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Poland

In law
82
In practice
57

Poland has an extensive regulatory framework for political finance in which, in law and in practice, parties can receive direct public funding. Free access to advertising on public media is also provided for parties and candidates. The use of other, non-financial state resources is banned, but during the 2010 presidential elections, some such resources were deployed for electoral benefit. Contributions are highly regulated, and electoral spending is also capped. Parties and candidates are required to submit financial reports during campaigns, while only parties must do on an annual basis. In practice, those reports typically include most contributors, though some omissions occur. The information that is submitted during elections is available as scanned copies online, but accessing other reports, including annual reports, and more detailed data, is difficult. Third party actors are increasingly relevant during campaigns, but they are not required to report any information on their independent political activities. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) oversees political finance. Its members are not appointed in public processes, but are otherwise qualified, and in practice, their independence is protected. The NEC has sufficient budget and staff, but carries out relatively few in depth audits during campaigns. When it imposes sanctions, usually for failures to submit the necessary financial reports, offenders comply. Gaps exist in the political finance legal framework, especially where reporting requirements are concerned, but generally, enforcement in Poland is strong.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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    71
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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
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        MODERATE
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        The methods of campaigning in all types of elections, including campaign funding, are specified in the 2011 Election Code. The only entity that has the right to participate in elections is an election committee. It is a special legal entity functioning exclusively during the election campaign and for several months after the election has concluded, until it submits financial statements to the National Electoral Commission. There are four types of election committee (EC): 1. the EC of a political party (set up by a political party or by a coalition of political parties), 2. the EC of an organization (set up by associations and organizations), 3. EC of voters (set up by a group of voters), 4. EC of a presidential candidate (set up by a group of voters) – this type of EC exists only during presidential elections.

        In the case of Parliamentary (both Sejm and Senat) and European elections there is direct public funding called “entity subsidy”.

        Two types of EC have the right to participate in Parliamentary elections: the EC of a political party and the EC of voters. As stated in article 150 § 1 of Election Code “The political party, whose election committee participated in the elections, the political party comprising an election coalition committee, and the election committee of voters participating in elections to the Sejm and the Senate is entitled to a grant from the state budget, hereinafter referred to as an “entity subsidy”, for each mandate for deputy and senator obtained….” Regarding the EC of voters, within this type of EC one or more individual candidates can run for office (in practice they run only for Senate). Individual candidates do not have the right to receive "entity subsidy", only an EC of voters as a legal entity can receive it.

        In the case of presidential elections (and local government election campaigns) there is no direct public funding. Presidential candidates run as individual candidates supported by the EC of a presidential candidate, which is set up by a group of voters.

        It should be mentioned that only political parties are entitled to receive subventions from the state budget as well. The subvention is calculated proportionally to the support gathered in parliamentary elections and is granted for the duration of the Parliament term (4 years). It is disbursed in quarterly installments.

        As stated in article 28.1 of Political Parties Act “A political party which: 1) forms its own election committee in elections to the Sejm and has gained in that elections at least three (3) per cent of valid votes given for its constituency lists of candidates for deputies; or 2) is a member of an election committee in elections to the Sejm and such committee has gained in that elections at least six (6) per cent of valid votes given for its constituency lists of candidates. – shall have the right to receive, during the term of office of the Sejm, a subvention for its statutory activities paid by the State budget, later called “a subvention”, in the manner and on the basis described by this Act.”

        Funds from subvention can be used by political parties in electoral campaigns. Political parties have the right to support two types of EC: the EC of a political party (which can participate among others in Parliamentary elections) and the EC of a presidential candidate.

        As stated in article 132 of Election Code “§ 1 The financial resources of the election committee of a political party can only come from the fund the election of the party, […] § 4 The financial resources of the election committee for the candidate for President of the Republic can only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and the election funds of political parties and bank loans taken out for purposes related to elections.”


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. In comparative perspective the Polish case is very exceptional as neither candidates nor political parties as such are entitled to receive any kind of direct public funding for electoral campaings. Only electoral committees (formed by parties, candidates, etc.) as the Expert well notes. The reason for this exceptionalism needs to be seen in the fact that the first free and fair elections in Poland had a presidential and local, rather than national, character. All in all, and even if legally and given the letter of the question the score should be 0, I agree with the Expert's score as in practice EC's function as parties during the duration of the campaign. Different from the "donation" to ECs is the "subvention" the Expert also refers to. It is important to note that the latter is much more important than the former for the financing (and survival) of parties in Poland.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, articles 132, 150 and 151, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, articles 132, 150 and 151, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997, article 28, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        "Financing of Political Parties and Election Campaigns - Poland Country Report", A. Sawicki, Stefan Batory Foundation, 2012 http://www.politicalfinance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Poland-Country-Report-final-July-2012.pdf Analysis of the campaign and political party financing in Poland, concluding with recommendations for improvement. Analysis was a part of the "Financing of Political Parties and Election Campaigns in Central and Eastern Europe" project.

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. and Walecki, M. (2014): "Regulating Polish Politics: Cartel Parties in a Non-Collusive Party System", East European Politics, v. 30, n. 4, pp. 295-314. Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). Klingeren et al. (2014): “Party Financing and Referendum Campaigns in EU Member States”. Strasbourg: European Parliament´s Committee Constitutional Affairs.

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

        In the case of parliamentary (both Sejm and Senate) and European elections there is direct public funding called “entity subsidy”.

        Two types of election committees (EC) have the right to participate in parliamentary elections: the EC of a political party and the EC of voters. These ECs are entitled to receive “entity subsidy”. As stated in article 150 § 1 of Election Code “The political party, whose election committee participated in the elections, the political party comprising an election coalition committee, and the election committee of voters participating in elections to the Sejm and the Senate is entitled to a grant from the state budget, hereinafter referred to as an “entity subsidy”, for each mandate for deputy and senator obtained….”

        Regarding the EC of voters, within this type of EC one or more individual candidates can run for office (in practice they run only for Senate). Individual candidates do not have the right to receive "entity subsidy", only an EC of voters as a legal entity can receive it.

        The mechanism of calculation of “entity subsidy” is contained in the Election Code. As stated in article 150 § 2 of the Election Code “The amount of subsidy is calculated as follows: Dp = (W/560) x M where the symbols are defined as: Dp - the amount of subsidy afforded, W - total campaign expenses of election committees (up to the amount of spending limits allocated to electoral committees in elections to the Sejm and the Senate), which received at least one mandate, M - the number of mandates of deputies and senators received by the election committee.”

        The Election Code also defines the manner and timing of transfer of “entity subsidy”. As stated in article 150 § 6 of the Election Code “The transfer of the subsidy to the designated entities referred to in § 1, shall be made to their bank account by the minister responsible for public finances on the basis of the information provided by the National Electoral Commission on those entitled to receive the subsidy as well as the number of mandates received by the electoral committee. The subsidy is paid within 9 months from the date of the election.”

        In the case of presidential elections (and local government election campaigns) there is no direct public funding provided.

        It should be mentioned that only political parties are entitled to receive subvention from the state budget as well. Funds from subvention can be used by political parties in electoral campaigns, so subvention is a kind of indirect public funding for electoral campaigns. Political parties have the right to support two types of EC: the EC of a political party (which can participate among others in Parliamentary elections) and the EC of a presidential candidate.

        The subvention is calculated proportionally to the support gathered in parliamentary elections and is granted for the duration of the Parliament term (4 years). It is disbursed in quarterly installments. As stated in article 28.1 of Political Parties Act “A political party which: 1) forms its own election committee in elections to the Sejm and has gained in that elections at least three (3) per cent of valid votes given for its constituency lists of candidates for deputies; or 2) is a member of an election committee in elections to the Sejm and such committee has gained in that elections at least six (6) per cent of valid votes given for its constituency lists of candidates. – shall have the right to receive, during the term of office of the Sejm, a subvention for its statutory activities paid by the State budget, later called “a subvention”, in the manner and on the basis described by this Act."

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

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        75
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        As mentioned in indicators 1 and 2, there is no direct public funding provided for presidential elections. However, for the funding that is provided, there is no controversy about the mechanism for determining the amount of public funding for political parties and election committees. The rules provide a clear mechanism for determining the amount of entity subsidies and subventions. The regulations define clearly who receives the “Entity Subsidy” and “Subvention”, when and on what basis they receive it. This mechanism is always followed in legislative elections and is not disputed in the reports on the financing of election campaigns and newspaper articles.

        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

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Zamo?ny jak PO–Pis, Andrzej Stankiewicz, Rzeczpospolita newspaper, 08.05.2013 Article analyze the sources of the income of te main political partie In 2012 including „… donation” connected with 2011 elections. http://www.rp.pl/artykul/1006887-Zamozny-jak-PO-PiS.html

        "Wysoko?? dotacji podmiotowej przys?uguj?cej partiom politycznym i komitetom wyborczym, które uzyska?y mandaty pos?ów i senatorów w wyborach do Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej i do Senatu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, przeprowadzonych w dniu 9 pa?dziernika 2011 roku.”, State Electoral Commission, 23.08.2012. Information made by NEC about amount of the “Entity Subsidy” after parliamentary elections in 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/wybory-do-sejmu-rp-i-do-senatu-rp-2011/wysokosc-dotacji-podmiotowej.html?wiecej=pokaz

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        75
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        This information is made publicly available on the website of the National Electoral Commission and relates to data from the year 2001 to the present. This information applies to parliamentary elections and European Parliament elections.

        On the basis of statements found on the National Electoral Commission website this information was posted on August 23, 2012. This information does not include the dates of transfer of the entity subsidy by the Minister of Finance.

        In accordance with the provisions of Art. 150 § 6 the entity subsidy should be transferred a maximum of nine months after the date of the election, ie. 9 July 2012. That means, in this case, that the information about the transfer of the grant was published later than 30 days after the transfer of the entity subsidy. It is also possible that, due to the fact that under the Electoral Code the NEC accepts the election reports within 9 months, the transfer could take place later than 9 months.

        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

        "Wysoko?? dotacji podmiotowej przys?uguj?cej partiom politycznym i komitetom wyborczym, które uzyska?y mandaty pos?ów i senatorów w wyborach do Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej i do Senatu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, przeprowadzonych w dniu 9 pa?dziernika 2011 roku.”, State Electoral Commission, 23.08.2012 Information made by NEC about amount of the “Entity Subsidy” after parliamentary elections in 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/wybory-do-sejmu-rp-i-do-senatu-rp-2011/wysokosc-dotacji-podmiotowej.html?wiecej=pokaz

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Zamo?ny jak PO–Pis, Andrzej Stankiewicz, Rzeczpospolita newspaper, 08.05.2013 Article analyze the sources of the income of te main political partie In 2012 including "… donation” connected with 2011 elections. http://www.rp.pl/artykul/1006887-Zamozny-jak-PO-PiS.html

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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

        An EC of a political party and the an EC of voters, which participate in parliamentary elections, cannot use state resources. The same applies to ECs of a presidential candidates. There is no specific article of the Election Code which explicitly bans the use of state resources, but the Election Code defines a restricted list of funding sources, which does not include state resources. Moreover, there is the direct ban on receiving in-kind benefits. As stated in article 132 § 5 of the Election Code “Electoral committees may not accept in-kind benefits, with the exception of the free dissemination of posters and leaflets by individuals.”

        Election Code provides for exceptions. Election committees have the right to put posters in places made available free of charge by the local authority. As stated in article 114 of the Election Code “Mayor immediately after the start of the election campaign will provide in the municipal area an adequate number of sites for free placement of official election notices and posters of all election committees, and will provide a list of these sites to the public in the customary manner and in the Public Information Bulletin.”. ECs have the right to publish free of charge election programs on public radio and television (state owned radio and TV). As stated in article 117 § 1 of the Election Code “Election committees, which candidates have been registered, have, during the period from 15 days before Election Day to the end of the election campaign, the right to distribute free election programs in programs of the public radio and television broadcasters at the expense of those broadcasters.”.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. First of all, art. 132.4 clearly limits the sources of funding to individuals, parties´ own “Electoral Funds”, and bank loans. Secondly, and in accordance with art. 132.5 of the Electoral Code, ECs cannot take advantage of non-monetary assets from anyone, including the offices and other state institutions, local government, etc. Accordingly, ECs must pay for any service (e.g. the use of cars, rooms, etc.). Thirdly, art. 108.1 prohibits to conduct election campaigning in the buildings of state administration, local government and in the courts, as well as in military units.

        This is not to say that in some cases (e.g. a minister is running in the elections) it is very difficult to disentangle what is part of his ministerial activity (and, therefore, covered by the ministerial expenditure) and what is not. In this respect, the truth is that in practice in every campaign (be it presidential, parliamentary or local) someone accuses somebody else of misusing, for example, a business (official) car.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        Reviewer's sources: Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), e-mail interview (10 Oct 2014). Wojciech Gagatek, assistant professor at the Centre for Europe (Warsaw University), e-mail interview (12 Oct 2014). Marcin Walecki, board member of the IPSA Research Committee on Political Finance and Political Corruption, phone interview (13 Oct. 2014).

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        25
        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

        Illegal use of public funds for the campaign is particularly often in the case of candidates who also hold public office. In the pre-election period often there were press announcements informing about the execution of important projects from EU fund. These announcements included, in addition to the information, exposed photo and the name of the official responsible for the project, which was also a candidate in the election.

        Candidates applying for re-election often widely distribute brochures with the report of their term, and therefore the material formally was associated with their office and not with the election campaign. However, there was impression that the purpose of these booklets is not only to inform about the achievements of officials, but also to make their image more popular before elections. It is Important that these reports were funded from public funds, not from funds of the election committee.

        National Electoral Commission (NEC) focuses primarily on the analysis of the documentation submitted after the election. In the financial statements of the electoral committees there is no information on the illegal use of the public funds. NEC responds to election committees questions during campaign. For example, such a situation occurred during the presidential elections in 2010. One of the candidates held high public office in which he was entitled to the protection by the Government Protection Bureau (BOR- state institution dedicated to the protection of the most important people in the country). There was no possibility of cancellation of the protection during of campaign meetings for security reasons. The question was how the election committee of presidential candidate should account for costs of security related to the participation of the candidate in the election campaign. BOR as an institution was not providing commercial services so it would not issue an invoice to the election committee. Only the interpretation of NEC caused that BOR issue an invoice for costs of protection during election meetings. These costs were then covered by the election committee of the candidate.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. There have been cases when parties have indirectly taken advantage of State resources in the hiring of billboards. One clear example is that of public companies, whose popularity among the consumers is so high that wouldn't need to make use of any type of advertisement, hiring billboards throughout Poland for a rather high price. Interestingly enough, and almost immediately after the company's campaign is finished, the party of the Minister in charge of the company hires the same advertising places getting an enormous discount (which, not surprising, mostly accounts for the extra-price previously paid).

        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

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        "?ledztwo ws. kampanii informacyjnej PSL", Onet news portal, 23 Sep 2011, http://wiadomosci.onet.pl/kielce/sledztwo-ws-kampanii-informacyjnej-psl/5gsph Article is about police examination on EU funds information campaign. One of the political parties was suspected of illegal using public funds to promote candidates in parliamentary elections in 2011.

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). Will be published at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications

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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

        ECs have the right to broadcast election material free of charge on public radio and television (state owned radio and TV). As stated in article 117 § 1 of the Election Code “Election committees, whose candidates have been registered, have, during the period from 15 days before Election Day to the end of the election campaign, the right to broadcast election material for free on public radio and television at the expense of those broadcasters.”.

        The rules governing the allocation of airtime are defined in the Election Code and the regulations of the National Broadcasting Council, issued under the Election Code. As stated in article 117 § 6 of the Election Code “The National Broadcasting Council after consultation with the National Electoral Commission and the respective boards of public radio and television broadcasters shall issue an act of law which determines: 1) the amount of time for free broadcast of election material in each of the national and regional TV channels and radio stations, 2) a time-sharing framework for broadcasting of election material in the period from 15 days before the voting day to the end of the election campaign, 3) the procedure of time sharing of the free broadcast of election material, 4) the scope of registration and the manner of preparing and broadcasting such material, […] 5) the methods of informing public about the emissions of election material …”

        With regards to the EC of a political party and the an EC of voters, which participate in parliamentary elections, free access to air time is defined in article 252 of the Election Code for Sejm elections and in article 284 of the Election Code for Senate elections.

        As stated in article 252 of the Election Code “§ 1Election Committee have the right to broadcast the free election material in public radio and television: 1) nationwide - if it has registered its list of candidates in at least half of the constituencies; 2) regional - if it has registered list of candidates in at least one constituency. § 2 Total time of transmission of election broadcasts is: 1) on national channels - 15 hours on Polish Television, including three hours on TV Polonia, and 30 hours on stations of Polish Radio […]; 2) on the regional channels - 10 hours on the Polish TV and 15 hours on the Polish Radio.”

        As stated in article 284 of Election Code “§ 1 An Election Committee, which has registered a candidate for senator shall have the right to transmit free election broadcasts on the public radio and television: 1) nationwide - if it has registered its candidates to the Senate at least half of the constituencies; 2) regional - if it has registered at least one candidate for senator. § 2 Total time of transmission of election broadcasts is: 1) on national channels - five hours on the Polish TV and 10 hours on Polish Radio; 2) on the appropriate regional channels - three hours on the Polish TV and 6 hours on the Polish Radio.”

        The total time transmission of election broadcasts on nationwide channels is divided equally among all eligible election committees. Total time of transmission of election broadcasts on regional channels is divided between eligible electoral committees in proportion to the number of registered lists of candidates (for Sejm) or candidates registered (Senat) in their constituencies.

        With regard to an ECs of a presidential candidates free access to air time is defined in article 326 § 2 of the Election Code: “Total time of free dissemination of election programs is 25 hours in the Polish Television, […] and 35 hours in the Polish Radio […].

        According to parliamentary elections, as stated in § 40 of NBC (KRRiT) Regulation of 12 July on the time and time-allocation outline intended for the distribution of free election broadcasts on public radio and television channels “the amount of time for broadcast of election materials in the elections to the Sejm in TV channels and radio stations: 1) at nationwide level - is divided equally among all eligible electoral committees,based on the information of the National Electoral Commission; 2) at regional level - is divided between eligible electoral committees in proportion to the number of registered lists of candidates […]". Similar regulation applies in the elections to the Senat.

        According to presidential elections, as stated in § 42 of NBC (KRRiT) Regulation of 12 July on the time and time-allocation outline intended for the distribution of free election broadcasts on public radio and television channels “the amount of time for broadcast of election materials in the presidential elections in nationwide TV channels and radio stations is divided equally among all eligible electoral committees, based on the information of the National Electoral Commission”.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        KRRiT regulation of 12 July 2011 on the time and time-allocation outline intended for the distribution of free election broadcasts, the procedure regarding time allocation, the area of registration as well as the means of preparation and broadcasting of election broadcasts on public radio and television channels (Journal of Laws No. 154, item 915, as amended). http://www.krrit.gov.pl/Data/Files/_public/Portals/0/regulacje-prawne/polska/kampania-wyborcza/rozporzadzenie-krrit-w-sprawie-czasu.pdf

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

        There is no controversy about free access to air time provided for election committees. The National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), which deals with setting rules for allocation of free airtime has not received any complaints on this subject.

        In the last parliamentary election campaign in 2011 the eight ECs had the right for free broadcast of election materials in public nationwide TV channels and radio stations. The air time was divided equally among all eligible electoral committees. Four of them (including the ECs of largest ruling party and the largest opposition party) which registered candidates both to the Sejm and the Senate were entitled for free broadcast of 3 hours and 7 minutes election materials on the nationwide public TV channels and up to 6 hours and 15 minutes on the nationwide public radio stations. The other four committees that registered candidates only to the Sejm were entitled for free broadcast of 1 hour and 52 minutes election materials on the nationwide public TV channels, and 3 hours 45 min on the nationwide public radio stations. The order of slots was determined by a draw.

        Free election broadcasts on public radio and television channels are not significant comparing to paid air-time purchased by the largest ECs in public and private TV channels and radio stations. The EC of Civic Platform (biggest ruling party) purchased 300 hours of TV air-time and 38 hours of radio air-time in the parliamentary election campaign in 2011 The EC of Law and Justice (biggest opposition party) purchased 173 hpurs of TV air-time and 95 hours of radio air-time.

        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

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Izabela Wojciechowska, Press Office of The National Broadcasting Council, e-mail interview (20 Aug 2014)

        KRRiT regulation of 12 July 2011 on the time and time-allocation outline intended for the distribution of free election broadcasts, the procedure regarding time allocation, the area of registration as well as the means of preparation and broadcasting of election broadcasts on public radio and television channels (Journal of Laws No. 154, item 915, as amended). http://www.krrit.gov.pl/Data/Files/_public/Portals/0/regulacje-prawne/polska/kampania-wyborcza/rozporzadzenie-krrit-w-sprawie-czasu.pdf

        Rules of distribution of free election broadcasts during the election campaign to the Sejm and Senate in 2011 in Polish Television nationwide channels http://www.tvp.pl/publicystyka/polityka/wybory-2011/nieodplatne-audycje-wyborcze/informacja-dla-komitetow-wyborczych-ws-rozpowszechniania-nieodplatnych-audycji-wyborczych/5252546

        Ruszy?y bezp?atne audycje wyborcze, 24.09.2011, TVP (Polish public television) website http://www.tvp.info/5308467/informacje/polska/ruszyly-bezplatne-audycje-wyborcze/ Article refers to information about ECs entitled for free broadcast in parliamentary election campaign in 2011.

        Information about expenditures and use of air-time for elections paid advertisements during parliamentary election in 2011, National Broadcasting Office, 2011. p 19 http://www.krrit.gov.pl/Data/Files/public/Portals/0/kontrola/wybory/2011wybory_parlamentarne.pdf

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

    More about category
    composite
    88
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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
      More about category
      • expand button!
        9
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        There is not a direct ban on receiving donations in cash, but the Election Code has other provisions which represent a practical prohibition to receive donations in cash. The only allowed way of receiving money for election committee is by bank check, bank transfer or bank (debit/credit) card. An election committee is only one legal entity which has the right to receive donation for election campaign purposes. Individual candidates have no right to gather money. This rule applied to all type of elections including parliamentary and presidential elections.

        As stated in article 284 of the Election Code: “§ 5 The funds may be contributed to the electoral committee by bank check, bank transfer or bank (debit/credit) card. § 6 The agreement on establishment of a bank account agreement concluded on behalf of the electoral committee must include a provision form of payment required by the Code as, the acceptable sources of funds that may be received by a election committee, as well as the time within which it is permissible to make payments.”

        Political parties cannot receive cash contributions above a certain size. There is no a direct ban on receiving donations in cash, but Act on Political Parties has other provisions which represent a practical prohibition to receive donations above a set amount in cash. The allowed way of receiving money for political party is by bank check, bank transfer or bank (debit/credit) card. The only exception based on the contents of the article cited below. A single transfer that does not exceed the minimum monthly wage of a worker may be paid to a political party by cash. The minimum monthly wage in 2014 is 1680 PLN which means 537 USD.

        As stated in article 25 of the Act on Political Parties “5. A single transfer that exceeds the minimum monthly wage of a worker, established according to separate provisions, may be paid to a political party by cheque, bank transfer or bank card only.”

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

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

        There is a direct ban on anonymous public collections for election committees. As stated in article 131 § 2 of the Election Code “It is prohibited for the election committee to carry out public collections.”

        The Election Code has other provisions which represent a practical prohibition to receive any anonymous donations. Only allowed way of receiving money for election committee is by bank check, bank transfer or bank (debit/credit) card. An election committee is only one legal entity which has the right to receive donation for election campaign purposes. Individual candidates have no right to gather money. This rule applied to all type of elections including parliamentary and presidential elections.

        As stated in article 284 of the Election Code: “§ 5 The funds may be contributed to the electoral committee by bank check, bank transfer or bank (debit/credit) card. § 6 The agreement on establishment of a bank account agreement concluded on behalf of the electoral committee must include a provision form of payment required by the Code as, the acceptable sources of funds that may be received by a election committee, as well as the time within which it is permissible to make payments.”

        There is also a direct ban on anonymous public collections for political parties. As stated in article 24 of the Act on Political Parties “6. A political party may not organise public collections.”

        Act on Political Parties has other provisions which represent a practical prohibition to receive anonymous donations. Only allowed way of receiving money for political party is by bank check, bank transfer or bank (debit/credit) card. As stated in article 25 of the Act on Political Parties “5. A single transfer that exceeds the minimum monthly wage of a worker, established according to separate provisions, may be paid to a political party by cheque, bank transfer or bank card only.” The minimum monthly wage in 2014 is 1680,00 PLN which means 537,00 USD.

        According to the template of financial statements set out by the Minister of Finance, the political party is obliged to provide information about the name, surname and place of residence of donors, both in the case of cash donations and donation made by bank transfer.

        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Art. 134.5 of the Electoral Code makes it very clear that contributions/donations can only be made by check, bank transfer or credit card. Because of the consequences this might have in terms of disfranchising the direct participation of citizens in politics, the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) took this disposition to the Constitutional Court, which in its ruling of 13th July 2004 (P20/03, OTK 2004, n. 7, position 64) confirms the abovementioned disposition as it is does not constitute any barrier to political participation because everybody willing to contribute to the finance of an EC “has the opportunity to open a bank account”. In terms of political parties (not ECs) anonymous contributions (i.e. donations) have been banned since 2001. In this context, we shouldn´t also forget that political parties themselves have the obligation to present each year a report to the NEC covering the sources of funds received, with a particular reference to the identity of the different donors (in the bank statements attached).

        Sources: Casal Bertoa, F. and Walecki, M. (2014): "Regulating Polish Politics: Cartel Parties in a Non-Collusive Party System", East European Politics, v. 30, n. 4, pp. 295-314. Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). GRECO (2008): Evaluation Report on Poland on Transparency of Party Funding. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoEval3(2008)2PolandTwo_EN.pdf

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), e-mail interview (10 Oct 2014). Wojciech Gagatek, assistant professor at the Centre for Europe (Warsaw University), e-mail interview (12 Oct 2014). Marcin Walecki, board member of the IPSA Research Committee on Political Finance and Political Corruption, phone interview (13 Oct. 2014).

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        Regulation of the Minister of Finance of 18 February 2003 on the report of on sources of obtaining funds http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/Download?id=WDU20030330269&type=1

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

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

        There is direct ban on ECs receiving in-kind benefits. As stated in article 132 § 5 of the Election Code “Electoral committees may not accept in-kind benefits, with the exception of the free dissemination of posters and leaflets by individuals.”

        There is another exception regarding using of in-kind donation. The EC of political party can use premises of political party which established this EC. The EC of voters can use premises of members of the committee who established this EC as well. Both of these committees can participate in parliamentary elections. As stated in article 133 of the Election Code” “§ 1 The election committee of a political party and coalition election committee, have free access during the election campaign to the premises of political party, as well as their office supplies. § 2 The voters election committee can enjoy free access to the premises ad office supplies of a member of the committee, during the election campaign.”

        There is no exception regarding using of in-kind donation for EC of a presidential candidate.

        There is no ban on receiving in-kind benefits for political parties (not ECs of political parties), but there are restrictions. In-kind benefits can be made only by Polish citizens residing in Poland and with value no more than 15-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker. The minimum monthly wage in 2014 is 1680,00 PLN (537,00 USD) which means 25 200,00 PLN (8055,00 USD) limit of the in-kind benefits per year per person.

        As stated in article 25 of the Act on Political Parties: “1. A political party may collect financial resources exclusively from Polish citizens with permanent residence in the Republic of Poland […] 4. Total value of contributions made by an individual to a political party […] may not, in a year, exceed 15-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker, established according to separate provisions, acting on the day preceding transfer. 4a. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 4 shall apply to non-cash values.”

        Political parties (not EC of political party) shall report two types of information, one is called “Report” about all contributions and about expenditures made from Election Fund (special fund of political party for election campaign expenditures). “Report” contains information about in-kind benefits received by political party.

        As stated in article 38 of Political Parties Act “1. No later than 31 March each year, a political party must submit to the National Electoral Commission a report, later called “report”, covering the sources of financial funds gained, including bank loans and specification of conditions set forth, and on expenditures paid from the Election Fund in the previous calendar year. 2. The Minister responsible for public finance, after seeking an opinion of the National Electoral Commission, shall specify, in a decision, the form of the report as well as necessary explanations concerning its preparation and a list of documents annexed. The form shall describe, in particular, the method of separately accounting the resources of the Election Fund of a political party.”.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

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

        Election committee – special legal entities functioning exclusively during the election campaign – shall publish periodically during the campaign detailed information on loans. As stated in article 140 § 1 of Election Code “The Committee is obliged to keep records of: 1) loans, including the name of the bank granting the loan and all the essential conditions for its recovery, in particular: the date of the loan, its amount, interest and other costs of its acquiring, guarantors, and the commitment to be repaid…” As stated in article 140 § 2 “The committee is obliged to publish the records referred to in § 1, on its website, and keep it updated in order to ensure information on loans and deposits are made public within 7 days of such loan or deposit being made.”

        Election committee shall publish within 3 months after election day the financial report with itemized contributions and expenditures, including information on loans.

        As stated in article 142 § 1 of Election Code “Within 3 months from the date of the election, the financial representative shall submit to the competent electoral body, to which the elections committee submitted its notification of establishment, a report on revenues, expenditures and financial commitments of the committee, including bank loans and the basis on which they were obtained hereinafter referred to as "financial report.".

        Political parties (not EC of political party) shall report two types of information, one is called “Report” about all contributions and about expenditures made from Election Fund (special fund of political party for election campaign expenditures). “Report” contains information about all loans to political party.

        As stated in article 38 of Political Parties Act “1. No later than 31 March each year, a political party must submit to the National Electoral Commission a report, later called “report”, covering the sources of financial funds gained, including bank loans and specification of conditions set forth, and on expenditures paid from the Election Fund in the previous calendar year. 2. The Minister responsible for public finance, after seeking an opinion of the National Electoral Commission, shall specify, in a decision, the form of the report as well as necessary explanations concerning its preparation and a list of documents annexed. The form shall describe, in particular, the method of separately accounting the resources of the Election Fund of a political party.”.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. For the sake of clarification: ECs may contract bank loans only for purposes connected with the elections. Parties can receive both loans and credits but only for their statutory purposes. All in all, parties may therefore obtain loans only from banks.

        Sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). GRECO (2008): Evaluation Report on Poland on Transparency of Party Funding. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2014_09/7648fc8cbbcb70d101cb1df9f4e45788.pdf

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

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

        Two types of EC have the right to participate in parliamentary elections: the EC of a political party and an EC of voters.

        Only an EC of voters has the right to receive contributions from individuals. They are limited to a maximum amount of 15-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker. The minimum monthly wage in 2014 is 1680,00 PLN (537,00 USD) which means a 25 200,00 PLN (8055,00 USD) limit of contributions per person during campaign period in 2014. As stated in article 132 § 3 of the Election Code “Financial resources of: […] 2) the voters election committee - shall only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with their permanent domicile, and bank loans taken out solely for purposes related to elections.” As stated in article 134 § 2 of the Election Code “The sum of contributions from a Polish citizen for the election committee may not exceed 15 times the minimum wage …”

        Regarding an EC of voters, within this type of EC one or more individual candidates can run for office (in practice they run only for Senat). Individual candidates do not have the right to receive contributions from individuals, only an EC of voters as a legal entity can receive it.

        The same regulations apply to the EC of a presidential candidate. This type of EC has the right to receive contributions from individuals, which are limited to a maximum amount of 15-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker. The minimum monthly wage in 2014 is 1680,00 PLN (537,00 USD) which means a 25 200,00 PLN (8055,00 USD) limit of contributions per person during campaign period in 2014. As stated in article 132 § 4 of the Election Code “The financial resources of the election committee for the candidate for President of the Republic can only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and the election funds of political parties and bank loans taken out for purposes related to elections.” As stated in article 134 § 2 of the Election Code “The sum of contributions from a Polish citizen for the election committee may not exceed 15 times the minimum wage …”

        There is one exception to the regulations governing individual donations. A person who is a candidate with the support of an EC of voters (parliamentary election) or a candidate for presidency can make a donations which are limited to a maximum amount of 45-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker. The minimum monthly wage in 2014 is 1680,00 PLN (537,00 USD) which means a 75 600,00 PLN (24165,00 USD) limit of contributions per person during campaign period in 2014. As stated in article 134 § 3 of the Election Code “A candidate for MP, a candidate for senator, candidate for President of the Republic, and candidate for MEP who is a Polish citizen can contribute to the election committee a sum of not more than 45 times the minimum salary for the work defined under separate regulations, in force on the day following the date of announcement of elections.”

        Political parties are allowed to receive individual donations during the whole year. It is possible to make individual donations 1) to the main account of the party and 2) to the Election Fund of the party – a separate account set up for election purposes. They are both limited to a maximum amount of 15-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker. The minimum monthly wage in 2014 is 1 680,00 PLN (537,00 USD) which means 25 200,00 PLN (8 055,00 USD) limit of contributions per person in 2014.

        As stated in article 25 of the Act on Political Parties: “1. A political party may collect financial resources exclusively from Polish citizens with permanent residence in the Republic of Poland […] 4. The total value of contributions made by an individual to a political party […] may not, in a year, exceed 15-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker, established according to separate provisions, acting on the day preceding transfer.”

        As stated in article 36a of the Act on Political Parties: “1. The total amount of the sum contributed by an individual for the Election Fund of a political party in one year cannot exceed 15-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker, established according to separate provisions, acting on the day preceding the day of the announcement of elections.”.

        There is an exception applied only to contributions for Election Fund. As stated in article 36a of the Act on Political Parties: “2. If in a given year more than one election or national referendum is held, the total amount of contributions for the Election Fund referred to in paragraph 1 shall be increased up to 25-times the minimum monthly wage of a worker, established according”. This means a 42 000,00 PLN (13 425,00 USD).

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

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

        An EC of a political party and an EC of voters, which participate in parliamentary elections, cannot receive contributions from corporations. The same applies to ECs of presidential candidates.

        There is no specific article of the Election Code that explicitly bans the receive contributions from corporations, but the Election Code defines a restricted list of funding sources, which does not include contributions from corporations. As stated in article 132 of the Election Code:

        “§ 1 The financial resources of the election committee of a political party can only come from the fund the election of the party […] § 3 Financial resources of: […] 2) the voters election committee - shall only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with their permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and bank loans taken out solely for purposes related to elections. § 4 The financial resources of the election committee for the candidate for President of the Republic can only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and the election funds of political parties and bank loans taken out for purposes related to elections…..”

        An election committee is only one legal entity which has the right to receive donation for election campaign purposes. Individual candidates have no right to gather money. This rule applied to all type of elections including parliamentary and presidential elections.

        Political parties cannot receive contributions from corporations as well. There is no specific article of the Act on Political Parties with explicitly bans the receive contributions from corporations, but the Act on Political Parties defines a restricted list of funding sources, which does not include contributions from corporations.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. For the sake of clarification, it is important no note that until the 2001 reform of the 1997 Party Law, contributions from legal persons (i.e. corporations) was specifically allowed. After that reform, and as acurately pointed out by the Expert, the Polish Party Law does not include them among the allowed contributions to a party, and therefore should be considered to be implicitly forbidden.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        Reviewer's sources: Source: Casal Bertoa, F. and Walecki, M. (2014): "Regulating Polish Politics: Cartel Parties in a Non-Collusive Party System", East European Politics, v. 30, n. 4, pp. 295-314. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21599165.2014.933415?journalCode=fjcs21#.VIYgA6TF-Ak

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

        An EC of a political party and the an EC of voters, which participate in parliamentary elections, cannot receive contributions from foreign sources. The same applies to ECs of a presidential candidates.

        There is no specific article of the Election Code with explicitly bans the receive contributions from foreign sources, but the Election Code defines a restricted list of funding sources, which does not include contributions from foreign sources.
        As stated in article 132 of the Election Code: “§ 1 The financial resources of the election committee of a political party can only come from the fund the election of the party […] § 3 Financial resources of: […] 2) the voters election committee - shall only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with their permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and bank loans taken out solely for purposes related to elections. § 4 The financial resources of the election committee for the candidate for President of the Republic can only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and the election funds of political parties and bank loans taken out for purposes related to elections…..”.

        An election committee is only one legal entity which has the right to receive donation for election campaign purposes. Individual candidates have no right to gather money. This rule applied to all type of elections including parliamentary and presidential elections.

        Political parties cannot receive contributions from foreign sources as well. There is no specific article of the Act on Political Parties with explicitly bans the receive contributions from foreign sources, but the Act on Political Parties defines a restricted list of funding sources, which does not include contributions from foreign sources.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

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

        An EC of a political party and an EC of voters, which participate in parliamentary elections, cannot receive contributions from third-party actors (trade unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.). The same applies to ECs of a presidential candidates.

        There is no specific article of the Election Code with explicitly bans the receipt of contributions from third-party actors, but the Election Code defines a restricted list of funding sources, which does not include contributions from third-party actors.
        As stated in article 132 of the Election Code: “§ 1 The financial resources of the election committee of a political party can only come from party,s election funds. § 3 Financial resources of: […] 2) the voters election committee - shall only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with their permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and bank loans taken out solely for purposes related to elections. § 4 The financial resources of the election committee for the candidate for President of the Republic can only come from the contributions of Polish citizens with permanent domicile in the Polish Republic, and the election funds of political parties and bank loans taken out for purposes related to elections…..”.

        An election committee is the only one legal entity which has the right to receive donation for election campaign purposes. Individual candidates have no right to gather money. This rule applied to all type of elections including parliamentary and presidential elections.

        Political parties cannot receive contributions from third-party actors as well. There is no specific article of the Act on Political Parties with explicitly bans the receive contributions from third-party actors, but the Act on Political Parties defines a restricted list of funding sources, which does not include contributions from third-party actors.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

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

        Election campaign spending by candidates is limited to a maximum amount. In every type of election campaign the maximum limit is different.

        Election committees – special legal entities functioning exclusively during election campaigns – have the exclusive right to receive and spend money during election campaigns. The spending limit of the EC of a political party and an EC of voters, which participate in parliamentary elections is defined in article 199 and 259 of the Election Code. The limit for each electoral committee depends on the number of candidates they have registered. More candidates means a greater spending limit.

        As stated in article 199 § 1 of the Election Code: “In elections to the Sejm election committees can spend on campaigning only amounts up to the limits determined in the following manner: 1) the limit is determined by the amount of 0,82 PLN attributable to each voter in the country included on the electoral register; 2) The spending limit for each committee shall be calculated according to the formula: L = (w x k x m) / 460, where the symbols mean: L – the spending limit w - the number of voters in the country included in the registers of voters, k - the amount attributable to each voter in the country included on the electoral register referred to in paragraph 1, m - the total number of members of parliament elected in all the constituencies in which the committee has registered lists of candidates.”

        As stated in article 259 § 1 of the Election Code: “§ 1 In the elections for the Senate election committees can spend on campaigning only amounts up to the limits determined in the following manner: 1) the limit is determined by the amount of 0,18 PLN attributable to each voter in the country included on the electoral register; 2) The spending limit for each committee shall be calculated according to the formula: L = (w x k x s) / 100, where the symbols mean: L – the spending limit w - the number of voters in the country included in the registers of voters, k - the amount attributable to each voter in the country included on the electoral register referred to in paragraph 1, s - the number of electoral constituencies in which a committee has registered candidates to the Senate.”

        In the case of inflation the amounts mentioned above are correspondingly increased by the Minister of Finance. As stated in article 200 § 1 of the Election Code “The Minister responsible for public finances increases, by law, the amount referred in art. 199 § 1 point 1, in the case of an increase in the prices of consumer goods and services by a total of more than 5%, in extent of increase in these prices”. This article refers to art. 259 the Election Code as well.

        In the last parliamentary election in 2011 the maximum spending limit for election committees which registered lists of candidates to Sejm and candidates to Senate in all the constituencies was 30,612,295 PLN (9,784,975 USD).

        The spending limit of the EC of a presidential candidate is defined in article 327 of the Election Code. All ECs of presidential candidates have the same spending limit. As stated in article 327 § 1 of the Election Code “Electoral committees can spend on an election campaign only up to a limited amount which is determined by the amount of 0,60 PLN attributable to each voter in the country included on the electoral register.”

        In the case of inflation the amount mentioned above is correspondingly increased by the Minister of Finance. As stated in article 327 § 3 of the Election Code “The Minister responsible for public finances increases, by law, the amount referred in § 1, in the case of an increase in the prices of consumer goods and services by a total of more than 5%, in extent of increase in these prices”.

        There have been no presidential elections conducted under the provisions of the Election Code. The last presidential election was conducted in 2010, before the adoption of the Election Code in 2011. The spending limit for an EC of a presidential candidate in 2010, based on previous provisions was 15,552,123 PLN (4,971,111 USD). If elections had been held in 2011 the spending limit, calculated on the basis of the Electoral Code, would be 18,367,377 PLN (5,870,985 USD).

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

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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

        Electoral law in Poland is uniform regardless of the type of election (national, regional, local). This uniformity can present problems in local elections, due to the very large number of electoral committees.

        From the perspective of a political party a major problem is conducting an election campaign in local coalitions, for example, when forming coalitions. Current regulations allow political parties to enter into only one coalition election committee. And only this committee can raise and spend funds.

        Another problem is when a political party in a city puts forward candidates for councillors, but declines to put forward a candidate for mayor. Current regulations prohibit carrying out activities for the benefit of one committee by another committee. This means that the disbursement of funds by a committee in support of the mayoral candidate of another committee is not possible. It is therefore, not possible, for example, to publish a leaflet with a list of candidates for councillors and information about supporting the mayoral candidate of another committee.

        From the point of view of non-governmental organizations at the local level, a major problem is applying the provisions concerning the financial statements of electoral committees. Nationwide election committees of political parties report to the NEC in Warsaw and there accompanying documentation is available in the form of invoices, contracts, etc. This means that local organizations from another locations, must first go to Warsaw to become familiar with the report. Secondly, the party submitting the report does not divide bills according to constituencies. The result is that the local campaign monitoring organization must incur travel costs and, more importantly, is not able to find all the accounts on campaign spending in a given locality. There is currently a proposal to publish accounts and donations from individuals on the Internet.

        According to the NEC, the huge number of local campaigns and candidates means that election committees have problems with monitoring and controlling campaign spending. Candidates often purchase services without consulting their committees. It is considered a violation of the law by individual candidates and is a matter for the police and prosecutors. The NEC has no knowledge about the result of these proceedings.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. In addition to what the Expert has said, I would like to point out that the Party Law, which - among other things - regulates the way political parties (not ECs) are funded, applies to all political parties, either at the national, regional or local level. In this context, it is important to remind here that the territory of Poland is divided into 16 "wojewodztwa" (states), 379 "powiaty" (counties), and 2479 "gminy" (communes or municipalities). There is, however, one important exception included in the Party Law itself refers to the fact that while there is general rule that parties' financial sources need to be accumulated in bank accounts, in the case of a party's "local headquarters" donations and membership fees can be kept in cash with the condition that they are employed by the same headquarters in the funding of their ordinary activities (e.g. organization of small meetings, purchase of water, stamps, etc.). On the other hand, and in relation to the regulation of funding during electoral campaigns, it is important to remember here that until the approval of the Electoral Code in 2011, each of the elections were regulated in a different piece of law. This meant that most of the regulation was copied (and adapted) from one type of elections to another. Interestingly enough, legislative innovations which had proved to be successful for elections at one level (e.g. presidential) only were included for the next elections (e.g. local) months before they took place. The main problem was that, in some cases, and due to the use of the simple techique of "cut and copy" what was applicable at one level (e.g. national) was not applicable at other (e.g. local). This seems to have changed after the unification of the different electoral laws under one unique Electoral Code. However, this is still to be seen as only one election (to the European Parliament) have been held afterwards. One important problem that still remains, though, is that because expenditure limits in local elections are calculated on the basis of the amount of candidates presented, big parties are encouraged t present candidates even in those districts where they know they have no chances as this will allow them to increase their overall expenditure limit.

        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

        „Informacja o tworzeniu koalicyjnego komitetu wyborczego w wyborach do rad gmin, rad powiatów i sejmików województw oraz wójtów, burmistrzów i prezydentów miast, które zostan? zarz?dzone na dzie? 16 listopada 2014 r.” State Electoral Commission, 30.06.2014 . http://pkw.gov.pl/tworzenie-komitetow-wyborczych-samorzad-2014/informacja-o-tworzeniu-koalicyjnego-komitetu-wyborczego-w-wyborach-do-rad-gmin-rad-powiatow-i-sejmikow-wojewodztw-oraz-wojtow-burmistrzow-i-prezydentow-miast-ktore-zostana-zarzadzone-na-dzien-16-listopada-2014-r.html Information about rules of establishing the coalition committee of political parties in local elections in 2014.

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Petition to National Electoral Commission, Sta?czyk Foundation, 10 Jul 2014 http://www.stanczyk.org.pl/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/PetycjaPKW_podpisana.pdf Sta?czyk Foundation requests increase transparency of financing of local elections by publishing on the website of the National Electoral Commission lists of financial documents of election committees involved in local elections and lists of contributions to the electoral committees.

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

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

        Analysis of the financial reports shows that the ECs of voters dominant source of income are individual donations. In the case of ECs of political parties dominant source of income are the donation from the Election Fund of the party. According to financial reports of the parliamentary elections in 2011, EC of Civic Platform (main government party) received from Election Fund of Civic Platform approx. 30 million PLN (approx. 9.6 million USD) and EC of Law and Justice party received from Election Fund of Law and Justice approx. 30 million PLN (approx. 9.6 million USD).

        The entity subsidy and subvention are the main source of funds for election campaigns of political parties. Individual donations are another important source. It should be mentioned about the negative phenomenon which is called "family donation" ie. splitting payments to family members in order to bypass contribution limit.

        Another source of income, not allowed by law (with some exceptions), are donations in kind. It is happening especially during local elections. For example individuals offers to candidate that he/she will print election flyers with a large discount or free of charge, with the expectation of a rematch after winning the elections.

        On the example of one of the political, we can say that structure of political party income for the election campaign is composed by two items: the party's own funds and donations from individuals. Own resources of the parties are used on the nationwide (central) campaign, and individual contributions from individuals covers expenditure of individual candidates campaigns.

        Each candidate has, within the limit of the election committee, their own spending limit on their individual campaign. Candidates can spend this money, if he/she will provide funds for the campaign from individuals. In practice, people who want to support the campaign of a particular candidate donate to the party, and indicate that donation is for specific candidate.

        It is prohibited by the Act on Political Parties for political party to have ownership in businesses or trusts, and in practice, political parties do not use these methods of generating campaign funds.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The predominant source of funding for electoral campaigns run by ECs of political parties is public subsidies, which the parties themselves can channelled to their ECs through the so-called "Electoral Fund". As shown in Biezen and Kopecky (2014) as well as in Casal Bertoa and Walecki (2014), Polish parties receive up to 80% of the funding from the State, making Poland one of the EU countries with the (4th) highest financial State dependency of parties. One of the main exceptions of what has been said is Your Movement (Twoj Ruch), previously know as Palikot´s Movement (RP), which due to its extra-parliamentary character exclusively relied on private donations before 2012. It should be pointed out that Jan Palikot, the party´s founder and president, is also a wealthy businessman. Because, as pointed out in previous questions, Polish regulations establish caps for donations, he "presumably" distributes his own money among different people/sympathizers (mostly students, unemployed, retired…but not only) so they could make donations (within the individual limit) to his party.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Financial report of the EC of Civic Platform (main government party) from parliamentary election in 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_02/0a7ebc253c38e3626a6c904de6f66249.pdf

        Financial report of the EC of Law and Justice (main opposition party) from parliamentary election in 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_02/02352c2ac8f0fd5f2fb1f66d79284ca3.pdf

        Act on Political Parties, 1997, article 24, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        Reviewer's sources: Biezen, I. van and Kopecky, P. (2014): "The Cartel Party and the State: Party-State Linkage in European Democracies", Party Politics, v. 20, n. 2, pp. 170-182. http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/07/1354068813519961 Casal Bertoa, F. and Walecki, M. (2014): "Regulating Polish Politics: Cartel Parties in a Non-Collusive Party System", East European Politics, v. 30, n. 4, pp. 295-314. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21599165.2014.933415?journalCode=fjcs21#.VIYgA6TF-Ak
        Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.)

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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

        National Electoral Commission (NEC) identified a number of irregularities in the financial statements. They resulted in the rejection of the reports in some cases. Among the infringements were: receiving donation after the elections day, collecting financial resources of the election committee not only on bank account, receiving individual donation from non-Polish citizen, acceptance of illegal in-kind donation. These irregularities relate primarily to small election committees with support of very small number of voters in parliamentary elections. The budget amount of such committees is only several dozen thousand USD.

        It is important to note that the irregularities detected by NEC were primarily due to the analysis of the financial reports. This means that other violations that are not reflected in the reports may be unnoticed by the NEC.

        It is worth to mention the case when the private company paid for the printing and distribution of leaflets of the election committee, which was against the law. Prosecutor's investigation has confirmed this fact, but no evidence was found that the company did it at the request of persons acting on behalf of the Election Committee.

        It should be mentioned also about the negative phenomenon which is called "family donation" ie. splitting payments to family members in order to bypass contribution limit.

        Another source of income, not allowed by law (with some exceptions), are donations in kind. It is happening especially during local elections. For example, individuals offers to the candidate that he/she will print election flyers with a large discount or free of charge, with the expectation of a rematch after winning the elections.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Together with the RP´s "case" mentioned in the previous reviewer comment (#19), there have been other cases of financial contributions circumventing the regulatory framework, although none of them have ever been properly proved (at least in front of a Court of Justice). For example, the owner of a hoarding who wants to support his/her party by hiring the place for 1 PLN plus VAT, and this way going around the legal prohibition of rendering voluntary work (except by distributing leaflets or placing banners/posters/placards). The problem here, as in many other instances, is that the control undertook by the NEC is never based on market prices. Moreover, it is a mere formality. Thus, there have been cases in which the party declared a number of music concerts during the electoral campaign, and the company hired to organized those events have declared a higher number. In these cases the NEC simply limited itself to ask the party to confirm the number of concerts, and nothing else came out of it, even if this could have been considered a breach of the expenditure limits. In this context, there have been clear cases of "financial engineering" (e.g. PiS), especially in those years when two elections take place almost concurrently (e.g. 2005). There have been also cases when the financial declaration of a party (e.g. Samoobrona) was accepted, despite the fact that it hadn´t paid all the corresponding bills.

        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

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Micha? Krzymowski, journalist of “Newsweek” weekly magazine, phone interview (29 Jul 2014)

        National Electoral Commission statement on accepted and rejected financial reports of election committees participating in parliamentary elections in 2011, 16 Jul 2012, http://pkw.gov.pl/wybory-do-sejmu-rp-i-do-senatu-rp-2011/komunikat-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej-z-dnia-16-lipca-2012r.html

        "Prokuratura wznowi?a ?ledztwo w sprawie kampanii komitetu Dutkiewicza", Gazeta Wroc?awska, 26 Feb 2014, http://www.gazetawroclawska.pl/artykul/3346753,prokuratura-wznowila-sledztwo-w-sprawie-kampanii-komitetu-dutkiewicza,id,t.html The article concerns the resumption of the investigation on the financial irregularities of election committee of voters participating in the elections to the Senate in 2011. Irregularities concern campaign financing by a private company. Investigation was resumed in connection with e-mail correspondence, which would suggest that the representatives of the EC of voters knew about the illegal campaign financing by private company.

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

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

        Election committees – special legal entities functioning exclusively during election campaigns – have the exclusive right to receive and spend money during election campaigns. Individual candidates running for Parliament supported by an EC of voters and running for the presidency supported by an EC of a presidential candidate do not have this right – neither during nor outside electoral campaign periods.

        As stated in article 129 of Election Code “§ 1 Election committees may raise and disburse funds only for purposes related to the election. § 2 It is forbidden for the election committee to raise any funds: 1) before acceptance by the competent authority of a notice on the establishment of the electoral committee; 2) after the election. § 3 It is prohibited for the election committee to disburse any funds: 1) before acceptance by the competent authority of a notice of establishment of the electoral committee; 2) after the date of the financial statements referred to in art. 142 § 1”.

        Election committee are required to publish regular information during election campaigns about individual donations and bank loans. This applies to ECs of political parties and ECs of voters running in parliamentary elections and ECs of presidential candidates.

        As stated in article 140 § 1 of Election Code “The Committee is obliged to keep records of: 1) loans, including the name of the bank granting the loan and all the essential conditions for its recovery, in particular: the date of the loan, its amount, interest and other costs of its acquiring, guarantors, and the commitment to be repaid; 2) payment from one individual of a value exceeding the amount of the minimum wage, defined under the Act of 10 October 2002 on the minimum wage, as applicable on the day preceding the announcement of the date of elections, indicating the name, surname and place of residence of such person.” As stated in article 140 § 2 “The committee is obliged to publish the records referred to in § 1, on its website, and keep it updated in order to ensure information on leans and deposits are made public within 7 days of such loan or deposit being made.”

        Election committees are required to publish a financial report with itemized contributions and expenditures after election campaign. This applies among others, to ECs of political parties and ECs of voters running in parliamentary elections and ECs of presidential candidates.

        As stated in article 142 § 1 of Election Code “Within 3 months from the date of the election, the financial representative shall submit to the competent electoral body, to which the elections committee submitted its notification of establishment, a report on revenues, expenditures and financial commitments of the committee, including bank loans and the basis on which they were obtained hereinafter referred to as "financial report.". As stated in article 142 § 7 of Election Code “The minister responsible for public finance, after consultation with the State Electoral Commission, shall, by regulation, establish the form of financial reports and the detailed scope of information required to be contained therein as well as a list of the types of documents that must accompany the financial report, so to enable verification of the reports and information provided.”

        Because election committees function exclusively during election campaigns, they do not report any information outside electoral campaign periods. This applies to ECs of political parties, ECs of voters and ECs of presidential candidates.

        Political parties (but not ECs of political parties) are the only entities which submit financial reports outside electoral campaign periods. They are required to report two types of information: one called “Information” about subvention received (see more about subvention in Q1) and the expenditures covered by this subvention; and a second called “Report” about all contributions and expenditures made to and from the Election Fund (a special fund of a political party for election campaign expenditures).

        As stated in article 34 of Political Parties Act “1. Political parties shall prepare a yearly financial statement of the subvention received and the expenditures covered by this subvention, later called “information”. 2. Political parties shall submit information covering a calendar year no later than 31 March of the following year. 3. The Minister responsible for public finances, after seeking an opinion of the National Electoral Commission, shall determine by order, a specimen, with necessary explanations, that enumerates detailed scope of the information to be included therein to enable especially the honest verification of all the data concerning the expenses covered by subvention, including expenses covered by Expert Fund.”

        As stated in article 38 of Political Parties Act “1. No later than 31 March each year, a political party must submit to the National Electoral Commission a report, later called “report”, covering the sources of financial funds gained, including bank loans and specification of conditions set forth, and on expenditures paid from the Election Fund in the previous calendar year. 2. The Minister responsible for public finance, after seeking an opinion of the National Electoral Commission, shall specify, in a decision, the form of the report as well as necessary explanations concerning its preparation and a list of documents annexed. The form shall describe, in particular, the method of separately accounting the resources of the Election Fund of a political party.”.

        Scoring Criteria

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

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

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        (1) Election Code, 2011, articles 129, 140 and 142, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        (2) Election Code, 2011, articles 129, 140 and 142, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        (3) Political Party Act, 1997, article 34 and 38, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

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        MODERATE
        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

        Election committees – special legal entities functioning exclusively during election campaigns – are required to publish regular information during election campaigns about individual donations and bank loans. As stated in article 104 of Election Code "The election campaign begins from the date of notice of the act of the competent authority on elections and is terminated at 24 hours before the election day." Parliamentary and presidential campaigns start about 60 days before election day.

        As stated in article 140 § 1 of Election Code “The Committee is obliged to keep records of: 1) loans, including the name of the bank granting the loan and all the essential conditions for its recovery, in particular: the date of the loan, its amount, interest and other costs of its acquiring, guarantors, and the commitment to be repaid; 2) payment from one individual of a value exceeding the amount of the minimum wage, defined under the Act of 10 October 2002 on the minimum wage, as applicable on the day preceding the announcement of the date of elections, indicating the name, surname and place of residence of such person.” As stated in article 140 § 2 “The committee is obliged to publish the records referred to in § 1, on its website, and keep it updated in order to ensure information on leans and deposits are made public within 7 days of such loan or deposit being made.”

        Election committees are required to publish a financial report with itemized contributions and expenditures within 3 months after election day.

        As stated in article 142 § 1 of Election Code “Within 3 months from the date of the election, the financial representative shall submit to the competent electoral body, to which the elections committee submitted its notification of establishment, a report on revenues, expenditures and financial commitments of the committee, including bank loans and the basis on which they were obtained hereinafter referred to as "financial report.". As stated in article 142 § 7 of Election Code “The minister responsible for public finance, after consultation with the State Electoral Commission, shall, by regulation, establish the form of financial reports and the detailed scope of information required to be contained therein as well as a list of the types of documents that must accompany the financial report, so to enable verification of the reports and information provided.”

        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

        Election Code, 2011, articles 140 and 142, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, articles 140 and 142, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

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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

        Political parties (but not ECs of political parties) are the only entities which submit financial reports outside electoral campaign periods. They are required to report two types of information: one called “Information” about subvention received (see more about subvention in Q1) and the expenditures covered by this subvention; and a second called “Report” about all contributions and expenditures made to and from the Election Fund (a special fund of a political party for election campaign expenditures).

        As stated in article 34 of Political Parties Act “1. Political parties shall prepare a yearly financial statement of the subvention received and the expenditures covered by this subvention, later called “information”. 2. Political parties shall submit information covering a calendar year no later than 31 March of the following year. 3. The Minister responsible for public finances, after seeking an opinion of the National Electoral Commission, shall determine by order, a specimen, with necessary explanations, that enumerates detailed scope of the information to be included therein to enable especially the honest verification of all the data concerning the expenses covered by subvention, including expenses covered by Expert Fund.”

        As stated in article 38 of Political Parties Act “1. No later than 31 March each year, a political party must submit to the National Electoral Commission a report, later called “report”, covering the sources of financial funds gained, including bank loans and specification of conditions set forth, and on expenditures paid from the Election Fund in the previous calendar year. 2. The Minister responsible for public finance, after seeking an opinion of the National Electoral Commission, shall specify, in a decision, the form of the report as well as necessary explanations concerning its preparation and a list of documents annexed. The form shall describe, in particular, the method of separately accounting the resources of the Election Fund of a political party.”.

        Individual candidates running for Parliament supported by an EC of voters and running for the presidency supported by an EC of a presidential candidate do not have the right to receive and spend money – neither during nor outside electoral campaign periods. Election committees have the exclusive right to receive and spend money, but only during election campaigns. Because of this they do not report any information outside electoral campaign periods. This applies to ECs of political parties, ECs of voters and ECs of presidential candidates.

        As stated in article 129 of Election Code “§ 1 Election committees may raise and disburse funds only for purposes related to the election. § 2 It is forbidden for the election committee to raise any funds: 1) before acceptance by the competent authority of a notice on the establishment of the electoral committee; 2) after the election. § 3 It is prohibited for the election committee to disburse any funds: 1) before acceptance by the competent authority of a notice of establishment of the electoral committee; 2) after the date of the financial statements referred to in art. 142 § 1”.

        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

        Political Party Act, 1997, article 34 and 38, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

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        25
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        There are no monthly reports during the campaign, which apply to both contributions and expenditures. During election period election committees provide information only about two types of contributions: on received donations from individuals and on loans. In practice, not all committees fulfill this obligation, as shown by the parliamentary campaign in 2011. During election period election committees do not provide any information about expenditures.

        The EC of political party do not provide information about received donations from individuals because it is forbidden by the law receiving individual donation by the EC of an political party. Political party (not the EC of an political party) may receive support from individuals. This issue is not regulated by the Electoral code but by the Law on political parties. This act does not impose any obligation to inform monthly about donors. This information is attached to the report of a political party once a year but it is not published on-line.

        Within 3 months after election day election committees publish the financial reports with itemized contributions and expenditures. It is a few paged table with general position for income (from individuals, from political party, from bank loan) and for expenditure (office costs, TV ad and billboards, transport etc.). In practice, not all committees submit reports. After parliamentary elections in 2011, the obligation to report concerned the 104 electoral committees. In the statutory deadline 84 committees submitted documents, after the deadline 9 committees submitted a report; 11 committees did not present it at all.

        After last parliamentary elections in 2011 93 ECs submitted financial reports to the NEC – 18 of ECs of political parties and 75 of ECs of voters. In the group counts only five EC (all are ECs of political parties), which candidates became members of parliament. The spending budget of the biggest ECs of political parties is about 30 mln PLN (9,5 mln USD). The ECs of voters has, for example, spending budget about 44,000 PLN (14,000 USD).

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, Association of Civic Network - Watchdog Poland, Warsaw, interview by phone, July 19, 2014

        Przejrzysto?? finansowania kampanii wyborczych i partii politycznych – wybrane problemy i rekomendacje (Transparency of financing of election campaign and political parties – selected problems and recommendations), 2012, M. Ga??zka, M. Solon-Lipi?ski, J. Zbieranek, Institute of Public Affairs, page 14. Report presents the main issues and areas that require urgent legal regulation, conceptual work or technical and organizational measures. The report contained recommendations to increase transparency of political financing in Poland. http://isp.org.pl/publikacje,718,567.html

        PKW jeszcze nie sprawdzi?a sprawozda? PiS i PO, Rzeczpospolita, June 20, 2012, http://www.rp.pl/artykul/895146.html

        Announcement of National Electoral Commission concerning the financial statements of the electoral committees participating in parliamentary election in 2011, NEC website, 13 Feb 2012, http://pkw.gov.pl/wybory-do-sejmu-rp-i-do-senatu-rp-2011/komunikat-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej-z-dnia-13-lutego-2012-r.html

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

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

        From the formal side reports include all kinds of income. Attachments to the financial statements include complete history of the bank account with all details, including payment and individual donations. In practice, the reports do not show all types of income. The problem is exceeding the limit on amount of donation by splitting the payment into several smaller donations made by several people. The reports also do not take into account donations in kind in the form of above-average discounts on services. For example, 90% discount on the printing of the posters would not be considered as a donation in kind by NEC. The financial reports do not inform also about voluntary work and its scope.

        Because there were no NGO’s monitoring the financing of election campaign in 2011, it is difficult to say how common the above mentioned problems are.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. All reports are extremely general and, as mentioned by the Expert, do not report neither all types of income nor expenses. Civic Platform´s (PO), currently Poland´s main party, last financial report with barely three pages is a clear example of this. The same can be said regarding the report presented by their EC after the last 2014 EP elections. What it is interesting, though, is that while ECs are obliged to present, together with their declaration, all bank statements and bills as well as, if possible, a copy/model of the electoral leaflets, billboard, cup, etc. made; political parties are not obliged to present the receipts, just the financial declaration and the bank (but not original) receipts.

        In relation to the question if all donations are in practice paired with names and personal identifiers, the truth is that, as can be seen, from PO´s reports this is not the case in the report itself. But as the report is complemented with all the "proofs of accounts", then it would be possible to see who and how much a person donated (also even in the case of cash donations). Regarding the issue of the donations in-kind, the truth is that it is impossible to check. Because such discounts are not considered to be donations (in-kind) by the NEC, parties do not feel in the necessity to report them and, therefore, are not included in the reports or declared elsewhere. In the case of local elections report, the value of donations in-kind does not even need to be reported!

        See: Civic Platform's (PO) declaration about the sources of acquisition of financial resources, including bank loans as well as the conditions for obtaining them and the expenditures incurred by the Electoral Fund in the previous calendar year (i.e. 2013), http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/201405/1a6088753635c5e95fcc322e10537ef3.pdf. Also the final declaration of Civic Platform's Electoral Committee in relation to the electoral campaign for the 2014 European Parliament elections, http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/201409/7648fc8cbbcb70d101cb1df9f4e45788.pdf.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Financial report of Civic Platform (main governing party) after parliamentary (Sejm and Senat) elections 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_02/0a7ebc253c38e3626a6c904de6f66249.pdf

        Financial report of W?odzimierz Cimoszewicz Election Committee of Voters (the senator nowadays) after parliamentary (Sejm and Senat) elections 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_02/64ea8f9f1a0e0fb771c90bc030328993.pdf

        Reviewer's sources:

        Sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). GRECO (2008): Evaluation Report on Poland on Transparency of Party Funding. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoEval3(2008)2PolandTwo_EN.pdf

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

        Regarding to political parties, as stated in article 11. 2 of the Constitution “The financing of political parties shall be open to public inspection”.

        Political parties are required to report and publish two types of information on the base of Political Parties Act. One called “Information” about subvention received (see more about subvention in Q1) and the expenditures covered by this subvention; and a second called “Report” about all contributions and expenditures made to and from the Election Fund (a special fund of a political party for election campaign expenditures). It is important to mention that political parties are not obliged to publish information about all expenditures. They show only information about expenditures covered by subvention or Election Found. Political parties do not show expenditures covered, for example, by individual donations.

        As stated in article 34. 4 of Political Parties Act: “The information shall be published by the National Electoral Commission in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Poland “Monitor Polski” within 14 days following its submission to the National Electoral Commission.” As stated in article 38.4 4. of Political Parties Act: “The report, together with an opinion, shall be published by the National Electoral Commission in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Poland “Monitor Polski” within 14 days following its submission to the National Electoral Commission.” Official Gazette of the Republic of Poland “Monitor Polski” is available on-line.

        Political parties are obliged to made financial information available to the public also on the base of Act on Access to Public Information because they are entities which use public funds. As stated in article 4.1 of Act on Access to Public Information “To make the public information available is the obligation of the public authorities as well as other entities performing public functions, in particular: […] 5) entities representing other persons or organisational units, which perform public functions or dispose of public property…” As stated in article 7 of Act on Access to Public Information: “1. Making public information available takes place by means of: 1) announcing public information, including official documents, in the Public Information Bulletin, mentioned in Article 8, 2) making it available, mentioned in Articles 10 and 11, 3) entrance into the meetings of the bodies, defined in Article 3, it. 1, point 3, and making the materials available, including the audio-visual and tele-communicating, documenting these meetings. 2. Access to public information is free, with the stipulation of Article 15.” As stated in article 10 Act on Access to Public Information: “1. Public information, which was not made available in the Public Information Bulletin, is made available on the petition. 2. Public information, which can be immediately made available, is made available in the oral or written form without a written petition.” As stated in article 10 it. 1 Act on Access to Public Information: “Making the information available on the petition of is made without undue delay, no later however than within 14 days of submitting the petition, with the stipulation of it. 2 and Article 15, it.2.”.

        Financial information from the EC of an political party and the EC of voters running in Parliamentary election and the EC of the presidential candidate must be available to the public. As stated in article 143 of Election Code: “§1. In elections to the Sejm and the Senate, the European Parliament elections and election of the President of the Republic, the National Electoral Commission publishes the financial reports of the election committees within 30 days from the date of their submission, in the Public Information Bulletin.[…] § 4 The record of deposits made by Polish citizens to the elections commissions of organisations and election commissions of voters shall be made available by the National Electoral Commission upon request, in the mode and manner prescribed by the Act of August 29, 1997 on the protection of personal data (Journal of Laws 2002, No. 101, pos. 926, as amended.) § 5 Other types of documents annexed to the financial reports are made available for inspection by entities listed in Article. 144 § 7 in the period provided for raising objection to the financial report, and to all other entities, they are made available after this period pursuant to the provisions of the Act of 6 September 2001 on Access to Public Information.”. Public Information Bulletin of NEC, where financial information of ECs are published, is available on-line.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. All financial information is published in due time by the NEC here: http://pkw.gov.pl/finansowanie-partii-politycznych-i-kampanii-wyborczych/finansowanie-nawigacja.html. Because of its constitutional rank, the principle of financial transparency is the main leitmotif behing all the work undertaken and accomplished by the NEC.

        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

        The Constitution of the Republic of Poland,1997, article 11.2. English version: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/konst/angielski/kon1.htm

        Act on Access to Public Information, 2001, article 4.1, English version: http://www.legislationline.org/documents/action/popup/id/6757

        Political Party Act, 1997, article 34 and 38, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.)

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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

        The access to the financial reports of political parties and election committees are easy, because these documents are published by National Electoral Commission on its website. But these reports are general several pages of tables, in addition in the form of scanned pdf. – not a machine-readable format. There is no difference between availability of reports of the EC of political party and the EC of group of voters or presidential candidate.

        Other documents, including information about the donors of electoral committees or political parties, invoices, bills and contracts for specific services are available in source materials - available for consultation only on paper, at National Electoral Commission office or headquarters of a political party. In NEC office there are available original documents attached to the financial reports of election committees. There is no problem with access to these documents, access takes a few days or shorter.

        In case of annual reports of political parties original document are available at headquarters of a political party. It is important to know that annual reports refer only to a part of the documents concerning political parties expenditures. All documents are at the political parties headquarters only. There are a lot of problems with access to these documents, political parties don't want to show these documents. Watchdog Poland Association has submitted the complaint to the court against the five political parties regarding refusal to disclose financial documents. The complaint is still pending before the court.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Although I mostly agree with the Expert´s evaluation, it is important to note that there are different views about the extent to which citizens can easily access to the financial information. While Karolina Tomaszewicz, a journalist working on TV Republika, confirmed the reluctancy of NEC officials to give access to financial information (beyond the reports already published online), Krzystof Lorenz, director of the financial auditing unit of the NEC, stated the easiness with which citizens could have access to such information. The problem, according to him, is that citizens are not much interested in doing so (beyond what they can see in the NEC website or read in the newspapers). Dominika Wielowieyska, a long-time Gazeta Wyborzca (Poland´s main daily) journalist working on the topic of party finance, confirmed Lorenz´s statement, but pointed out that sometimes it is very difficult to find the right information as documents tend to be messed up and not adequately cataloged (just in boxes), requiring a lot of time and pacience.

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, legal expert of “Civic Network - Watchdog Poland” Association, phone interview (19 Jul 2014)

        Financial report of Election Committee of Civic Platform party (the ruling party since 2007) in parliamentary election 2011, available at National Election Commission website http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_02/0a7ebc253c38e3626a6c904de6f66249.pdf

        Financial report of the Election Committee of Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski (the leader of the main opposition party) in presidential election 2010, available at National Election Commission website http://pkw.gov.pl/gallery/20/91/31/209131/sprwybprez2010_014.pdf

        Przejrzysto?? finansowania kampanii wyborczych i partii politycznych – wybrane problemy i rekomendacje (Transparency of financing of election campaign and political parties – selected problems and recommendations), 2012, M. Ga??zka, M. Solon-Lipi?ski, J. Zbieranek, Institute of Public Affairs, page 12 and 22.
        Report presents the main issues and areas that require urgent legal regulation, conceptual work or technical and organizational measures. The report contained recommendations to increase transparency of political financing in Poland. http://isp.org.pl/publikacje,718,567.html

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming in http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.)

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

        Financial information is published in a standardized format (pdf) which make each report directly comparable to another. Unfortunately it refers only to the part of information - general information about income and spending. It is a few paged table with general position for income (from individuals, from political party, from bank loan) and for expenditure (office costs, TV ad and billboards, transport etc.) This table is prepared only as a scanned pdf.

        The other data are available only in paper form and are not available in a standardized format. These data are all source documents attached to financial report - bills, invoices, contracts, etc. So for example if citizen wants to check detailed invoices about TV ad made by EC, he/she will need to go to National Election Commission office in Warsaw.

        There is no difference between availability of reports and source documents of the EC of political party and the EC of group of voters or presidential candidate.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The form and minimum content of the reports is drafted by the Ministry of Finance, rather than by the NEC.

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, legal expert of “Civic Network - Watchdog Poland” Association, phone interview (19 Jul 2014)

        Financial report of Election Committee of Civic Platform party (the ruling party since 2007) in parliamentary election 2011, available at National Election Commission website http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_02/0a7ebc253c38e3626a6c904de6f66249.pdf

        Przejrzysto?? finansowania kampanii wyborczych i partii politycznych – wybrane problemy i rekomendacje (Transparency of financing of election campaign and political parties – selected problems and recommendations), 2012, M. Ga??zka, M. Solon-Lipi?ski, J. Zbieranek, Institute of Public Affairs, page 12 and 22. http://isp.org.pl/publikacje,718,567.html Report presents the main issues and areas that require urgent legal regulation, conceptual work or technical and organizational measures. The report contained recommendations to increase transparency of political financing in Poland.

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). Addtional info: GRECO (2008): Evaluation Report on Poland on Transparency of Party Funding. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoEval3(2008)2PolandTwo_EN.pdf

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

        Media use the information contained in financial reports of election committees quite often. Access to data collected in the NEC easy, and PKW is open to cooperation.

        Journalists use the information contained, focusing mainly on the expenditure of political parties - both ruling and opposition parties. Sometimes there is the lack of published materials with deeper analysis.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. One of the main political scandals in June-July 2013 was originated with the publication of a press report by Dominika Wielowieyska and her colleagues in Gazeta Wyborcza about the way in which political parties has used their State subsidies. The series of articles (during two weeks) not only generated a lot of public outrage, especially at the news that PO was giving up to 700,000 PLN to pay the pensions of their politicians, or that Jaroslaw Kaczynski´s Law and Justice (PiS) was paying roughly 1 million PLN for its leaders´ security services, or that RP spent a lot of money in wine, but also it brough back into the political debate the following issue: should political parties be financed by the State?

        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

        Wybory 2011: Ruch Palikota wyda? na promocj? 500 tysi?cy z?otych, PiS - 16 milionów, wprost, 21.02.2012 http://www.wprost.pl/ar/306943/Wybory-2011-Ruch-Palikota-wydal-na-promocje-500-tysiecy-zlotych-PiS-16-milionow/

        Zamo?ny jak PO–Pis, Andrzej Stankiewicz, Rzeczpospolita newspaper, 08.05.2013 Article analyze the sources of the income of te main political partie In 2012 including „… donation” connected with 2011 elections. http://www.rp.pl/artykul/1006887-Zamozny-jak-PO-PiS.html

        Ochrona prezesa PiS kosztuje milion z? rocznie, Micha? Krzymowski, Newsweek, 19.05.2013 http://polska.newsweek.pl/ochrona-prezesa-pis-kosztuje-milion-zl-rocznie,104496,1,1.html

        RAPORT: Sk?d politycy maj? pieni?dze i na co je wydaj?, Anna D?browska, Polityka, 28.05.2013, http://www.polityka.pl/tygodnikpolityka/kraj/1544157,4,raport-skad-politycy-maja-pieniadze-i-na-co-je-wydaja.read

        PO wyda?a ponad 100 tys. z? na hotel dla Tuska, Micha? Krzymowski, Newsweek, 09.04.2014, http://polska.newsweek.pl/wydatki-po-hotel-dla-donalda-tuska-newsweek-pl,artykuly,283716,1.html

        Reviewer's sources: "Wi?cej przejrzysto?ci w finansach partii" (More Transparency in Party Finances), Agata Nowakowska and Dominika Wielowieyska, published on 13.06.2013, http://wyborcza.pl/1,75968,14091314,Wiecejprzejrzystosciwfinansachpartii.html

        "Jak PiS i PO wydaj? miliony z bud?etu" (How PiS and PO Spend Millions from the Budget), Agata Nowakowska and Dominika Wielowieyska, published on 11.06.2013, http://wyborcza.pl/politykaekstra/1,133047,14083901,JakPISiPOwydajamilionyz_budzetu.html.

        Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

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        0
        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

        There were many information about violations or attempts to circumvent the provisions relating to the financing of election campaigns and political parties.

        Many of the information were related to the start of parliamentary campaign (2011) activities earlier than the election law allowed. Political parties before the official start of the election campaign bought billboards and TV spots. In the political parties opinion, billboards and TV spots were just allowed "information activities" with no any connection with election campaign. The National Electoral Commission had different opinion about it , they said that the conducting activities bearing the character of the campaign before official beginning of election campaign is illegal.

        Another example is the election campaigns of individual candidates financed from sources other than the election committee, for example from own funds of a candidate. One candidate to parliament, who was at the same time a rector of the university, advertised his university and himself on posters during the campaign. Other candidate owning drivers training center advertised his company with exposing his surname in ads These candidates argued that the above-mentioned situations were related to their business or the public activity and had no connection with the election campaign. Much controversy has raised by another candidate for deputy, who got spending limit from his EC of political party about 1,500 PLN (480 USD) but spent for his campaign, in opinion of political activists, 300,000 PLN ( 96,000 USD).

        There were also press releases about the links between individual donations to one of the ruling party and positions in public institutions occupied by donors of this party.

        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

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Micha? Krzymowski, journalist of “Newsweek” weekly magazine, phone interview (29 Jul 2014)

        "Komisja Wyborcza daje sygna? ostrzegawczy", Polish Radio, 19 Jul 2011, http://www.polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/403923,Komisja-Wyborcza-daje-sygnal-ostrzegawczy/?utmsource=box&utmmedium=link&utm_campaign=related Article informs that the National Electoral Commission warns political parties from conducting election agitation before the announcement of the election date by the president.

        The position of the National Electoral Commission on the so-called information campaign by political parties and public officials, 18 Jul 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/wyjasnienia-opinie-informacje-i-pisma-okolne-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej/stanowisko-w-sprawie-tzw-kampanii-informacyjnej-prowadzonej-przez-partie-polityczne-i-osoby-pelniace-funkcje-publiczne.html

        "Sposób na kampani?", Ewa ?osi?ska, Rzeczpospolita, 18 Sep 2011 http://www.rp.pl/artykul/719154-Sposob-na-kampanie.html The article gives several examples of circumventing the provisions on campaign financing.

        "?ukasz Giba?a: Pose? za milion", Magdalena Kursa, Gazeta wyborcza,21 Oct 2011 http://wyborcza.pl/1,76842,10510666,LukaszGibalaPoselza_milion.html The article describes the campaign of a candidate for deputy, who probably spent on campaigns, many times more than the allowed limit.

        "Ile kosztowa?a zmasowana kampania Giba?y ", Magdalena Kursa, Gazeta wyborcza, 23 Now 2011 http://krakow.gazeta.pl/krakow/1,44425,10692422,IlekosztowalazmasowanakampaniaGibaly.html Continued case of the campaign of a candidate for deputy, who probably spent on campaigns, many times more than the allowed limit.

        "Jan Bury: Króla Podkarpacia k?opoty z CBA", Micha? Krzymowski, Wojciech Cie?la, Newsweek, 27 Mar 2014 http://polska.newsweek.pl/jan-bury-psl-problemy-z-cba-newsweek-pl,artykuly,282150,1,2.html Article refers to the links between individual donations to one of the ruling party and positions in public institutions occupied by donors of this party.

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        31
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        There were no reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during last parliamentary and presidential election.

        However, it should be mentioned that vote-buying was the problem during the last local elections in 2010. The biggest scandal was associated with the city of Walbrzych, where the local elections in 2010 were invalidated in connection with serious incidents of vote-buying.

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, legal expert of “Civic Network - Watchdog Poland” Association, phone interview (19 Jul 2014)

        S?d okr?gowy nie zauwa?y? korupcji i handlu g?osami (The district court did not see corruption and vote-buying), Gazeta Wyborcza, April 20, 2011 http://wroclaw.gazeta.pl/wroclaw/1,35771,9467967,Sadokregowyniezauwazylkorupcjiihandlu_glosami.html Article refers to vote-buying case in the city of Walbrzych in local elections in 2010.

        Skazani za handel g?osami(Sentenced for vote-buying), Wa?brzych Moje Miasto, Dec 13, 2012, http://walbrzych.naszemiasto.pl/artykul/skazani-za-handel-glosami,1653835,t,id.html Article refers to vote-buying case in the city of Walbrzych in local elections in 2010.

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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

        Organizations very rarely use political data connected with parliamentary or presidential election. One positive exception to this trend may be an initiative of Watchdog Poland Association. They wanted under the Act on Access to Public Information obtain source documents - party’s bills and contracts for January 2013 from 5 political parties. Political parties refused to share the data. Currently, the association submitted complaints to the courts. One of the parties, as a result of these actions, has released their invoices. The Watchdog Poland Association made own direct requests to political parties because original documents from political parties financial reports are available only at headquarters of a political parties. It is important to know that annual reports refer only to a part of documents concerning political parties expenditures. All documents are available at the political parties headquarters only. The association is forcing the parties to share previously unavailable information and wants to show that political parties are obliged to do it. See also Q26 and Q27.

        Another example is the local Freedom Foundation from city of Lublin which shows information gathered from NEC about political parties individual donors from city of Lublin. These donation can be used by party to finance election campaign, including parliamentary and presidency.

        A final example, which is connected with local elections, is activity of Stanczyk Foundation from city of Krakow. The foundation will establish on their website module, where it will be possible to find an information about local election committees individual donors, their relationships with companies and results of municipal's tenders.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Although prior to the study period, another example is that of the reports/control campaigns undertaken by the Batory Foundation prior to 2011: for the 2005 presidential, 2006 local (but only in the main electoral districts) and 2009 EP elections, in particular. The interesting thing is that such works not only increased the general awareness of the Polish publish with political party corruption at the time of elections, but also influenced some legislative changes, currently incorporated in the Electoral Code.

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, legal expert of “Civic Network - Watchdog Poland” Association, phone interview (19 Jul 2014)

        Jawne finanse partii politycznych w rozumieniu partii politycznych (Transparency finances of political parties within the meaning of political parties), Oct 16, 2013, on the website of the Non-Governmental Centre on Access to Public Information, http://informacjapubliczna.org.pl/11,888,jawnefinansepartiipolitycznychwrozumieniupartii_politycznych.html The article describes the efforts of the Association to get from political parties invoices and contracts under the Act on Access to Public Information.

        PO musi wyja?ni?, dlaczego nie ujawnia faktur i umów (Civic Platform has to explain why it did not disclose the invoices and contracts), May 26, 2014 http://prawo.gazetaprawna.pl/artykuly/799112,po-musi-wyjasnic-dlaczego-nie-ujawnia-faktur-i-umow.html The article informs that Police initiated an investigation related to the fact that the Civic Platform did not disclose the invoices and contracts

        Polityczni darczy?cy 2013 (Political donors in 2013), Freedom Foundation http://fundacjawolnosci.org/polityczni-darczyncy-2013/ Article published on foundation website shows information gathered by Freedom Foundation (local foundation from city of Lublin) about political parties individuals donors from city of Lublin. Information is based on official financial reports found in NEC.

        Przejrzysty Kraków Itransparent Krakow) website http://przejrzystykrakow.pl/ Website made by Stanczyk Foundation with information, among others, about companies in which councilors have shares. It will be also established module where it will be possible to find an information about election committees individual donors, their relationships with companies and results of municipal's tenders.

        Reviewer's sources: Batory Foundation website. Accessed on Dec 9, 2014, http://www.batory.org.pl/en

        Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

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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

        The adoption of the Election Code in 2011 was the most important legal reform in the last 10 years. Prior to the adoption of the Election Code, every kind of election was governed by a separate law. This resulted that campaign finance regulations were inconsistent. Adoption of Election Code increased the transparency of campaign financing.

        Amendment of the law on political parties in 2010 was another important change, which caused a reduction in subvention by 50%. Before the introduction of this change, there was criticized too large amount transferred from the state budget for political parties - subvention was approx. 114 million PLN (36.4 million USD) per year for all parties. After reduction of subvention in 2011, subvention is approx. 55 million PLN(17.5 million USD) per year for all entitled political parties.

        Among the changes which have not entered into force, it has been repeatedly raised by the ruling party (the last time in 2013) proposal for the total abolition of the financing of political parties from public funds. In practice, it was the proposal of eradication of the “Entity Subsidy” and the “Subvention”. This project did not meet with the support of other parliamentary parties.

        Another change, which has not entered into force, was a provision of the Election Code, which prohibited advertising on billboards and paid TV spots during the election campaign. This solution was like that of France. The purpose of this provision would be to reduce the budgets of election campaigns. Second purpose was shift the campaign activities from a purely marketing activities (billboards, TV spots) to the merits like meetings with voters, party program booklets etc. This provision was, however, rejected by the Constitutional Court in 2011 as limiting to much the ability to reach voters by electoral committees.

        The political foundations bill (solution similar to political foundations in Germany) from 2012 has not entered into force either. The assumption was that a part of subvention should be spent by political foundations established by political parties. The aim was to increase the quality of public debate through greater expert and research support for political parties.

        The last idea, which has not entered into force, was the draft from 2012 to introduce tax deductions for political parties. Every citizen could decide on which political parties would like to donate 1% of their taxes (such a solution exists in Poland concerning NGOs). Introduction of the tax deduction would be connected with liquidation of the entity subsidy and the subvention. This project has not gained a parliamentary majority.

        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. After the 2001 legislative reform to the 1997 Law on Political Parties which set the framework for the current regulation, there were various very minor modifications, the last ones in 2008 (just a formality in relation to the presentation of a party´s financial annual statement) and 2010 (mentioned by the expert). A new consolidated version of the Party Law was published on 29 June 2011. The liquidation of "public funding" the expert mentions was proposed by Civic Platform after the political turmoil created by the publication of the various Gazeta Wyborzca articles mentioned in question 29. The proposal to regulate political party foundations was also iniciated by PO´s parliamentary group. However, the proposal to dedicate 1% of taxes to the funding of political parties was an idea of the then recently elected Palikot´s Movement.

        The Law on Political Parties (published June 29th, 2011). For 2008 reform, see articles 34.a and 38a. http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm.

        Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, legal expert of “Civic Network - Watchdog Poland” Association, phone interview (19 Jul 2014)

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm Election Code, 2011, articles 150 and 151, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        The Act of 16 December 2010 amending the Act on Political Parties http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/Download?id=WDU20102541702&type=2 This act has reduced subvention by 50%.

        NEC official information about amount of subvention for political parties in 2008-2011 (before and after reduction of subvention) pkw.gov.pl/wyjasnienia-i-informacje-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej/informacja-o-wysokosci-subwencji-na-dzialalnosc-statutowa-przyslugujacych-partiom-politycznym-w-latach-2008-2011.html

        "PO: projekt likwidacji finansowania partii ju? gotowy", Rzeczpospolita, 27 Jun 2013, http://www.rp.pl/artykul/573267,1023949-PO--projekt-likwidacji-finansowania-partii-juz-gotowy.html?referer=redpol Article refers to Civic Platform (ruling party) proposal for the total abolition of the financing of political parties from public funds.

        Constitutional Court press release about judgment of the Constitutional Court (20 Jul 2011) concerning the prohibition on the use of billboards and paid television spots in the campaign. Press release in English http://trybunal.gov.pl/en/news/press-releases/after-the-hearing/art/2619-kodeks-wyborczy/

        Draft Law on Political Foundations, 2012 http://orka.sejm.gov.pl/Druki7ka.nsf/0/CC6AF617B21EE9BBC12579F90032630B/%24File/381.pdf

        "Fundacje polityczne - b?dzie nowa wojna?", Kamila Baranowska, Rzeczpospolita, 17 May 2012 http://www.rp.pl/artykul/16,877213-Fundacje-polityczne---bedzie-nowa-wojna-.html Article refers to criticism of the parliamentary parties on draft Law on Political Foundations.

        "Nie b?dzie 1 proc. dla partii", Rzeczpospolita, 13 Apr 2012 http://www.rp.pl/artykul/631926,859391-Nie-bedzie-1-proc--dla-partii.html?p=1 Article refers to rejection by parliament draft from 2012 to introduce tax deductions for political parties

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

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    Third Party Actors

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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
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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

        No such law exists.


        Peer Reviewer Comment: Agree. This is one of the main problems pointed out in Casal Bértoa (forthcoming). It should not be forgotten also that these entities have no legal recognition in respect of election financing activities.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). For additional information, see GRECO (2008): Evaluation Report on Poland on Transparency of Party Funding. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoEval3(2008)2PolandTwo_EN.pdf

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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

        These entities are not included in the Election Code or in any other electoral laws. They can not therefore be subject to any disclosure obligations, with the exception of any obligations they may have with the Tax Office.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

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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

        It is very difficult to obtain the financial information of third party actors, in fact it is almost impossible. None of these entities is obliged to provide such information. In practice, without the goodwill of the entity, such as a trade union, is not possible to check how much a given third party actor spent in support of political parties.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Micha? Krzymowski, journalist of “Newsweek” weekly magazine, phone interview (29 Jul 2014)

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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

        Increased activity of third-party actors has been noticed at the national level in the campaign for the European Parliament in 2014 . Example is the nationwide campaign made by one of the trade union. Trade union warned to vote for the candidates to European parliament who supported (as MPs and senators) solutions aimed at the rights of workers and citizens. As part of the campaign it was possible to noticed in the largest Polish cities, among others, billboards with pictures and names of individual candidates and the slogan "They cheated voters. Now they want to escape to the European Parliament". According to trade union information the main source of money for the campaign were trade union membership fees. The cost of the campaign was not disclosed.

        Another example, which occurred in a much smaller scale, was posters which appeared in local election campaign 2010 in Krakow. One of the association has placed posters with thanks to the mayor for supporting cultural initiatives in the city. These posters were placed during election campaign and mayor was candidate in these elections also. Posters have been found as an example of conducting campaign by third-party actors in the report on monitoring of election campaign finance. Monitoring was run by the Stanczyk Foundation in 2010 in Krakow.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. To add from a historical perspective, the main third-party actor in Polish politics, also in terms of contributions and spend, have been the trade-unions, and in particular NZZS (i.e. Solidarity). Thus, not only helped to bring down Communism during the first partially free 1989 elections, but was behind Lech Walesa's candidature for president in 1990, became an important party after 1991, and especially after 1997 as the main leader of the so-called "Solidarity Electoral Action" (an electoral coalition of up to 33 political formations with NZZS at the front). After 2001, when its political arm (AWSP) lost all its seats obtaining roughly 5.5% of the votes, its political role certainly declined, but it publicly supported the candidature of Lech Kaczynski in 2005, and have continued to play a role, even if secondary, in Polish politics, mainly through the organization of public demonstrations and "negative" campaigning.

        Another important third-party actor, at least until 1999, was the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ), a post-communist trade-union and the equivalent of Solidarity on the right, even if much less influential and successful. Their influence (political and financial) in Polish politics have been minor in the last 15 years. The same can be said of other religious, civil... associations which played an important role in the 1990s.

        Perhaps the most influential third-party actor nowadays, but especially in the 2005-2007 period, is the religious and politically conservative radio station called "Radio Maryja" (and its TV-sister, TV Trwam). In September 2012 they even organized a "Poland awake!" demonstration with Law and Justice (PiS), with the consequences this may have in terms of "indirect funding" of a party's activities. Otherwise the financial involvement of third-party actors in Poland is very limited.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        "Oszukali wyborców, uciekaj? do europarlamentu". Antykampania "Solidarno?ci" przed wyborami do PE", Gazeta.pl, 6 May 2014 http://trojmiasto.gazeta.pl/trojmiasto/1,35636,15907340,Oszukaliwyborcowuciekajadoeuroparlamentu_Antykampania.html Article refers to nationwide campaign made by one of the trade union. Trade union warned to vote for the candidates to European parliament who supported solutions aimed at the rights of workers and citizens.

        "Rozliczmy hipokrytów. Ruszy?a kampania "Sprawdzam polityka"", 8 May 2014 http://www.solidarnosc.org.pl/aktualnosci/wiadomosci/kraj/item/8449-rozliczmy-hipokrytow-ruszyla-kampania-sprawdzam-polityka Article from official "Solidarno??" trade union website. Article refers to nationwide campaign concerning the settlement of election promises of politicians. Activities of the campaign were, among others, billboards (examples in the article) and web portal.

        "Monitoring finansowania samorz?dowej kampanii wyborczej Kraków 2010", Przemek ?ak, Jan Niedo?pia?, Stanczyk Foundation 2010, p. 55 http://www.stanczyk.org.pl//wp-content/uploads/2012/11/MonitoringkampaniiKrakow2010raport.pdf Report on monitoring of election campaign finance conducted by the Stanczyk Foundation in 2010 in Krakow.

        Reviewer's sources: Gwiazda, A. (2015): Democracy in Poland: Representation, Participation, Competition and Accountability since 1989. London: Routledge. Millard, F. (2009): Democratic Elections in Poland (1991-2007). London: Routledge. Szczerbiak, A. (2001): Poles Together? Emergence and Development of Political Parties in Post-communist Poland. Budapest: Central European University Press.

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

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

        National Electoral Commission (NEC) is an independent oversight authority. As stated in article 157 of the Election Code: “§ 1 The National Electoral Commission is a permanent supreme electoral body competent in the conduct of elections and referendums. § 2 The National Electoral Commission includes: 1) the three judges of the Constitutional Court, appointed by the President of the Constitutional Court; 2) the three judges of the Supreme Court, appointed by the First President of the Supreme Court; 3) the three judges of the Supreme Administrative Court, appointed by the President of the Supreme Administrative Court. “

        Election committees have the exclusive right to receive and spend money during election campaigns. They submit financial reports to the State Electoral Commission. It refers to the EC of a political party and the EC of voters participating on parliamentary elections. It applies to the EC of a presidential candidate as well. As stated in article 142 § 1 of the Election Code: “Within 3 months from the date of the election, the financial representative shall submit to the competent electoral body, to which the elections committee submitted its notification of establishment, a report on revenues, expenditures and financial commitments of the committee, including bank loans and the basis on which they were obtained hereinafter referred to as "financial report."

        NEC has a number of control instruments. As stated in article 144 of the Election Code: “§ 1 Within 6 months from the date of submission of the financial report the electoral body, which has received the financial report shall: 1) adopt the report without reservations; 2) adopt the report, pointing to any irregularities, or 3) reject the report if it finds: a) the raising or spending of funds by the election committee is in violation of the provisions of article 29, or the limits, referred to in art. 135, b) that public collections were carried out in spite of the prohibition referred to in art. 131 § 2, c) acceptance by the election committee of a political party or coalition election committee, funds from a source other than the Election Fund, d) the adoption by a voters election committee or an election committee of an organization of financial benefits, or in-kind benefit in violation of the provisions of article. 132 § 3-6, e) acceptance by the election committee of a political party or coalition election committee of in-kind benefits in violation of Article. 132 § 5 § 2 Rejection of the financial report may also occur in the case that security for loans was issued in breach of article 132 § 6, as well as actions undertake which resulted in a reduction of the liabilities of the committee by a person other than that mentioned in art. 132 § 6, or made in violation of the limit of the payments referred to in art. 134 § 2 § 3 In case of doubt as to the accuracy of financial reports, the relevant electoral body may call upon an election committee to report defects or to provide additional clarifications within a specified period. § 4 The electoral body, examining financial reports, may commission expert reports or opinions. § 5 Public administration bodies shall provide the State Election Commission, at its request, assistance necessary to study the financial reports. § 6 Supervisory authorities, auditing and inspection, functioning within government administration and territorial self-government bodies cooperate with the National Electoral Commission and are required to provide the State Election Commission, at its request, the results of the audit carried out by these authorities. …”

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

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

        Members of National Electoral Commission are the judges from the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court. As stated in article 157 of the Election Code: “§ 1 The National Electoral Commission is a permanent supreme electoral body competent in the conduct of elections and referendums. § 2 The National Electoral Commission includes: 1) the three judges of the Constitutional Court, designated by the President of the Constitutional Court; 2) the three judges of the Supreme Court, designated by the First President of the Supreme Court; 3) the three judges of the Supreme Administrative Court, designated by the President of the Supreme Administrative Court. §3. Judges referred in § 2, are appointed, as members of the National Electoral Commission, by the President of Republic of Poland. […] §7. The provision referred to in § 3, is given to the public and shall published in Official Journal of the Republic of Poland "Polish Monitor".”

        As stated in 178.3 of Constitution of the Republic of Poland “A judge shall not belong to a political party, a trade union or perform public activities incompatible with the principles of independence of the courts and judges.”

        There is no public vetting process concerning candidates for members of National Electoral Commission. However, members of the NEC are initially appointed as judges of the highest courts in the country, requiring merit in a public appointment process, and in no case can they be members of political parties.

        The Polish Constitution only states that members of the Constitutional Tribunal, and therefore 3 of the members of the NEC, have to be "persons distinguished by their knowledge of the law" (194.1). However, and as it follows from the Law on the Constitutional Tribunal (art. 5), any candidate to be part of the Constitutional Tribunal needs to have the qualifications required to be appointed member of the Supreme Court of the Supreme Administrative Court.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Constitution of the Republic of Poland, 1997, art. 178 http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/konst/angielski/kon1.htm (English version)

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        50
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        There are no substantive objections to the preparation of members of the the NEC. These are the judges of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and the Supreme Administrative Court. This fact is the best safeguard of their high qualifications.

        Unfortunately no public competition usually advertised. The important media information was about changing of the chairman of NEC. The previous chairman left the office because he reached the age of 70 years, which is one of the reason, specified in Election Code, to finish job as a member of NEC. Another member of NEC (who was member already 12 years) became the new Chairman of the NEC.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Currently the NEC is composed by: Stefan Jan Jaworski (President), Andrzej Kisielewicz and Stanislaw Kosmal (Vice-Presidents) as well as Boguslaw Dauter, Maria Aleksandra Grzelka, Andrzej Maczynski, Janusz Niemcewicz, Antoni Wlodzimierz Ryms and Stanislaw Zablocki. Some have been plain lawyers (Janusz Niemcewicz, Stanislaw Zablocki), some prosecutors (Jan Jaworski, Antoni W. Ryms), some judges (Maria A. Grzelka, Boguslaw Dauter), some army officers (Stanislaw Kosmal), some academics (Prof. Andrzej Maczynski), but most of them are experts in issues not necessarily related to elections or Electoral/Party (Funding) Law.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Nowy przewodnicz?cy Pa?stwowej Komisji Wyborczej, Polskie Radio, 31 Mar 2010 http://www.polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/198405,Nowy-przewodniczacy-Panstwowej-Komisji-Wyborczej- Article rewers to information abort New Chairman of the National Electoral Commission.

        Reviewer's sources: The composition of the National Electoral Commission. Website accessed on Dec 9, 2014. http://pkw.gov.pl/panstwowa-komisja-wyborcza-2/sklad-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej.html

        For additional information: Remark, Ferdinand (ed.) (2007): "Iudices Electionis Custodes. Judges Electoral Custodians" (2007). Warsaw: National Electoral Commission Publishing House. http://pkw.gov.pl/gallery/11/06/00/110600/Ksiegapopr.pdf

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

        Members of National Electoral Commission (NEC) are independent with full authority and have security of tenure. Cases of expiry of membership in the NEC are strictly defined in the Election Code. As stated in article 158 § 1 of the Election Code: “Membership in the National Electoral Commission expires in the case of: 1) resignation from membership; 2) referred to in art. 153 § 2; 3) the death of a member of the Commission; 4) complete the age of 70 years by a judge who is a member; […] 5) dismissal made by the President of the Republic of Poland upon reasoned request of the President of the Court, who designated the judge as a member of the NEC.”

        The case described in art. 153 § 2 of the Election Code refers to situation in which member of the NEC agreed to standing for election or becoming a substitute of election committee or intermediary. In such a case, their membership in the NEC expires.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. As judges (of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court), the members of the NEC cannot be deputies (art. 103 Constitution) not even belong to any political party (art. 178.3 Constitution). Even the members of the Constitutional Court, which are chosen by the parliamentary majority in the Sejm, need to be first proposed by their own peers, and in particular by the General Assembly of the Judges of the Constitutiona Court (art. 194 Constitution).

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Constitution of the Republic of Poland, 1997, art. 194 http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/konst/angielski/kon1.htm (English version)

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        100
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        In the opinion of representatives of political parties and non-governmental organizations the National Electoral Commission members are independent and not subject to any pressure. The NEC is composed of three judges of the Constitutional Court, three judges of the Supreme Court and three judges of the Supreme Administrative Court. They are apolitical, and they cannot be members of political parties.

        The most recent important information was about changing of the chairman of NEC. The previous chairman left the office because he reached the age of 70 years, which is one of the reason, specified in Election Code, to finish job as a member of NEC. Another member of NEC (who was member already 12 years) became the new Chairman of the NEC.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Even the members of the Constitutional Court, which are chosen by the parliamentary majority in the Sejm, tend to be totally apolitical. The fact that once appointed the member of the Constitutional Court are totally (even financially) independent has favoured the inexistence of so-called "puppet judges". Moreover, the fact that judges of the Constitutional Court are appointed for different time periods assures that any member under political influence would be outvoted. In practice, the NEC is considered to be one of the most trusted institutions in Poland. One of the main consequences of this "popularity" among politicians and citizens in general was the fact that after having taken care of the fairness of the electoral process (including electoral campaigns and their financing) between 1991 and 2000, one year later the NEC was given the competences to also control the finances of political parties themselves.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Nowy przewodnicz?cy Pa?stwowej Komisji Wyborczej, Polskie Radio, 31 Mar 2010 http://www.polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/198405,Nowy-przewodniczacy-Panstwowej-Komisji-Wyborczej- Article rewers to information abort New Chairman of the National Electoral Commission.

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

        Walecki, M. (2005): Money and Politics in Poland. Warsaw: Institute for Public Affairs. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/25779619?uid=3739256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21105417814573

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

        Decisions are made according to the Rules of Procedure of the National Electoral Commission (NEC). Members of the NEC always reach a consensus. It is not possible to pass a resolution, when not all 9 members agree on it. All members of the NEC are always signing together each resolution.

        Secretary of NEC, who is also head of National Electoral Office (NEO) shall forward draft resolutions to NEC. Draft resolutions on statements of political parties and election campaigns are prepared by Team for Auditors of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the NEO. In cases when there are doubts about the reports, NEO asks electoral committees and political parties for clarification.

        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

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        Rules of Procedure of the National Electoral Commission, 21 Mar 2011 http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/2011_08/09947d3296d0235b316aa051bcf62c15.pdf

        The amendment to Rules of Procedure of the National Electoral Commission, 23 Jan 2012 http://pkw.gov.pl/regulamin-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej/uchwala-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej-z-dnia-23-stycznia-2012-r-zmieniajaca-uchwale-w-sprawie-regulaminu-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej.html

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        In the opinion of political parties representatives, the NEC has sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations, and can review all of the EC reports submitted to it. There is no backlog.

        What is important to mention, NGOs representatives point out that the NEC focuses only on formal and accountancy form of monitoring of political finance regulations. NEC, in their opinion, does not have the resources and willingness to monitor in active way political finance regulations. Active means to do more than just review all of the EC reports submitted to it.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. It is important to also note here that the NEC is totally financially independent. The budget of the NEC is drafted by the NEC itself and approved (without modifications) by the Minister of Finance and, finally, the Sejm. As pointed out by the Expert, and mentioned before, the control undertaken by the NEC is exclusively formal. For that (including the revision of very standardized and not extremely detail reports), the NEC clearly has sufficient staff. If a higher level of control would be required, the current staff is totally insufficient.

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, legal expert of “Civic Network - Watchdog Poland” Association, phone interview (19 Jul 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at : http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

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

        In case of doubts, the NEC seeks clarifications to political parties and election committees. In the case of matters relating to the violation of the election law, it is the area of police and prosecutors activities. NGOs representatives point out that the NEC focuses only on formal and accountancy form of monitoring of political finance regulations.

        NEC does not have the resources and willingness to monitor in active way political finance regulations. Active means to do more than just review all of the EC reports submitted to it. The problem is that NEC in most cases just sends questions to EC about some doubts. It is difficult to measure the quality of such audits, but for sure, the NEC sometimes does more than just compliance audits.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. On top of the examination undertaken by the NEC itself, each financial report (either of parties or ECs) is audited by an independent auditing firm hired with this purpose by the NEC. The problem is how good such auditings are and who does the auditing. On the one hand, and in relation to the first we should not forget that auditors have to rely on the materials provided by the NEC which, as covered earlier, are basically the reports containing the financial declarations/summaries of the parties/ECs and the bank documents (receipts also in the case of ECs). So, as the reports, the auditing is extremely formal rather than investigative. On the other, the auditing firms hired to do the auditing are not the top ones one could think (e.g. ), basically because (1) they are more (very) expensive, (2) they may be already hired by one or more parties themselves, (3) they are not interested in being seen as "involved in politics".

        It important to note here that, in practical terms, the NEC needs to rely (due to the lack of competences and staff) on the information provided either by citizens themselves, who may denounce illegal situations, or other State institutions, mainly the Tax Office and the Court of Auditors, but not only (e.g. Central Anti-corruption Bureau, when any criminal activity by individuals is involved). The problem is that these institutions have different timings. Thus, while the NEC needs to decide on the rejection or not of a financial declaration in less than 6 months, the Tax Office has up to five years, most Law Enforcement Agencies from five to ten years, etc. All in all, one could say that audits are common, but further investigations are not. In most cases they end with a questioning the particular political party/ECs for clarification, and no more.

        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

        Krzysztof Izdebski, legal expert of “Civic Network - Watchdog Poland” Association, phone interview (19 Jul 2014)

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

        Klingeren et al. (2014): “Party Financing and Referendum Campaigns in EU Member States”. Strasbourg: European Parliament´s Committee Constitutional Affairs.

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), e-mail interview (10 Oct 2014).

        Wojciech Gagatek, assistant professor at the Centre for Europe (Warsaw University), e-mail interview (12 Oct 2014).

        Marcin Walecki, board member of the IPSA Research Committee on Political Finance and Political Corruption, phone interview (13 Oct. 2014).

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

        Information on the audit is published in the NEC resolutions about campaign financing. Full documentation is available at the request of the citizens.

        Information in the NEC resolutions linked here is mainly information about legal analysis about doubts about ECs reports or ECs activity during campaign. Information is about that NEC noticed some irregularities, sent question about them to EC, received answer and made legal analysis of it. On a base of it, NEC decide to reject or not EC financial statement.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. For the last elections (to the European Parliament) celebrated on May 25th 2014, the results of the audits, together with the reports of the ECs were published only on 1st September 2014. The audits, which have to follow the instructions given by the NEC, are in may cases very short: for instance, Civic Platfom (3 pages), Polish Peasant Party or Poland Together (5 pages). One of the longest belongs to the EC formed by the Democratic Left Alliance and the Labour Union (13 pages, but with a lot of tables in it). The content of the audits, as the report, is very general (limited to general categories) and formal. Regarding the last 2011 parliamentary elections, the results of the audits of financial statements can be found here: http://pkw.gov.pl/wybory-do-sejmu-rp-i-do-senatu-rp-2011/komunikat-panstwowej-komisji-wyborczej-z-dnia-16-lipca-2012r.html). It is important to note that the NEC has barely 6 months to decide on the acceptance or the rejection of the financial declarations. Such information tend to be published 4 months after the elections.

        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

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        NEC resolution about financial report of EC of political party "Liga Obrony Suwerenno?ci" (parliamentary election in 2011) with information about NEC questions directed at the EC. http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_07/57cf711fce89510e5734cceb558ff62c.pdf

        NEC resolution about financial report of EC of voters "Zbignie Chlebowski" (parliamentary election in 2011) with information about NEC questions directed at the EC. http://pkw.gov.pl/g2/oryginal/2012_07/bce1f45981d163fcd895dc5768aff5c4.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission). E-mail interview (10 Oct 2014). Wojciech Gagatek, assistant professor at the Centre for Europe (Warsaw University), e-mail interview (12 Oct 2014). Marcin Walecki, board member of the IPSA Research Committee on Political Finance and Political Corruption, phone interview (13 Oct. 2014).

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

        There are several sanctions in response to political finance violations, below there are some examples.

        As stated in article 504 of the Election Code “Whoever, in connection with elections, organizing public collections for the purposes of the election campaign shall be subject to a fine of 1,000 to 100,000 PLN” (between 319 USD and 31 900 USD).

        As stated in article 506 of the Election Code “Whoever, in connection with the elections: 1) collect funds or in-kind contributions to the electoral committee or spends funds of the election committee for purposes other than those related to elections, 2) collect funds or in-kind contributions to the electoral committee or spends funds the election committee prior to the date on which a the law authorizes, 3) collect funds or in-kind contributions to the election committee after the election, 4) spends funds of the election committee after submission of financial statements, 5) spends funds in violation of the electoral committee spending limits set for election committees […] - is subject to fine of 1,000 to 100,000 PLN respectively.” (between 319 USD and 31 900 USD)


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Basically there are two types of sanctions in response to political finance violations: namely, administrative and criminal. The former include the reduction of the subsidy, the loss of the right to subvention or the removal of the party from the Register when: (1) a party does not submit the annual financial declaration within the time limit (something that has been critiziced by GRECO), (2) such (submitted) declaration is rejected by the NEC, or (3) the Supreme Court decides to reject a party's complain. Among the criminal sanctions, fines up to 100 thousand PLN or the imprisonment (for up to two years) of people responsible for financial violations.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        National Polish Bank official exchange rate of 14th August 2014 is 1 USD = 3,1285 PLN http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?f=/kursy/ratesa.html

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

        Klingeren et al. (2014): “Party Financing and Referendum Campaigns in EU Member States”. Strasbourg: European Parliament´s Committee Constitutional Affairs.

        GRECO (2008): Evaluation Report on Poland on Transparency of Party Funding. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoEval3(2008)2PolandTwo_EN.pdf

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

        NEC imposes the penalties themselves without outside approval. If there is serious problem like vote buying or donation from prohibited sources, the NEC can send these cases to police and prosecutors. NEC has only several months to approve or reject financial statement of ECs.

        As stated in article 147 § 1 of the Election Code: “In the event of failure to submit the financial report by: 1) The election committee of a political party - a political party is not entitled to subsidies referred to in art. 150 or art. 151, and the right to subsidies referred to in art. 28 of the Act of 27 June 1997 on Political Parties; 2) The election committee of a coalition - a political party forming part of the electoral coalition is not entitled to subsidies referred to in art. 150 or art. 151, and the right to subsidies referred to in art. 28 of the Act of 27 June 1997 on Political Parties; 3) The election committee of voters – is not entitled to subsidies referred to in art. 150 or art. 151…”

        As stated in article 148 § of the Election Code: “§ 1 In case of rejection by the National Electoral Commission of the financial report or the denial of a complaint referred to in art. 145 § 1, the subsidy granted to the political party or voters election committee referred to in art. 150 or art. 151, is reduced by an amount equal to three times the amount of funds raised or expenditure made in violation of the provisions referred to in art. 144 § 1 point 3 § 2 In case of rejection by the National Electoral Commission, of the financial report or the denial of a complaint referred to in art. 145 § 1, the subsidy granted to the political party referred to in art. 28 of the Act of 27 June 1997 on Political Parties, is reduced by an amount equal to three times the amount of funds acquired or expenditure made in violation of the provisions referred to in art. 144 § 1 point 3 § 3 Deduction of grants or subsidies referred to in § 1 and 2 may not exceed 75% of the grant referred to in art. 150 § 1 and art. 151 § 1, or 75% of the amount of the subsidy referred to in art. 28 of the Act of 27 June 1997 on political parties.”


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The NEC can certainly impose administrative sanctions, criminal sanctions (including imprisonment) can only be imposed by a court. It should be noted that over the last decade, the NEC has rejected over 140 annual statements of political parties and made 150 request for removal of a party from the Register of Political Parties.

        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

        Election Code, 2011, excerpts in English: http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/3649/file/Polandelectioncodeexcerptsart125-1512011en.pdf

        Election Code, 2011, full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/kodeks/kodeks.htm

        Political Party Act, 1997 full text in Polish: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/partiepol/kon12.htm

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. and Walecki, M. (2014): "Regulating Polish Politics: Cartel Parties in a Non-Collusive Party System", East European Politics, v. 30, n. 4, pp. 295-314, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21599165.2014.933415?journalCode=fjcs21#.VIcy66TF-Ak.
        Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

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        100
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        In case of rejection by the NEC the financial statements, ECs and political parties, may complain to the Supreme Court. It should be noted, however, that the committees and the parties submit to the procedure, because the law clearly defines what are the reasons for the rejection of the financial reports.

        The same ECs and parties have not been recurring violators for the same offense time and time again.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Along with the deletion from the register of some very minor parties, the most important sanction imposed in the last thirteen years, when the current sanctionatory framework was introduced, has been the loss of the right to receive the annual subvention. Though prior to the study period, an important example was when this sanction was imposed to the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) after the NEC rejected its 2001 annual financial declaration. Basically, what happened was that PSL accountants forgot to read the new regulation and continued to directly finance the party's (2001) electoral campain, instead of doing so through the so-called "Electoral Fund". As a result, the party not only lost what they had rerceived, but also had to give back to the State the money "illegally" spent, losing at the same time their annual subvention for the next 3 years. Not happy with the santion, the PSL appealed the sanction. The appeal arrived even to the Supreme Court which, not long ago, confirmed the sanction plus imposed to the PSL the payment of all the interest generated during those years of legal combat. PSL accepted the resolution (had no other choice), but asked the government for a reduction of the sanction. What they got was simply a postponement of the payment.

        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

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        PKW odrzuci?a sprawozdania wyborcze m.in. Kaczy?skiego i Napieralskiego, Rzeczpospolita, 5 May 2011 http://www.rp.pl/artykul/653523.html Article refers to information that NEC has rejected some of the financial reports of EC participating in presidential elections in 2010.

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.).

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

        General evaluation of the regulation on the financing of election campaigns and political parties is good. This does not change the fact that there are still gaps in it, the problem is also ineffective compliance with the provisions.

        Control of election campaigns and political parties funding made by NEC and the citizens is insufficient. Regarding to NEC, the solution could be either increase the powers of control of NEC or dividing of NEC into two entities. In this second case, the first institution would be dealing only with the organization of elections, while the second institution would deal exclusively with control of election campaigns and political parties funding . This would provide opportunities for more active forms of inspection, for example, monitoring of expenditure during the election campaign. It is necessary to establish more effective prevention mechanism of irregularities associated with vote buying and falsification of results, which chance of occurrence is highest in the local elections.

        Regardless of the above changes the budget of NEC should be increased in order to better perform control activities. Currently department of National Elector Office (unit of NEC) responsible for controlling political parties and election campaigns funding has just cut permanent personnel.

        From the point of view of non-governmental organizations, financial reports of largest (nationwide) election committees should split expenditure on individual constituencies. It would facilitate control made by citizens. Currently the largest committees reports contain thousands of invoices and they are difficult to assign to campaigns in specific cities. This is a big obstacle for local NGOs monitoring the election campaigns.

        Transparency of political party funding should also be increased. Political parties should be obliged to publish on their websites information on individual donations and bank loans. Such a mechanism is already present to the electoral committees participating in the elections. Currently, information about individual donations to political parties and bank loans are disclosed annually in financial report submitted to the NEC. This information is not available on-line.

        In addition, political parties should publish on the Internet a list of all documents (bills, invoices) related to their income and expenditure.

        There is need to improve the issue of enforcement and interpretation of the provisions relating to the election campaigns and political parties funding. For example, increased activity of third-party actors in the election campaign is a problem, even though such entities are not permitted to carry out activities for cadidates. Another example would be the lack of sanctions for political parties for the failure of information on request of NEC.

        It is need to make the interpretation of the scope of transparency of political party funding in the context of access to financial documents. Currently, there is controversy (including judicial proceedings) between civil society organizations and political parties on the scope of the transparency of political parties funding.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The enforcement of criminal offenses has been certainly problematic, as very few offenses have been detected and, as a result, there have never been a final conviction of the perpetrator(s) on the basis of Party Law or Electoral Laws/Code provisions. Various are the problems impeding a stronger and more effective enforcement. First of all, the process to apply the penalties is extremelly long. In fact there have been cases of candidates spending more money than the amount permitted, sometimes even with the implicit consent of their party, and because the process to punish such behaviour took so long, it had no impact neither in the electoral results nor in the reception of public subsidies by their party. In some cases, they were able to end their mandates as MPs before any final resolution was taken Secondly, in many instances Courts/judges are not interested in getting involved as they do not want to be accussed of being involved in politics. Indeed, the prosecution of a party before elections is considered by many as influencing the political game and distort impartiality. The prosecution of a party afterwards is seen as favouring the parties in government at the time. Moreover, the prosecution of a party in government (or with governmental potential) is considered to be very risky (in terms of losing job, being publicly and personally crucified, etc.). Thirdly, because the control undertaken by the NEC is so formal, it is very difficult for prosecutors an dpolice to find adequate proofs for certain illegal deeds. Finally, there seems to be a general feeling among politicians, judges, even some voters, that minor offenses are part of the political game and that they should be accepted as long as the do not disturb the political game.

        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

        Gra?yna Kopi?ska, former director of Anti-corruption Program at the Stefan Batory Foundation, face-to-face interview (23 Jul 2014)

        Jan Niedo?pia?, member of the Board of the Sta?czyk Foundation, phone interview (28 Jul 2014)

        Krzysztof Lorentz, director of Team for Audits of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns Funding in the National Electoral Office (unit subordinate to the National Electoral Commission), face-to-face interview (29 Jul 2014) and phone interview (08 Aug 2014)

        Micha? Krzymowski, journalist of “Newsweek” weekly magazine, phone interview (29 Jul 2014)

        ?ukasz Pawe?ek, treasurer of Civic Platform party (main governing party), face-to-face interview (05 Aug 2014)

        Katarzyna Bernadetta Olszewska, Member of the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Left Alliance (opposition party), e-mail interview (25 Aug 2014)

        Przejrzysto?? finansowania kampanii wyborczych i partii politycznych – wybrane problemy i rekomendacje (Transparency of financing of election campaign and political parties – selected problems and recommendations), 2012, M. Ga??zka, M. Solon-Lipi?ski, J. Zbieranek, Institute of Public Affairs http://isp.org.pl/publikacje,718,567.html Report presents the main issues and areas that require urgent legal regulation, conceptual work or technical and organizational measures. The report contained recommendations to increase transparency of political financing in Poland.

        Financing of Political Parties and Election Campaigns - Poland Country Report, A. Sawicki, Stefan Batory Foundation 2012 English version: http://www.politicalfinance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Poland-Country-Report-final-July-2012.pdf Analysis of the campaign and political party financing in Poland, concluding with recommendations for improvement. Analysis was a part of the "Financing of Political Parties and Election Campaigns in Central and Eastern Europe" project.

        Reviewer's sources: Casal Bertoa, F. and Walecki, M. (2014): "Regulating Polish Politics: Cartel Parties in a Non-Collusive Party System", East European Politics, v. 30, n. 4, pp. 295-314, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21599165.2014.933415?journalCode=fjcs21#.VIc0gqTF-Ak. Casal Bertoa, F. (forthcoming at http://www.partylaw.leidenuniv.nl/publications): "Alice in Wonderland. The Evolution of Party Regulation in Poland (1989-2013)", The Legal Regulation of Political Parties Working Paper Series (includes interviews with academics, politicians, members of the Polish Electoral Commission, experts, etc.). GRECO (2008): Evaluation Report on Poland on Transparency of Party Funding. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoEval3(2008)2PolandTwo_EN.pdf

Poland is a semi-presidential multi-party system. The Head of State (i.e. President) is directly elected every five years and can only be re-elected once. If no candidate obtains the absolute majority of votes in the first round, the two most popular candidates face each other in a round-off. Among his/her most important powers it is possible to mention the right to initiate, veto or question (before the Constitutional Court) legislation. Bronis?aw Komorowski - elected in July 2010 - is the current President of Poland.

The bicameral Parliament, which is renewed every four years, is composed by two Chambers: the Sejm (lower) and the Senate (upper). The former has 460 seats elected through party-list proportional representation using the D´hondt formula in 41 multi-seat constituencies. The electoral threshold, which is not applied to Electoral Committees formed by national minorities (e.g. Germans), is 5 per cent for Electoral Committees (ECs) composed of single parties and 8 per cent for ECs composed of coalitions. The latter is composed by 100 members who are elected (at least since 2011) according to the first-past-the-post electoral system. Legislative revision, which in any case can be overturned by the absolute majority of the Sejm, constitutes its main function.

Although appointed by the President, the Prime Minister and his/her cabinet (i.e. Council of Ministers) needs to have the vote of confidence of the majority Sejm. If it is not possible to form a government after three attempts, the President is obliged to dissolved the parliament and call for new (anticipated) elections. After the last legislative elections (9 October 2011), Donald Tusk (leader of Civic Platform-PO) renewed its coalition government with the agrarian Polish Peasant Party (PSL). The opposition is formed by the rightist Law and Justice (PiS), the post-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the liberal Your Movement (TR, but known at the time of the elections as Palikot´s Movement). Apart from the German minority, there are two other (minor) parliamentary groups: United Poland (SP) and Poland Together (PR) - formed after splitting from PiS and PO, respectively. Ewa Kopacz, which replaced Donald Tusk on September 22nd 2014, is the current Prime Minister of Poland.

ECs with at least one seat in either the Sejm or the Senate have the right to ask for a (total or partial) reimbursement of their electoral expenses at the time of the electoral campaign. Political parties which have obtained at least 3 percent of the votes (6 per cent in the case of coalitions) are entitled to an annual subsidy from the State budget. The reimbursement is calculated according to the number of seats obtained. The subsidy is calculated according to the percentage of votes obtained.