Anti – Corruption Agency’s Council to open its door for the NGOs

We submitted the initiative to the Council of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption to enable NGO representatives to monitor its sessions without obligation to participate. We also urged the Council to publish its working materials before sessions, rather than after, as is does now.

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Council, adopted in May 2016, practically closed the door for the NGO representatives to monitor Council’s sessions. The Council’s rationale back then, was that NGO representatives are not contributing to the Council’s work by solely monitoring the sessions. Thus, the Council decided that NGO representatives can participate in the sessions, but only if prior to the session they submit in writing what they want to discuss, and only then will the Council’s members decide whether to allow participation or not.

Thus, we urged the new Agency’s Council members to initiate and adopt Amendments to the Rules of Procedure in order to enable independent and objective monitoring of the work of both the Agency and the Council, as well as NGO research activities. It is necessary that the Agency’s Council enables NGO representatives to monitor its sessions, without obliging them to participate, as it was the case in 2015. Back then, all sessions, except for one, were open for public and NGO representatives were allowed to continuously monitor the sessions.

Existing provisions of the Rules of Procedure, however, completely prevent even the participation of NGOs in the Council’s session. These provisions prescribe the obligation for the NGO to file a request for the participation of its representative in the Council’s session. The request must, inter alia, include the number of the session and the agenda item within which the NGO representative wishes to participate. The request also must include a document containing proposals, suggestions and/or comments on the agenda item within which the NGO representative wishes to participate.

However, even such already limited and controlled participation is completely disabled by the Council’s practice not to publish materials for the sessions in advance, but only after adoption when it is no longer possible in any way to influence their content. The possibility of participating in the Council’s sessions solely exists in paper, but is completely inapplicable.

This is why all the materials for all future Council’s sessions should be published in advance, to allow the interested public to participate in the Council’s work and provide their expertise on the documents discussed and adopted by the Council.

As prescribed by the Rules of Procedure, non-governmental organisation is required to submit request for participating in the Council’s session no latter that 24 hours before beginning of the session. The materials, then, should be published at least three to five days before the session.

We submitted the initiative to the Council of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption on 26th September 2019.

Institute Alternative Team

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