Transparency International Romania launched the Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA) assessment report, Wednesday, 07th of October 2020, at Deutsche Bank Global Technology, Waterfall room, (D. Pompeiu Boulevard, no. 6A, Sector 2, Bucharest). The event will be also available online, via Zoom platform.

The BICA report is the first of its kind in Romania. The Assessment is conducted based on the methodology developed by Transparency International and grounded on several sources, such as legislation, official documents, primary statistics as well as interviews with experts and representatives of the business sector, public institutions and NGOs.

The assessment report and its recommendations resulted from the debates which generate a reform agenda that is meant to curb corruption in commercial practices and, thus, to promote integrity in Romanian business sector.

The BICA project is simultaneously implemented in Romania and Serbia, under the coordination of Transparency International-Secretariat, based in Berlin. In Romania, the implementation of the project is managed by Transparency International Romania, since January 2019 until May 2021.

The project is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Through this type of technical cooperation, the donor aims at strengthening the capacity of civil society to promote integrity in business at regional level.

If your presence at the event is not possible and you want to participate online, please mention this in the confirmation e-mail, in order to send you the access link to the event.

Louisa Balbi, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Business integrity is an essential element for the good function of markets and economies and we (editor’s note: EBRD team) believe that BICA is an example of how civil society can construct an engage with the private sector to uphold the business integrity standards.

I would like to highlight that we verry much enjoy this journey with TI regarding the support of this project and we find important to mention that the EBRD does not endorse the content of any of the study, publication or other research financially supported.

What we support and is extremely important for us is the process. In 2016 we participated in a group of experts coordinated by TI for the development of the business integrity country agenda assessment methodology. BICA Romania should be seen as a start and the challenge will be now how the recommendations will be implemented by TI Romania and other stakeholders.

Irem Roentgen, Transparency International Secretariat

First of all, congrats to all the TI-Romania team who have excellently prepared this BICA report that we are launching today. (…) I really hope that this report will give a very strong academic and anticorruption perspectives on how we can improve the business sector in Romania.

BICA has already been implemented in several other countries by other TI chapters before. We’ve seen it successfully launched and fully implemented in countries such as Brazil, Kenya, Turkey, and those works allows those TI chapters to advocate towards how we can actually achieve business integrity collectively, how we can improve it collectively, to improve the transparency and accountability at different institutional levels.

Mihai Busuioc, president of the Romanian Court of Accounts

Your invitation at today’s event that bring together representatives both from the business sector and public sector is a proof that the ethics and integrity in our activities are a common effort, where each of us got a well settled place. Even if we talk about the public institutions, about the business sector or civil society, each of us got a role in promoting integrity and ending the corruption in our society. (…)

The Romanian Court of Accounts has a main role and is a trustworthy institutional partner in the fight against corruption and in the training of staff in audited public institutions, in the sense of promoting the values of ethics and integrity in the service of the citizen. Regarding the private sector, it is important that each business to grow organically, to grow healthily. Any temptation to burn steps, to abandon the principles of integrity and business ethics, while it can bring short-term gains, does not ensure sustainability for the business itself in the medium and long term.

Find in us and in my colleagues - partners who want to fight for the introduction of integrity in both the public and private sectors. I assure you of our full support and openness to cooperation.

Maria Maxim, Legal & Compliance Director, LIDL Romania

The BICA report effectively provides an overview of Romanian culture in combating this extraordinarily harmful phenomenon for every industry, economic sector, from education to the production of goods. For me, because I come from the private sector, it would be very important to co-opt as many international companies as possible that invest in Romania but also local companies. I think that we should continue the collaboration started a few years ago, when we signed the Business Integrity Pact, to co-opt many more business people in this endeavor.

Cristina Petcu, public health and health consultant, World Bank

I congratulate your team for the effort, consistency and passion with which you carry out this project, in very difficult conditions. I would like to discuss the need to create digitization stages in the relationship between service providers and the administrative area. Although this digitization in the health system covers all health services in relation to the Ministry of Health (MS) and the National Health Insurance (CNAS), the dysfunction is very high. There has been an administrative burden on health care providers, which is no longer under control. For example, the case of a GPs: for CNAS, for MS, the administrative act is much more important than the service that the GP provides to the patient. This type of digitization needs to be rethought.

Victor Alistar, Transparency International Romania

It is necessary to strengthen the support capacity for SMEs, because they have an important word to say in the local business culture. It is clear that this whole process of hyper-standardization of all processes creates a real capacity problem for small and medium-sized companies to keep up, although it is a need for the entire business environment. In this context, we believe that it is necessary to focus on creating a National Compliance Register in which, on the one hand, to be presented very transparently - the expectations of the state, and on the other hand, to be available the tools needed in order to be able to embrace the culture of compliance.

Irina Lonean, Transparency International Romania’ researcher

The research conducted for this report shows that integrity is not a "deal-breaker", because the business environment seeks, first and foremost, to make a profit. I think we need to act so that the lack of integrity in the business is a "deal-breaker" and the integrity to become profitable. (…) What we would like, in order to better understand the degree of integrity in the private sector, is that the commitment to integrity and the results of the audit be transparent, obviously insofar as it does not affect competition.

Lansare BICA - 07 octombrie 2020

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