Several local and sector anticorruption action plans were monitored by civil society: more transparency demanded
Public authorities should ensure transparency for public money use during public procurements, engage more people in decision-making and ensure efficient leverages for preventing corruption. These were the conclusions of the civil society organizations which monitored the implementation during 2020 of several sector anticorruption action plans in the customs and environmental areas, as well as of local plans in 13 districts of the country (Căușeni, Ștefan Vodă, Ialoveni, Strășeni, Hîncești, Soroca, Edineț, Orhei, Călărași, Criuleni, Dubăsari, Florești, and Drochia).
The authors of the monitoring reports noted that few anticorruption actions, especially those related to thematic trainings, lagged behind the implementation deadlines – most probably, this being due to the pandemics and related restrictions. At the same time, according to the monitorings’ findings, some authorities show just a formal attitude towards implementing some of the actions included in the sector plans, while in other cases, they do not have sufficient resources and capacities to implement the anticorruption documents. Deficient and inefficient collaboration among the institutions responsible for implementing the action plans was observed, as well.
The monitoring reveal that few authorities do not fully ensure access to information. Hence, in some cases, the replies provided to information requests are rather general, and applicants need to document themselves additionally to gather the data they need. According to the report, institutions from customs area and those responsible for environment protection do not ensure full transparency in relation to their internal activity, performed controls, and actions undertaken in relation to the employees committing irregularities etc.
The reports’ authors mentioned that at the local level, all the monitored districts have approved anticorruption plans, the majority of which comply with the template-structure of a local anticorruption plan for 2018-2020, adopted via Government Decision. At the same time, some district councils do not publish the action plans on their webpages and, hence, do not inform the citizens about the implementation of such documents’ provisions.
The monitoring also revealed that in some cases, local authorities developed internal regulations for public procurements process and contracts’ execution monitoring, and the responsible people participate in trainings. Despite all these, not all authorities succeed to ensure full transparency for public procurement, and the information about the contracts concluded using public money is not always published on the district councils’ and mayoralties’ web pages. It was mentioned that difficulties encountered in implementing local anticorruption action plans are also caused by the fact that the persons responsible for reporting are cumulating numerous administrative tasks.
The experts formulated a series of recommendations for all public authorities subject to monitoring, as well as for improving the national monitoring mechanism.
All draft decisions with major impact should be publically consulted on mandatory basis. At the same time, procurement contracts should be published on the webpages of the district councils, alongside the announcements about tenders and their results. It is necessary to involve population in consulting the draft budget, but also in budgetary planning stages.
The recommendations also include the permanent updating of the public authorities’ webpages with necessary and easy-to-access public information for citizens, as well as to include a module dedicated to anticorruption area and measures taken for preventing illegal practices. At the same time, it is needed to share information regarding whistleblowers mechanism – employees disclosing corruption and illegal acts within the institutions that they work in.
The reports were developed within the Small Grants’ Programme for alternative monitoring of sector and local anticorruption action plans, run by the “Curbing corruption by building sustainable integrity in the Republic of Moldova” project, implemented by UNDP Moldova with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This Grants’ Programme was launched in 2019. During the first stage of the contest, alternative monitoring reports were developed for 10 local anticorruption plans (in Fălești, Dondușeni, Sîngerei, Cahul, Leova, Basarabeasca, Cantemir, Cimișlia districts, Balti municipality and ATU Gagauzia) and five sector anticorruption action plans (administration and change of ownership of public property, public order, education, health and health insurance, public procurements).