The fight against corruption in Romanian state institutions has generally stagnated over the past year as 2005 remained as bad a year as the previous period from this point of view, according to a report by Transparency International Romania, published on Monday.

The report, covering the period of March 2005-March 2006, says the lack of progress in fighting graft in Romania last year should be blamed mainly on the low capacity of action of the national department created to tackle corruption as well as on a tendency among Romanian politicians to protect themselves from the risk of creating precedents.

The lack of action is encouraged by the fact that Romania missed the best opportunity to create tools for the retrocession of assets confiscated by the former Communist regime, the low administrative capacity to prevent and combat money laundering, the lack of cooperation and the efficiency of local administrations and the inactivity of disciplinary commissions for public servants.

The report singles out, as positive evolution, the simpler and clearer procedures between the administration and the citizen, which lack however a visible impact on small-scale corruption.

The most notable failure of 2005 was the incapacity to establish an institution to monitor and sanction conflicts of interests and incompatibilities, as well as the control of wealth among elected officials, despite some changes in this regard in spring 2005.