Four years ago the Spanish Episcopal Conference launched its Transparency Plan (2014), an exceptional occasion for being accountable, continuing to make improvements and attending to new demands.
Adherence to national and international transparency standards has, particularly for the Catholic Church in our country, provided an opportunity for advancing an approachable, open-door Church.
The creation of the SEC Transparency Office and the commitments enshrined in the Transparency International Convention have provided the true momentum for an increasing number of Church bodies to make progress on the road to transparency.
The Transparency and Accountability Office for canonical bodies of the Spanish Episcopal Conference was created by the SEC Permanent Commission in June 2016.
Its mission is to bring the Church closer to society by driving forward measures of transparency and good economic governance in the Episcopal Conference and its works as well as in the rest of the bodies attached to it.
Principal Guidelines of the Transparency Office
The Transparency and Accountability Office of canonical bodies shall promote practices of transparency and good governance in the Episcopal Conference, advise the dioceses, review accounting and information systems in line with the provisions of Act 19/2013 of 9 December on Transparency, access to public information and good governance.
Committed to society in providing clear and detailed information on the Church’s activities, each year the Transparency Office compiles consolidated information from the different Church institutions to draft the Annual Report on the Activities of the Catholic Church in Spain. Every year it will also submit all the information contained in this Annual Report on the Activities of the Catholic Church to a review process undertaken by one of the major international auditors to thus ensure the veracity of the published information, giving total transparency to the process.
It shall also regularly supervise and commission studies that analyze and allow the quantification of the Church’s different activities and their impact on society and publicly announce them.
Another of the functions entrusted to the Transparency Office is that of performing nationwide economic and asset surveillance tasks, control and reception of accountability of religious associations, foundations and bodies attached to the SEC.
In addition, derived from these functions are specific actions included in the Agreement signed between the SEC and Transparencia Internacional for the 2016-2018 period.