Two employees of the Forest Guard from Soroca, detained for influence peddling. They tried to help a driver caught drunk driving escape from criminal prosecutionA man complained to the NAC officers that he has been pressured by the police officers to bribe them, after he had been caught drink driving
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Report on implementation of the National Integrity and Anticorruption Strategy, presented by the NAC Director26.02.2020 518 Views
The National Integrity and Anticorruption Strategy for the years 2017-2020 (adopted through the Parliament Decision no. 56 of 30.03.2017) represents the main tool of public policies that is meant to systematize and streamline the efforts of the public entities in the field of preventing and combating corruption.
The present strategy is the 3rd implemented strategy at the national level in the field of anticorruption and introduces innovative approach at different dimensions, specially, speaking about ensuring the recovery of criminal assets, enhancing integrity in the private sector, complying the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, protecting the integrity whistleblowers and corruption victims, strengthening the ethics and integrity in public, private and nongovernmental sectors, ensuring transparency of the public institutions, transparency of parties and mass-media financing.
The document is interconnected with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations Organization and is grounded on the analysis of national integrity system (NIS) comprising 8 pillars of integrity as follows: I. Parliament; II. Government, public sector and local public administration; III. Justice and anticorruption authorities; IV. Central Election Commission and political parties; V. Court of Accounts; VI. Ombudsman; VII. Private sector; VIII. Civil society and mass-media.
The public entities responsible for every pillar of the Strategy fulfills the measures of strengthening of the national integrity system, by ensuring the efficient parliamentary control of implementing the laws and of functioning the independent and regulatory institutions; improving the trust in central and local public authorities; ensuring freedom and efficient justice, Office of Prosecutor, National Anticorruption Centre, National Integrity Authority; Central Election Commission and the Court of Accounts; consolidating the role of the Ombudsman, including in the protection process of integrity whistleblowers; diminishing the corruption risks in the private sector, as well as strengthening the participation of the civil society in the process of monitoring the national integrity climate.
In accordance to the experts' recommendations, the current Strategy is monitored through the prism of the progress and the produced impact, thus, the assessment includes:
- Measuring the quantitative progress of Strategy achievement;
- Reflecting the impact indicator, according to the national surveys and international indicators;
- Identifying good practices and risks for implementation.
The procedure of monitoring and evaluating the implementations of the Action Plans at the beginning of 2020, discloses the fourth set of the results, being preceded by the reporting of the achievements for the previous periods. The analysis of the positive and negative changes ensures the sustainable vision on the situation in the field of combating corruption in the Republic of Moldova, contributing to the congruence of the efforts of the participating actors in the process at different administrative, economic and social levels.
Addressing the phenomenon of corruption on the basis of socio-economic and administrative aspects is possible due to classifying the actions of the Strategy in the base of the Integrity Pillars, relying on the necessity of the uniform progress on all the pillars to ensure a national integrity climate. From preliminary reported information for the reported period, the stability of the integrity climate equated to achieved progress for every pillar, presents the following values: in 2019 127 actions were implemented (including taking account the decrease of the integrity consolidating actions by the end of 2019(1-14) from the II.1 priority), 37 % were totally fulfilled, 26% are considered in the process of fulfillment, 29% were partially fulfilled, while 5 % of the actions were not fulfilled. Subsequently, 3% of the actions that were qualified as impossible to fulfill, mostly because of the failure of the cause stipulated in the action. It is worth mentioning the fact that the half of them are the measures with the permanent term of implementation.
The impact of the National Integrity and Anticorruption Strategy is dependent on the conscientious accomplishment of jointly agreed actions, as well as reporting in time and a qualitative way of the achieved progresses, by the implementing public authorities, in strict accordance with the progress indicators to which they have expressed their commitment.
-approving and implementing those 9 sectorial anticorruption plans, thus strengthening the common position of the public entities of fulfilling the specific commitments of the monitored sector. The similar progress is observed at the level of local anticorruption plans, emphasizing the approval rate of 92%;
- establishing and ensuring proper functioning of the Criminal Assets Recovery Agency;
- adopting the Law no. 122/2018 on integrity whistleblowers that will contribute to strengthening the national integrity system by establishing methods of revealing illegal practices and protection measures of persons recognized as integrity whistleblowers, as well as establishing institutional mechanisms of law enforcement, by approving the Government Decision no. 23 of 22.01.2020 for the approval of the Regulation for internal examination and reporting procedures of revealing illegal practices;
- adopting the ex-post evaluation methodology regarding the implementation of the normative acts, that represent a progress in controlling legislative process, in accordance with the principles of legality and juridical certainty;
- developing by the Central Election Commission of the "Financial Control" information system, that allows the publication in the open format of data connected to the financing of the political parties and election campaigns, thus enforcing automation and improvement of the process of organizing and presenting reports regarding the basic activity of political parties and that from the election campaign by electoral competitors;
- sustainable strengthening of the activities of training public agents, private sector representatives as well as non-governmental organizations regarding professional and institutional integrity rigors;
- developing and promoting of the model-code of business ethics and corporate governance for commercial societies aiming to ensure correct exercising of the economic activities, to prevent conflicts of interest and to encourage the application of good commercial practices by enterprises, both in relations among themselves and relations with the state;
- average improvement of the results regarding the development and application of institutional development instruments by the public entities.
Subsequently, to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of anticorruption policies, with the support of the project " Combating Corruption by Strengthening Sustainable Integrity in the Republic of Moldova" developed and implemented together with UNDP Moldova, financially supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a range of activities were carried out as follows:
- developing of capabilities of the focal points of the Strategy, within the public entities, both centrally and locally;
- consolidating of the NGOs capacities in realization of alternative monitoring of the implementation of the Strategy and establishing the Program of Small Grants for the profile NGOs;
- carrying out public consultations regarding the implementation of provided actions in Sectorial plans of anticorruption actions, to establish progresses and discuss ways of solving recorded deficiencies registered in the implementation of sectorial plans;
- establishing the integrity mentoring program for every sector identified within the Priority II.2. Sectoral approach to corruption, of Pillar II of the Strategy. This program aims at ensuring methodological support of public entities involved in the implementation of measures included in sectorial and local anticorruption plans of actions, by offering the possibility of consultation regarding anticorruption and integrity;
- launching the initiative of anticorruption policies assessment, that aims at identifying, estimating the most efficient achievements and informing the public regarding the good practices registered by the public entities in implementing sectorial anticorruption initiatives;
At the same time, in the process of monitoring and assessment of the measures included in the Action Plans of the Strategy a series of actions were highlighted qualified as "Unfulfilled" or in uncertainty of establishing the degree of implementation, as follows:
Establishing in the Republic of Moldova the specialized courts or units of judges to examine the files of corruption acts, remains in continuation under the risk of not being realized. Identifying a solution is relevant on the basis of the studies "regarding the court decisions on corruption crimes, adopted in the years 2013-2017 and during 2018", among the challenges as "uneven application of the provisions of criminal procedural legislation for the legal classification of the actions of defendants at committing more episodes of the same type of crime", not applying the punishment of deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to exercise certain activities by defendants". Also, in the process of reforming the anticorruption system in Ukraine, such institutions were established, the initiative being approved by the Venice Commission. The action was previously encouraged by the Supreme Court of Justice, however, progresses were not achieved, in this context, actions 5 and 6 of the Pillar III, remains unrealized.
Proposal established in GM3: following the finding of the challenges identified in the implementation of the action Nr. 5, it was necessary to carry out a detailed analysis on the opportunity of establishing specialized courts / bodies for examining the files for acts of corruption and related to corruption, considering the current legal and strategic conditions, with the possibility of re-framing the initial actions based on the results of the targeted analysis.
The development and adoption of the National Strategy for the recovering of cr'iminal assets, the activity provided for the action no. 30, Priority III.4, qualified as unfulfilled, the National Anticorruption Center and the Parliament are responsible for its accomplishment.
Thus, the NAC comes with the proposal to modify the action no. 30 by substituting the measures with the Elaboration of a mechanism of coordination in the process/activity of recovering the criminal assets. This modification results from the fact that recovering of criminal assets is a complex process, in which several institutions are involved (the criminal prosecution body, the prosecutor, the Criminal Assets Recovery Agency, the Court, the Ministry of Finance, the State Tax Service, the National Union of Judicial Executors, the Ministry of External Affairs and European Integration ) and considering that the General Prosecutor's Office takes part in the unitary implementation of the national and international policies of the state in criminal matter, as well as the fact that Chapter V of the Strategy provides for the possibilities of amending / completing the components of the document.
Building the institution of the integrity whistleblowers represents one of the relevant successes achieved by the relevant authorities, however, realization of the responsibility to revise and complete the legislation to provide the People's Advocate the competence of protecting the integrity whistleblowers, remains uncertain.
To ensure the implementation of this measure the Office of People's Advocate informs that it has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Justice for amending Law no.52/2014, regarding the People's Advocate, inclusively with the reference to completing the art.16 "People's Advocate attributions" regarding the attributions of granting the protection of integrity whistleblowers. So far, the Ministry of Justice has not provided a response to the requested proposals by the Office of People's Advocate.
It is also necessary to provide sustainable attention to ensure the implementation of the actions no.8, and 10 of the Pillar IV. Central Electoral Commissions, on the revision of the legislation regarding establishing proportional and equitable liability for violating the financing rules of the political parties and electoral campaigns. From the reports received from the Central Electoral Commission, no measurable progress has been highlighted in achieving established progress indicators, the achievements being limited to setting up an inter-institutional work group.
Also, the action on "Clarifying the responsibility and the role of the interested parties/observers during inter-electoral period, including their rights in the context of monitoring the financing modes of political parties" remains unimplemented. The Central Electoral Commission opts for excluding this, as the financing modes of the activities of the political parties, electoral campaigns and initiative groups are regulated by the Electoral Code, as well as other normative acts.
At the same time, according to the Survey conducted by Promo-LEX, a faulty application / interpretation of the provisions on the status of observer in accordance with the Electoral Code has the potential to prevent the capacities of the civil society to monitor, observe, interview and discuss with the stakeholders from electoral area during the inter-electoral period.
Another challenge encountered in achieving priority VII.3. Business Ethics, refers to "Improving the legislation in the field of philanthropy and sponsorship to ensure transparency in charity acts of commercial societies, to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure the use of donations for the proposed purposes". With the reference to implementation of this measure, the Ministry of Finance, named as a responsible entity, informs that taking into consideration the structure of the Ministry's competences provided through normative acts that regulate its activity, it is impossible to take that action. At the same time, according to the opinion presented by the Ministry in the reporting process, even though the Law on philanthropy and sponsorship, states that "Control over the legitimacy of philanthropic and sponsorship activities is exercised by the State Tax Service", does not mean that the responsibility for these policies lies with the Ministry of Finance.
According to the monitoring mechanism of the National Integrity and Anticorruption Strategy, the Monitoring and Evaluation Reports of the Strategy include a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the progress of the implementation of the due and permanent actions for implementation, as well as identifying the challenges encountered by the implementing entities, for the qualification, quantitative inclusively, of the actions based on progress indicators, expected results and result indicators. The reports are publicly heard at the meetings of the Strategy Monitoring Groups. Within them, it is established the assessment of the progress made and the identification of the measures to solve the challenges found.
Thus, in order to ensure the accomplishment of the tasks outlined, we reiterate the need to respect the regularity of organizing the meetings of the Monitoring Groups of the Strategy, in particular of the Monitoring Group 2, responsible for Pillar II. Government, public sector and local public administration, and Pillar VII. Private sector, outstanding. The importance of the measure is also identified in the context of starting the process of reviewing the impact of the Strategy document and of appreciating the way of carrying out the actions foreseen by it, as well as of potential new actions in the next period. The process is to be started within the Standing Committee of the Parliament on issues of national security, defense and public order, which with the support of the Secretariat of the Monitoring Group provided by the National Anticorruption Center, will consult the responsible institutions and other interested parties in order to verify the actuality and accuracy of the actions planned under the Action Plans of the Strategy and will decide, as the case may be, to submit to the Parliament proposals for the modification and completion of the action plans for each pillar.
The continuity of the National Integrity and Anticorruption Strategy is primarily dependent on the efficiency of the document monitoring and evaluation process. Thus, with the support of the UNDP project "Curbing Corruption by Strengthening Sustainable Integrity in the Republic of Moldova", during the year 2020, measures will be organized to evaluate the impact of the 2 and a half years of document implementation. Based on the recommendations of the Monitoring and Evaluation Reports of the Strategy, the conclusions of the expert to be selected by the UNDP project, as well as the proposals of the authorities responsible for implementation, the optimal way of ensuring the sustainability of the achieved results will be selected. The two options to be addressed are: the extension of the implementation term of the Strategy or the elaboration of a new strategic document.
The first option that provides for the extension of the implementation term of the Strategy is included on the basis of the findings regarding the efficiency of the actions included in this document, noted by the members of the civil society and the development partners, so it is appropriate to continue them, with the inclusion of other relevant actions identified in the monitoring process. and evaluation. At the same time, the opportunity of the first option is to be appreciated in avoiding the long term of drafting and adopting the strategic document, these processes being fully realized within one year for the current Strategy, a term that would create gaps in the continuity of the successes achieved at central level, local and sectoral.