Christiana Stilianidou 30 • 11 • 2022

Repeated extensions to the deadlines for the submission of asset declarations continues in 2022

Christiana Stilianidou
Repeated extensions to the deadlines for the submission of asset declarations continues in 2022
30 • 11 • 2022

Law 3213/2003 provides specific deadlines within which asset declarations may be submitted or amended. However, in recent years, these deadlines have been repeatedly extended through legislation, which has been passed by way of amendments to unrelated bills. Delays in submitting asset declarations, in turn, leads to delays in verifying and auditing these declarations, with all that this entails for detecting and combating corruption.

The provisions of law 3213/2003 provide specific deadlines for both the submission and the amendment of asset declarations. Failure to meet these deadlines can result in both administrative and criminal sanctions (see Article 1 paragraph 2, Article 2 paragraph 3, Article 6 and Article 19 of law 3213/2003).

Specific deadlines end up being merely indicative submission dates, while the penalties provided by law for the late submission or non-submission of declarations become meaningless in the longer term. In any case, these extensions of the submission deadlines greatly affect and delay the auditing of the declarations.

The 2022 annual report of the CIDA Committee, which is responsible for verifying the declarations, states that in the first half of 2022, 398 audits were completed, which accounted for 8.4% of the declarations submitted in 2019 and related to the years 2016 to 2019. The audit of the 2020 returns (fiscal year 2019), which had started in 2021, was completed in 2022. In addition, the auditors – accountants started the audit of 6095 returns for the year 2021 (fiscal year 2020).

Where is the problem with the rule of law?

The obligation to submit asset declarations aims to enhance transparency and strengthen democracy, and is a key tool in preventing corruption. Law 3213/2003 is the main law that regulates the issue and provides specific deadlines within which the declarations must be submitted.

However, in recent years these deadlines have been repeatedly extended by legislation, circumventing the letter and the spirit of law 3213/2003, and creating delays and obstacles in the submission and verification of asset declarations.

Christiana Stilianidou
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