Parliamentarians are subject to financial disclosure laws that require them to publish earnings
from outside employment.
Members of parliament must disclose categories of outside
employment and earnings greater than 1,000 euros ($1,400) in a month or 10,000 euros
($14,000) in a year. No special institution has responsibility for monitoring and verifying
disclosures. Additional revenues of parliamentarians through business connections have been a
matter of public debate. Disclosures are available to the public via the Bundestag website (next
to the parliamentarians’ biographies) and in the Official Handbook of the Bundestag. Sanctions
for noncompliance can range from an administrative fine to as much as half of a
parliamentarian’s annual salary.
In February 2014, the German parliament amended the criminal law clarifying corruption
offenses by parliamentarians and increasing penalties. In May 2013 it was revealed that several
members of the Bavarian parliament had employed family members on the basis of their
parliamentarian allowance. The Bavarian parliament promptly adopted a law prohibiting the
employment of family members to the fourth level of kinship. The Highest Bavarian Court
published a report that reimbursements paid after July 2004 to family members of first degree of
kinship must be paid back.