We need transparency, responsibility, honesty, lucidity and democracy

Issued by Transparency International Romania



The events we witnessed these last few days, that worried the entire country and the world, are the result of a fundamental matter and two major factors, namely the lack of a public debate and the means used to adopt certain law changing measures, as well as the misuse of the anticorruption message  and sincere indignation of some citizens groups for political purposes.

Transparency:

The way in which the Government Ordinance modifying the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code was passed - late at night, after a quick consultation, during the Goverment meeting dedicated to the State budget – and published in the Official Gazette – at 1:30 a.m. – violated the customary standards of good governance, transparency, and predictability of the decision-making process. This should be a reminder that any hasty decision-making mechanism can generate unwanted effects.

Responsibility:

The public authorities and institutions involved in the decision-making process should offer comprehensive explanation regarding the effects of the pieces of legislation on the pardons (the one adopted, that harmonizes the Codes with the decisions of the Constitutional Court, and that submitted to parliamentary debates), thus allowing the society to understand them and avoiding any misinterpretation. They should also abstain from divulging distorted information, that are not consistent with their previous institutional practice. The foremost responsibility of the judiciary and administrative institutions is to preserve and strengthen their credibility in front of the public opinion; their institutional positioning should be a secondary concern.

Honesty:

Reasons should be given for not taking into account the observations and amendments put forward during the consultations, in order to legitimize the consultation process and to demonstrate it was not just a formal exercise. We therefore ask the Ministry of Justice, on the basis of article 7 (10), (11) and (12), from Law 78/2000 to publish the list of all comments and suggestions received, as well as the reasons why the recommendations made in written form by the participants in the debates were not taken into account.

Lucidity:

The fight against corruption should continue with the existing instruments, and the competent authorities should not use these regulations as an excuse for reducing their involvement and actions in this field.

The abuse in  office, as act of corruption regulated by article 13 ² in Law 78/2000, following the ruling of the Constitutional Court stays unchanged and applies to any abuse in office that generates private benefice for the official or another person. Consequently, any abuse associated with corruption will continue to be investigated and sanctioned, irrespective of the amount of the prejudice.

So, the abuse in office considered corruption are still sanctioned, irrespective of the amount, but the changes stipulated in the Ordinance reduce the time served in prison and provide for sanctions as fines, which was not provided for in the original laws. TI-Romania is strongly against the reduction of the time in prison and to sanctions as fines.

Democratic involvement and participation:

The parliamentary debate, as the most important step that definitively decides upon the regulations, should bring about the following changes and decisions:

The debates in Romania’s Parliament on the Ordinance regarding the abuse in office and the Penal Procedural Code, in Transparency International Romania’s opinion, should lead to:

The debates in Romania’s Parliament on the draft law regarding pardons, in Transparency International Romania’s opinion, should lead to:

The efforts to influence and correct the final form of the two pieces of legislation should focus on the parliamentary debates.


For any press enquiries please contact

Victor Alistar
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Tel: 0721093424

Latest

Support Transparency International

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

This week, the Open Government Partnership is holding its 5th global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia. Transparency International is there in force, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Increasing accountability and safeguarding billions in climate finance

In December 2015, governments from around the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, agreeing to tackle climate change and keep global warming under two degrees centigrade. They committed to spend US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect themselves against the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

After Gürtel, what next for Spain’s struggle with political corruption?

At the start of June, the Spanish parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Rajoy after his political party was embroiled in the biggest corruption scandal in Spain’s democratic history. At this critical juncture in Spain’s struggle with political corruption, Transparency International urges all parties to join forces against impunity and support anti-corruption efforts in public life.

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media