Supporting the National Anti-Corruption Strategy through Monitoring and Advocacy in Moldova

Supporting the National Anti-Corruption Strategy through Monitoring and Advocacy in Moldova

IMPLEMENTING PARTNERS: Transparency International Moldova
YEARS: 2011-2012
THEMES: Rule-of-Law

Transparency International Moldova (TIM) implemented a project, contributing to the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NAS) of Moldova, monitoring the associated annual action plan for 2011.

When the initial project plan stalled due to political reasons, TIM re-focused the project on monitoring the implementation gaps* unresolved from former years’ incomplete action plans. Doing so, TIM contributed to enhancing the action plan for 2012 and facilitated the adoption of proposals through the National Participative Council, including specifying and implementing sanctions for parties not adhering to the ‘Law on Conflict of Interest, Declarations of Income and Assets’.

Corruption Problem Addressed
The government of Moldova has adopted the NAS to monitor the implementation of various laws geared toward enhancing transparency and accountability within government agencies, in the public service and within election campaigns.

TIM is as a full member of the ‘Working Group for Monitoring the Implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy’ (WGNAS). The purpose of WGAS is to monitor and advise the government on the implementation of the NAS. TIM, along with two other NGOs, represents civil society and is requested to verify the reports submitted by authorities on the implementation of the NAS.

Studies conducted by TIM show a clear implementation gap between the written law and its application based on a lack of specified mechanisms, persistent ambiguities, badly written laws and/or discrepancies between the national and international anti-corruption legal framework. The institutions charged with the implementation of the NAS are weak and ridden by conflict-of-interest, hampering effective and efficient implementation of the action plans.

Actions Taken by TI Moldova
To improve the implementation of the NAS and to make the annual action plans more transparent TIM worked toward three objectives: (i) monitoring the existent implementation process of NAS mechanisms (annual action plans) agreed upon between 2005-2011 (ii) identifying discrepancies between the law and legal practice, developing concrete proposals for change and (iii) promoting systemic change. To achieve these objectives,

  • TIM monitored four public institutions, charged with implementing the NAS, verifying anti-corruption measure and assessing the quality of services provided, employing rigorous research, interviews, and exit polls of approximately 400 people, ascertaining the quality of measures in place.
  • TIM researched, produced and disseminated recommendations on three legal acts, including the ‘Law on Declarations and Control of Incomes and Assets for Public Officials’; on ‘Conflict of Interest’, and on the ‘Commission for Ethics’.
  • TIM advocated for the implementation of its recommendations, organizing three meetings with the Ministry of Justice and furthermore advocated for and promoted adoption by Parliament.
  • TIM conducted a media campaign, publicizing the results of the project to the public at large. TIM sensitized journalists and also organized a contest for investigative journalists.

TIM partnered with the WGNAS in selecting the four institutions which included the Main State Fiscal Inspectorate of the Ministry of Finance, The Ministry of Informational Development, The Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family and the Ministry of Education. WGNAS also facilitated the data collection from the participating institutions.

Impact and Results Achieved
The project produced notable results in a variety of areas:

  • Proposals (emerging from the monitoring component of the 2005-2011 action plans) were included in the action plan for 2012.
  • The Law on Conflict of Interest was revised and clarified.
  • Sanctions were implemented addressing public servants not submitting declarations of interest incomes and assets.
  • Draft regulations on grievance redress mechanisms were elaborated and are ready for adoption.
  • A form for declaration of personal interests to be used by all public sector institutions was developed and has been adopted.
  • Procedures for registering declarations of interests, incomes and assets were developed and adopted. These procedures include making the declarations available to the public online.

Lessons Learned
The project unveiled a large number of policy and policy implementation deficiencies related to corruption. The project chose to focus on some of those and was able leverage its different partnerships to encourage other parties to tackle other issues.

The project highlights the importance of being flexible when dealing with projects where politics play a key role. Political changes can overturn an agreed project design quickly and fundamentally. TIMs and PTFs quick and flexible response allowed the project to go forward and produce valuable results

TIM will increase its monitoring capacity, using the methodology applied, tested and refined during the project. The WGNAS has expressed interest in continuing the monitoring process as it has contributed significantly to improve the NAS framework and has increased the accountability of public institutions.