What is the Best Type of Institution to Effectively Oversee Political Finance?

Dr. Magnus Ohman

The paper will look at the different institutions used around the world to oversee political finance, in particular to receive financial reports from political parties and candidates and to investigate potential violations of political finance regulations. A wide range of institutions are used worldwide, including Election Management Bodies, Courts, National Audit Institutions, Anti-corruption agencies and specialised political party commissions. Unfortunately, there is very little comparative research on what is the most suitable solution for overseeing political finance regulations.
This paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of institution, and analyse how well they fare in aspects such as overall capacity, auditing expertise, independence and political sensitiveness. Country level data will be used to analyse the effectiveness of different types of institutions in not only detecting violations and enforcing sanctions, but also in engaging with political parties and other stakeholders to build their capacity to comply with political finance regulations and their willingness to do so.