Anti-corruption and compromises – mission impossible


Skopje, 18 February, 2019 - 17:12 (META) 

Establishment of entirely new integrity system centrally and locally; increase of the severity of the infringement policy in the main anti-corruption law and amendment to the existing law on protection of whistleblowers are just some of the recommendations that have arisen as conclusions from the research conducted by Metamorphosis Foundation which addressed the topic of Anti-corruption and Fight against Organized Crime.

This area is probably the crucial for the rule of law in one country and reaches to literally every branch of government and institutions thereof, thus reaches to all citizens who gradually lose their trust in the country they live in if they witness no changes and honest desire to put an end to the bad practices.

The entire document is available for download at the following link.

The title of this paper derives from the state of affairs that has been determined by the check of indicators, which show where we are at in this area. Namely, despite the strong declarative commitment for unwavering fight, the daily political routine shows that the creators of key laws and practices are ready for compromise due to this, that and the other, thus the executive or the legislative branch make unprincipled decisions, which further affect the judiciary.

With such last minute compromises, for example the amnesty or the amendments to the main anti-corruption law that seek to mitigate the provisions which are crucial for a strong anti-corruption commission, the fight against corruption or organized crime become mission impossible.

The integral report is here.


Macedonia’s Corruption Perception Index slightly improves


Skopje, 29 January, 2019 - 15:43 (META) 

This year, Macedonia gained two more points in the Corruption Perception Index, according to the annual analysis that was published by Transparency International this morning. This year, the country was rated 37 on a scale of 100, where the higher the index, the lower the level of coruption. Last year, Macedonia had an index of 35.

This year, the country shares 93rd place out of 180 ranked countries, along with Gambia, Guyana, Kosovo, Mongolia and Panama.

The Index ranks 180 countries and territories in accordance with the level of corruption perception in the public sector, according to businessmen and experts. On a scale of one to 100, the smaller index indicates greater level of corruption.

Macedonia’s index is close to the average for the East European and Asia regions, the second most corrupt in the world. The average in the region is 35, and only one country, Georgia, has an index above 50. Montenegro and Belarus follow in the top, while at the bottom in the region are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.

Macedonia is referred to as “a country to watch”.

“Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia and Armenia are all the countries to watch over the next few years. Categorised by their challenging political landscapes, only Armenia bucks the trend with a positive change in government,” reads the analysis for the region.


Public Prosecution has received 66 amnesty request


Skopje, 27 December, 2018 - 17:31 (META) 

The Public Prosecution announced that it has received 66 amnesty requests that were lodged in accordance with the Law on amnesty on part of the Basic Court Skopje I.

“The Basic Public Prosecution (OJO) for pursuing organized crime and corruption has received 29 requests out of which 12 received a positive outcome. The Basic Public Prosecution received 37 requests for an amnesty. The lodged requests are submitted to the authorized prosecutors that are acting upon the cases. After their analysis, an opinion will be delivered to the court” said OJO’s press release.


Transparency International still measuring corruption under VMRO-DPMNE rule


Skopje, 17 December, 2018 - 15:47 (META) 

In the speech delivered during the third protest of VMRO-DPMNE (12 December 2018) in front of the building of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia for the party members and fans, the party’s president Hristijan Mickoski made the following manipulative and untruthful statement, “Vistinomer” analyses.

They’d say they have been reforming the judiciary. 112th country according to Transparency International. 112th country on that list. Tanzania and Ethiopia are ahead of us. They’d say they are taking us to Europe. Not Europe, they brought Africa to Macedonia. Africa is brought to Macedonia. That’s what they have done to the European Macedonia. The current level of corruption in the Republic of Macedonia equals an African Macedonia.

It is a fact that the latest ranking lists by Transparency International (TI) does not apply to the period of SDSM’s rule. This corruption perceptions research covers the period before SDSM assumed office, i.e. covers the period when VMRO-DPMNE was in power.

Read the full article at vistinomer.mk


Anti-Corruption Commission not working for 7,5 months while Parliament debates new law


Skopje, 23 November, 2018 - 18:15 (META) 

The Anti-Corruption Commission, the key state body for the prevention of corruption and conflict of interests, has not been working for seven and a half months, since last March when the president, Igor Tanturovski resigned, and from 2 April members were “sent” on vacation indefinitely.

The Parliamentary Committee on Political System and Inter-Community Relations held a public debate today on the draft law on the prevention of corruption and conflict of interest, which should set a new model for the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption.

According to Oliver Ristovski, the Deputy Minister of Justice, the new composition of the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption will have 7 members, who will be professionals and will be elected in a transparent procedure. Candidates for Commission members must not have been MPs, members of the Government, donors of a political party, or have held office in political party bodies in the last ten years.

Slagjana Taseva from Transparency International estimates that the new law is a step forward in the fight against corruption and seeks the support from MPs so the Commission can become an independent body for the control and prevention of corruption.

The new law should devise a new model for the functioning of the commission, which has not worked in the last few years and were serious failures.

According to Justice Minister Renata Trenevska Desskoska, the new law strengthens the ability of the commission and will also enable it to check the bank accounts and property of officials.


Agreements on public procurement will be published on e-nabavki.gov.mk


Skopje, 14 August, 2018 - 14:33 (META) 

In order to increase transparency and accountability regarding public procurement, from now on, the public procurement electronic system (ESJN) will feature the assigned agreements, and the public will have an insight into the agreements themselves, reports the Ministry of Finance.

“The agreements will be available within the notifications for a concluded procurement. After the procurement have been completed, the agreements will be published on https://e-nabavki.gov.mk/PublicAccess/Home.aspx#/home, informs the ministry.

The Government announced this measure with the goal to prevent any attempt for corruption during the conclusion of agreements between state institutions and companies.

Last year, at USAID’s conference on “Public Procurement in Macedonia: Experience and draft legislation for improvement”, it was highlighted that out of approximately 70.000 active companies in the country, only 4.800 are included in the public procurement business, which is worth about one billion euros annually.

 

The text is made within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory“, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and Society Metamorphosis, “Agora” Center for Promoting Civil Values ​​and the Platform for Investigative Journalism and Analyzes – PINA, with the financial support of the “Foundation Open” Society – Macefoom-logo-disklejmerdonia “. The content of the text is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be considered to reflect the views of the “Open Society Foundation – Macedonia”.

 


GRECO: Macedonia has made no progress in preventing corruption among MPs and judges


Strasbourg, 9 August, 2018 - 13:35 (META) 

In its Second Compliance report, published today, GRECO (Group of States against Corruption), an organization which operates within the Council of Europe said that “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has not made significant progress in implementing anti-corruption recommendations among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. ”

The Compliance Report was made according to the Situation Report with additional information regarding the implementation of the 19 recommendations submitted by the Macedonian authorities on 31 January this year.

Calling progress at this stage “really disappointing”, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption group urges the authorities to take more determined and more focused action to implement the recommendations issued four and a half years ago. GRECO concludes that it has very low compliance with the recommendations, ie the level is “generally unsatisfactory”.

More specifically, only six of the 19 recommendations were implemented satisfactorily. Of the others, six were partially implemented, and five remained unimplemented.

In regard to members of parliament, none of the recommended changes were implemented even partly, with the exception of the adoption of the Code of Conduct for members of parliament, which is now back on track after the project had been stalled in the end of 2016.

In respect to the prevention of corruption among judges and prosecutors, the Second Compliance Report indicates that limited progress has been made, pointing to the amendments to the Law on the Judicial Council adopted in December, last year and May, this year.

GRECO noted that for judges and prosecutors new advisory and supervisory bodies for are being created, to support the implementation of their respective rules of conduct. However, the anti-corruption group of the Council of Europe will have to reassess these improvements when more specific information becomes available.

In the area of declarations of assets and interests, i.e. the registration of property and conflicts of interest, GRECO regrets that no meaningful progress has been made for strengthening the control function, as well as for a more politically independent approach of the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption.

The anti-corruption officials from the Council of Europe also refer to recent ‘controversies’ when almost all members of the Anti-Corruption Commission resigned.

The next report is expected on June 30, 2019.


Transparency International: Macedonia is at the lowest position since the existence of the Corruption Transparency Index


Skopje, 23 February, 2018 - 12:25 (META) 

Macedonia is ranked on the 107th position in the Index for the perception of corruption in 2017 by Transparency International (IT) which sees the country’s position to have fallen for 17 slots compared to the previous year and is the worst result for the country since the index’s existence, stressed Transparency International- Macedonia.

There was a reaction by VMRO-DPMNE about Macedonia’s ranking and it stated that SDSM’s governance is marked by many cases of corruption and criminal and that these cases including the nepotism contribute to this fall in the previous year, especially when there is no one to bear any responsibility.

SDSM responded that the ranking on the Corruption Perception Index is a “result of the 10-year criminal governance by VMRO-DPMNE and that the citizens have a clear understanding of who worked criminally corrupted.The ruling party said that the things are changing “and the results will evidently reflect the situation in 2018.”


Žbogar: The lost time to be compensated with a greater dedication to the reforms


Skopje, 18 December, 2017 - 15:43 (META) 

The lost time to be compensated through a stronger dedication of the government and the public administration towards the current reforms and with a greater inclusion of the citizens in the process of reforms. Everyone bears the responsibility for the country’s advancement, said the Head of the EU’s delegation in Skopje, Samuel Žbogar.

Regarding the acceptance of the Action program of the European Commission about Macedonia for the year 2017 and the signing of the Agreement for financing the annual program for IPA 2016 between the European Union and the Macedonian Government with which Macedonia will receive 72,3 million of euros from the EU, the EU’s ambassador stated that it is a clear evidence of the EU’s dedication towards Macedonia’s accession into the big European family.

Since 2007, states the EU’s delegation in Skopje, Macedonia has received over 1 billion euros for key reforms and infrastructure, and until 2020, 250 more million euros will be allocated.


After Zaev, SDSM said that everyone will face responsibility for corruption


Skopje, 10 December, 2017 - 15:44 (META) 

After Prime Minister and President of SDSM, Zoran Zaev, addressed the public yesterday, and said that that everyone would face responsability for corrupt behavior, his party sent out the same message.

“The fight against corruption and the rule of law are our top values and priorities for SDSM. Everyone in public office has a responsibility to the citizens. The competent institutions must listen to and respect the voice of the people and exercise a professional and dignified attitude towards them. Therefore, they are obliged to act and sanction any corruptive behavior, regardless of who the perpetrator is and what type of function he or she performs. In the fight against corruption, there should and should not be privileged individuals and groups. Anyone who, through corruption, whether it is for personal or party purposes, who works against the interests of the Republic of Macedonia and its citizens, will have to face responsibility”, the party said.