Transparency International Romania wishes to bring some methodological clarifications regarding the National Corruption Report (NCP) items that have caused some confusion within the National Integrity Agency.
Thus, in what the NIA understands to call "disinformation of public opinion", there are conclusions generated by the misunderstanding of the rigor that research has imposed. Here are just a few of the misunderstandings generated by reading the RNC text:
Transparency International Romania points out that the evolution of ANI was analyzed on the basis of the same elements as the other institutions' analysis.
Thus, in the methodological notes of the chapter "Institutional Evolutions" (1), it is stated that the study "does not intend to discuss all aspects defined by the analyzed institutions", a methodological indication meant to warn the reader that the universe of research is restricted to the recorded evolutions by the composite indicators of the corruption vulnerability index - the opacity index, the decision monopoly and the control mechanisms.
The fact that a research chooses to restrict the number of interpretation variables as well as to temporarily or spatially limit some developments does not in any way imply a subjective approach but, on the contrary, a sine qua non condition for the scientific rigor of exposure.
The assertion that public sources have been ignored intentionally is not supported either by the body of the text or by the sources quoted in the footnotes. Thus, with the exception of the Mediafax Contrarport, the sources underlying the analysis are: regulations of the state authorities (EGO 138/2007, notification of the SCM on the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of the Law 144/2007), the ANI president, ANI press releases, minutes of the CNI, ANI Activity Report for the period December 2007 - May 2009, the draft ANI's Operational Strategy. The reasons behind the choice of the Mediafax Report are the lack of any other empirical data to assess the real impact of ANI. Understanding the fundamental importance of the self-assessment process based on strict and verifiable criteria and the need to maintain a balance between its results and an independent assessment, the NFC also chose to refer to another source of information. It should also be stressed that although there were countless other criticisms of the institution over the period under review, I have retained in the Report only the issues that could be supported by verifiable sources precisely in order for the research to be consistent with the adopted methodology. Always RNC has relied only on sources quoted in a transparent way, being beyond any doubt of the research team's subjectivism.
Regarding the inconsistency of the counter-arguments regarding the strict content of the RNC, we further outline some of the errors that ANI's interpretation may generate:
Regarding the minimization of the importance of adopting the internal organization documents, it is worth mentioning that the National Action Plan under the Progress Co-operation and Verification Mechanism implemented by Romania in the field of judiciary reform and the fight against corruption establishes for the operationalization of ANI series of interdependent measures quoted by the Agency's reply (2). However, the existence of an implementation timetable, with specific deadlines for their fulfillment, also suggests that these interdependent measures must go one after the other or, in other words, that it is necessary to prioritize them so that the other measures are possible. The RNC does not, moreover, argue that ANI's operationalization has not occurred, but only some of the defining elements for completing this process are missing (3), as it is a partial operationalization.
Thus, the first measures to be implemented (at least taking into account the deadlines for fulfillment) are: ensuring the human resources necessary for carrying out the activity of ANI (deadline: January 2008); provision of ANI infrastructure (January 2008); creating the strategic capacity of ANI (January 2008) and establishing internal organization and working procedures (December 2007). Therefore, we do not consider that the adoption of internal organization documents is an isolated measure, being, among other things, the first of the measures of the Plan to be completed, the absence of this element risking to structurally affect one of the elements of the foundation of the operationalization process.
In the same vein of the ANI investigations' operationalization, although it is argued that the exception regarding the "secrecy of the inspector's work procedure" has not been raised in any case before the courts, the position of the National Integrity Council shows that the declassification of these procedures is a important point in the Agency's operationalization. Thus, at CNI meeting on July 29, 2009 (4), CNI members proposed to adopt a recommendation to the ANI to review and declassify the inspection procedures of integrity inspectors within ANI. This proposal was adopted with 10 votes in favor and 2 abstentions, indicating the importance of transparency of the Agency's operations. The adoption of this resolution and ANI's reply of 31 August show that the procedures were and are secretive. Both the non-acceptance of the control mechanisms in the CNI's prerogative and the opacity of the working procedures expose the ANI's evolution to a slippery, slippery route.
The same issues of misunderstanding are noted in the response to the Organization and Operation Regulations. Nowhere in its body is mentioned the fact that it would complement or amend the old Regulations (5), and TI Romania understood to take over, therefore, only the public source related to this aspect. Also, regarding the terminological error in the ANI chapter, TI Romania will fill in the RNC to replace the phrase "commission of inquiry" with the "evaluation commission". The terminological error is irrelevant, however, as ANI does not respond to the substantive issue, namely accusations of governing the institution. These issues needed clarification in the eyes of public opinion, with people holding dignities and public functions. To this duty and obligations ANI responds by misinformation, the assertion that the DNA would have ordered the failure to initiate criminal prosecution in the case of the Agency's management being untrue. The decision of 29 June a.c (6). provides only for the transfer of substantive and criminal jurisdiction to the Prosecutor's Office attached to the First District Court, indicating the elements on which the case is divided.
This negative evolution is emphaticated by the ANI itself, which does not understand accepting an external analysis of its functioning, nor the possibility of nonexistent depositor of truth or the benefit of pluralism of opinions. TI Romania therefore expresses its astonishment in the face of a reaction from an institution that prefers in exchange for constructive civic dialogue and good faith, the non-argument of attacks on a person more or less veiled.
Since 2003 since the NRCs have been achieved, it is the first time a public institution prefers to attack the report rather than taking into account recommendations on possible ways to increase administrative capacity to build public integrity. The report by Transparency International Romania has over the years criticized several institutions that chose to make use of this independent analysis to avoid repeating the same criticism in the years to come. In this sense, the RNC's goal is not to raise the personal opinions of the leadership of some institutions, but rather to make the public aware of the measures that will be taken to increase the capacity of the institutions to respond to their mission.
Transparency International Romania is therefore showing confidence and hope that the National Integrity Agency will abandon this type of approach that will not bring any benefit to the national integrity climate in exchange for public cooperation based on cooperation.
Transparency International Romania
Victor Alistar - Executive Director, Transparency International Romania
1 - Transparency International Romania, National Report on Corruption, 2009, p. 25, available here
2 - Action Plan for fulfillment of the conditions under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, approved by the Government Decision no. 1.346 / 2007 published in the Official Gazette, Part I no. 765 of 12/11/2007
3 - Transparency International Romania, National Report on Corruption, 2009, p.28
4 - read here
5 - According to the ANI website, the Regulation is "approved by order of the president of A.N.I. no. 660 / 24.02. 2009. Read here
6 - The DNA Order of June 29, 2009, attached to this press release
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