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Parliament endorses anti-graft law

de     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 15 mai 2007, 0:00


The Romanian Senate endorsed the anti-graft law on May, 9 with a unanimous vote. Originally initiated nine months ago by the former Justice minister, Monica Macovei, the draft law went through a lot of changes while being debated upon in the Lower Chamber of the Romanian Parliament, finally being adopted by the senators with 103 votes in favor.

The law controls the possessions of the public persons appointed or elected in high positions. It also establishes an authority to monitor the possessions - the Agency for Integrity, initially envisaged to be independent, but eventually amended to become subordinated to the Senate.

The justice reform was stalled due to the prolonged delay and the drastic changes of the initial draft of the law, understood by the European authorities as a lack of political will.

The senators endorsed two new amendments to the law. One tackles the possessions of the unions’ leaders that must be publicly declared and should undergo thorough verification by the integrity inspectors.

The other foresees that the declaration of possessions, annually updated, should entail further verification if the difference between the income and the declared possessions exceeds 10,000 Euros.

Following the vote, the current minister of Justice, Tudor Chiuariu, stated that the endorsement of the draft law showed that the project did not belong exclusively to one party or person.

Amendments

The original text of the draft law foresaw that the Agency for Integrity should be an independent body, without any political subordination. The final law places the agency under the control of the Parliament of whose members’ possessions it should verify.

Along the debates in the parliamentary commissions, a new amendment was introduced, entailing that the Senators establish the budget and the membership.

The final version also includes a provision proposed by the new Justice minister by which the illegally acquired possessions be confiscated.

The inspectors of the Agency are entitled to request all documents necessary for the control from who ever is under scrutiny. They should provide the reasons that prompted the verification, while the management of the public institutions must provide the requested data within 10 days.

However, the law dropped a chapter of incompatibilities which entailed that the members of the Parliament practicing law should refrain from their activities. The chapter was ousted during the parliamentary debates.























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