9th of October 2020
Business Integrity Country Agenda assessment report,
a first for Romania
Transparency International Romania launched Wednesday, 7th of October 2020, the Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA) assessment report for Romania. The event took place both at Deutsche Bank Global Technology’ headquarters from Bucharest and online, bringing together representatives from all the three sectors analyzed in the report, specifically the private sector, the public sector and civil society.
Among the participating public institutions were also the Romanian Court of Accounts, thought its president, the Ministry of Economy, Energy and the Business Environment, the Ministry of Public Finance’s Control Body, the National Agency for Fiscal Administration, the Fight Against Fraud Department, the Anticorruption General Directorate, the National Integrity Agency, the National Agency for Public Procurement.
In the same time, responded to our invitation Embassies’ representatives at Bucharest from Germany, Austria, Greece, Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Sweden.
The private sector showed a great interest in the BICA assessment report, participating in the event representatives from institutions such as AmCham, National Council of Small and Medium Sized Private Enterprises, companies, multinational corporation and entrepreneurs. Also, among the participants were also civil society’ representatives, from ONGs such as Romanian Academic Society, Institute for Public Policy, Patient College Association.
The complete list and some interventions from participants are available here: https://www.transparency.org.ro/en/tiropage/launching-business-integrity-country-agenda-bica-assessment-report-october-7th-2020
The BICA assessment report is a first for Romania, being a complex and defining analysis for the business sector in Romania, carried out based on a methodology branded by Transparency International and on a multi-source research, such as: legislation, official documents, statistics and interviews with experts and representatives from the business sector, public institutions and NGOs. There were assessed both the thematic areas regarding the influence of legislation and social characteristics on the business sector and how companies contribute to building and developing a business environment based on integrity and transparency.
Beside the evaluation itself, the report also includes a series of recommendations with remedial solutions for the three sectors analyzed, respectively: 15 recommendations for the public sector, 8 recommendations for the private sector and 6 recommendations for the civil society.
Thus, BICA has a holistic and innovative approach regarding the gathering of all the relevant information to build a credible basis for action. The assessment report and the recommendations resulted from the debates that took place Wednesday are the base for a future reform agenda meant to decrease the corruption in the commercial practices and to promote the integrity in the Romania’s business sector.
The recommendation list can be consulted here: https://www.transparency.org.ro/en/tiropage/business-integrity-country-agenda
Public Sector Assessment
The public sector thematic area covers business integrity issues such as bribery of public officials, commercial bribery, money laundering, economic competition, whistleblowing, undue influence, public tendering.
For example, it has been found that, although legislation prohibiting the commercial bribery receives the maximum score, the institutional enforcement capacity prohibiting the commercial bribery is estimated at 50 points from 100 possible.
The legal provisions for most of the topics addressed by the thematic areas are well adapted to the needs of the institutional, economic and social system and support business integrity. However, less positive results of the assessment are generated when looking at law enforcement. In most of the cases, there are two reasons for these limits:
poor institutional capacity including lack of effective training for public servants and officials;
the existent oversight institutions are not effective enough and their cooperation with the business sector and civil society is minimal.
Private Sector Assessment
The business sector in Romania have not adopted international corporate integrity standards. In general, multinational corporations follow the anti-corruption policies and standards from their center, while national companies are less interested in these issues. Even if many entrepreneurs speak out against corruption, this is not reflected in their management strategies.
The Romanian economic environment is dominated by the lack of trust in others and in the Romanian state. But, due to the misconception that corruption would be necessary to run some contracts in Romania, the integrity issues are not necessarily the most important for companies in their due diligence and partner monitoring processes, the corruption being rarely a deal breaker. Thus, the implementation of integrity policies in the Romanian business environment is evaluated at 25 points from 100, as well as the implementation of whistleblowing mechanism. At the same time, the disclosure of key financial data of Romanian companies can be evaluated at 0 points from 100.
More information, including data about the assessment of the civil society, are available in the Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA) assessment report in Romania, published on the Transparency International Romania’ website: https://www.transparency.org.ro/
The Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA) project in implemented simultaneous in Romania and Serbia, under the coordination of Transparency International-Secretariat, based in Berlin. In Romania, the project is implemented by Transparency International Romania, during January 2019 and May 2021.
The project is financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Through this type of technical cooperation, the financier aims to strengthen the capacity of civil society to promote business integrity at the regional level.
For more information, please contact Georgeta Filip, communication coordinator, Transparency International Romania, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org