Drafting public policies, strategies and action plans in the area of preventing and combating corruption is part of the mandate of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) initiated and coordinated the drafting process of three such strategies. The latest one, the National Anticorruption Strategy (NAS) 2016-2020, was drafted following a complex consultation process of all relevant stakeholders, following the good practice established under the previous strategic cycle (2015-2015). Around 90 civil society organizations, public institutions, companies and business associations were consulted during a 6-month period, resulting in more than 170 drafting proposals. The consultation process was divided in five different platforms, representing: (i) the central public administration; (ii)the independent authorities and anticorruption institutions; (iiI) local public administration; (iv) business sector and (v) civil society. The document entered into force on August 23, 2016.
The strategy made use of the self-assessment report of the implementation of the previous strategy, as well as of an independent external audit report on the results of NAS 2012-2015, undertaken by experts contracted by the OECD.
As an outcome the multidisciplinary strategic document was developed, addressing all public institutions, including the executive, legislative and judiciary, local public administration, business environment and civil society. The strategy represents a real anticorruption agenda that needs to be assumed at the level of all public institutions. It builds on the lessons learned from the previous strategy, while emphasizing the measures and sectors that still require a focused response, such as health, education, public procurement, local public administration, political party financing, whistleblower protection, ethics counseling and revolving doors.
The mechanism of thematic peer review missions at the level of the public institutions will form the bulk of the monitoring process. Evaluation visits will be carried out at the level of public institutions by expert teams composed of representatives of the five cooperation platforms (including civil society), in order to assess their progress in implementing the commitments undertaken in accordance with the programmatic document. Between 2012 and 2015, 83 evaluation missions took place, 17 in the central public administration and 66 in the local public administration. The evaluation visits result in an evaluation report that is published online and complements the self-evaluation procedure envisaged by the strategy.
The Executive summary on the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption on Romania, published on the UNODC website, notes the involvement of the private sector and civil society organizations in the implementation and monitoring of the National Anti-corruption Strategy as an example of success and good practice.
This model of periodically evaluating the implementation of NAS builds trust between NGOs and public institutions and opens dialogue channels that are otherwise neglected or undermined by reciprocal distrust.
The model implemented by the Ministry of Justice in designing strategic documents could be easily transferred in other countries with low trust in the AC efforts to contribute to building ownership of the people over the anticorruption agenda.
Contact person: Anca –Luminita Stroe
Romania’s Department for Crime Prevention, Ministry of Justice