Press Release

Anticorruption report: corruption risks have increased significantly in the public institutions from the environment area

28 October 2021

  • The Sector Anticorruption Action Plan in the area of environment protection for 2018-2020 did not achieve its expected results, and the situation related to institutions’ corruptibility, transparency and capacities worsened in many areas.

These are the main conclusions of the Report on impact assessment for the respective Plan, developed with support of UNDP Moldova, by the “EXPERT-GRUP” think-tank.

According to the report, only 7 out of the 33 actions included in the plan were fulfilled, while 26 remained partially fulfilled or totally unfulfilled. The assessment revealed that the most problematic was the chapter related to “increasing the level of decision-making transparency within environmental authorities and ensuring access to environmental information”, in which all the actions remained unfulfilled. Another area registering significant regress refers to tackling environmental contraventions. The experts established that on one hand, the fines are applied discretionary, hence leaving space for abuses; and on the other hand, most of the times, these fines are incommensurable with the damages caused to the environment, hence being too small and permissive for infringers.

Most important progress was registered only for the chapter related to “adjusting and developing the primary regulatory framework”. The environmental regulatory framework is under continuous improvement, nevertheless some drawbacks remain in relation to development and enforcement of the secondary regulatory framework. At the same time, specific steps were undertaken to create functions or appoint responsibilities for integrity issues within the Environment Protection Inspectorate, as well as under the Environmental Agency.

The main constraints impeding the implementation of the document referred to political instability and deprioritization of environmental objectives on the political agenda, as a result of the central public administration reform from 2017. Hence, the capacity of environmental institutions to implement efficiently the policies in the area has decreased; the communication and coordination between environmental institutions was affected; and the capacity of the National Environmental Fund to equally finance the environmental programs decreased, as well as the sub-funding of environmental institutions and sector in general from the public budget.

The main recommendations of the experts referred to planning the anticorruption actions in the long-term sector strategic documents, financing the environmental area within dedicated budgetary programs, excluding various types of patronage and corruptible practices related to distribution of budgetary resources for archiving environmental objectives, enhancing institutional capacities of authorities in this field, and other.

The Report on the implementation impact assessment of the Sector Anticorruption Action Plan in the area of environment protection for 2018-2020 was conducted in the framework of the “Curbing Corruption and Building Sustainable Integrity in the Republic of Moldova” Project, implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Moldova, with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Anticorruption report: corruption risks have increased significantly in the public institutions from the environment area

Laura Bohantova-avatar

Laura Bohantova

UNDP
Communications Analyst, UNDP Country Office

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