Sovereign Order of 15 June 2023 No. 9.931 “On the Principles and Rules of Ethics, Professional Conduct and Compliance with Duties by Members of the Government” (Ordonnance Souveraine n° 9.931 du 15 juin 2023 fixant les principes et règles éthiques, déontologiques et de conformité des membres du Gouvernement) is applicable to members of the Government, including the Minister of State (Ministre d’État) and the Counselors of the Government-Ministers (Conseillers de Gouvernement-Ministres).
1. Conflict of interest
Under the Order, a conflict of interest means any situation where private interests affect or may affect independent, impartial and objective fulfillment of duties by a public official. A conflict of interest may be real or potential.
As per the Order, all members of the Government must undertake actions to prevent and manage conflicts of interest.
In the event that a Counselor of the Government-Minister has a conflict of interest, he/she must notify the Minister of State thereof; if the Minister of State is in a conflict-of-interest situation, he/she informs the Council of State (Conseil de Gouvernement) accordingly. Thereafter, the Minister of State or the Council of State respectively decides whether to remove the concerned official from decision-making that generates the conflict of interest.
2. Declarations of assets and interests
Members of the Government must file declarations of assets with the President of the Board of Auditors (Président de la Commission Supérieure des Comptes) within two months from the date of their appointment; Counselors of the Government-Ministers must submit declarations of interests to the Minister of State, respecting the same deadline.
When in office, officials must file declarations in case of considerable changes; declarations of assets must also be submitted within two months from the dismissal.
Declarations contain information on:
- Immovable property, including unfinished one;
- Insurance policies;
- Bank accounts, savings books and other saving products;
- Movable property the value of which exceeds €15,000;
- Vehicles, including boats, vessels and aircrafts;
- Commercial assets and spaces, and their maintenance costs;
- Any property located abroad, and accounts in financial institutions abroad;
- Liabilities of over €100,000.
Declarations of interests include the following information:
- Remunerated professional activity, including the one undertaken over the five years preceding the appointment;
- Advisory activities, including those provided over the five years preceding the appointment;
- Shares in the executive bodies of private companies, including those owned by declarants over the five years preceding the appointment;
- Direct investments;
- Professional activities of spouses and civil partners (partners linked to officials through civil solidarity pacts or other similar contracts regulating partnership or co-habiting concluded abroad under foreign law);
- Volunteer activities, including those undertaken by spouses and civil partners;
- Elected positions and positions in private companies also over the five years preceding the appointment.
If declarations are not submitted or are incomplete, declarants are requested to clarify the information within a month. If there is no proper feedback, information on the failure of an official to meet the obligation to file the declaration is published in the Journal of Monaco (Journal de Monaco).
3. Acceptance of gifts
According to the Order, members of the Government cannot request and/or accept gifts, including in the form of services, invitations or other advantages for themselves, their relatives or organisations with which they have or had business or political affiliation, if such gifts:
- May affect or seem to affect impartiality, independence or objectivity of fulfillment of duties by the official;
- May constitute or seem to be a remuneration for the actions of the official that are his/her professional duties;
- May affect or seem to be affecting the official’s decision-making.
There are the following exceptions:
- Gifts given out of the diplomatic tradition and rules of politeness the estimated value of which does not exceed €200;
- Invitations to represent the Principality of Monaco in events.
Other gifts should be either returned to the giver accompanied by the official notification that it is declined or by other document certifying the return, or be transferred to the State Property Authority (Administration des Domaines) along with the following information:
- The date of receipt of the gift;
- The giver’s name and, if known, his/her position or name of the organisation on behalf of which the gift is given;
- The name of the recipient of the gift;
- The type of the gift;
- The purpose of the gift;
- The estimated value of the gift.
4. Revolving door
Members of the Government are also obliged to have the authorisation of the Ethics Committee, established by the Order, to undertake remunerated activities within two years from their dismissal; the Ethics Committee, based on the scrutiny of the request of a former official, may recommend imposing restrictions on such activities for a period of up to two years from leaving the public office.
Members of the Government must undergo ethics training before assuming their office.
6. Ethics Committee
As per the Order, the Ethics Committee (Comité d’éthique) is established under the Minister of State. The body consists of three members to be appointed by a Sovereign Order for a non-renewable five-year term.
The Committee will be empowered, in particular, to:
- Provide advice to members of the Government on how to comply with the provisions of the Order;
- Assess conflicts of interest of members of the Government;
- Consider the notifications of former members of the Government to undertake remunerated activities;
- Assess compliance with other restrictions and obligations provided for by the Order.