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National Integrity Authority: risks of compromising the reform



 

 



November 7, 2017

Transparency International – Moldova expresses its deep concern about the slow path of the reform in the National Integrity Authority (NIA). More than a year after the adoption of the integrity laws package NIA did not become operational.

The exaggerated delay of holding the contest for the positions of the Chair and the Vice-Chair (delayed launch of the contest, postponement of the Integrity Council meetings, including due to lack of quorum, repeated extensions of the submission deadlines for candidates) speaks rather of the deliberate nature of the protraction of this process. In the absence of management, as well as  integrity inspectors designated/selected by contest, the process of verification of public officials’ assets and interests is compromised.

At present there is an impression of a tight struggle for NIA’s control by trying to replace a person with an expired term with another person whose mandate will expire soon, instead of concentrating on a transparent competition to select an independent and professional candidate. Raising questions is the hurry with which in the leadership of NIA is propelled a person who previously opposed the reform in the institution, made decisions in situation of conflict of interests in the case of the management of the National Bank of Moldova, violated the work discipline (according to Anatol Donciu[1]), and more recently – did not pass the polygraph test. Employees of the authority are threatened with the initiation of an internal investigation for disobedience to a person who has not yet been officially appointed. This could affect the independence of future integrity inspectors.

Moreover, under the conditions of transfer of power in NIA in a confusing and scandalous manner, the risk of breaking the NIA database and archive (declarations of income and property / property and personal interests, NIC’s decisions and documents from investigations) for the benefit of narrow groups of interests is imminent. In this case nobody will assume responsibility for the eventual irregularities.

The struggle for NIA’s control takes place before the parliamentary elections, when for the society it is extremely important to know about the integrity of the candidates.  Currently, due to the disfunctionality of the NIA a considerable number of petitions and requests for controls have been accumulated, tens of thousands of declarations of assets and personal interests remain unverified. Without NIA’s reaction remain multiple journalistic investigations that have revealed luxury  properties of dignitaries and civil servants, eventual decisions made in conflicts of interests and breach of the incompatibility regime.

Under these circumstances, Transparency International – Moldova appeals to the governors to make real efforts to ensure the functionality and independence of NIA, one of the core institutions to prevent corruption in the public sector of the Republic of Moldova.

[1] According to Mr. Donciu, ” in the meeting of the Commission of April 16, 2015, V. Stratila, pursuing personal interests, contrary to the previous assertions about the conflict of interests, attended and voted the Finding Act on the classification of the case on the NBM Governor D. Draguțan.”
 


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