical work or services by members on a non-commercial basis and normally provided free of charge shall not be counted as income. Reimbursements for expenses shall not be taken into consideration.

        (5) Transitory items of money and services as well as members' contributions and other receipts earmarked from the beginning for a pro rata apportionment amongst several regional organizations are shown in the accounts at the place where they will finally be entered."

        Individual candidates (e.g. members of parliament) In-kind donations to independent candidates, are not under the same reporting obligations as political parties. They are regulated by the Members of Parliament Act and the Code of Conduct of the Parliament. However, according to these regulations in-kind donations must be treated as donations.

        Members of Parliament Act, Article 44a, stipulates that donations (both monetary or in-kind) to individual candidates are generally allowed. However any contributions are forbidden if the intention of the donor is to influence the MPs decisions or voting in Parliament in favor of the interests of the donor.

        Furthermore Members of Parliament Act, Article 44b, stipulates that the Parliament (Bundestag) has to define rules for reporting of contributions in its “Code of Conduct” (Verhaltensregeln für Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages).

        The Code of Conduct of Parliament stipulates in Article 4, Section 1 that contributions to individual candidates must report itemized contributions if they exceed 5000 € (per annum from a single source) to the President of Parliament. Article 4, Section 2 stipulates that the President of Parliament must publish itemized contributions above 10000 € (per annum from a single source) on the Parliament’s website and in the Parliament’s "Official Guid" (Amtliches Handbuch).

        It should be noted that independent candidates do not play a major role in federal elections, and that the requirement for parties thus covers the bulk of political donations.

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 26, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation as used in comments below is taken from: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

        Source 2 [Law]: Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 21 ff, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf

        Source 3 [Law]: Deutsches Grundgesetz / German Basic Law (8 May 1949, last amended on 11 July 2011, available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gg/BJNR000010949.html

        Source 4 [Law]: Members of Parliament Act (Abgeordnetengesetzes), Article 44a-b (Full citation: Act on the Legal Status of Members of the German Bundestag of 18 February 1977 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 297), in the version promulgated on 21 February 1996 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 326), last amended by the Act of 8 November 2011 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2218)). Official translation available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englischabgg/englischabgg.html#p0233

        Source 5 [Code of Conduct]: Verhaltensregeln für Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages (Code of Conduct of Pariamant). Available at https://www.bundestag.de/blob/194754/bc08b4bfbc8a9852b65b6be0b6b99b67/webverhaltensregeln2013-data.pdf

        Source 6 [official publication]: Amtliches Handbuch Deutscher Bundestag (Official Guide, German Parliament), available at http://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/parlamentsarchiv/sachgeb/amtlhdb/244916

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        12
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        NO
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        There is no law that prohibits individuals or corporate entities to make loans to political parties. There is no specific legislation for candidates as candidates in general are not regulated by political finance laws, as discussed previously.

        There has been discussion around loans made to parties: it has been alleged that loans were made to parties to conditions that were below market price. This would, in fact, mean that the loan would become a donation, in which case it should fall under existing regulation and legislation.

        Loans to political parties have particularly been discussed in 2014 in regards to a relatively new federal and state level party, see sources 2 and 3.

        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

        [Law] No such law exists

        [Interview] Source 1: Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014, 14:5- GMT;

        [News article] Source 2: Die Welt: "AfD setzt umstrittene Kreditfinanzierung fort" (AfD party continues controversial credit finance), 23 April 2014, available here: http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article127190958/AfD-setzt-umstrittene-Kreditfinanzierung-fort.html

        [News article] Source 3: TAZ: "Reeder hilft AfD auf die Spruenge" (Shipping company owner helps out AfD party), 16 December 2013, available at: http://www.taz.de/!129520/

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
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        13
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        There is no law that establishing a limit on campaign or party contributions from individuals. There have been calls by the Social Democrats and the Green Party, for example, to introduce such a limit. In 2010, the Green Party discussed a limit of Euro 100,000 (USD 135,000) for both individuals and companies, while Transparency International Germany called for a limit of Euro 50,000 (USD 62,500).

        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

        No such law exists.

        For further reading and the discussion around a cap of campaign/party contributions, see for example a 2013 news article that describes how the Social Democrats and the Green Party demanded that such a maximum amount be introduced:

        [news article from 2010] Source 3: Merkur-Online: "Gruene beantragen Obergrenze fuer Parteispenden" (Green party motions for political party finance upper limits), 27 January 2010, available at: http://www.merkur-online.de/aktuelles/politik/gruene-beantragen-obergrenze-parteispenden-607014.html

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        14
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        NO
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        There is no law establishing a limit on campaign or party contributions from corporations.

        As mentioned in the answer to the previous question, there have been calls by the Social Democrats and the Green Party, for example, to introduce such a limit. In 2010, the Green Party discussed a limit of Euro 100,000 (USD 135,000) for both individuals and companies, while Transparency International Germany called for a limit of Euro 50,000 (USD 62,500).

        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

        No such law exists.

        For further reading and the discussion around a cap of campaign/party contributions, see for example a 2013 news article that describes how the Social Democrats and the Green Party demanded that such a maximum amount be introduced:

        [news article from 2010] Source 3: Merkur-Online: "Gruene beantragen Obergrenze fuer Parteispenden" (Green party motions for political party finance upper limits), 27 January 2010, available at: http://www.merkur-online.de/aktuelles/politik/gruene-beantragen-obergrenze-parteispenden-607014.html

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

        Donations from foreign sources are generally forbidden unless they are less than Euro 1000 (USD 1,350) or made by a German national living abroad:

        Article 25, paragraph 2, sentence 3 stipulates that donations from sources outside the territorial scope of the Parties Act are forbidden unless: a) these donations accrue directly to a political party from the assets of a German as defined by the Basic Law, of a citizen of the European Union, or of a business enterprise, of whose shares more than 50 per cent are owned by Germans as defined by the Basic Law or by a citizen of the European Union or whose registered office is located in a Member State of the European Union; b) they are donations transferred to parties of national minorities in their traditional settlement areas from countries which are adjacent to the Federal Republic of Germany and where members of their ethnic group live; or
        c) it is a donation not exceeding 1,000 euros (USD 1,350) made by a foreigner;

        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

        Source 1 [law] Article 25, Section 2, sentence 3, Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, available at https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation as used in comments below is taken from: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

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        16
        Score
        MODERATE
        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

        In law contributions to political parties or individual candidates from public bodies or public corporations, parliamentary parties and groups and from parliamentary groups of municipal councils are forbidden.

        However, contributions from political foundations, corporate entities, associations of persons are only forbidden if (by their statutes, constitutions or actual business conducted) these entities are intended for non-profit, charitable or church purposes.

        This is not always the case. The question if such actors can or cannot contribute to political parties or individual candidates depends on the legal form in which they are established/registered. For example a think tank can be established as an association of persons, a registered association (eingetragener Verein), a non-profit association (gemeinnütziger Verein) or as a company.

        If registered as association of persons, a registered association or as a company contributions to political parties or individual candidates from such a think tank are allowed. The same applies to unions as there is no law that states which legal form they must be registered under (mostly as registered association but also as association of persons).

        This is stated in Article 25, section 2: (2) The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: 1. donations from public corporations, parliamentary parties and groups and from parliamentary groups of municipal councils (local assemblies); 2. donations from political foundations, corporate entities, associations of persons and from estates which under the statutes, the foundation charter or other dispositions governing the constitution of such entities, and by the actual business conducted by such entities, are exclusively and directly intended for non-profit, charitable or church purposes (Sections 51 to 68 of the German Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung, AO); 4. donations from professional organizations, which were made to the latter subject to the proviso that such funds be passed on to a political party;

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Article 25, Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation as used in comments below is taken from: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

        Source 2 [interview]: Interview via phone on October 23, 2014 with the press desk of the Association of German Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) confirmed that in law unions might contribute to political parties or individual candidates depending on their legal form.

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        17
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        NO
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        There is no limit to how much political parties or individual candidates can spend during an election campaign.

        There is, however, a practical ceiling in the amount of direct funding a party receives: The Political Party Act determines a maximum amount that the parties receive each year in direct funding. This does include election campaigns, but is not meant exclusively for campaigns. The law does not, however, stipulate a spending limit as such, so if the parties were to receive ten times the public direct funding amount in private donations, they would legally be able to spend that.

        For 2013, the amount of direct funding for political parties was capped at 154 million. In the 2013 election year, the SPD spent Euros 23 million (USD 30 million) , the CDU spent 20 (USD 26 million) million, and the Greens 5.5 million (USD 7.5 million) for advertising agencies, for example.

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation as used in comments below is taken from: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

        Source 2 [official announcement]: Bundestag (House of Representatives): Obergrenze für staatliche Parteienfinanzierung steigt auf gut 154 Millionen Euro (upper limit for party finance increases to 154 million), 15 May 2013, available at: http://www.bundestag.de/presse/hib/2013_05/05/255114

        Source 3 [news article]: Der Spiegel, 12 June 2013, Millionenaufwand: SPD goennt sich groesstes Wahlkampf-Budget (millions in costs: SPD indulge in highest campaign budget), http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/millionen-aufwand-spd-goennt-sich-groesstes-wahlkampf-budget-a-905334.html

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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

        The national / federal laws on political party finance as stipulated in the Political Parties Act also apply for the Laender / state level. GRECO states that "The Länder are not authorised to lay down rules concerning political parties and party funding. But they may legislate on matters not covered by federal law, e.g. with regard to the funding of voters‘ associations or independent candidates in Landtag or local elections."

        On the Laender level, there used to be a provision that a party had to win at least 1% of the votes in 3 states to be eligible for direct party funding. A smaller party challenged this in 2004 and won, deleting this requirement and making it easier for smaller parties to otain direct party funding.

        The expenditures and income of the state level parties can be seen in the annual accounts / Rechenschaftsbericht.

        Where legislation on the state and federal level differs is in monitoring. Whereas the federal Audit Office is for example not authorized to monitor and investigate the finances of members and parliament and their staffers, the legal situation in the Laender / states differs - in Bavaria, the Bavarian Audit Court is authorized to monitor these expenditures, for example.

        Sources do not report any problems arising from the different levels of regulation.

        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

        Source 1: [interview]: Anonymous academic, telephone interviews on 24 July and 14 August 2014.

        Source 2: [party website]: Oekologisch Demokratische Partei (ODP}: Gesetz zur Parteienfinanzierung verstößt gegen das Grundgesetz: Bundesverfassungsgericht gibt ÖDP Recht (law on political party finance against basic law: constitutional court rules in favour of ODP), 26 October 2004, available at: http://www.oedp-nrw.de/partei/geschichte/erfolge/faire-parteienfinanzierung/

        Source 3: [official gazette] Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (Notification by the President of the Bundestag; Information on annual reports of political parties for calendar year 2012, 6 Feb 2014, available at http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800401.pdf

        Source 4: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2013)152nd%20InterimGermany_EN.pdf

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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

        Political parties have three main means of income for their political activities during election campaigns and beyond: 1) direct state funding 2) members' fees 3) fees by members' of Parliament 4) donations

        1) The mechanics of the direct funding are discussed elsewhere in this study 2) members' fees are paid by the parties' members 3) members of Parliament are required to pay a percentage of their salary to the party. This can be up to 20% of their salary (which they receive through public funding) - if they refuse to do that, there is an unspoken risk of them not getting on the party list at the next election. This not only undermines the idea that all members of parliament must only follow their conscience, it also constitutes another form of indirect public finance of parties. 4) donations: donations by corporations and private persons to political parties are tax deductable up to 50%.

        For the six major parties active on a federal level in 2011, the split of income was: Total income of Euros 433,5 million, of which 137 million were direct funding, Euro 122.9 were members' fees, other income made up Euros 62.4 million, Members of Parliament paid Euros 58.1 million, and there were donations by corporations and private persons of Euro 53.2 million.

        Parties also generate income through business ownership, ownership of real estate, and financial investments. However, while it is possible to see what companies and media organisations parties have a financial stake in, the financial details of these companies are not available. For example, if a party owns the company that publishes the party newspaper, the paper would be able to sell advertising space in the party newspaper, the income of which would be generated by the company and as such would not be public information.

        A couple of recent examples are the FDP's financial stakes in a gambling company, the financial details of which were only made public by the party when the case was discussed in the media. (see sources). The most recent annual reports of the CDU states that they have had no income from company holdings, whereas the SPD states it had roughly 2 million Euros income. The details on which companies the party has stakes in have to be presented in the annual report, section II 1 and the SPD complied with this requirement. A majority of these holdings and joint ventures are in media and printing.

        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

        Source 1: Bundeszentrale fuer Politische Bildung (federal agency for political education): Einnahmen der Parteien (party income), 28 August 2013, available at: http://www.bpb.de/politik/grundfragen/parteien-in-deutschland/42237/einnahmen

        Source 2: [official report] (of party financing in 2012, as self-reported by the parties, checked by the President of the Bundestag, put together, and published): "Unterrichtung durch den Praesidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (1. Teil – Bundestagsparteien)", 5 February 2014, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800400.pdf

        Source 3 [official website]: Deutscher Bundestag: Parteienfinanzierung (party finance), available at: https://www.bundestag.de/parteienfinanzierung, last accessed on 8 August 2014.

        Source 4 [speech] Hans Herbert von Arnim: "Grundfragen der Parteienfinanzierung" (Basic facts on party finance), 26 September 2008, http://www.dhv-speyer.de/vonarnim/Aktuelles/VT%20Bundestag%20Grundfragen%20der%20Parteienfin%2026.9.08%20(19.5.09).pdf

        Source 5 [interview NGO] Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014.

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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

        No serious violations of contributions or expenditure limits have been found in the public domain. This can at least in part be explained by the fact that there are no limits on contributions from individuals or corporations, and there is no spending limit for parties and individual candidates, so no regulations can be broken or amounts exceeded. There have been cases of members of Parliament illegally using their staffers for election campaigns, however.

        Contributions from foreign sources of over Euro 1,000 (USD 1,350) are banned and there is no evidence that there have been serious offences against this regulations. Likewise, there have been no reports that contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, universities.) - which are banned - have been received by parties.

        Perhaps the more interesting question in this regard would be why there are no upper spending limits, and whether these should be introduced. A second question is how much parties are actually spending for their election campaigns. This is not public information and only parts of the campaign spending are available, e.g. how much they pay to the advertising agencies. It is generally understood, however, that the amounts spent by German parties are only a fraction of what would be spent during, for example, US election campaigns.

        One case of documented violation of the Political Parties Act during the last federal election campaign was the use of Parliamentary staffers in campaigns. There is a strict division between finance of political parties and finance of parliamentary work of political parties. The latter funds (also through public funding) the work of Parliamentary staffers who are not permitted to work on election campaigns, as this falls outside the parliamentary remit. However, an investigative news magazine found that across all parties, members of Parliament had been using their staffers for election campaigns. (see source 4)

        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

        Source 1: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 2 [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 3: [news] N-TV: "Bundestagswahl 2013 - Das geben die Parteien im Wahlkampf" / Federal election campaigns 2013 - this is what the parties are spending, 12 June 2013, available at: http://www.n24.de/n24/Nachrichten/Politik/d/2990204/das-geben-die-parteien-im-wahlkampf-aus.html

        Source 4: [news magazine]: Report Mainz (investigative news magazine on public television): "Mitarbeiter von Bundestagsabgeorndeten illegal zu Wahlkampfzwecken eingesetzt", (staffers of Members of Parliament illegally used for campaigning), 17 September 2013, available at: http://www.swr.de/report/presse/abgeordnete-wahlkampf-illegal/-/id=1197424/nid=1197424/did=12070074/zrdycg/index.html

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
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    43
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        21
        Score
        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        In law, there is a statutory obligation for political parties to report itemized contributions on an annual basis. Parties provide these reports to the President of the Bundestag on an annual basis whether it is an election year or not, there are no additional reports during election years. However contributions to political parties must only be reported itemized if they are above 10,000 Euro (per annum from a single source).

        Paragraph 23 of the Political Parties Act requires the executive committee of each party to make a public statement of the origins and the use of funds received by its party within a calendar year (accounting year) as well as of the assets of the party in a statement of accounts.

        Political Parties also must report their expenditures in their annual reports, but no itemization is required.

        Individual candidates, by law, must report certain contributions in an itemized format, but no itemization of expenditures is required. Contributions (monetary or in-kind) to individual candidates (e.g. members of parliament), are not under the same reporting obligations as political parties.

        Furthermore the Members of Parliament Act, Article 44b, stipulates that the Parliament (Bundestag) has to define rules for reporting of contributions in its “Code of Conduct” (Verhaltensregeln für Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages).

        The Code of Conduct of Parliament stipulates in Article 4, Section 1 that individual candidates must report itemized contributions if they exceed 5,000 € (per annum from a single source) to the President of Parliament. Article 4, Section 2 stipulates that the President of Parliament must publish itemized contributions above 10,000 € (per annum from a single source) on the Parliament’s website and in the Parliament’s "Official Guid" (Amtliches Handbuch).

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 23, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf

        Source 2: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 3 {Law]: Members of Parliament Act (Abgeordnetengesetzes), Article 44a-b (Full citation: Act on the Legal Status of Members of the German Bundestag of 18 February 1977 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 297), in the version promulgated on 21 February 1996 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 326), last amended by the Act of 8 November 2011 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2218)). Official translation available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englischabgg/englischabgg.html#p0233

        Source 4 [Code of Conduct]: Verhaltensregeln für Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages (Code of Conduct of Pariamant) available at https://www.bundestag.de/blob/194754/bc08b4bfbc8a9852b65b6be0b6b99b67/webverhaltensregeln2013-data.pdf

        Source 5: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/400: Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (1. Teil – Bundestagsparteien)" (Notice of financial accounts of political parties for calendar year 2012), published 5 February 2014, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800400.pdf

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        22
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        NO
        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

        No such law exists. By law, financial information has to be reported on an annual basis. In practice, this happens usually 12-16 months after the end of the reporting year.

        There are no laws or regulations that would require parties or individual candidates to report financial information on a monthly basis during election campaigns. Individuals - party members/ Members of the Bundestag or independent candidates - can accept donations but have no obligation to prepare accounts or financial overviews showing this income (unless a given donation exceeds 5,000 €), either on a monthly basis, or on a quarterly or annual basis.. GRECO states that: "It is, in principle, allowed to make donations to candidates for election. In this respect, the following specific provisions apply: If candidates receive donations which must be considered donations to their party, these payments must be immediately passed on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s finances (Section 25 paragraph 1, 3 sentence, of the PPA). "

        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

        No such law exists.

        Source 1: [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 25, Paragraph 1 (donations) https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf

        Source 2 {Law]: Members of Parliament Act (Abgeordnetengesetzes), Article 44a-b (Full citation: Act on the Legal Status of Members of the German Bundestag of 18 February 1977 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 297), in the version promulgated on 21 February 1996 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 326), last amended by the Act of 8 November 2011 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2218)). Official translation available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englischabgg/englischabgg.html#p0233

        Source 3 [Code of Conduct]: Verhaltensregeln für Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages (Code of Conduct of Pariamant) available at https://www.bundestag.de/blob/194754/bc08b4bfbc8a9852b65b6be0b6b99b67/webverhaltensregeln2013-data.pdf

        Additional source: Source 4: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2013)152nd%20InterimGermany_EN.pdf

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        23
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        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

        There is a requirement for political parties to publish their accounts on a yearly basis. No such requirement exists for time frames less than one year. The requirement is the same for election years and for non-election years. The parties are required to submit the accounts by 30 September for the previous year. By the time the information gets published on the Bundestag website, around 12-16 months have passed on average. As an example, for financial year 2012 the accounts got published in February 2014.

        There is no such requirement for individual candidates or voters' associations. Voters associations can serve as a platform for candidates to run but are not political parties in the legal sense and as such not required to publish their financial information.

        From Source 3: "Article 21 (1) sentence 4 of the Basic Law and sections 23 ff. of the Act on Political Parties state that all political parties must publicly account for their assets and for the sources and uses of their funds – irrespective of whether they are entitled to receive direct state funding – in a statement of account broken down into the party as a whole, its federal association, its Land associations and subordinated associations. Section 24 of the Act on Political Parties prescribes the scope and structure of such statements of account; the statement of assets and liabilities must be accompanied by an explanatory note meeting certain minimum requirements (section 24 (7) of the Act on Political Parties). The statement of account must usually be audited by an independent party (auditor or firm of auditors) and, together with the pertinent audit opinion, be submitted to the President of the German Bundestag, who publishes it as a Bundestag printed paper (section 23 (2) of the Act on Political Parties). If a party not entitled to receive state funding has no revenues or assets in excess of €5,000, an unaudited statement of account can be published (section 23 (2) sentences 4 and 5 of the Act on Political Parties). The President of the German Bundestag, too, examines whether the statement of account complies with the provisions of Part Five of the Act on Political Parties (section 23a of the Act on Political Parties). If there is good reason to believe that a party's statement of account contains misstatements, the Bundestag Administration must clarify the facts of the matter by following a specific procedure, possibly drawing on the services of independent auditors. Section 19a (1) sentence 3 of the Act on Political Parties states that, in such cases, state funding may only be provisionally assessed and only disbursed against provision of collateral amounting to the party's possible payment obligation (sections 31a to 31c, cf. nos. 8.1 to 8.3 below). The findings of this audit are included in the report on the parties' statements of account, which is also published as a Bundestag printed paper (section 23 (3) of the Act on Political Parties). A list of source references for the previously published statements of account and the reports by the President of the German Bundestag on these statements of account can be viewed online. "

        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

        Source 1 [Law] of the Basic Law [Grundgesetz], Article 21 (1) sentence 4, passed on 23. May 1949, last changed on 11. July 2012 https://www.btg-bestellservice.de/pdf/80201000.pdf

        Source 2 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Sections 23 ff, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation available at: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

        Source 3 [official comment] German Bundestag (German House of Representatives) Administration: "State Funding of Political Parties in Germany", last revised 1 Nov 2012, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189364/a985281d9339f64dff2da95081548fb0/staatlparteifinanz-data.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        Political parties and individual candidates (and associations of individual candidates) do not publish financial information on a monthly basis during campaign periods. Political parties publish information annually with a one-year delay (e.g. Feb 2014 with financial information of FY 2012). Individual candidates and associations thereof are not required to publish any financial information.

        The only exception is where donation over Euros 50,000 (USD 65,000) are made to a party, in which case the party will have to report this instantly to the President of the Bundestag. The donation including the name of the donor and the date of the donation are then published in the official gazette, and days after the report has been made can be seen on the Bundestag website: https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/parteienfinanzierung/fundstellen50000/2013

        The financial reports of parties are available on the website of the German Bundestag and their websites. However, as there is no such requirement of making information public for individual candidates or non-party associations, this information is not easily obtained. Only contributions over 10,000 Euros are reported to the President of Bundestag and published on the relevant MP's page on the Bundestag website (see source 6). Some candidates selectively publish smaller donations, but this is optional (see source 5). GRECO criticised this point and recommended to the German Government that this be revised, both on individual level, and also for the parties on the state level, but so far this recommendation has not been implemented.

        Furthermore, the President of the German Bundestag in his report on party financing states that not all parties submit their annual report and accounts. While most to all of the parties who receive direct state funding do so, there is little incentive for parties who do not receive direct funding to do so. The President of the German Bundestag can withhold or claim back direct funding in the case of non-submittal of annual reports. However, where a party is not eligible for such funding, the President of the Bundestag has little to no power of sanctioning non-compliance. In 2010 and 2011, according to information provided by the President of the Bundestag, only around two thirds of the 111 and 113 registered parties submitted their annual accounts. It is important to note, however, that all of the parties on the federal level do submit theirs. Non-compliance usually occurs in the case of smaller parties on the Laender and community level.

        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

        Source 1 [official report] (of party financing in 2012, as self-reported by the parties, checked by the President of the Bundestag, put together, and published): "Unterrichtung durch den Praesidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (1. Teil – Bundestagsparteien)", 5 February 2014, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800400.pdf

        Source 2 [official website]: website of the German Bundestag: Parteispenden ueber Euro 50.000 (party donations over Euro 50,000 (USD 66,000), available at: https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/parteienfinanzierung/fundstellen50000/2013; donations made in 2014 can be found at: https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/parteienfinanzierung/fundstellen50000

        Source 3 [interview NGO] Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014.

        Source 4 [news website]: Deutsche Welle: "How party donations drive German politics", 17 Dec 2013, available at: http://www.dw.de/how-party-donations-drive-german-politics/a-17164547

        Source 5 [official website]: Annual financial report, posted on the website of Jan van Aken, MP, http://www.jan-van-aken.de/bundestag/bezuege-und-spenden.html, accessed on 17 November, 2014.

        Source 6 [MP Bundestag site] Peer Steibrueck, SPD, http://www.bundestag.de/blueprint/servlet/page/bt/bundestag/abgeordnete18/biografien/S/steinbrueck_peer/259022?view=DEFAULT, accessed on 17 November 2014.

        Source 5 [multilateral evaluation] GRECO Group of States Against Corruption: "Third Evaluation Round, Compliance Report on Germany, 2011 and 2013, available at: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2011)9GermanyEN.pdf (2011), and http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2013)152nd%20InterimGermany_EN.pdf (2013)

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        25
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        25
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        Parties do publish some information on their contributions in their annual statements, for example all donations over 10,000 Euros (13,500 USD) are published with the name and address of the donor. However, this does not apply to donations below this threshold.

        There is only very general itemization of contributions. As mandated by article 24 of the Political Parties Act, the following income is made available but not necessarily in itemized form: members' fees, fees by members of Parliament, donations, income from investments and holdings, income from 'other sources'/miscellaneous, income from events, publication of printed material and other income thereof, public funding, other income.

        What can be obtained in the parties' financial statements is, for example, one item called "income from events, publication of printed materials, and income from other publications and operations". This is, however, not broken down into detailed information but only published as a lump sum. For example for 2012 the CDU reported 11,707,787 Euro and the SPD reported 12,609,913 as "income from events, publication of printed materials, and income from other publications and operations", with no further details given.

        The only exception that could be found with regards to this type of reporting is, to some degree, the Green Party, which has been publishing 'sponsoring' information, ie contributions by companies in return for stalls at the annual party convention, for example.

        For individual candidates (e.g. members of parliament) there are different regulations. The Code of Conduct of Parliament stipulates in Article 4, Section 1 that individual candidates must report itemized contributions if they exceed 5,000 € (per annum from a single source) to the President of Parliament. Article 4, Section 2 stipulates that the President of Parliament must publish itemized contributions to individual candidates above 10,000 € (per annum from a single source) on the Parliament’s website and in the Parliament’s "Official Guid" (Amtliches Handbuch).

        Other financial information about individual candidates such as ancillary income is only published above certain thresholds (e.g. side-income above 1,000 Euro per month or 10,000 Euro per year from a single source needs to be reported to the President of Parliament, who will then publish the information on the individual candidates' profile on the official website of the parliament). However this information published is of very general nature with little detail. In fact the actual amount of ancillary income is not published. Instead the income is boxed in 10 categories:

        1st level: 1.000 to 3.500 Euro 2nd level: up to 7.000 Euro 3rd level: up to 15.000 Euro 4th level: up to 30.000 Euro 5th level: up to 50.000 Euro 6th level: up to 75.000 Euro 7th level: up to 100.000 Euro 8th level: up to 150.000 Euro 9th level: up to 250.000 Euro 10th level: above 250.000 Euro

        An example of the published information of the about an individual candidate looks like this (see source 7): “Hoffmann & Campe Verlag GmbH, Hamburg, Publizistische Tätigkeit, 2014, Stufe 8” (e.g. level 8)

        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

        Source 1 [official report] (of party financing in 2012, as self-reported by the parties, checked by the President of the Bundestag, put together, and published): "Unterrichtung durch den Praesidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (1. Teil – Bundestagsparteien)", 5 February 2014, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800400.pdf

        Source 2 [interview] Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014.

        Source 3: [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 4: [anonymous] academic, telephone interview on 14 August 2014.

        Source 5: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 6: [party information]: Website of the Green Party on party finance: http://www.gruene.de/service/parteifinanzen.html, and on the income from party sponsoring, e.g. the latest party convention in February 2014: http://www.gruene.de/fileadmin/userupload/Dokumente/BDK14DresdenInfostandeEinnahmeUbersichtOnline.pdf

        Source 7: [MP Bundestag site] Peer Steibrueck, SPD, http://www.bundestag.de/blueprint/servlet/page/bt/bundestag/abgeordnete18/biografien/S/steinbrueck_peer/259022?view=DEFAULT, accessed on 17 November 2014.

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

        According to German Basic Law (Article 21) and the Political Parties Act (Article 23), donations must be reported to the Bundestag and then made available to the public. However, this does not apply to all donations, but only to donations exceeding Euros 10,000 (USD 13,500) (reported during the calendar year), or exceeding Euros 50,000 (USD 67,500) (reported and published immediately). It is then made public in the Bundestag printed paper.

        The law does not stipulate that this information must be made available to the public (e.g. upon request by the public) before the annual reports are published.

        The law states that "If the total amount of donations made, and contributions paid by elected representatives/officials, to a political party or to one or more of its regional/local branches exceeds 10,000 euros in any one calendar year (accounting year), they shall be recorded, together with the names and addresses of the donors and the total amount, in the statement of accounts. Single donations in excess of 50,000 euros shall be reported immediately to the President of the German Bundestag. The latter shall in a timely manner publish the donation, together with the donor’s name, as a Bundestag printed paper."

        For individual candidates (e.g. members of parliament) there are different regulations. The Code of Conduct of Parliament stipulates in Article 4, Section 1 that individual candidates must report itemized contributions if they exceed 5,000 € (per annum from a single source) to the President of Parliament. Article 4, Section 2 stipulates that the President of Parliament must publish itemized contributions to individual candidates above 10,000 € (per annum from a single source) on the Parliament’s website and in the Parliament’s "Official Guid" (Amtliches Handbuch).

        Code of Conduct of Parliament stipulates in Article 1 stipulates that Members of Parliament are also required to report additional any income that exceeds 1,000 Euro per month (from a single source) or 10,000 Euro per year (from a single source). These side-income of MPs are then published by the President of the Parliament in an annual report (Article 3).

        However there are no requirements for independent candidates (non-party) and candidates' (non-party) associations to publish financial information. One should note again, though, that there are usually very few indepentent candidates running for Bundestag elections.

        There is a Freedom of Information law, which allows for numerous exceptions though. Howewever, as political parties are not public institutions they do not have to comply with FOI laws. No information on whether FOI requests to parties have so far been made has been found.

        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

        Source 1 [law]: Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section21 ff, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf

        Source 2 [law]: Deutsches Grundgesetz / German Basic Law (8 May 1949, last amended on 11 July 2011, available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gg/BJNR000010949.html

        Source 3 [Interview]: Ministerialrat Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 4: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 5 [Code of Conduct]: Verhaltensregeln für Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages (Code of Conduct of Pariamant) available at https://www.bundestag.de/blob/194754/bc08b4bfbc8a9852b65b6be0b6b99b67/webverhaltensregeln2013-data.pdf

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        27
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        25
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Citizens can access some financial information of all of the big parties represented in Parliament, some other/smaller parties, and very few individuals. The information that is available is generally easily accessible, e.g. on the website of Parliament and the parties. It is, however, usually at least one year old by the time it gets published, so the usefulness is diminished. In addition, financial accounts are not available from all parties, especially the smaller parties do not always publish their information. For example, the President of the Bundestag reported for the year 2011 that of the 111 political parties that he had listed, only 45 submitted their annual reports. It is not possible for citizens to obtain financial information on the political parties that did not submit their annual report.

        In addition, the level of detail to which information gets published is not very high. As a consequence, the information that citizens can access is both slightly outdated, and also not detailed enough to really use the information. For example, it is not possible to see whether a certain company donated to the state party or to the national party.

        The information is usually in pdf ie non- machine readable format.

        The information is standardised for the parties who are reporting to the President of the Bundestag, and contain the same level of detail for these parties. Some parties go a bit beyond the required information by making e.g. sponsoring income available in separate documents (the Green party does this, for example, see: http://www.gruene.de/service/parteifinanzen.html). There is much discussion around this in Germany, as parties obtain a considerable part of their income from 'other sources' like sponsoring, foundations, or company shareholdings. The information on this is only made available as a bulk number, it is not possible for citizens to determine where exactly this income stems from. As mentioned above, of the parties in Parliament, only the Greens publish their sponsoring income.

        Information about contributions is only reported itemized above certain thresholds (e.g. above 5,000 Euro for individual candidates and 10,000 for political parties). In addition, the level of detail to which information gets published is not very high. There is much discussion around this in Germany, as parties obtain a considerable part of their income from 'other sources' like sponsoring, foundations, or company shareholdings. The information on this is only made available as a bulk number, it is not possible for citizens to determine where exactly this income stems from. The one exception is donations over 50,000 Euros which are usually made available within days on the Bundestag's website.

        The non-parliamentary oversight body, the Bundesrechnungshof (Comptroller's Office / Federal Audit Office) may look into parliamentary parties' / party groups' income and expenditure. They may not, however, make their findings public. Moreover, their findings are exempt from the Freedom of Information regulation.

        Financial information about individual candidates such as ancillary income is also only published above certain thresholds (e.g. side-income above 1,000 Euro per month or 10,000 Euro per year from a single source needs to be reported to the President of Parliament, who will then publish them on the individual candidates profile on the official website of the parliament). However this information published is of very general nature with little detail. In fact the actual amount of ancillary income is not published.

        An example of the published information of the about an individual candidate looks like this (see source 7): “Hoffmann & Campe Verlag GmbH, Hamburg, Publizistische Tätigkeit, 2014, Stufe 8” (e.g. level 8).

        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

        Source 1 [official report] (of party financing in 2012, as self-reported by the parties, checked by the President of the Bundestag, put together, and published): "Unterrichtung durch den Praesidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (1. Teil – Bundestagsparteien)", 5 February 2014, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800400.pdf

        Source 2 [Interview] - Werner Fischer, Bundestag candidate for Die Unabhaengige (The Independent) party in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013 for constituency 258, written answers on 23 July 2014).

        Source 3: [party information]: Website of the Green Party on party finance: http://www.gruene.de/service/parteifinanzen.html, and on the income from party sponsoring, e.g. the latest party convention in February 2014: http://www.gruene.de/fileadmin/userupload/Dokumente/BDK14DresdenInfostandeEinnahmeUbersichtOnline.pdf

        Source 4 [anonymous]: academic, telephone interview on 14 August 2014.

        Source 5: [news article]: Mathew D Rose, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten: "Das grosse Tor fuer Lobbyisten: Parteien verschleiern 45 Millionen pro Jahr" (translation: the big gate for lobbyists: parties disguise 45 million per year), 23 July 2014, available at: http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2014/07/23/das-grosse-tor-fuer-lobbyisten-parteien-verschleiern-45-millionen-euro-pro-jahr/

        Source 6 [news]: Hans-Martin Tillack, Der Stern: "Oeffentliche Ruegen der Fraktion sind tabu" (public criticism of party groups are taboo"), 5 March 2014, available at: http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/bundesrechnungshof-oeffentliche-ruegen-der-fraktionen-sind-tabu-2094394.html

        Source 7: [MP Bundestag site] Peer Steibrueck, SPD, http://www.bundestag.de/blueprint/servlet/page/bt/bundestag/abgeordnete18/biografien/S/steinbrueck_peer/259022?view=DEFAULT, accessed on 17 November 2014.

        Source 8 [OSCE report]: OSCE: Federal Republic of Germany, Elections to the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) - OSCE Election Expert Team Final Report, 22 September 2013, available at: http://www.osce.org/de/odihr/elections/109745?download=true

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        The parties represented in the Bundestag submit their financial/accounts information to the President of Parliament, who reviews and publishes the information in one single document. As such, the information is standardized. However these reports are published as PDF Formats, and the information is not-structured in a way it could be processed and analyzed by machines. The information published also doesn’t follow any international standards for publishing budget or spending data which makes comparison across borders efficiently hard if not impossible.

        Political parties also publish their accounts (usually the same or a similar document to the one above) on their website. However, outside the information required by the President of the Bundestag, other information such as sponsoring (where published) is not available in a standardized format.

        Financial information of Members of Parliament such as donations, other contributions and side-income must be published either on the parliaments website or in the “Official Guide” if they exceed certain amounts (e.g. donations above 5,000 Euro and side-income above 1,000 Euro per month or 10,000 Euro per year). This information is however not being published in detail nor in a standardized format.

        There are no such reports for independent candidates as there are no independent (non-party) candidates in the Bundestag.

        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

        Financial reports by the political parties:

        Source 1: [official report] (of party financing in 2012, as self-reported by the parties, checked by the President of the Bundestag, put together, and published): "Unterrichtung durch den Praesidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bekanntmachung von Rechenschaftsberichten politischer Parteien für das Kalenderjahr 2012 (1. Teil – Bundestagsparteien)" (translation: information by the President of the Bundestag (House of Represenatives): Notice of financial accounts of political parties for calendar year 2012, published 5 February 2014, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800400.pdf

        Source 2: [party information]: Financial report for 2012, Christian Democrats (CDU), published on 3 April 2014, http://www.cdu.de/artikel/rechenschaftsbericht-2012-gemaess-ss-24-abs-9-des-parteigesetzes

        Source 3: [party information]: Financial report for 2012, Social Democrats (SPD): report not found on the website, but 2011 and older reports found, available at: http://www.spd.de/partei/Organisation/1968/diefinanzender_spd.html

        Source 4: [party information]: Financial report for 2012, Green Party (Die Gruenen), dated 17 December 2013, available here: http://www.gruene.de/fileadmin/userupload/Dokumente/RechenschaftsberichtGesamtpartei_2012.pdf

        Source 5: [party information]: Financial report for 2012, The Left (Die Linke), dated 23 September 2013, available at: http://www.die-linke.de/fileadmin/download/finanzen/rechenschaftsberichtdielinke2012komplett.pdf

        Source 6: [interview]: Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014.

        Source 7: [official website] Activities and income in addition to the mandate, German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), available at: https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/abgeordnete18/nebentaetigkeit

        Source 8: [MP Bundestag site] Peer Steibrueck, SPD, http://www.bundestag.de/blueprint/servlet/page/bt/bundestag/abgeordnete18/biografien/S/steinbrueck_peer/259022?view=DEFAULT, accessed on 17 November 2014.

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

        Journalist regularly use the information on political finance that they can obtain. This is true for both the amount of direct funding to political parties, as well as the amounts of donations by corporations or citizens to political parties. It also is true for all of the major media outlets.

        Journalists use this information to report how much direct funding each of the parties has the received and how this compares to previous years. They also use information on donations to track back when donations were made, and which legislation was being discussed in Berlin and Brussels at that time. Journalists also use this information in more regionally aimed newspapers, for example to describe which corporations based in the region have made donations to political parties.

        What journalists cannot quickly access is information on donations under 50k Euros/67k USD (this information is usually only available 12-16 months later) and information on indirect financing such as sponsoring of political parties. There is no doubt that the media would use this information and put it into context with lawmaking, bills, and discussion around bills.

        As a lot of information is either not in the public domain or only becomes so after months have passed, journalists also rely on sources and leaked information for their reporting.

        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

        Source 1: [interview]: Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative reporting, Der Stern (German weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 2: [news article]: Becker, Sven, Der Spiegel: Parteienfinanzierung: CDU erhält Riesenspende von BMW-Großaktionären (party finance: CDU receives large donation by BMW's major shareholder), 15 October 2013, available at: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/union-erhaelt-riesenspende-von-bmw-eignern-klatten-und-quandt-a-927871.html

        Source 3: [news article]: Rank, Martin, TAZ: Parteienfinanzierung im Wahljahr: Kaum Taschengeld für die Piraten (party finance in an election year: almost no pocket money for the Pirate Party), , 7 March 2013, available at: http://www.taz.de/!112380/

        Source 4: [news article] Rossmann, Robert, Sueddeutsche Zeitung: Präsentation der Rechenschaftsberichte: 434 Millionen Euro für die Parteien (presentation of the parties' annual accounts: 434 million Euros (620 million USD) for the parties), , 26 March 2013, available at: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/praesentation-der-rechenschaftsberichte-millionen-euro-fuer-die-parteien-1.1634021

        Source 5: [news}: Fisser, Dirk, Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung: Diese Firmen aus der Region haben 2012 an Parteien gespendet (These regional companies donated to parties in 2012), 25 February 2014, available at: http://www.noz.de/deutschland-welt/politik/artikel/454190/diese-firmen-aus-der-region-haben-2012-an-parteien-gespendet?piano_t=1

        Source 6: [news] Der Spiegel: "Rechenschaftsberichte: Korruptionswächter beklagen verborgene Parteispenden" (Parties' annual reports: corruption watchdog laments concealed party donations), 25 February 2014, available at: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/rechenschaftsberichte-kritik-an-gestueckelten-parteispenden-a-955525.html

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        100
        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

        Around the 2013, there was one big scandal that was discussed at length in the German media about the family who owns BMW making a Euro 700,000 (USD 936,000) donation to the Christian Democrats right after the election. It was alleged that this had in fact been a party donation to the CDU to express gratitute for the car-friendly policies they supported on the EU level in Brussels. These claims were never substantiated though.

        Other allegations were against a politician of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) candidate, who allegedly had used donated money to fund her own appartment. Other allegations against the AfD were to do with loans made to the party that were not declared as donations.

        Allegations against SPD politician and candidate for Chancellor Peer Steinbrueck's blog 'Peer Blog' have been made as well: the blog was financed and run by an outside group, and heavily criticised for not making public who the donors were, and how much they had donated. The blog was eventually shut down before the election.

        All three examples above were perhaps grey areas but did not violate political finance laws: the laws on loans to parties and candidates are not clear cut, the same is true for services provided for a candidate - is it a donation or merely political support? The donation from the Quandt family was heavily debated but in the end did not constitute a breach of political finance rules.

        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

        Source 1 [news]; Hank, Rainer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "Kommentar: Parteispenden zahlen sich nicht aus" (comment: party donations do not pay off), 20 October 2013, available at http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/wirtschaftspolitik/kommentar-parteispenden-zahlen-sich-nicht-aus-12624906.html

        Source 2: [news] Der Tagesspiegel: "Hat eine AfD-Politikerin Spenden privat genutzt?" (Did AfD politician use donations for private use?), 15 Spetember 2013, available at: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/98-000-euro-und-eine-menge-fragen-hat-eine-afd-politikerin-spenden-privat-genutzt/8793962.html

        Source 3: Frankfurter Allgemeine: "Muss AfD günstigen Kredit melden?" (Does the AfD need to report a cheap loan?), 24 April 2014, available at: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/alternative-fuer-deutschland-afd-ist-ein-guenstiger-kredit-eine-parteispende-12907366.html

        Source 4: [university blog], Patricia Hogwood, London School of Economics: "Peer Steinbrück’s campaign gaffes pose a major problem for the SPD in Germany’s upcoming election", (4 September, 2013), available at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2013/09/16/peer-steinbrucks-campaign-gaffes-pose-a-major-problem-for-the-spd-in-germanys-upcoming-election/

        Source 5: [news] Dahlkamp, Juergen: "SPD-Kanzlerkandidat Steinbrück: "Peerblog" nach Hackerattacken eingestellt" (SPD chancellor candidate Steinbrueck: "Peerblog" shut down after hacker attacks), 7 February 2013, available at: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/spd-kanzlerkandidat-steinbrueck-aus-fuer-peerblog-a-882088.html

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        100
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        There have been no allegations of vote-buying for the last election in 2013, and vote-buying is not something that occurs in Germany's elections. All sources confirm this.

        Vote-buying is, in fact, also outlawed by the German Criminal Code, which states in paragraph 108b that: "(1) Whoever offers, promises or furnishes another gifts or other benefits for not voting or for voting in a particular manner, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine. (2) Whoever requests, is promised or accepts gifts or other benefits in exchange for not voting or voting in a particular manner, shall be similarly punished."

        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

        Source 1: [Academic]: Lockwood, Natalie J: International Vote-Buying, Harvard International Law Journal ed 54, pg. 97-154, 12 February, 2013, available at: http://www.harvardilj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/HLI104.pdf

        Source 2: [Academic]: Mares, Isabela / Petrova, Tsveta: Disaggregating clientelism, Examing the mix of vote-buyingpatronage and intimidation, Columbia University, August 2013, available at: http://polisci.duke.edu/uploads/media_items/mares-petrova-aug-2013.original.pdf

        Source 3: [interview NGO] Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014.

        Source 4: [Law]: Deutsches Strafgesetzbuchh (German Criminal Code), Paragraph 108, available here: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/stgb/gesamt.pdf

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

        Three organisations are prominently advocating on the subject of political party finance, Abgeordnetenwatch, LobbyControl, and Transparency International Germany. Two of these, Abgeordnetenwatch and LobbyControl, are furthermore making use and presenting the data of the parties' annual reports, while TI assesses only where parties stand on political finance reform.

        Abgeordnetenwatch.de, (Parliament Watch) whose website counts around 400,000 visitors every month, is a German initiative for political dialogue. It is essentially a web platform where citizens can ask their representatives questions and receive replies.They use and work with lots of open data (and make their API available). From the parties' annual reports they have put together the biggest donors, an overview of how much each party receives in corporate and private donations, and looked at the splitting of donations to avoid thresholds. They have also looked at donations by industry, and published all donations that were just below the Euros 50,000 publication threshold.

        LobbyControl has been publishing data contained in the parties' annual reports (Rechenschaftsberichte) and taken a closer look at the main donors to parties. They have also examined and worked with data, showing for example the proportion of opaque to transparent donations (ie donations over Euros 10,000 (USD 13,500) which have to be reported with the name of the donor, and donations of less than Euros 10,000 which remain anonymous. LobbyControl has also published press releases, data and advocacy calls when donations of over Euros 50,000 (USD 67,000) became public - only donations over Euros 50,000 are made public within days after the donation has been received by the party.

        Other organisations working on political transparency and advocacy but not necessarily using or working with lots of open data in on this particular subject are Mehr Demokratie (part of Democracy International), Campact, and Bund der Steuerzahler (Taxpayers' Alliance). Transparency International Germany has put together an 'integrity radar' for the 2013 federal election that included political party finance, and provides a tool to quickly find out what the organisations demands as better standards, and where the individual political parties stand on this, ie whether they have brought in a bill on the subject, and whether the subject is discussed in the party's election manifesto.

        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

        Source 1 [interview NGO] Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014.

        Source 2: [website NGO]: LobbyControl: "Parteienfinanzierung bleibt undurchsichtig Rechenschaftsberichte der Parteien belegen Regulierungslücken" (Party finance remains opaque - parties' annual reports document lack of regulation), 25 February 2014, available at: https://www.lobbycontrol.de/2014/02/parteienfinanzierung-bleibt-undurchsichtig/

        Source 3: [website NGO]: LobbyControl: "Neue Großspenden von Evonik an CDU und SPD" (new major donation by Evonik to CDU and SPD) 19 November 2013, available at: https://www.lobbycontrol.de/2013/11/neue-grossspenden-von-evonik-an-cdu-und-spd/

        Source 4: [website NGO] Abgeordnetenwatch: "Die größten Parteispender 2012" (2012's biggest donors), 24 February 2014, available at: https://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de/blog/2014-02-24/die-20-top-parteispender-2012

        Source 5: [website NGO] Transparency International Germany: Integritaetsradar zur Bundestagswahl 2013 (Integrity radar for the federal election) (includes political party finance), 23 August 2013, available at: http://www.transparency.de/Bundestagswahlen-2013.2344.0.html

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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

        There have been two major reforms of political party finance through revisions of the Political Parties Act: the eighth and ninth reform of the Act, in 1994 and 2003 respectively. However, only the (less significant) ninth reform happened in the last ten years.

        One of the major reforms in the ninth reform in 2002/3 was that misrepresentation of donations or falsification of the annual report can now also be prosecuted as a criminal offence under civil law.

        In 2011, a tenth revision saw changes (ncreases) to the amount of federal direct funding, and in 2013 a dynamic upper limit has been put in place, which in fact meant an increase of direct political funding.

        There have also been unsuccessful reform attempts: - In 2012, DIe LInke (The Left) party brought a motion to amend the Political Party Act to forbid: donations from corporations; donations over Euros 25,000 (USD 33.500) in general; sponsoring and in-kind contributions that serve as PR or marketing for the donor; donations that are made after a service has been provided by the donor for the party; and cash donations over Euro 1,000 (USD 1,350) to be forbidden and to be forwarded to the President of the Bundestag if made.

        In 2013, the Green party brought a motion to restrict sponsoring as a means to donate money, or that would at least make all sponsoring income transparent. Further, the motion proposed that the control and documentation capacity of the President of the Bundestag be strengthened, and that legal entities (corporations) not be allowed to make donations.

        Although this was not successful, the Green party started to make public sponsoring income available in separate documents (see: http://www.gruene.de/service/parteifinanzen.html). There is much discussion around this in Germany, as parties obtain a considerable part of their income from 'other sources' like sponsoring, foundations, or company shareholdings. The information on this is only made available as a bulk number, it is not possible for citizens to determine where exactly this income stems from. As mentioned above, of the parties in Parliament, only the Greens publish their sponsoring income.

        In February 2014 the Green parliamentary group has drafted a draft-law to finally implement the “United Nations Convention against Corruption” into German law (official gazette 18/478, see sources), which is now being discussed in Parliament.

        Civil society organisations have been very active in advocating for political finance legal reforms, calling for an upper limit on donations and a lower threshold for making donations public for example. Organisations that have been active in advocating for political finance reform are LobbyControl, Abgeordnetenwatch, Transparency Interational, Campact and Mehr Demokratie. These demands have been echoed by leading academics, like Professor Martin Molok and Professor Uwe Volkmann. One of civil society's actions to demand legal reform was a collection of 22,000 signatures calling for the reform of political party finance, which were handed to the political parties represented in the Bundestag in 2010.

        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

        Source 1 [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 2: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 16/14140: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2000 bis 2007 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2000-2007 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 20 October 2009, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/16/141/1614140.pdf

        Source 3: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 17/8200: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2008 bis 2009 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2008-2009 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 16 December 2011, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/082/1708200.pdf

        Source 4 [official gazette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-2011 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 5: [motion to amend the law in the Official Gazette]: „Demokratie stärken, Lobbyismus verhindern und Parteienfinanzierung transparenter gestalten“ / "Strengthening Democracy, preventing lobbyism and making party finance more transparent", Die Linke (The Left party), Bundestagsdrucksache / official gazette 17/9063, 21 March 2013, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/090/1709063.pdf

        Source 6: [motion to amend the law, in the Official Gazette]: "Begrenzung von Parteispenden und Schaffung von Transparenz beim Sponsoring für Parteien“ / "Limiting party donations and creating transparency in party sponsoring", Buendnis 90/Die Gruenen (The Green party), Bundestagsdrucksache / Official Gazette 17/11877, 12 December 2012, available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/118/1711877.pdf

        Source 7: [interview] Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative reporting, Der Stern (German weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 8: [news article on NGO website] Campact website, article on the signature campaign: "Minister miteten?" (minister for rent), available at: https://www.campact.de/parteien/home/

        Source 9 [interview]: Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 10 [CSO publication]: Article by Abgeordnetenwatch on increased remuneration for Members of Parliament, (Gegen die Stimmen von Grünen und Linken hat der Bundestag eine Erhöhung der Abgeordnetendiäten), available at: http://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de/diaetenerhoehung-1105-557.html

        Source 11 [CSO publication]: Transparency International Deutschlands Vorschläge für die Reform der Parteienfinanzierung (2007) available at: http://www.transparency.de/Transparency-International-Deu.1007.0.html

        Source 12 [party information]: Website of the Green Party on party finance: http://www.gruene.de/service/parteifinanzen.html, and on the income from party sponsoring, e.g. the latest party convention in February 2014: http://www.gruene.de/fileadmin/userupload/Dokumente/BDK14DresdenInfostandeEinnahmeUbersichtOnline.pdf

        Source 13 [official gazette]: Draft law by The Green parliamentary group on the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Drucksache 18/478: Gesetzentwurf der Fraktion BU?NDNIS 90/DIE GRU?NEN: Entwurf eines Gesetzes zum U?bereinkommen der Vereinten Nationen gegen Korruption available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/004/1800478.pdf

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    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
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        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

        There is no law that would require third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) to report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority.

        In law contributions to political parties or individual candidates from public bodies or public corporations, political foundations, parliamentary groups and from parliamentary groups of municipal councils are forbidden.

        However, contributions from corporations, associations and associations of persons are only forbidden if (by their statutes, constitutions or actual business conducted) these entities are intended for non-profit, charitable or church purposes. There is no law that defines what legal form a think tank or a union must be registered as.

        PACs do not exist in Germany.

        Third-party actors usually have to report their income and expenditure to the tax authorities (Finanzamt) annually to determine their taxes to be paid. This would include all income and expenditure, including independent expenditures made on behalf of parties or candidates. Usually, organisations would also task an independent tax consultant and/or auditor at some point to make sure that what they report to the tax authorities is correct. This information is not public.

        However there are regulations as to what contributions and expenditures of political parties and individual candidates must be reported and made public. The Political Party Act and Members of Parliament Act and Code of Conduct define the rules, set thresholds and defines what financial information must be reported itemized. But this regulation does not as such include third-party actors.

        As with all other donations, if a legally entitled entity donates to a political party or candidate, their donation would have to be made public just as a citizen's donation would be (e.g. by name for donations exceeding 10,000 Euro for parties and 5,000 Euro for individual candidates.

        The Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office) can audit some third-party organisations but not all: unions are associations under private law that are financed through members' fees, and as such not audited by the Bundesrechnungshof;the six existing party foundations (for the CDU, CSU, FDP, SPD, Gruene and Linke) are financed from the federal budget -called 'global funding' and, for specific projects, by the Interior Ministry (Innenministerium), State Department (Aussenministerium), Ministry for Economic Development (USAID equivalent / Bundesministerium fuer wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit), and the Education Ministry (Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung). For the 'global funding' the party foundations must report their expenditure in line with specifications by the Interior Ministry. These reports must be audited by an independent auditor. This report on expenditure of funds (Verwendungsnachweis) is then forwarded to the Federal Audit Office via the Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt).

        For project-specific funding, the reporting must be meet the requirements of the respective donor agency/ministry.

        The Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office) is not responsible for checking the foundations' annual reports, there are no audit bodies in charge of this.

        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

        Source 1 [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 2 [website of foundations' association]: Steuern (taxes), available on: http://www.stiftungen.org/de/news-wissen/recht-steuern-finanzen/steuern.html

        Source 3: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        There is no specific law requiring this of third party actors.

        Source 4 [interview]: Interview via phone on23 October, 2014, with the press desk of the Association of German Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund)

        Source 5 [interview]: Interview conducted on 24 October, 2014, in Berlin with author and investigative journsliat Mathew D Rose, domain expert on party financing and corruption.

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        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

        Organisations in Germany have to report their finances to the tax authorities annually (Finanzamt). However, this is not public information. German tax laws require each organisation to report their itemized income and expenditure on an annual basis to determine whether taxes need to be paid (e.g. all organisations that employ people will have to pay employment taxes). Not-for-profits are usually exempt from income taxes though, unless their income stems from commercial-like activities. Party foundations state that they do in fact report itemized information on contributions and expenditures to the tax authorities.

        Additionally, organisations have to report project or programme related financial information to any public donors, e.g. if a ministry provided them with funds for a particular project.

        Bundesrechnungshof (Comptroller's Office) has the authority to audit the party foundations' accounts.

        Most foundations in Germany are established as associations under private law, with a for non-for-profit or charitable purposes. In contrast to registered associations (eingetragener Verein) and non-for-profit associations (gemeinnütziger Verein) foundations have no members, and are subject to a special oversight authority (staatlichen Stiftungsaufsicht).

        However party foundations (Parteinahe Stiftung) usually have the purpose of political education. They are associated with one political party, but legally independent and separated from their related political parties. Political foundations are mainly financed by means of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), Foreign Office (AA), the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Federal Ministry funded for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

        Party foundations state that they do in fact report itemized information on contributions and expenditures to the tax authorities. However their annual reports published on their websites do not contain itemized information.

        Foundations: - The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (the CDU's foundation) states on their website that: "There is hardly another organisation that is so intensely scrutinised by external auditing bodies as a political foundation. Reviews are carried out by remittors, the Federal Court of Audit, the Land courts of audit, the Internal Revenue Office, and chartered accountants. No financial information on income and expenditure was found in their 2012 annual report. - The CSU's, SPD's, FDP's foundations, (Hanns Seidel Stiftung, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung) make their annual report public and this includes some income and expenditure in somewhat itemised form and including the income from federal sources.

        PACs: PACs do not exist in Germany. However, if a funder was to give half a million Euro to a party (in-kind or cash), they would report it to the revenue and tax service, but only if it was given in cash would it be reported to the Comptroller's Office and be published. In-kind contributions do not carry that kind of requirement.

        There is no way to verify that all party foundations and some other third parties always report itemized income and expenditure. However, it is important to note again that party foundations and similar third parties are not allowed to make donations to political parties.

        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

        Source 1: [foundation] Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (foundation close to the CDU), website section 'Finance', accessed August 2014, available at: http://www.kas.de/wf/de/71.3712/

        Source 2:[foundation] Hanns Seidel Stiftung: Jahresreport 2012 (annual report 2012), available here: http://www.hss.de/fileadmin/media/downloads/Publikationen/HSS-Jahresbericht_2012-WEbfassung.pdf

        Source 3: [foundation] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung: Jahresreport 2013 (annual report 2013), available here: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/fes/03208/jb-2013.pdf

        Source 4: [news source] Mathew D Rose, Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten: "Partei-Stiftungen: Undurchsichtige Geschäfte mit Steuergeldern" (party foundations: no transparency in business with taxpayers' money), 28 July 2014, available at: http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2014/07/28/partei-stiftungen-undurchsichtige-geschaefte-mit-steuergeldern/

        Source 5: [foundation] Friedrich Naumann Stiftung: Jahresbericht 2013 (annual report 2013), available at: http://www.freiheit.org/files/64/FNST-JB13-Innenteil140408Web.pdf

        Source 6: [interview]: Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative reporting, Der Stern (German weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

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        36
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        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

        Journalists can access some information on the financial information of third party actors, but not everything (expenditures, for example, are not available), and the available information is often not very detailed.

        Third party actors like political foundations publish their annual reports including financial information but it is not itemized information. It is usually also not published in a machine-readable format. However, it must be noted at this point that third party actors like political foundations, universities and not-for-profits are not allowed to make donations directly to political parties.

        However, particularly political foundations are closely entangled with political parties, and there have been allegations for a smaller foundation of overt party funding, see source 4. In cases like this, it is difficult for journalists to determine the exact relationship between a party and a foundation, as itemized financial reports are not available.

        However, no publicly availabe information has been found to support that any information requests have been made by the public (to third party actors) or that they would have resulted in financial information being made available except for that which is legally required by law, as noted previously.

        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

        Source 1: [interview]: Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative reporting, Der Stern (German weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 2: Der Stern: "RAG-Stiftung wegen Parteinähe in der Kritik" (RAG foundation faces criticism for being close to party), 23 March 2014, available at: http://www.presseportal.de/pm/6329/2692124/stern-de-rag-stiftung-wegen-parteinaehe-in-der-kritik

        Source 3: [anonymous] academic, telephone interview on 14 August 2014.

        Source 4: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013.

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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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

        There are a number of third party actors that are politically active in Germany. However, most, including universities, not-for-profits, and political foundations, are not allowed to donate to political parties or candidates. Unions give political support, and are not banned from making donations, but they rarely do so.

        Political foundations: GRECO states that: "so-called “political foundation“ have been established. These foundations are private-law corporations and, while they are close to the respective party in terms of their political aims and convictions, they are, as an institution, strictly separated from that party. Political parties are not allowed to accept donations from parliamentary parties/groups or political foundations (Section 25, paragraph 2, nos. 1 and 2, PPA). Therefore, funding provided to these institutions does not constitute indirect party funding."

        The big political foundations receive most of their funding as state (direct) funding, and through state-funded projects, as well as company contributions. Their influence on political campaigns is mostly indirect: they publish policy papers on subjects that are of importance to the parties, pay scholarships for outstanding academic performance, and conduct democracy building projects abroad. Political foundations also lead seminars for local politicians, usually of the political party they are close to. This can be interpreted as a form of indirect party finance: the foundations perform a task that otherwise the political parties would fulfil (and pay for).

        Universities are meant to be non-partisan and as such not allowed to make donations. They receive their funding through the state, and to an increasing degree through securing outside funding.

        Unions generally receive most of their income through members' donations/fees. They influence campaigns by publicly endorsing a party or certain policies, and make this a voting suggestion to their members.

        There is no conclusive evidence that definitively demonstrates that third party actors, and in particular, party foundations, are used to circumvent political finance laws.

        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

        Source 1: [official website] Bundesministerium fuer Inneres (Ministry of the Interior): Politische Stiftungen (political foundations), available at: http://www.bmi.bund.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Verfassung/Politische-Bildung/Politische-Stiftungen/politische-stiftungen_node.html

        Source 2: [news] Tillack, Hans-Martin, Der Stern: "Trotz Wahldebakel FDP-Stiftung kassiert weiter Steuermillionen (despite losing the elections: FDP foundation continues to receive millions in state funding), 28 September 2018, http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/trotz-wahldebakel-fdp-stiftung-kassiert-weiter-steuermillionen-2060693.html

        Source 5: [anonymous]: academic, telephone interview 14 August 2014.

        Source 4: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013.

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
    composite
    56
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      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
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        38
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        MODERATE
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        There are two main oversight bodies in Germany: the Bundestagspraesident (President of the Bundestag / House of Representatives), and the Bundesrechnungshof (Comptroller's Office / Federal Audit Office). The Bunedestagspraesident (President of the Bundestag) is responsible for overseeing the annual reports (Rechenschaftsbericht in German) of political parties. The Comptroller's Office/Audit Office is responsible for overseeing the finances of political parties as regards to their spending and income.

        In law, financial information and the content and form of political parties'' annual reports is monitored by the President of the German Bundestag (and his staff) as an independent oversight authority. This is regulated in article 23 of the Political Parties Act:

        According to the official legal comment by the German Bundestag Administration, "the statement of account must usually be audited by an independent party (auditor or firm of auditors) and, together with the pertinent audit opinion, be submitted to the President of the German Bundestag, who publishes it as a Bundestag printed paper (section 23 (2) of the Act on Political Parties)."

        The President of the German Bundestag has limited investigation and audit powers. All political parties must submit their audited accounts to him/her on an annual basis, and the President can carry out further investigations as he deems necessary.

        The audit opinion described above refers to an independent audit report by an audit firm. This must be obtained by each party before they submit their (audited) accounts to the President of the German Bundestag.

        There have been calls by the President of the Bundestag, however, to review the arrangement under which he/she as a member of the Bundestag, and as such a member of a party, should have the audit and sanction power. The current Bundestag president actually suggested that a better way might be an entirely independent organisation, as his office could potentially be engulfed in conflicts of interests, or the perception of such. This is a notion also suggested by GRECO.

        The office of the President of the Bundestag, despite their auditing and prosecution powers, can by its very nature not be entirely independent, as it is investigating a party of the very body that has elected him/her as President of the Bundestag.

        As another institution, the Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office) is responsible for ensuring that the President of the Bundestag has correctly checked the parties' finances and has correctly calculated the amounts of public funding that the parties are entitled to. The Federal Audit Office can investigate uses of public funds.

        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

        Source 1: [Law] Basic Law (Grundgesetz), Article 21 (1) sentence 4

        Source 2: [Law] Political Parties Act, Sections 23 ff.

        Source 3: [Official legal comment]: German Bundestag Administration: "State Funding of Political Parties in Germany", last edited on 1 November 2012, pages 5+6, available at: http://www.bundestag.de/blob/189744/554b4eaa7746b48ef31612792a9cf461/partyfunding05-data.pdf

        Source 4: [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 5: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

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        39
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        MODERATE
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        The Federal Public Service Act (Beamten Dienstrechtsgesetz) is the legal basis for all recruitment, personnel management, and appointment and removal procedures for all civil servants. The Administration of the German Bundestag and the appointment of the executive positions thereof (and of the office of the Comptroller General) are made in accordance with the Federal Public Service Act. This does not, however, apply to the Comptroller General and the President of the Bundestag themselves, those are both political appointments/elected positions, as described below.

        For executive positions in the Bundestag Administration and the Comptroller General's office, paragraph 142ff, of the Public Service Act determines which positions / pay grades are regarded as executive positions, and then goes on to describe in paragraph 143 that they be appointed by the Bundeskanzler (Chancellor) upon suggestion by the respective Minister. The law then describes which criteria the candidates must judged on: a. Knowledge (education, professional knowledge), b. ability to complete, supervise, integrate or coordinate tasks, c. communication skills, leadership skills, negotiation skills;

        The President of the Bundestag is elected by all members of the Bundestag according to Article 40 of German Basic Law. As such, he is elected on merit, but not necessarily with the view on him or her supervising political party finance. No law regulates that his selection be merit-based.

        The President of the Audit Office / Comptroller General is, according to Article 5 on the Act on the Audit Office, elected by the Bundestag and Bundesrat. The Bundestag takes a majority vote upon the suggestion of the Chancellor. The German President declares the President of the Audit Office. He/she is elected for 12 years, without the possibility of a re-election.

        Article 3 furthermore states that the President of the Audit Office, and the Vice President and members of the council must be eligible to become public servants on the executive level, and should have 'diverse' professional experience. The President and Vice President and at least one third of the other members of the executive council must be eligible for the position of a judge.

        However, there are legal requirements for the executives of the Federal Audit office (and other public agencies). German Basic Law (article 33) requires that every German have equal opportunity to public/administration positions according to capability, capacity and expertise. The Federal Audit Office therefore has a public recruitment policy in which every position is publicly advertised and awarded to the best candidate on merit (for internal applicants). For external applicants, candidates undergo an assessment centre to ensure that positions are filled meritocratically.

        Germany has a federal directive on transparency and anti-corruption which applies to all civil servants and outlines how to react in cases of conflicts of interest. (title: Federal Government Directive Concerning the Prevention of Corruption) but it does not quote, as such, any conflict of interest requirements in the recruitment/appointment process.

        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

        Source 1: [law] Bundesgesetz über das Dienstrecht der Beamten (Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz) / Federal Act for Public Service, Paragraphs 142 ff, 27. June 1979, last amended on 27 December 2013, available at: https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10008470

        Source 2 [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 3 [law]: Deutsches Grundgesetz / German Basic Law (8 May 1949, last amended on 11 July 2011, available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gg/BJNR000010949.html

        Source 4: [law] Gesetz über den Bundesrechnungshof (Bundesrechnungshofgesetz - BRHG) / Act on the Comptroller General / Audit Office, Article 5, 11 July 1985, last amended on 5 February 2009, available here: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/brhg_1985/gesamt.pdf

        Source 5 [directive]: German Ministry of the Interior: "Federal Government Directive Concerning the Prevention of Corruption in the Federal Administration", 30 July 2004, available at: https://www.unodc.org/pdf/corruption/bestpracticeger_directive%20.pdf

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        40
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        25
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        Generally, appointments to the Bundesrechnungshof (Comptroller General's / Federal Audit Office) are conducted professionally and based on merit. However in practice the president of the Federal Audit Office is usually member of a governing party. It is not clear whether the position is advertised but it is a public debate, primarily amongst the political parties on the federal and Laender level, but also covered by the news media.

        However, there have been news about a recent potential appointment to replace the previous Head of the agency after 12 years. It was alleged by the opposition that the designated head, a CDU member, was politically too involved in day to day party work to take over such an important non-partisan positions.

        While there is no reason to believe that the current President of the Audit Office is not well qualified for this position, it is not possible to determine if there have been other candidates that would have been better qualified. As such, it is impossible to determine whether the decision to appoint the current President was entirely based on merit. The Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshof) has been asked this question but no reply has been received as of the end of this research period (28 August 2014). However, in practice, the President of the Audit Office is determined by political aspects and there is often plenty of political discussion around who fills the position. Presidents are usually members and leading figures of a political party.

        As stated in question 39, there are legal requirements for the executives of the Federal Audit office (and other public agencies). German Basic Law (article 33) requires that every German have equal opportunity to public/administration positions according to capability, capacity and expertise. The Federal Audit Office therefore has a public recruitment policy in which every position is publicly advertised and awarded to the best candidate on merit (for internal applicants). For external applicants, candidates undergo an assessment centre to ensure that positions are filled meritocratically. The Bundesrechnungshof (Audit Office) states in their interview response that this legal requirement applies in practice, too. There was no public information contradicting this.

        The President of the Bundestag is usually a member of the largest Parliamentary group. As such, there is inherently a degree of conflict of interest, as the President of the Bundestag presides over the department looking into potential breaches of the Political Party Act and political party finance rules, including breaches of his own party. This potential conflict -actual or perceived- is something the current President of the Bundestag has publicly brought up and asked the Bundestag to discuss and consider.

        This is not to say that the Presidents do not usually fulfil their positions well, but in practice the appointment of the President may fall victim to party politics rather than objective criteria.

        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

        Source 1 [news]: Der Spiegel: "Haushaltskontrolle: Opposition murrt über designierten Rechnungshofchef" (Financial oversight: opposition grumbles over designated head of the comptroller's office), 7 May 2014, available here: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bundesrechnungshof-opposition-hat-vorbehalte-gegen-kay-scheller-a-967858.html

        Source 2 [Interview] Peter Nowak, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, Head of Division Party Finance / Laender (state) Parliaments at the Bundestag Administration, interview conducted by email on 11 August 2014, with additional clarification over the phone on 12 August 2014.

        Source 4 [news article]: Der Spiegel: "Neuer Präsident: Unionspolitiker soll Bundesrechnungshof leiten" / New President: Politician of the CDU/CSU to head the Audit Office, 4 April 2014, available at: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/unions-mann-kay-scheller-soll-bundesrechnungshofs-praesident-werden-a-962585.html

        Source 5 [news article]: N-TV: "Bundesrechnungshof - Opposition lehnt Chef in spe ab" / Audit Office: opposition objects to designated President, 7 May 2014, , available here: http://www.n-tv.de/politik/Opposition-lehnt-Chef-in-spe-ab-article12779601.html

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

        The two institutions monitoring political party finance have different degrees of independence by law:

        The President of the Bundestag is a member of the German Bundestag, and is elected by a majority vote of the members of the German Bundestag. He is tasked with running the proceedings of the Bundestag, and also is in charge of direct funding and monitoring of political party finance. As such, he has the authority to review cases and issue decisions, including sanctions against political parties and parliament groups (see Article 31 b und 31 c of Political Party Act).

        Article 8, Code of Conduct of the Parliament stipulates that the authority to review cases and issue decisions, including sanctions against Members of Parliament for violations against Article 4 Code of Conduct and Article 44a Section 2 and 3 Members of Parliament Act. These cases are handled by the Bundestagspräsidium (Bureau of Parliament which consists of the President of Parliament and his deputies).

        The President of Parliament has security of tenure in that he is elected by the Parliament for four years. As the President of the Parliament is elected by the members of the Parliament, he/she could, also be replaced by them. Any such actions have to follow regulations stipulated in the Bundesbeamtengesetz (BBG), see Section 5 (Articles 30 and following) for process for removal and Bundesdisziplinargesetz (BDG), Article 5 for disciplinary actions.

        The other authority monitoring political party finance is the Audit Office / Comptroller General (Bundesrechnungshof).

        The Audit Office is a government agency and, as an independent institution, only subject to the law. The position of the Bundesrechnungshof, the independence of its members (same independence as is guaranteed for judges) and its tasks are regulated in Germany's Basic Law, Article 114 Section 2. Details of its organization, appointment of staff and decision making are regulated in its bylaws. The President of the Audit Office's tenure is 12 years.

        As the President of the Audit Office is elected by the members of the Parliament and the Federal States Council (Bundesrat), he/she could, also be replaced by them (See Article 5 Bundesrechnungshofgesetz - BRHG). Any such actions have to follow regulations stipulated in the Bundesbeamtengesetz (BBG), see Section 5 (Articles 30 and following) for process for removal and Bundesdisziplinargesetz (BDG), Article 5 for disciplinary actions.

        Article 3, sentence 4, of the Law on the Bundesrechnungshof stipulates that Members (e.g. President and Vice President) of the Audit Office are guaranteed the same independence as judges (Article 114 Section 2 sentence 1 Basic Law). This means that the same rules on independence and disciplinary measure that apply to judges also apply to the Bundesrechnungshof.

        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

        Source 1 [law]: Geschäftsordnung des Deutschen Bundestages (bylaws of the German Bundestag), 2. July 1980, last amended on 23. April 2014,Paragraphs 1-3, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/aufgaben/rechtsgrundlagen/go_btg

        Source 2 [law]: Deutsches Grundgesetz / German Basic Law (8 May 1949, last amended on 11 July 2011, available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gg/BJNR000010949.html

        Source 3 [law]: Gesetz über den Bundesrechnungshof (law on the Bundesrechnungshof), 11 July 1985, last amended on 5 Feb 2009, available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/brhg_1985/BJNR014450985.html

        Source 4: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 5: [news article]: Michael Koss, Das Parlament: Geduldspiel um die Transparenz (testing patience on transparency), edition 15/16, 2013, available at: http://www.das-parlament.de/2013/15-16/Themenausgabe/44083565.html

        Source 6: [official website]: Website of the German Bundestag: "Funktion und Aufgabe des Bundestagspräsidenten und des Präsidiums" (function and tasks of the President of the Bundestag and the executive committee), available at: https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/praesidium/funktion_neu/funktion/245242

        Source 7: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2

        Source 8: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 9: [law] Members of Parliament Act (Abgeordnetengesetzes), Article 44a, Section 2 and 3. (Full citation: Act on the Legal Status of Members of the German Bundestag of 18 February 1977 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 297), in the version promulgated on 21 February 1996 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 326), last amended by the Act of 8 November 2011 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2218)). Official translation available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englischabgg/englischabgg.html#p0233

        Source 10: [Code of Conduct] Verhaltensregeln für Mitglieder des Deutschen Bundestages (Code of Conduct of Parliament) available at https://www.bundestag.de/blob/194754/bc08b4bfbc8a9852b65b6be0b6b99b67/webverhaltensregeln2013-data.pdf

        Source 11 [Law] Bundesbeamtengesetz (Federal Civil Service Act) (BBG, Bundesbeamtengesetz vom 5. Februar 2009 (BGBl. I S. 160), das zuletzt durch Artikel 2 des Gesetzes vom 28. August 2013 (BGBl. I S. 3386) geändert worden ist), available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bbg_2009/BJNR016010009.html#BJNR016010009BJNG000500000

        Source 12 [law]: Bundesdisziplinargesetz (Federal Disciplinary Act) (BDG, Bundesdisziplinargesetz vom 9. Juli 2001 (BGBl. I S. 1510), das zuletzt durch Artikel 4 des Gesetzes vom 28. August 2013 (BGBl. I S. 3386) geändert worden ist), see Article 5, available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bdg/BJNR151010001.html#BJNR151010001BJNG000200000

        Source 13 [law]: Article 5 of the Gesetz über den Bundesrechnungshof (Law on the Federal Court) (Bundesrechnungshofgesetz - BRHG, Bundesrechnungshofgesetz vom 11. Juli 1985 (BGBl. I S. 1445), das durch Artikel 15 Absatz 82 des Gesetzes vom 5. Februar 2009 (BGBl. I S. 160) geändert worden ist). Available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/brhg1985/_5.html

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        75
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        Generally, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed but in the case of the President of the German Bundestag and the Comptroller, there is a question around institutional independence. To date there have been no serious allegations questioning the independence of a President of the Bundestag or any of the Presidents of the Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshof).

        The President of the Bundestag is elected democratically by the Bundestag and can speak out on political party finance regulation and breaches. He is a member of the Bundestag and of a party/faction.

        For finance of the factions/parties in the Bundestag and their Bundestag-related expenditures: The Head of the Bundesrechnungshof / Comptroller General (who oversees the finance of political parties in the Bundestag / factions) is also elected by the Bundestag. He is generally not a member of the Bundestag but tends to be a seasoned party veteran. As such, there have been allegations that there is political manoevering for this position.

        No information has been found to contradict that appointees are able to review cases independently, and are granted reasonable security of tenure. However, there have been allegations in 2008 that the head of the monitoring team in the Bundestag was removed due to political reasons.

        There have been calls, however, for a new, altogether independent body to replace the Bundestags administration and President overseeing party finance. So far, this discussion has not been fruitful, but it may be taken as an indication that there is at least some dissatisfaction with the in-practice independence of the monitoring body.

        It is in the tradition of German constitutional understanding that the President of the Bundestag, despite the fact that he/she is a party member, be impartial and not politically biased in their decisions. Much to his credit, the current President has raised the question that there cannot be full independence in the set-up of the institution, particularly in view of political party finance.

        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

        Source 1: [interview]: Tillack, Hans Martin, Der Stern, interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 2: [news article]: Der Spiegel: Haushaltskontrolle: Opposition murrt über designierten Rechnungshofchef (budgetary controls: opposition complains about designated Comptroller General), 7 May 2014, available at: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bundesrechnungshof-opposition-hat-vorbehalte-gegen-kay-scheller-a-967858.html

        Source 3: [news article]: Michael Koss, Das Parlament: Geduldspiel um die Transparenz (testing patience on transparency), edition 15/16, 2013, available at: http://www.das-parlament.de/2013/15-16/Themenausgabe/44083565.html

        Source 4: [NGO] Transparency International: Auszüge aus dem Evaluierungsbericht über die Transparenz der Parteienfinanzierung in Deutschland (excerpts from the evaluation report on transparency on party finance in Germany), 2009, available at http://www.transparency.de/Evaluierungsbericht-Parteienfi.1588.98.html

        Source 5: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2013)152nd%20InterimGermany_EN.pdf

        Source 6: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

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

        There are two monitoring bodies, one of which monitors the finance of all political parties (office of the President of the Bundestag) and one that monitors the finance of parties represented in the Bundestag with regards to their parliamentary expenditure and income (Audit Office / Comptroller General):

        The President of the Bundestag monitors and checks the form and accuracy of the annual reports of political parties, which they are required by law to submit to him once a year. This is regulated in paragraph 23a of the Political Parties Act. The President of the Bundestag also checks the annual reports for plausibility. The annual reports are checked for mistakes in itemizing direct party finance, gaps to figures as reported in the previous year, and missing or incomplete explanations. If there is reason to believe that there are errors in the annual report, parties are - in accordance with paragraph 23a of the Political Parties Act - given the opportunity to prepare a statement, for which they may also consult an auditor. Should this not clear any suspicions, the President may - in agreement with the party - ask an independent auditor to resolve the question. Should a case of misrepresentation or error be detected, the President will inform the party of the amount to be corrected, and may withhold direct funding. The President of the Bundestag can make his decisions unilaterally. However, given that he is a member of a political party and of the Bundestag, his decisions will always be made with political realities and reactions in mind. Nevertheless the current President has demonstrated in his proposals to reorganise political finance oversight that he is well aware of this institutional shortcoming. As confirmed by the press desk of the Bundestag, the President can take decisions unilaterally.

        Should the President of the Bundestag suspect wrongdoing or errors in financial accounts, they can start an investigation by asking the party to provide more information. However, this is within limits, as the office of the President of the Bundestag is staffed with 10 to 11 people and has, according to its official report 2010-201, limited resources. In the event of breaches of the party finance rules they are thus, according to the report, dependent on police investigations or whistleblowing/tips by the general public, party members or journalists. The fact that an investigation is ongoing is then also generally reported in the media.

        In the case of an investigation by the Bundestags President into the financial accounts of a party, the results of this inquiry might be published by the President. The inquiry / report itself may, however, not be published.

        He can issue sanctions against political parties following Articles 31b and 31c of the Political Parties Act. Sanctions against individual members of parliament are to be issued by the Bundestagspräsidium (Bureau of Parliament which consists of the President of Parliament and his deputies) following Article 8, Code of Conduct of the Parliament.

        The second monitoring body, the Bundesrechnungshof, has the authority to oversee the finances of parties in the the Bundestag. In practice, the institution is looking into party finance as reported by the media, and there is no evidence of political or other interference with the President of the Bundesrechnungshof's decisions to look or not look into specific cases.

        The Bundesrechnungshof is tasked with ensuring that the President of the Bundestag has checked the finances of the parties correctly, and that the correct amounts of political party funding is determined. According to the monitoring statues of the Bundesrechnungshof (Pruefungsordnung des Bundesrechnungshofs) Articles 16 &18, the Bundesrechnungshof choses its audits on importance to parliament and the executive, to ensure that there are no time gaps in auditing, by risk assessment of the entity to be audited, and can audit cross-cutting themes, themes/organisations of particular importance, conduct control audits, or so called 'stress audits' (Schwerpunktpruefungen). They can decide to collaborate/engage with other institutions (article 19).

        Decisions at the Audit Office are taken collegially. In most cases by a "council of two" (Head of Department and Head of Examination) and in some cases by a "council of three" also including the President of Audit Office or one of his deputies. So there are no unilateral decisions taken at the Audit Office. In practical terms, the team in charge of the respective audit prepares an audit plan with deliverables and aims, and which entities are to be audited (Article 23). The concept also includes details such as a schedule, supposed critical points, audit methods, and audit risks.

        In practical terms, the team in charge of the respective audit prepares an audit plan with deliverables and aims, and which entities are to be audited (article 23). The concept also includes details such as a schedule, supposed critical points, audit methods, and audit risks.

        The Bundesrechnungshof can appoint external experts for support (article 24), and is required to inform the entity that is to be audited (in writing), and will have an initial meeting with the entity. Should the audit bring to light activies that breach civil or criminal law, the Bundesrechnungshof will pass its result over to the Prosecutor's Office (article 27). The auditors can require the entity to be audited to provide further information, including confidential information. The results of the audit will be communicated to the audited entity (article 30). The audited entity is then given the opportunity to prepare a statement. During this time, the audit results are treated as preliminary. Once the audit is finalised, the Bundesrechnungshof can forward the audit report to Parliament (where required). The final audit report can be made available to third parties/the public after it has been discussed by parliament but it lies within the discression of the Bundesrechnungshof to determine whether the information contained in the report is sensitive or confidential, in which case they can withhold the information from the public.

        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

        Source 1: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 2 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 23, available at: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation available at: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

        Source 3: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 4 [news]: Sueddeutsche Zeitung: "Umstrittenes Steinbrück-Unterstützerportal Bundestag überprüft peerblog.de" / controversial Steinbrueck supporter portal checked by Bundestag, 6 February 2013, available here: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/umstrittenes-steinbrueck-unterstuetzerportal-bundestag-ueberprueft-peerblogde-1.1592667

        Source 5 [interview]: Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative reporting, Der Stern (German weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 6 [law]: Prüfungsordnung des Bundesrechnungshofes (statues for monitoring, Bundesrechungshof (Federal Audit Court), passed into law on 16 November 1997, last amended on 5 September 2013, available at: https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/de/bundesrechnungshof/rechtsgrundlagen/pruefungsordnung-brh

        Source 7 [Interview]: Written answer by the press desk of the Bundestag to an request via e-mail on 24th October 2014, http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/press/

        Source 8 [Interview]: Written answer by the press desk of the Audit Office to an request via e-mail on 24th October 2014, see https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/rechtsgrundlagen/rechtsgrundlagen?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/pruefungsverfahren/der-bundesrechnungshof-hat-keine-exekutivgewalt?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/aufgaben/aufgaben?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/organisation/organisation-1?setlanguage=en

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

        Generally, the authorities (Bundestag and Bundesrechnungshof) have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations.

        After the GRECO evaluation, the Office of the President of the Bundestag has increased its staff from 8 to 10/11 in recent years. This team in practice monitors all annual reports from political parties and conducts investigations if allegations are brought to them. There is no reason to doubt that they cannot conduct their monitoring tasks for the parties' annual reports. The research suggests that the monitoring capacity is sufficient for annual reports and tips received by others. The research also suggests, however, that there is no proactive investigation into political party finance due to the staffing situation. When it comes to investigations the President of the Bundestag and his team rely on outsiders to point to irregularities. This may be a capacity issue as much as an issue of how detailed the information that they are provided with is. Under the law, the parties are not required to report itemized financial statements for all their incomes and expenditures, which makes investigations in practice more difficult.

        There is no indication to believe that the Bundesrechnungshof as the entity monitoring the parties' parliamentary finance affairs does not have sufficient capacity. There is sufficient staff and capacity in the institution to both monitor and proactively investigate irregularities of political party finance.

        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

        Source 1: [interview]: Dr. Michael Koss, Schumpeter Fellow, University of Potsdam, and head of the (volunteer) team 'Politics' at Transparency International Germany, written interview, 14 August 2014.

        Source 2: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 3: [interview]: Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative reporting, Der Stern (German weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 4: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 5: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, with follow up evaluations in 2011 and 2013.

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        50
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        The President of Parliament as the entity in charge of monitoring and investigating political parties' annual reports has the capacity to investigate and audit, and does so regularly.

        As reported in his 2010/2011 report (published in 2013), the President of the Bundestag conducts investigations into the annual accounts if given reason to believe that there are irregularities. Due to the nature of the (non-itemized) format of the annual reports, the team also rely on outsiders to direct them towards potential irregularities. In the last reporting period 2010/2011, the Bundestagsverwaltung looked into finances of at least one political party according to news sources (Christian Democrats CDU in Saxonia and Northrhine Westphalia; no wrongdoing was found; in April 2010, the President of Parliament also reported that his office was investigating the Liberal Party (FDP) for sponsoring agreements in 2006). The Parliament reports suggests further investigations but does not list them as such.

        In 2013, the President of Parliament's office looked into the financing of the SPD's candidate for chancellor, Peer Steinbrueck, as the financing of a blog in his name appeared unclear.

        It is difficult to say how many investigations and audits were conducted during the last election campaign as a) the report for the 2013 period is not yet public, and b) no mechanism exists to make public that investigations are ongoing.

        For the Bundesrechnungshof, no information could be obtained about how many investigations they conducted during the previous election campaign. In a written response to a request via e-mail the press desk of the Audit Office states that the Audit Office may only publish the final results of examinations, but not its details about investigations or audits in accordance with Article 96 paragraph 4 of the Federal Financial Regulation (Bundeshaushaltsordnung - BHO). There are credible news reports that state that the Bundesrechnungshof has audited political parties' in Parliament (Fraktionen), and that it had flagged irregularities with the spending of direct funding. According to the news source, the last major investigation was made in 2008 in the spending of Parliamentary parties' on public relations. [see source 3].

        Generally, the Bundesrechnungshof checks party finance (Fraktonen), annual reports by parties and audit reports by independent auditors of parties on an annual basis.

        The President of the Bundestag and the Bundesrechnungshof do not publish investigations or audits in a timely manner. This makes it difficult for the public to judge whether sufficient investigations are taking place and how often, and that b) the Bundesrechnungshof, according to news sources, conducted its last major investigation into party finance in 2008. There is a lack of publicly available information on the subject.

        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

        Source 1: [interview]: Dr. Michael Koss, Schumpeter Fellow, University of Potsdam, and head of the (volunteer) team 'Politics' at Transparency International Germany, written interview, 14 August 2014.

        Source 2: Source 2: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 3: [news] Tillack, Hans-Martin, Der Stern: "Öffentliche Rügen der Fraktionen sind tabu" (public reprimands of political parties are a taboo), 5 March 2014, available at: http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/bundesrechnungshof-oeffentliche-ruegen-der-fraktionen-sind-tabu-2094394.html

        Source 4: [international organisation evaluation]: Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO):Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding, 2009, http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2013)152nd%20InterimGermany_EN.pdf

        Source 5: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 6 [Interview]: Written answer by the press desk of the Parliament to an request via e-mail on 24th October 2014, http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/press/

        Source 7 [Interview]: Written answer by the press desk of the Audit Office to an request via e-mail on 24th October 2014, see https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/rechtsgrundlagen/rechtsgrundlagen?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/pruefungsverfahren/der-bundesrechnungshof-hat-keine-exekutivgewalt?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/aufgaben/aufgaben?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/organisation/organisation-1?setlanguage=en

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        As with all party finance monitoring, two institutions are in charge: The President of the Bundestag for party finance and direct funding, and the Bundesrechnungshof for finance matters of the Parliamentary parties (Fraktionen).

        Bundesrechnungshof: The Bundesrechnungshof (Audit Office / Comptroller General) makes summary reports and comments on investigations and audits available online as soon as the Bundestag (Parliament) has finished debating it. These are submitted to Parliament on an annual basis and include audits of parties in Parliament (Fraktionen) if there have been any such audits. [see Source 4]. However, it ultimately lies within the discretion of the Bundesrechnungshof to determine whether the results of an investigation are suitable to be published to third parties. [see source 5]. Usually, the reports are not made available - this is explained by the Bundesrechnungshof and Parliament (who took this decision) with the individual rights of the audited entity, which is deemed to be potentially violated by making this information public.

        In 2013, Freedom of Information requests were made to the Bundesrechnungshof to share detailed audit reports on political party finance but the request was denied and the law changed in a way that excludes ongoing or finished investigations from becoming public knowledge in detail. What does become available after an investigation is the summary report / comments from the Bundesrechnungshof to Parliament as mentioned above.

        Bundestagspraesident / President of the German Bundestag: The President of the Bundestag conducts investigations or audits, the results of which are made available in his report every two years as well as sometimes through news media. In very rare instances, the President of the Bundestag will issue a press release concerning completed investigations.

        It has not been possible to find detailed reports on the investigation of misconduct in party finance matters by the monitoring authorities, in spite of the fact that some of these cases of misconduct are available in the public domain, e.g. in news media. It is likewise public knowledge that these investigations are taking place. For example, in July 2014 a newspaper in one of the states (Saarland) reported that the Bundestagspraesident was starting an investigation into financing of the Saarland SPD.

        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

        Source 1: [news article]: Tillack, Hans Martin: "Weniger Transparenz und das schnell" (less transparency, quickly), Der Stern (German weekly), 19 March 2014, available here: http://blogs.stern.de/hans-martin_tillack/weniger-transparenz-und-das-schnell/

        Source 2: [interview}: Tillack, Hans Martin, Der Stern, interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 3: [Official website] Deutscher Bundestag website, http://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/ausschuesse18/a08/a08rpa/mitteilungbericht/262756, accessed on 13 August 2014.

        Source 4 [law]: Bundeshaushaltsordnung (Federal Budgetary Regulations), Article 96 (4) and 97, 19. August 1968, last amended on 15 July 2013, available here: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/bho/gesamt.pdf

        Source 5 [official documents]: Bericht an den Rechnungspruefungsausschuss des Haushaltsausschusses des Deutschen Bundestags (Statement to the Audit Control Committee of the Budget / Ways and Means Committee of the German Bundestag) , Annex 7, 12 March 2014, available at: http://www.bundestag.de/blueprint/servlet/blob/195960/74837a709c005bad6abde69cb9cfeeee/bericht-data.pdf

        Source 6: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 7 [newspaper article]: Michael Jungmann, " SPD Finance Affair." Sol Newspaper. July 12, 2104. http://www.sol.de/titelseite/topnews/Bundestagspraesidenten-Finanzskandale-Parteienfinanzierung-Parteiengesetz-Steuermittel-SPD-Finanzaffaere-Bundestagspraesident-Lammert-schaltet-sich-ein;art26205,4379828

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

        The Political Parties Act regulates the sanctions for violations of political finance regulations if the parties have submitted their annual report, and if they receive direct funding.

        There is a legal basis for sanctions when a party misstates their finances in the financial accounts in paragraph 31 c and d of the Politcal Parties Act: Section 31c: " Illegally obtained or undisclosed donations (1) A political party which, in contravention of Section 25 para. 2, has accepted donations and not remitted them to the President of the German Bundestag in accordance with Section 25 para. 4 shall be liable to pay three times the amount of the illegally obtained sum of money; donations already remitted shall be deducted from the payable amount. A party which fails to publish donations in its statement of accounts in accordance with the provisions of the present Act (Section 25 para. 3) shall be liable to pay twice the amount of the sum not disclosed as prescribed by the present Act. The President shall, by an administrative act, determine the party’s liability to pay the respective amount. Section 31a paras. 2 to 5 shall apply mutatis mutandis. (2) By agreement with the Presidium of the German Bundestag, the President of the German Bundestag shall, at the beginning of the following calendar year, transfer the funds received within a calendar year to institutions serving charitable, church, religious or scientific purposes.

        Section 31d Penal provisions (1) Whosoever, with the intent of concealing the origin or the use of the party’s funds or assets or evading the obligation to render public account, 1. causes inaccurate data on the party’s income or assets to be included in a statement of accounts submitted to the President of the German Bundestag, or submits an inaccurate statement of accounts to the President of the German Bundestag; or 2. as a recipient, divides a donation into smaller amounts and enters them into the books or has them posted by others; or 3. in violation of Section 25 para. 1, 3rd sentence, does not remit a donation; shall be liable to imprisonment of up to three years or to a fine. No one shall be subject to a penalty as stipulated under the 1st sentence of this paragraph if, under the conditions set forth in 21 Section 23b para. 2, they report the fact on behalf of the party pursuant to Section 23b para. 1 or help to report the fact. (2) Whosoever, as an auditor or an auditor’s assistant, gives a false report on the result of the audit of a statement of accounts, fails to disclose relevant facts in the audit report or issues an audit certificate containing false information shall be liable to imprisonment of up to three years or to a fine. If offenders act against payment or with the intent of enriching themselves or a third person or of harming another person, the penalty shall be imprisonment of up to five years or a fine."

        The OSCE stated that 'penalties are applied relatively frequently but rarely for significant amounts" [Source 2 OSCE]

        There is no law to sanction non-compliance with the requirement for not publishing the financial accounts.

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section18 (direct funding) https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pdf Unofficial English translation as used in comments below is taken from: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/ParteienG.htm

        Source 2 [report OSCE]: OSCE final report, OSCE/ODIHR Election Expert Team: Federal Republic of Germany, Elections to the federal Parliament / Bundestag, 22 September 2013, available at: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/109518?download=true

        Source 3: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

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

        There are two main oversight bodies in Germany: the President of Parliament (Bundestagspräsident), and the Comptroller's Office / Federal Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshof). The President of Parliament is responsible for overseeing the annual reports (Rechenschaftsberichte) of all political parties. The Audit Office is responsible for overseeing the finances of political parties represented in Parliament (Article 53, Member of Parliament Act) and the determination and disbursement of funds from the state-funding of the Parties in accordance with Article 21 section 2, Political Parties Act.

        The President of Parliament can make unilateral decisions and can impose sanctions on political parties. There is a clear definition of sanctions in the Political Parties Act, paragraphs 31b-d, which stipulate which sanctions apply for which breach of the law.

        Sanctions are imposed if and when a party provides wrong figures in its annual report, or for donations that were accepted in breach of article 25 of the party act (from political foundations, foreign sources etc). Sanctions can include up to three times the misrepresented amount, can lead to the loss of direct party finance, and can also lead to prosecution under civil law.

        It should be said that the Federal Audit Office however, has no direct executive power nor powers of enforcement. It informs the President of Parliament and other branches of the executive about it's findings, which is then responsible for imposing sanctions. The Audit Office states on its official website:

        "Since the Bundesrechnungshof cannot compel compliance with its recommendations, it needs to rely on the professionality and credibility of its arguments. Apart from that the parliamentary Appropriations Committee and the Public Accounts Committee help ensure that the problems stated in the Bundesrechnungshof’s annual report are effectively addressed. In past years, these committees endorsed almost all audit findings, following deliberations in which the responsible Bundesrechnungshof Members provided testimony."

        However both the Audit Office and the President of Parliament can hand over cases to the Federal Prosecutor (Staatsanwaltschaft). In the case of the Audit Office, this is regulated in the Bundeshaushaltsordnung (Federal Financial Regulation).

        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

        Source 1 [Law] Parteiengesetz / Political Party Act (31 Aug 1994, last amended on 23 Aug 2011, Section 2, Article 21, Section31b-d (direct funding) https://www.bundestag.de/blob/189336/2d8fc37801c04ccfe153686a39e477e3/pg_pdf-data.pd

        Source 2 [law]: The Federal Financial Regulation (Bundeshaushaltsordnung vom 19. August 1969 (BGBl. I S. 1284), die zuletzt durch Artikel 2 des Gesetzes vom 15. Juli 2013 (BGBl. I S. 2395) geändert worden ist), Article 96. Available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bho/__96.html

        Source 3 [law]: Member of Parliament Act (Act on the Legal Status of Members of the German Bundestag of 18 February 1977 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 297), Article 53, in the version promulgated on 21 February 1996 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 326), last amended by the Act of 8 November 2011 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2218)). Official translation available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englischabgg/englischabgg.html#p0314

        Source 4 [law]: Bundeshaushaltsordnung (Federal Budgetary Regulations), Article 96 (4) and 97, 19. August 1968, last amended on 15 July 2013, available here: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/bho/gesamt.pdf

        Source 5 [interview]: Peter Nowak, Head of Division PM 3 Party Finance, Administration of the German Bundestag, correspondence on 28 August 2014.

        Source 6: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

        Source 7: [Interview] Written answer by the press desk of the Bundestag to an request via e-mail on 24th October 2014, http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/press/

        Source 8: [Interview] Written answer by the press desk of the Audit Office to an request via e-mail on 24th October 2014, see https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/rechtsgrundlagen/rechtsgrundlagen?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/pruefungsverfahren/der-bundesrechnungshof-hat-keine-exekutivgewalt?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/aufgaben/aufgaben?setlanguage=en and https://www.bundesrechnungshof.de/en/bundesrechnungshof/organisation/organisation-1?setlanguage=en

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

        Parties who have been sanctioned comply with the sanctions imposed. They pay their fine as imposed by the President of the Bundestag. Parties. Generally, the parties tend not to conduct the same breach of finance rules again.

        However, there have been cases where parties are repeatedly sanctioned for breach of the Political Parties Act. Perhaps that is not surprising due to the size of the major political parties, and most of the major parties have been sanctioned more than once in the last years. Although in principle it is the same parties who are sanctioned, they are usually separate local or Laender entities that get sanctioned, not the federal level.

        Although parties generally comply and pay their fines, they can also challenge the decision of the President of the Bundestag in court. One example is the case of the FDP party, who have challenged the Bundestag President's decision of a Euro 4.3 Million (5.5b USD) fine in court (see source 2).

        As the parties are disbursed on the federal and local level they are, technically, not the same entity and thus not really repeat offenders.

        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

        Source 1 [news]: Handelsblatt: "Bewährungsstrafe für CDU-Politiker Böhr" / CDU politician Boehr gets suspended sentence, 3 Dec 2013, available at: http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/deutschland/verstoss-gegen-parteiengesetz-bewaehrungsstrafe-fuer-cdu-politiker-boehr/9164216.html

        Source 2: [news] Die Zeit: "Möllemann-Affäre kostet FDP mindestens zwei Millionen Euro" / , 25 April 2013, available at: http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2013-04/fdp-strafe-moellemann-spenden

        Source 3: [Interview] Timo Lange, Campaigner, Lobby Control, telephone interview conducted on 22 July 2014.

        Source 4: [news] Der Westen: "Essens SPD muss 30,000 Euro Strafe fuer verschleierte Spenden zahlen" / SPD in Essen has to pay 30,000 for hidden donations, 5 May 2013, available at: http://www.derwesten.de/staedte/essen/essens-spd-muss-30-000-euro-strafe-fuer-verschleierte-spenden-zahlen-id8152691.html

        Source 5: [interview] Dr Richard Weber, Head of Division II5 (responsible for the Bundestag amongst others)/ Marlies Schneider, Director Division II5, Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Audit Office), written reply, 28 August 2014.

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

        Enforcement is generally effective, both by the Bundesrechnungshof and by the President of the Bundestag. Suspicions of irregularities are investigated and there is a mechanism for sanctioning. However, it's important to note that the relevant authorities carry out very few investigations, and sanctions are rarely imposed. When sanctions are imposed, they are often negligible.

        However, there are some weak points in the enforcement mechanism, as discussed in previous questions:

        a) for parties not submitting their financial reports, there is no punitive mechanism that the President of the Bundestag can apply unless they receive direct funding (in which case he can withhold funding).

        b) the President of the Bundestag as an institution is by its very nature both a party member and the person in charge of monitoring parties' finance. This can carry a potential conflict of interest. In any case it can make his/her job more difficult than would be the case in a separate, independent entity.

        c) enforcement and its transparency is further made difficult by the fact that there is no requirement for itemized reporting of income or expenditure by parties.

        d) The Bundesrechnungshof does not have the power to monitor whether the expenditure by Members of Parliament or parties is appropriate and necessary. This is deemed to be outside their remit, and is believed to be the sovereign decision of the political parties and members of Parliament. Interestingly, this only applies to the federal government: there are Laender (states) in which this is being monitored and checked by the state's audit office, for example the state of Bavaria.

        With regards to urgent reforms, a major reform to strengthen enforcement would be to give further consideration to an independent monitoring body, other than the President of the Bundestag. Other reforms would be to cap donations, give the President leverage to sanction parties who do not submit financial information, and introducing a requirement for individual candidates and members of the Bundestag to lay open their income/donations and expenditure in detail.

        As a general oversight reform, making financial information accessible in a more detailed, standardized, and machine readable format and in a timelier manner would be essential to ensure that citizens, journalists and not-for-profits can use the information in a meaningful way.

        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

        Source 1: [interview NGO]: Timo Lange, Campaigner, LobbyControl, telephone interview on 22 July 2014.

        Source 2: [interview]: Tillack, Hans Martin, journalist and head of investigative reporting, Der Stern (German weekly), interview conducted on 5 August 2014 (telephone).

        Source 3: [official gazzette]: German Bundestag Gazette 18/100: Unterrichtung durch den Präsidenten des Deutschen Bundestages Bericht über die Rechenschaftsberichte 2010 bis 2011 sowie über die Entwicklung der Parteienfinanzen gemäß § 23 Absatz 4 des Parteiengesetzes (PartG) / Information from the President of the German Bundestag on the (parties') annual reports 2010-11 as well as the development of political party finance pursuant to Paragraph 23 Section 4 of the Political Parties Act , 18 December 2013, available here: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/001/1800100.pdf

        Source 4: [multilateral evaluation]: GRECO Group of States Against Corruption: "Third Evaluation Round, Compliance Report on Germany, 2011 and 2013, available at: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2011)9GermanyEN.pdf (2011), and http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2013)152nd%20InterimGermany_EN.pdf (2013)

        Source 5 [interview]: Interview conducted 24 October, 2014, with Mathew D Rose, author and investigative journalist, Berlin.

Germany is a parliamentary republic that consists of a federal government, which and 16 federal states (federal system). It has a bicameral legislature, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.

Members of the Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament, are elected by in a mixed system. Half of the members are directly elected by their constituencies in a first past the post system, and the other half are elected via proportional representation through closed party lists in each of the 16 states. The number of seats allocated to each of the 16 states is calculated on the proportion of the German population that lives in each state, and seats are then allocated on the basis of proportion of the votes received in each state by each party.

The Bundestag members are the only federal officials directly elected by the public; the Bundestag in turn elects the head of state (the Chancellor) and, in addition, exercises oversight of the executive branch on issues of both substantive policy and routine administration. This check on executive power can be employed through binding legislation, public debates on government policy, investigations, and direct questioning of the chancellor or cabinet officials. In theory the Bundestag consists of parliamentary party groups (Fraktionen) and independent candidates, although independent candidates are a very rare exception.

The most recent elections in Germany occurred on September, 22nd, 2013, the next one being scheduled for 2017. The current Bundestag consists of 504 seats for political party groups within Government and 127 seats within Opposition, namely:

Government (504) CDU (255) SPD (193) CSU (56)

Opposition (127) LINKE (64) GRÜNE (63)

Norbert Lammert is the current President of the Bundestag. The President of the Bundestag is member of Parliament and elected by members of Parliament. The President of Bundestag and the Presidium of the Bundestag are responsible for the routine administration of the Bundestag and is one of the two oversight authority for financing and reporting of political parties and members of parliament. The other one being the Federal Audit Office (Bundesrechungshof).

The head of State is the President, which is elected by a specially convened federal convention consisting of the entire Bundestag (the lower house of Parliament) and representatives of the federal states that are chosen by state level parliaments. The President's role is largely ceremonial.

Real power is concentrated in the office of the Chancellor (currently Angela Merkel), who is officially the head of Government, and is elected by the members of the Bundestag.

The German Bundesrat represents the sixteen federal states of Germany at the national level. Members of the Bundesrat, the upper house, are selected from regional legislatures, and are not popularly elected at the national level.

For both houses of parliament, elections are funded through parties. For the Bundesrat, most funds are channeled through local party branches.